Wednesday, June 26, 2013

European Ironman Championships

In less than two weeks, Amber will be taking on some of Europe’s best triathletes at the European Pro Championships in Frankfurt, Germany on July 7th. This will be her first Ironman race of the year and it looks to be fast. As far as I can tell, there are 37 female pros toeing the line. I have listed IM results for all the athletes that I could find one on and if not a 70.3 result. As you will see this race is going to be another FAAAAAST one! I am excited to see how well Amber will do!

I don't think there will be many joggers in this race
Eddie Izzard on Europe(my brother, Andrew, would be rolling his eyes at this)

Female Pros with an Ironman result in last 2 years

1. Keiko Tanaka-Japanese 09:02:40 2013 IM Melbourne(short swim)**

2. Kristy Hallett –Australian- 09:05:53 2013 IM Melbourne(short swim)**

3. Erika Csomor –Hungarian 09:12:09 at 2012 IM Austria

4. Jodie Swallow-English( not an African Swallow-see below):09:17:00 at 2013 IM South Africa

5. Sofie Goos-Belgian- 09:17:42 2012 IM Brazil

6. Mirjam Weerd-Dutch: 09:21:04 at 2013 IM Brazil

7. Rebekah Keat –Australian- 09:26:14 2012 IM Western Australia

8. Eva Nyström –Swedish- 09:26:19 2012 IM Florida

9. Simone Braendli –Swiss 09:32:24 at 2013 IM South Africa

10. Amber Ferreira –American- 09:34:51 2012 IM Arizona

11. Lisa Ribes – American- 9:36:43 2013 IM France

12. Kristin Moeller-German- 09:37:07 2012 IM France

13. Julia Bohn –German 09:37:37 at 2012 Challenge Roth

14. Silvia Felt –Germany 09:40:03 at 2012 IM Brazil

15. Elizabeth Lyles-American: 09:40:36 2012 IM Cozumel

16. Mareen Hufe –German: 09:40:50 at 2013 IM Los Cabos

17. Charisa Wernick-American: 09:41:59 at 2012 IM Arizona

18. Regula Rohrbach-Swiss- 09:45:09 2012 IM Wales

19. Monique Grossrieder- Swiss: 09:48:22 2013 IM South Africa

20. Stephanie Jones-American: 09:55:36 2012 IM Cozumel

21. Lucie Reed-Czech- 09:57:44 2013 IM France

22. Nina Pekerman- Israeli: 09:59:13 at 2013 IM South Africa

23. Diana Riesler-German- 10:01:14 at 2012 IM South Africa

24. Kristin Lie –Norwegian- 10:16:27 at 2012 IM Wales

25. Joanna Carritt –English 10:16:59 at 2013 IM South Africa

26. Nicole Woysch –German- 10:17:44 at 2012 IM Lanzarote

27. Leslie Lamacchia-American: 10:26:24 at 2012 IM Arizona

28. Dana Wagner-German: 10:39:58 at 2013 IM Melbourne(short swim)**

29. Megumi Shigaki-Japanese: 10:40:01 2013 IM New Zealand

30. Carla Van Rooijen- Dutch- 10:43:03 2012 IM Lanzarote

Barring the women who did Melbourne(the short swim really throws off their times), it looks like the women to watch will be Jodie Swallow, Erica Csomor, Sofie Goos and Mirjam Weerd. After those four women, there is a plethora of female pros to round out the top ten. Don’t be surprised if Amber puts up some good results:)

Athletes without an Ironman Result(that I could find at least)

1. Camilla Pedersen- Danish: 04:19:00 at 2013 IM 70.3 San Juan

2. Natascha Schmitt-German: 04:33:16 at 2013 IM 70.3 Mallorca

3. Daniela Sämmler-German: 4:35:05 at 2013 IM 70.3 Mallorca

4. Anja Beranek -German 04:35:45 at IM 70.3 Mallorca (Swam a 51:39 at 2012 IM Germany)

5. Susan Blatt –German- 04:42:53 at 2013 IM 70.3 Mallorca

6. Anna Halasz-Hungarian: 04:49:45 at 2013 IM 70.3 Mallorca

7. Maria Lemeseva-Russian: 5:02:24 at 2013 IM 70.3 Mallorca

Amazingly, almost all of these women raced Mallorca so there is some easy comparisons within this group... Camilla Pederson will be doing her first IM and could be a contender in the race as she has performed very well at the 70.3 distance.

