Tuesday, December 11, 2012


2012 is coming to an end, but new thing are already starting for 2013! I am super excited to have been selected to be on the Wattie Ink Elite team again for next year, and have already been signing up and planning which races to rock the W. I’ll be kicking off the season with a ½ marathon in Georgia in March, and then doing New Orleans 70.3 in April!

But to finish out 2012 we spent the weekend in the city which turned out to be a little like doing an Ironman. It’s been awhile, but I’ve done 4 Ironman. I’ve spectated many Ironman events and have coached athletes to cross their first Ironman finish or qualify for Kona, so I am quite familiar with the qualities that go into finishing an ironman. Some of these include but are not limited to are: patience, determination, proper nutrition plan, and focus all of which were required as we set out to experience all that downtown Chicago has to offer at Christmastime.

When starting an Ironman event you need a large amount of patience and that was no different as we set out Saturday morning trying to coordinate getting 12 people together into the city at the same time and meeting point. 1 car ride, 1 train ride, and 1 cab ride we finally made it to our hotel just in time for lunch and to re fuel for the rest of the day. Any Ironman knows having a nutrition plan can make or break your race again that was no exception for us this weekend. We transitioned from lunch into window spectating at Macy’s and viewing the amazing tree in the Walnut room. From there we made our way to the Kriskringle market. Of course by this time of day on a decently warm Saturday afternoon 2 weeks before Christmas it was packed. I felt like I was in a mass start of an Ironman waddling our way through a mob. I noticed it became congested near the food booths, kind of like an aid station becomes clogged up with people. Also rounding the outer corners of the market, also became congested like rounding the buoy’s at the swim turns. Of course by this time we needed to hit the aid station as well and had to sample soft pretzels, and chocolate covered marshmallows.

they actually got close enough to see at this window

We completed that event and moved on to Millennium Park to attempt ice skating, but of course another pit stop was required/ refueling was required at the fancy cupcake shop in order to continue. Pushing yourself too far or overextending yourself in an Ironman will lead to disaster and possibly the end of your race. It requires focus to stay on target on make right choices throughout the day. This was the case with ice skating. The line was horrifically long, and waiting that long for our turn on the ice might have put us over the edge and ended our night early, so we checked out the Bean, which at night with the Christmas nights looked amazing.

The next transition included dinner back at the hotel while re-evaluating the race strategy for the rest of the evening to ensure everyone made it through the event having a good time. We decided to dig deep, and go for it heading up to Lincoln Park to see the zoo lights, and it was well worth the extra effort.The cab line was long, and Adam doesn't like waiting in line so we found ourselves heading to the zoo in this which of course was the kid's favorite part of the day.

nothing like going to the zoo in style!

 The zoo lights was my  favorite part and worth the extra push to the end. The final limo ride back to the hotel was the final push and required some zoo popcorn, but we made it collapsing into bed back at the hotel. We completed our event with success. No bonks...how could we. Every event change we were eating, no melt downs...we stayed focused and were determined and stuck to the plan, yet adapted when we needed to.  So far I haven't seen any post event depression as Christmas celebrating is continuing. Luckily my training is picking up again because I felt like this cow which hangs from the ceiling in Ed Debevik's, which was our aid station on Sunday following shopping on Michigan Ave.

Good Luck to any of you who have a Christmas, Ironman like event coming up!

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