2010 Ironman St. George Champion

Trophy and tummy rub

At the moment I am sitting in bed, sparkling water at my side, with blood blisters and cankles (despite the compression socks) barely able to lift my legs. Yesterday though, I was winning my 2nd Ironman!! The inaugural race here in St. George Utah.
After spending so much time training, preparing for the race, getting all the details sorted out, visualizing the day… it is nice not to have to think about it any more. I am sure that the anti-climatic, depressed feelings will come later in the week as they always seem to when your hormones are all messed up and your body is working like crazy to repair itself, but for now I feel blissfully content, at least until I have to walk.

I got a very cool winner’s trophy: a massive, insanely heavy M-dot that looks like solid marble (though a “ting” test leads me to believe it is cleverly painted steel).  I usually give my trophies away – to people that have helped me on my journey, but I think that this one may be a keeper. We are going to have to make sure that we pack the camper correctly to keep the ballast right!

I have given so many little interviews and provided little quotes about my day, I kind of feel at a loss about what to write about the race itself. I guess now is as good of a time as any to “officially” announce that I have a new coach – Nick White from Carmichael Training Systems – who I’ve been working with since mid-February. I wasn’t trying to keep it a secret or anything, I’m just low key like that 🙂  He has really been a huge positive influence in my life, and has helped me gain so much confidence in my training. Even before winning yesterday, I felt more positive about my progress in the sport than at any point in recent history.

The night before the race Trevor and I parked in downtown St. George (so we could drop off our special needs and grab the shuttle out to Sand Hollow at 4:45) on what turned out to be one of the busiest streets in town! I got maybe 3 hrs of sleep with all the traffic noise and pre-race insomnia and had a very vivid nightmare about getting the time zone wrong and missing the swim start. At least the camper was level.

On the school-bus out to the reservoir, squished beside my husband (our legs do not fit in school bus seats) I sipped on my Ultragen, stared out at the dark, and had a strong sense that it was going to be a good day.

Indeed it was. I was fortunate to have one of those races where everything just came together. I swam 51 min, my fastest time in the water, but it was probably the easiest an Ironman swim has ever felt. I even had two bad water choking episodes from crazy-kicker-guy (I had to full on breast stroke and cough), but I managed to get into a better position on the left side of our little group and get right back into my rhythm. David, thank you so much for all your help in the water. Your workouts have made a world of difference!

After the swim, I had a shameful bike mounting episode where it took me far too long to clip in b/c I couldn’t feel my feet and I was shaking from the cold. My arm warmers were only partly on, the glasses were fogging… must have been quite an impressive display! I had a good laugh at myself and oddly it sort of set the tone for the day. Roll with the punches, smile and just go out there and do your thing (and, maybe, finally, at some point in the future practice your transitions).

I tend to be in my element on the bike, but yesterday was was a special ride for sure. I was able to keep it strong throughout without ever getting that “ugh, legs sore, that was too hard” feeling. Having been in the area for a few weeks in advance was a huge bonus. I knew the course well, I knew how hard I could ride on all the hills, and I had made good friends with the wind. I got to chase the helicopter for awhile, which was pretty fun, and I had quite the paparazzi around me for the ENTIRE first loop, which actually got to be a little much. Really, do you need that close up of the snot running down my nose? I also really needed to pee on this one downhill section (yes, we all pee while riding in a race) but got stage fright with the cameras around. But, I’m not complaining, all my family and friends (and sponsors!) were super stoked that they got to see so much of me on the online coverage. My lead motorcycle guy was also super cool and had the nicest bike I’ve ever seen – other than my Blue Triad, of course! My sweet ride set-up and my super light and stiff Rolf Prima Carbon TT race wheels made all the climbing that much easier.

I didn’t really have any idea how far ahead of the other women I was but at one point, Petr Vebrosek – rode past and said “you are killing it, you have a big lead” so that made me smile. Trev asked him after the race how many Ironmans he’s going to do this year and he said “oh, maybe 10”. Incredible. He does so well in so many races and doesn’t break down.  I love all the crazy people who do this sport!

Anyway, on to the run, I heard that I had an 18 minute lead so that was a big boost. I also had Paula-Newby Fraser as my lead cyclist, which is rather strong motivation not to suck! The hills felt pretty good for the first loop, but I was definitely working hard to keep my form together and the pace up for the second lap. I think I’m finally getting the quick leg turnover thing better.
The volunteers at all the aid stations we amazing and I don’t think I have ever had so many people cheer my name. This little kid, in the middle of nowhere between aid stations, looks up from his little rock-pile, sand castle, project and screams “way to go Heather!!”. Crazy.
Our AVIA race kits were a big hit. Several girls at one aid station yelled “oh ya, it’s skull girl” and one guy said “Your fast and your HOT!” Ha ha, I’m blushing.

Speaking of volunteer support, a huge shout out to Renee from the Washington Recreation Center. She was so awesome to visit with before the race, and her excitement about the event was infectious. Her aid station totally cheered the loudest and it was super fun to have some local fans, especially right at the base of a long climb/descent. Thanks Renee, you rock!