Every time I see Jodie Swallow I think of this:

As always you can follow Amber at's Live Coverage of the European Championships on July 7th.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Amber Ferreira Finishes 4th at the 2013 Mont Tremblant 70.3

 Amber and I ventured up to Mont Tremblant this past weekend for another 70.3 event. She was on the verge of qualifying for the 70.3 Championships going into this race(for professional triathletes, the top 35 pros qualify for the championships and it is based on the top five races in the qualifying year) holding the 20th spot with only six races remaining before the qualifying period ends in mid-July. She needed a good race here to ensure(most likely) a spot for the Vegas event in September.

Amber has certainly "done work" this year

As has been the case with most of her races this year, we had to make this a quick trip. We drove up to Montreal late Friday night then finished the drive the next morning. We arrived just in time for the pro meeting where the course was introduced and photos were taken.
All the pros racing MT70.3
Luckily after the triathlon logistics were all sorted out we did have some time for some good food and exploration. If you have never been to Mont Tremblant, it is a really fun place and I would recommend it. It's like a little European village.
Amber exploring Mont Tremblant
A bol of cafe

We had arranged a home-stay for Saturday night so we tried to get in touch with him in order to get directions to his marina(he lived on an island). However, probably due to the poor phone reception we never connected and had to, at the last minute, find a hotel to stay. Luckily, I knew just the place. The Auberge Mountain View was as quaint as I remembered from last year's Ironman. What I didn't remember was the fire alarms going off several times through the night. So much for a restful sleep before the triathlon!

After finally getting a few hours of sleep, we awoke and headed to the race.
Amber putting on her Zoot (wet)Suit
We must have eaten something at the dinner because both of our stomachs were bothering us(fine for a spectator not so good for a racer). To add to a poor night's sleep and aching stomachs, Amber had a last minute goggle snafu and had to quickly find me to switch out her goggles only minutes before she started the race.
Where are my goggles?

Amber getting ready to swim

 After the Candian national anthem, they were ready to go. Amber will describe in more detail how the swim went but she came out in the back of the front pack in around 28 minutes.

Bike Transition
 She then took off on the bike. This bike is pretty much two out and backs so I had a little while to explore the trail system and see if I could find any good places to spectate. What I found was an AMAZING trail system that had paved bike paths as well as a mountain bike(or trail running) trail system with jumps and banked turns. I easily occupied myself in them and could have for many hours if I didn't need to get back to the course.
At one point I actually ran underneath cyclists racing.
Triathletes on the bridge
 And another time could barely see them through a golf course.

I also ran into one of Bambi's friends:

The bikers to lead the first 3 pro females on the run course
 I headed back to the race where I arrived just in time to see the top 3 women head out on the run. Linsey Corbin had a three minute lead on Magali T followed by Melanie McQuaid. Another woman came by(Suzanne Z?) and then it was Amber! But she DID NOT look good. There were two women right on her tail and she yelled to me as she passed that her stomach was killing her.
Amber at her worst

I cheered her on thinking that a top ten finish would be nice especially given the less than optimal race-day lead up. I headed to the next place where I could see her which was about five miles into the run. Instead of seeing her in fifth place, however, she was now in fourth! She had actually passed the woman ahead of her and was closing in on Melanie. However, Melanie still had over a 3 minute lead so Amber would have to keep up her pace if she wanted to even come close.

