Kelly the Culinarian: Motivation Monday: Nicole's Half Ironman Journey

Monday, April 15, 2013

Motivation Monday: Nicole's Half Ironman Journey

I had the chance to meet Nicole a few weeks ago at the Egg Shell Shuffle. She was recently on SkinnyRunner, which means she's legit famous, but worked me into her busy schedule. Nicole has completed three half Ironmans and agreed to share her (hilarious) perspective on what it takes to get to the finish line.

What half Ironman races have you done and where?
Muncie 70.3 the year before it went WTC
Rev3 70.3 Cedar Point
IM Steelhead 70.3
(Planning to do 70.3 CP again this year)

Why did you decide to tackle the half Ironman distance?
I have the ultimate goal of completing a full Ironman distance someday and realized that tackling a half was the best way to get there.  I hope to go for a full in ~2015 ... but first hoping for another kidlet and then Ironman. 

What is the most challenging aspect of training? Finding time for long training sessions while maintaining a good life balance.  Family, work, church & volunteer responsibilities are also a priority to me so training and life can be a juggling act. I also won't miss my son's football games or other events for a solo ride, that is just something I have decided personally.   So, carving out time for long rides and making sure I stick to my plan can be tough.   I think all AG triathletes face this challenge.  I've kind of have taken the personal philosophy of making a training schedule but not beating myself up if i miss something if i am doing something with my family that is equally (or most times) more important. This works for me but maybe not for all. 

What was the biggest lesson you learned in your first half Ironman?
The bike kicked my butt!  I kept wanting to get off and stretch and not bike anymore multiple times.  I wish I would have been more prepared on the bike to be ready for this mental challenge.

What have you done differently for the subsequent races?
Biking was the most foreign discipline for me so I try to make sure I get in a half a dozen 50+ rides leading up to the race which includes a few brick workouts.  Legs after the bike can get very tired and let's face it, they don't call them "rainbow" workouts.  I make sure I am used to and prepared for running off the bike. 

What advice do you have for an overwhelmed slightly terrified newbie?
To remember that you are attempting something that only .1% of the world has completed and to enjoy the process.  Train the best you can and then celebrate the day.  Just getting to the start line of any race takes a lot of prep.  On race day, get into the water before the gun to warm up and get comfortable, make sure you bring a bike pump to transition and extra tubes and don't forget to bring socks!  (maybe two pairs just in case) I also think it is totally normal to be terrified... if I am honest with myself, I still get butterflies before any big triathlon. Also, during the run, just imagine all the food you can eat guilt free for at least a week! (wait, am I the only person that thinks that way?!?!)

Do you follow a specific training plan?This was the question I was most nervous for.  I don't follow any specific printed training plan as it is tough for me to keep to one.  I normally try to train 5 times a week, rest on Sunday and do Barre or Yoga on the 6th day ... in a perfect system.  I normally am good 3/4 weeks out of the month.  During racing season, I try to make sure I get in a good long brick session 2-3 times a month and go 75-80% of the distance in a brick a few times prior to racing.  

And one more unsolicited token of advice:Taking an even semi-attractive picture with a wetsuit and swimcap on is very difficult ... see Photo Exhibit A for proof of that.  

1 comment:

Nicole and Scott Kesten said...

If being Legit Famous is correlated to run-on sentences... i am totally famous! :)

thanks so much for the feature and cannot wait to do some OWS with you late spring! (or whenever spring decides to show up)