Kelly the Culinarian: Motivation Monday: Alyssa's Racine 70.3 Ironman Story

Monday, April 1, 2013

Motivation Monday: Alyssa's Racine 70.3 Ironman Story

Hi readers! It's Monday again, which means all sorts of work things, but also that it's time to revisit Motivation Monday. I have another awesome blogging buddy who has agreed to share her story. Meet Alyssa, a 24-year-old Racine 70.3 Ironman finisher who blogs over at Don't Look Down. Here's her journey to the finish line.

Athletic background: I grew up playing sports and being active.  In high school, I played softball, basketball, golf and volleyball.  I dabbled a little bit in running in high school and in the first few years of college, but it wasn't until my senior year of college that I really started getting into running with my friend Laura.  We completed our first triathlon that summer. 
Why did you sign up for Racine?: I wanted to challenge myself to a new distance and Racine was the closest Ironman sponsored race.

How did you train for Racine?:  I found a training plan online and tried to follow that.  I did about three sessions of each sport (swim, bike, run) each week.   Saturday was typically a long run of 8 to 12 miles and Sunday was a long bike day of 40 to 60 miles.  

What was the hardest part of training?:  Fitting all the sessions in each week.  Training can take up a lot of hours then add in a 40+ hour work week and there isn't much time for anything else. It felt like my home was always a mess and I never had any time to cook. During recovery weeks, I spent a lot of time catching up on tasks I had put off during busy training weeks. 

Also balancing my training with family and friend time was challenging.  I live about 3.5 hours for my family and my boyfriend so I travel back to Iowa at least once a month.  Since I don't get to spend much time with them, I had a difficult time convincing myself to leave for a 2- to 3-hour training session instead of golfing with my dad or shopping with my mom.  My boyfriend didn't appreciate when I wanted to go to bed 11 p.m. (Kelly's note: this would be late for me. I'm so old.) so I could get up early to train and he wanted to stay out with his friends.

What was the hardest part of the race?:  The heat of the run was killer.  I do think training in the heat helped and knowing that it was going to be hot helped me mentally.  

What would you do differently, in training and on race day?: I wish I would have practiced fueling better during training.  I didn't have any race day catastrophes, but I wish I would have had a better plan on what to eat and how often.

Any words of wisdom to share with an incredibly scared newbie?:  When it comes to race day, remind yourself that you've already completed the hard part (the training) and the race is the easy part.  


Alyssa Neiers said...

Thanks for having me as a guest poster!
p.s. Would you be interested in meeting up for a run or bike sometime?

Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian said...

That would be awesome! I know you're nearby. I'm on the hunt for a place to pick up bike mileage, if you know of any.

kilax said...

I think it's so awesome that Alyssa has done a half IM and at such a young age! :) I applaud those who have these crazy awesome training schedules. It must get even crazier for a full.

I would worry about the heat too. Ugh. Midwest in July?! Yikes!