I saw her again at mile 9 and she had cut the lead to less than three minutes but we both knew at that point she couldn't make up that time. She ended up in fourth place with a time of 4:38:xx. Not bad at all and will likely be enough to earn her a spot at the 70.3 Championships!
Amber crossing the finish line!

The top 4 women-Amber, Linsey, Magali, and Mel

Linsey crouching to congratulate Amber at the finish
For anyone considering a race for next year, I would definitely recommend Mont Tremblant. Not only is it a great course but the spectators were great and we have never seen so many people at the awards ceremony! A must do race!
The podium: Amber, Magali, Linsey, and Annie Gervais(Mel didn't make it)

Up Next: We leave next week for Frankfurt Germany for the European Ironman Championships on July 7th! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Update on 2013 Mont Tremblant 70.3

In just a few days Amber will be competing in Mont Tremblant 70.3. We drive up Friday after work and Amber races Sunday. It will be another short in and out trip but should be fun. I'm fairly familar with the area after having done the full ironman last year so I can show her around and take her to the casino since she's a big gambler!

Amber doesn't gamble much actually but when she does, she usually wins. And she got good odds for Mont Tremblant too. Here is a little excerpt from an article previewing Mont Tremblant pro females:

"One thing we admire about Ferreira as an athlete is she always puts herself against tough fields and this season has been no exception, finishing 16th at Ironman 70.3 St George, 10th at Ironman 70.3 California and 11th at Ironman 70.3 San Juan. Ferreira’s most recent start at Eagleman 70.3 netted her a third-place finish and included a solid 1:25 run. The 31-year-old from the US has a great opportunity to collect another positive result in this field at Mont Tremblant on Sunday if she can produce another big run."

Click here to read the full article here.

So this Sunday, starting at 7am ET, grab a bite to eat, turn on's live feed and sit back and watch how it all unfolds.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Danny Interviews Dave Salvas as He Runs Across NH!

Well not literally while he's running but we were able to catch up with Dave before he started his run across New Hampshire to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Dave is a fellow runner for the Gate City Striders(he's been on the team for 20+ years!) and I recently found out about his challenging fundraiser he's doing this week.  He plans to leave this Thursday June 20th to run across NH from Vermont to the Atlantic Ocean for a total of 116 miles in four days.

Danny: Thanks Dave for taking the time to tell us about Run Across NH. First thing, can you give us a little background about your running history?

Dave: My history is I used to be a smoker and quit and put on a ton of weight. Luckily, I was roommates with a runner who got me started. I have since done 81 marathons from Dublin, Ireland to Anchorage, Alaska. including 18 Boston's. Last year I did 2 Half Ironman Tri's and hundreds and hundreds of 5 and 10 K's and half marathons.

Danny: Wow, sounds like you have been busy. If you could pick one event what has been your favorite running memory?

Dave: I got to carry the Olympic torch in NH for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Although my proudest running moments have been as a husband and a coach like when my wife completed a marathon in Alaska as a walker.  As a coach was when each and every kid and adult crosses the finish line with a smile on their face no matter what the time on the clock reads.

Danny: How did you get involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society?

Dave: A friend of mine was a TNT [Team in Training] runner and he mentioned to them that I would make a great coach. They called me and we talked and I joined. This will be my fourth fund raiser for them. I was a member of High Hopes here in Amherst for 13 years raising money for seriously ill NH children. High Hopes is NH's version of Made a Wish.

Danny:What made you want to run across the state ?

Dave: I had been a marathon coach for 6 years with the Leukemia society when I met Barry Costa. Barry's daughter passed away because of blood cancer and he and I just connected and have been friends for 10+ years or so. I am doing this in memory of his daughter, Kim, as well as in honor of two friends whose daughters HAD it and are better now. I do this because no one should have to bury a child.

Barry Costa and Dave

Danny: Is this the first time you've done something like this?

Dave: No. I ran the length of the state of NH two years ago from the Canadian Border to the Mass Border for a total of 221 miles and raised $10,000.