My nutrition plan was executed to perfection and I took my last sip of EFS liquid shot at the second to last aid station. No porta potty stops (a first for me in an Ironman marathon), no stomach issues whatsoever, no cramps… It was awesome and I have all of the brilliant products from First Endurance to thank for that (there will be a video of my race day nutrition on their site shortly).

With about 3 miles to go, the fact that I was going to win started to sink in a bit, but man, the last mile from the 25 mile marker to the round-about before the descent down main street took an absolute eternity.
I was smiling ear to ear when that finish chute was in sight, though, and crossing the line was a moment of pure bliss – especially when Trevor was right there to give me a big hug.

I absolutely couldn’t have been out there performing my best without the support of Blue Competition Cycles, AVIA, Rolf Prima Wheels, First Endurance Nutrition, Custom House/Western Union, Cougar Canyon Clothing, Blueseventy wetsuits, CycleOps, Beaker Concepts, and the love and support of my friends and family. Thank you all SO much.

~ by trevorandheather on May 3, 2010.

24 Responses to “2010 Ironman St. George Champion”

  1. Congratulations! I have enjoyed following your training and success.

  2. Congratulations, Heather! What a fantastic race. And you beat Trevor on the swim too… how prophetic of him 🙂

  3. I enjoyed reading your race report – its neat when someone’s race day goes as well as your’s. Enjoy the win and here’s wishing you both a speedy recovery. Oh, and enjoy doing the dishes Trevor.

  4. Great Race Heather. It was such a pleasure having dinner with you and Trevor on Thursday before the race. You are both truly awesome!

  5. Congrats on putting together an amazing race and more to for the WIN! I bet it was pretty cool having PNF showing you the way on the run 😉 That course looks beautiful and hard at the same time. Way to crush it out there! Cant wait to see you do the rest of the year!

  6. Ok…..teary eyed and SO FRIGGIN PROUD!!!!! I tell everyone who is willing to listen that you won another Ironman!

  7. well done heather….. while you were racing I was actually doing my very first 10 k. Congrats on the win

  8. Congrats. You looked super strong and in the zone all day.

  9. You rock girl, absolutely ROCK! Another amazing day, living the dream. And if it’s any consolation, I’m here with Chris McDonald in Grand Junction and he’s hobbling on trashed feet too. But he’s getting lots of TLC …. hint hint nudge nudge to Trev 😉 Oh ya, I guess Trev’s demolished too. Way to go guys. I have your room ready for Calgary.

  10. Why the decision to leave Chuckie after training down in Solvang this past winter ? Is it just Heather who has gone seperate ways or Trevor too ?
    Best in the upcoming races.

    • Trevor is still working with Chuckie. Not all coaches work for all people and that was the case the CV and I. We had a great time training in Solvang though, and CV definitely helped me learn a lot!

  11. Congrats on an amazing race! Here’s to a speedy recovery!

  12. Congratulations Heather! It was great hearing you speak at the awards banquet yesterday and at the finish line. Best of luck to you in your upcoming races.

  13. Ok so I am totally in tears. I love that feeling at the finish line knowing your family and friends are there supporting you and to celebrate your accomplishment with you. That picture of you two is priceless. THANK you for letting me share this experience with you. I don’t think I knew how big of deal this all was until during the event. Being new to the triathlon world. Both of you are so humble and fun to talk to. I just thought of you as normal people chasing the dream. Which you are just normal people, not sure what I meant by that…LOL I am so happy to fallow you both in your journey. I just wanted the best for you both because of how likable you both are. I had no idea how talented you two are. Amazing
    P.S. My kids were talking about you guys the whole way home tonight my daughter was like mom ” I thought it was really cool to meet them but I was freaked out.” My daughter also mentioned how short I was compared to you Heather. Which I am short anyway, and you tall. She said I couldn’t do an Ironman. Just for that I have to do it. SOMEDAY. Just want to Boston Qualify at ST. George Marathon this year first. Well I will be looking forward to watching you success ahead. YOU GUYS ARE SO COOL AND AMAZING!! Keep in touch and thanks for the shout out. RENEE

  14. P.P.S. After the secound read I am still wondering about the pee thing. When did you finally go? Shoot the would have sucked with the cameras……still laughing. How cool were those helicopters. Yes sadly this is a small town not much going on here so this was a big deal! And you have got to get on Facebook!

  15. You deserve this victory. I am so happy for both of you. I said in my TriTipTV report that is Heather shows up to St. George healthy, she will win this race. See ya in Kona?

  16. OMG!! Heather you are totally rocking it out!!! Congrats on your second Ironman Victory, and I am sure there will be many more to follow. Give Chrissie a run for her money in Kona this year girl. We are all cheering for you!!!

  17. You are awesome!!! Great job!

  18. Thank you so much to everyone for your great comments and words of congrats. It means a lot to me!

  19. Congratz Heather awesome race!!

  20. Heather,

    We are all so thrilled that you nailed another title. Fantastic job. If you guys decide to put Coeur d’Alene on the schedule, let us know. It won’t be the same without camp Wurtele in the back yard. All the best!!

  21. Damn. Way to absolutely kill it out there! Congratulations!

  22. Congratulations Heather! I think your form looked pretty darn good on that last lap too. It has been inspirational to follow along on your journey! So cool that you get to share it with Trevor also.

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