Ironman Boulder 2017

In the aftermath of all of the soreness, hobbling around, and celebrating a job well done with photos, phone calls, and text messages, I'm finally sitting down to reflect on my first Ironman. :)

In the two days prior to the race, what I found most surprising was the overwhelming sense of calm I felt. I expected to have butterflies in my stomach and a feeling of dread or fear, but instead, I only felt a desire to dive in (literally). I was so ready to begin my race day journey. On Friday, Mom and I drove up to Boulder so I could get a wetsuit swim in the Boulder Reservoir before packet pickup. The water temperature was perfect, and honestly, that was the clearest water I had ever seen in that lake. Ever. It was nice and refreshing, and my love for open water swimming resurfaced after a long winter of pool swims. We then rolled to packet pickup and athlete briefing, where the officials warned of a weekend with record heat. Even as we sat out there in the sun, I felt relatively calm …

Embracing an Athletic Identity

“Come on, Ali, you’ve got this. You can do this,” my dad urges.
Me, through thick sobs: “I CAN’T.”
He looks at me with a bit of hopeless exasperation, but tries to stay positive. This is the umpteenth time I’ve done this to him, my high school cross country coach, my mother. The formula goes something like this: Start running, hit mile 2-3, start cramping up, start hyperventilating, start walking, start crying and insisting I can’t do it. Despite being able to chase a ball across a soccer field for hours at a time, I can’t ever muster the attention span or inner peace needed to go on a simple 30-45 minute jog. I had it set in my head that I wasn’t cut out for endurance sports. I wasn’t the athletic or coordinated child, I was the nerd child who just didn’t have the competitive edge.
Growing up, I watched my sister Mia kill it in every sport she tried. She had tenacity, a fire inside that I had never discovered. She was a talented runner, she could throw a ball, and in the pool, she…

GIVEAWAY!!! Challenge in Eating: Feeding an Iron Woman

I’ve struggled with how to approach this post, and how to write about just eating... Let me start with one of my favorite comics from the Oatmeal (The Oatmeal is also mentioned in my post: “The Grind and How to be Crazy”)….

Food is a curious thing. For as long as I can remember, I’ve salivated over a good steak, a bowl of ice cream, a slice of pizza, I could go on. I’m a foodie, and from a performance perspective, what I choose to eat has never been of much consequence. Although, there are a few things I’ve learned over my years of swimming, biking, and running:
Chipotle and 400 repeats don’t mix (Thanks, Coach Kaier). 6 slices of pizza during continuous 200 meter relays is never a good idea (Thanks, Coach Molly). Grilled rabbit with dirty bananas can power some hella-strong 10 milers (Thanks, Daniel Hitchcock)!
Despite these few anecdotal examples, I’ve mostly eaten whatever I want without major consequence. By no means am I a fast moving dumpster; I try to avoid fast food and e…

Do you like Sia? Do you like Dancing? Read on!

March Update:
Howdy folks! I’m posting a monthly update on life and training, since I’ve only got the Ironman planned this year, and I wanna fill you in on more than just one race. Read on for a few exciting items.
Yesterday was the 3 year Cancerversary for my mom! Meaning, 3 years ago on March 5, her life changed forever. She was given 2 years to live, and it was a dark time for all of us. Thanks to a lot of perseverance, strength, love, and Epic Experience, we’ve all pulled out of that place and live our lives fully. I am so so thankful and blessed to have my mom for another year. Take that, cancer! She wrote about it on her Caring Bridge Site, which you can find here.
In other news, even sweaty triathletes clean up nice. February 18th was the Epic Experience Hearts and Hope Gala! This was an exciting culmination of the year for Epic, and I was so honored to attend and be a part of the celebration. I brought 3 of my girlfriends to join me for drinks, auction, and dancing. We had …

The Grind and How to be Crazy

A recent Monday I came into work and my coworker asked me about my weekend.
“It was pretty good, I had a really fun brick workout this Saturday!” He proceeded to say, “I assume every workout you do is fun to you though, right?” “Well, no, some of them really suck. And some of them I just don’t want to do at all.”
This was when I got a slight smirk. A smirk that said “I knew you were crazy for training for this Ironman, but you must really be crazy if you don’t enjoy all of it.”
Reflecting on the word “fun” is like reflecting on the word “happy”. When I think of the word fun, I think of roller coasters. I think of playing games and laughing. It’s a state of being that, in all actuality, is rather fleeting. Just like how the word happy implies a state of permanence. Am I unhappy? Absolutely not. But I don’t sit at my desk at work all day with a grin on my face. I really felt that this concept was opened up to me by The Oatmeal’s Cartoon: How to Be Perfectly Unhappy. You can find it

The Start of Ironman Training

How is it already December?! It’s been an amazing year (despite all of the internet saying that 2016 was the worst) filled with racing, quality time with those I love, and pursuing a career. Looking back, I think about how I raced 4 triathlons this year, and managed to podium at 3 of them, enjoying every day of training along the way. As an athlete, it was a season of massive growth and I enjoyed getting a taste of what I was capable of. I think of how living back at home wasn’t so bad, especially when I got to swim in the morning with my dad, hang out with my sis Mia, and spend every evening with my mom. I’m now moved into my own apartment, but I manage to go home quite often to see the family. Working for almost a year now with Mighty Oak Medical has been a huge blessing and experience. Working for a startup has its own challenges, but it has a ton of rewards as well! But the time has come to start looking forward to a new year, with even more accomplishments and growth. Here’s a q…

106 West Triathlon – Inaugural Race September 10, 2016

The last race of my triathlon season was surely something to take my breath away. For the first time ever, the town of Dillon, Colorado allowed racers to swim in Lake Dillon for the inaugural 106 West Triathlon, the highest triathlon in the world (that’s what they say on the website). Due to the fact that Lake Dillon serves as a source of Denver drinking water, and the lake never reaches a temperature above 60-ish degrees, concerns over water contamination and hypothermia for swimmers has prevented an event of this kind from ever occurring.
I was drawn to this race for a few reasons. One, I felt privileged to have such easy access to a race that would be a challenge to anyone who entered. The bike course throws concern for speed out the window with a 10 mile climb to Montezuma at nearly 10,300 feet, with a rolling run around 9,000 feet to test your oxygen deprived muscles. I knew there were people from all over the country who would want a shot at the thin air. Two, I wanted to be o…