Danny: So this will be a breeze then. What's your game plan anyway? Take it out like four back-to-back-to-back to-back marathons or more like an ultra?

Dave: I plan on running slow and steady. Breaking each day into three segments from 8 to 12 miles.

Danny: That seems reasonable. What can people do if they want to get involved?

Dave: I have a website with more info on Kim and the run. It has maps and mileage and on the sponsor page there are a ton of raffle prizes I am giving away to folks who donate.

Danny:  I typically ask the athletes I interview what superhero they'd most likely want to be, but I suspect you are already a superhero in many people's eyes so I'll rephrase the question to: if you could be an animal, what type of an animal would you be and why?

Dave: I think I would be an Eagle as I could soar to the tops of mountains and fly to the woods and flat lands and know I would be safe from the hunters as I am a protected species.

Danny: Steve Miller would be proud. [silence] Well, I will definitely check out your website and good luck with your run!

Dave: Thank you and everyone for donating and helping out with this cause.

Check out more on Dave at his website or follow his progress on Facebook as he makes his journey across New Hampshire!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mount Washington Road Race 2013

I lost the lottery again this year for the Mount Washington Road Race, which meant for the fifth year in the row I got in. It is amazing to me that year in and year out this race has to have a lottery system to fairly delegate the available entries. I cannot believe that there are that many people that think that running 7.6 miles up hill is a good way to spend a Saturday. And yet, the Mount Washington Road Race sells out every year and has me hooked(see my top ten reasons to run Washington).

It does hold a special place in my heart because five years ago at the finish line, I proposed to Amber. She was so oxygen deprived that she said assented after the ascent and has been cursing Mount Washington since:)

Mount Washington is actually one of our favorite hikes(behind Lafayette of course) and this year was the first that Amber wouldn't be hiking down with me after. With Eagleman last weekend and Mont Tremblant this coming weekend, it didn't make a lot of sense to risk an injury by coming up. Luckily, my buddy Rich would be joining me. However due to a late start made later by getting pulled over by a kindly police officer(no seriously he was very nice) on my way to the start of the race, I didn't get a chance to meet up with him before the race. So I decided I would carry my phone with me so we could connect.[Side note: the logistics of MWRR are, in themselves, daunting. Since Rich and I were planning on hiking down, we needed to park our cars over at Pinkham Notch then run back to the auto road, and then find someone to bring our backpacks to the summit(it was in the low 40's on the top). Suffice to say, having a phone was a good idea. Also-it allowed me to take some pictures along the run.]

Looking back at the long winding road

Typically, Mount Washington is a battle of declining goals. I start out by aiming to run the whole thing but by the first mile I end up walking. Then I am for shooting to finish under 1:20 but by the half way mark I usually am well over. I then look to finish in the top ten women and am soon passed by numbers 11-99. I then further lower my expectations to finishing before the old man in the wheelchair whose on oxygen and we usually finish neck and neck. This year I decided to have just one goal: Run the whole thing.

People unfamiliar with the Mount Washington Road Race may be wondering why this is such a big goal. It is a race right? Shouldn't you always be running? A combination of steep pitches, sustained climbs and more steep pitches have prevented me from doing so in the past. While only being 7.6 miles long it's average grade is 12% with long stretches at 18%, with a pleasant 50 yard wall of 22% grade to meet you at the finish.

So that was my goal. The problem I usually have is that the race is downhill to start. It's only 1/4 mile but in that time I always take it out to hard so that when I start climbing I get really winded really quickly. So this time I settled in to a far more comfortable pace knowing that I had 7.4 miles of uphill ahead of me. Last year I went through the first mile in 7:15 and this time it was 8:04 and it made all the difference. I was actually shocked to find that most of the second and third miles were comfortably runnable with only a few steeper grades mixed in for good measure.

I had run into Brandy Erholtz before the race and she and I ran together for most of the race. Usually this would mean that I was running WAY out of my league but now that she's five months pregnant, she and I are pretty compatable running companions. Yes 5 months pregnant! Just a few weeks before she won a 50k! That's 31 miles. Just being around her was enough for me to keep from walking. Thanks Brandy!
Brandy and USATF mountain running director, Paul Kirsch at the start of the race

So long story short, I started to creep closer to Ernie Brake who was in front of me and who I had been tracking the whole race. I finally caught him around mile 7. Here's how our conversation went:

Danny: Hey Ernie!

Ernie: Danny?!? What are you doing here? This must be a PR!

Danny: It is. I decided to try to run the whole thing.

Ernie: [after a few moments of reflection on how to best convey his thoughts] No offense, but this is my worst time at this race!
Ernie and Danny

And with that Ernie starts his kick to the finish, pulling me along at a pace considerably faster than I would have chosen to go had it not been for him. He ended up nicking me at the line beating me by a second.

Ernie ahead of me on my least favorite part of the race

But I had met my goal of not walking so I was happy. However, it is highly suspcious that I only beat my previous best time by two minutes while walking A LOT!!!

After cheering finishers on as they crossed the line, I bundled up in everything that I had packed and Rich and I started our hike back to the cars. Within a half mile away from the summit, the wind died down and become a beautiful day. It was a nice way to end the trip. The hike down is the reason that I keep coming back to this race, because it is always so pleasant and it gives me time to forget about the ascent:) And luckily for me Amber didn't meet me at the base expecting me to bike ride with her as she had threatened.
Tuckerman Junction

However, Amber did come up that night and did expect me to run and bike with her the next day. We went for a great trail/road run then got on our bikes to ride the White Mountains Triathlon bike course. Mid-race. We rode along cheering on competitors. It was a fun way to pass the miles and it made me want to do the double next year. Not sure my quads would have appreciated a 70.3 the day after Washington, but in my mind, it seems like a good idea. We will see.

After having a great lunch and a nap, Amber and I headed to Franconia Notch bike path where Amber proceeded to run another 10 miles while I waddled along heckling her as she'd yo-yo in front and behind me. A nice dinner at Gordi's in Lincoln capped off a great weekend.

Up Next: Mont Tremblant 70.3 this Sunday!

Friday, June 14, 2013

2013 Mont Tremblant 70.3 Pro Field

Although it seems like we've just got back from Annapolis, Maryland after Eagleman 70.3, next week we will be back on the road again; this time to the Great White North. Amber will be competing in Mont Tremblant 70.3 and once again this race is STACKED! In addition to some of the best 70.3/IM distance triathletes like Heather Jackson and Linsey Corbin(amongst many others) it also appears that the ITU invasion does not stop at the border.

With that said, having done Ironman Mont Tremblant last year myself, I think that this course caters to Amber's strengths. It's got a nice mix of rolling hills and flats on the bike and is beautiful. The run has a good amount of bike path with a few steep kickers(maybe only one for the half?). The only downside I see for Amber is the very loooooong swim to bike transition as T1 is typically not one of her strengths(it's amazing that my biggest criticism of Amber's triathloning abilities is how quickly she can change!).

If you have the opportunity to make it up North I would definitely recommend it. Mont Tremblant is gorgeous and there is a nice park to explore as well as a casino for those gamblers out there. Oh yeah and some of the fastest pro women triathletes competing!

Here's the start list for the 2013 Mont Temblant 70.3 race on June 23rd:

Magali Tisseyre WPRO 31 CAN

Annie Gervais WPRO 38 CAN

Linsey Corbin WPRO 32 USA

Heather Jackson WPRO 29 USA

Melanie McQuaid WPRO 40 CAN

Sara Gross WPRO 37 CAN

Jackie Arendt WPRO 28 USA

Monica Dalidowicz WPRO 35 CAN

Marie Danais WPRO 42 CAN

Amber Ferreira WPRO 31 USA

Brooke Brown WPRO 34 CAN

Lisa Mensink WPRO 36 NLD

Kristyn Robinson WPRO 31 BER

Tara Ross WPRO 32 CAN

Caroline St-Pierre WPRO 24 CAN

Suzanne Zelazo WPRO 37 CAN

Isabelle Gagnon WPRO 39 CAN

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Eagleman 70.3- A Newbie's Perspective:)

In the spirit of family, I figured that we could make Eagleman a family blog. I wrote yesterday from the Sherpa's perspective and today's blog will be written by Genny from the newbie's standpoint. Without further ado, here's Genny!

I can’t wait to burn my bike: One woman’s journey to thirty

On my 29th birthday I decided that I needed a goal. I had recently gotten married, bought a house, and was working the daily grind. My husband and I were not ready for the “kid talk” yet so I needed a challenge, something to strive for, and something to tell me that another year older will only bring on bigger and better things.

My family was bred to run. I always say that the Cullen’s have genes that are made up of part determination and part crazy. My older sister turned Professional Triathlete last year and has been becoming increasingly better with age. My younger sister recently qualified for the Half Iron World Championships in Las Vegas. My sisters always came home with medals and personal records and I was content with standing on the side lines watching and enjoying my active social life. I really had no desire to do a Half Iron because I really did not believe that I could do it. But what better accomplishment can you have if you complete something you thought was unattainable? In October 2012, I registered for Eagleman 70.3. And so began my journey.

I was extremely fortunate to convince my brother-in-law, Danny Ferreira, to coach me for this race. I will from here on out call him my coach because he truly did get me through this race and I will be forever thankful for that. Training started in November and I really eased into it. I asked my coach if I could have Mondays and Fridays off from training. I knew myself and if I didn’t have off days I would have burnt out very quickly. My coach frowned upon this, but also knew me well enough to agree[EDITOR'S NOTE: not only did she have Monday and Fridays off, she also had to skip a few workouts for concerts, and beer fest-see you can train for a triathlon and still have a life:) ]. Throughout my training I had to overcome a series of obstacles. I had endured three sinus infections, later finding out that I have a severely deviated septum. For the entire winter I also biked on the trainer not getting outside until early spring. Starting my training off with 2+ hours on the indoor trainer was more than brutal. I remember repeating over and over again in my head while I stared at the same spot in our backyard, “I can’t wait to burn my bike.” I had images of me finishing the race, running over to my bike, dumping gasoline on it and watching it burn in a fiery blaze as I watched and let out an evil cackle. I was not a biker and the trainer only confirmed this. Not only was the trainer boring, but come to find out, more difficult than biking on the road.

As soon as I got out on the road, my luck didn’t change much. On one of my harder bike workouts I ran over glass and blew out my back tire. “Are you F’ing kidding me!?” I came back to the house crying and called my coach so he could talk me off the ledge. After replacing my tire I had to pull it together emotionally. I was so concerned about making my family proud of me that I would get extremely upset if I had a bad workout or if I had to miss a workout. I didn’t want to be the only sister in the family that couldn’t do this race. My thoughts throughout my training revolved around my time and what my family would think of me if I bonked or couldn’t finish the race. However, a few weeks before the race, I came across an article in Time magazine. It quoted someone saying “Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” This meant so much to me on so many different levels. I had been so concerned this entire time about making my family proud and what they would think of me and less concerned about my personal accomplishment. I am doing this for me. Not for anybody else. This perspective helped me tremendously.
The Iron Family

Brandon apparently lost interest in the stencils after the first poster:)

The last few weeks of training were motivating. I felt myself getting stronger and faster and I enjoyed my long workouts knowing that I could finish the race even if it were the next day. As the race day approached I was excited knowing that both my sisters and my cousin were all competing in it as well. What a way to accomplish a goal knowing that your family is out there on the race course with you.
Deidre and Genny-relaxing pre-race

Race day started at 4:00AM. We drove to Cambridge, Maryland and set up transition. Unfortunately, my cousin, younger sister and I had late heats so we didn’t start until 7:50, 8:25 and 8:35, while my older sister started at 6:50 with the Pro Women. The down time was both good and bad. I hit up the port-o-john multiple times, which proved to be beneficial later, but it also increased my nerves especially watching Amber come out of the swim looking tired and swimming a couple minutes slower than last year. Word was spreading that the swim course was slightly longer than 1.2 miles. Zoinks.

Genny out of the swim- smiling

At 8:25 I creeped into the water with my age group trying to stay calm and focused. This is it. I had trained for this for seven months. Just have fun! As we waited to take off, the announcer called out “90 seconds ladies.” I said “OK, one more tightening of my goggles”…Snap! Oh sweet Jalissa, my band just snapped. As I took a look at the band, luckily it just came out of the loop and I just had to re-loop it. “30 seconds ladies,” says the announcer. “All right asshole I get it, we’re taking off soon.” If only my hands would stop shaking so I can get this in. Phew, I got it in and it felt tight. Our heat took off and only a bit of water trickled in my goggles. As long as it doesn’t overflow I’m good. Hopefully I don’t get pink eye from the swill we are swimming in. The swim was tough and I got pulled under once and knocked on the head twice, but I felt strong in the water and I didn’t let myself panic.
Genny starting the bike smiling

I got out of the water at a slower time than I thought, but I didn’t drown! Success. I patted myself on the back as I ran down the shoot to the transition. Nothing wrong with a little positive reinforcement. I also saw my husband, coach and family cheering me on. Awesome. I hopped on the bike and started the 56 miles. The course took you out to marsh land where there were little cars and no people except for the racers. I kept thinking to myself, just enjoy every minute of this. I looked around and took in the views. It was beautiful and not that sunny. I choked down a couple GU’s, which gave me severe heartburn, and tried to get my legs loosened up. Twenty miles into the bike I was not feeling great. My heartburn and the Choptank river water were getting the best of my digestion. I felt slow and lethargic. Then, I looked up ahead and, no joke, saw a turtle crossing the road in front of me. If that wasn’t symbolism, I don’t know what is. I continued to chug along on the bike until I had about 17 miles left. I don’t know why, but I felt amazing all of a sudden. I grinded out the last 17 miles and came into the transition with a smile on my face. I knew my strength was running so when I came into the bike transition I was in celebration station. However, as soon as I got to mile one of the run, I was violently pushed out of celebration station and I skidded, bumped, and face-planted into realization station. Oh right, I have a half marathon to complete.
Genny finishing the bike still smiling

The run was nothing more than a mental battle. The sun came out full blast and there was zero shade. I used each water station to re-hydrate and pour ice down my shirt. Everyone on the course was very friendly and “Nice Job” and “Great pace” kept me going. I was also motivated by looking at the ages on some runners and seeing the 70+ age groupers out there getting it done. Wow. If they can do it, I can do it.

Smiling while working hard seems to run in the family

I pushed hard through the last three miles as my husband met me at the last quarter of a mile and ran with me. I saw my friends and family cheering me on and I was so emotional that I wanted to cry. The last 200 yards my coach yells out, “Genny, you need to pass three people before the finish!” Seriously!? I gathered up all my strength and made it past two people finishing as strong as I could.
Genny kicking hard to the finish!
70.3 miles before 30 years old. I finished 34th out of 72 in my age group. Right in the meaty part of the curve. I am not only going into my thirties being in the best physical shape of my life, but knowing that this journey has made me a stronger person, a better person, and has changed my perspective on getting older. I still want to be setting goals when I’m in my seventy’s and eighty’s like the men and women on that course and I encourage everyone to continue to strive for something they think is unattainable. You will be surprised on how it changes you.

And as for my bike, it is not laying in a pile of ashes, but I think I’ll wait a couple weeks before taking it out again.

Amber and Genny pre-race
 Up Next for Genny? A little bike burning? More likely, she will be signing up for another race:)