Friday, December 28, 2007

December 28th, 2007

Well the NewYear is right around the corner!
What is your New Years Resolution?

Think about what you want to achieve in sport next yearand what will help you get there.
There is a quote by Aristotle that I love
“We are what we repeatedly do. EXCELLENCE, then is not an act but a habit”(Insert your New Years resolution where the word excellence is –The Habit you want to create for 08) Then hang this on your mirror or put on your nightstand!

We are what …………….
Eating Well or
Swim 3x a Week or
Practicing Drills each Week orPerforming Core Training 2x a Week



Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Heather Joins the Quintana Roo Family
December 26th, 2007

Heather Gollnick joins QROO as female figurehead and product advisor.

Immediate release / Chattanooga, TN:
Heather Gollnick, 5x Ironman Champion and mother of three has joined the American Bicycle Group as both Team, and Product advisor to the Quintana Roo brand. We are proud to announce that Heather will be racing with Quintana Roo bikes and wetsuits for the next 3 years.

Peter Hurley, CEO states “Heather brings a unique knowledge of female sports to the company that will assist Brad DeVaney and the wetsuit team to further develop female specific products. Her Ironman victories at Arizona and Louisville in 2007 reflect the dedication and focus she puts into all she undertakes, I’m especially delighted to have her on board.”

Heather, a winner of over one-hundred multi-sport events adds: “I’m extremely excited to be joining the Quintana Roo family. Everybody at the company is so focused on producing the very best bikes and wetsuits available to the multi-sport community. This level of dedication will no doubt assist in taking my racing to a new level.”

“The added opportunity of helping Peter Hurley develop future products for the female triathlon arena is something I relish. I have some fantastic ideas and it will be great working with someone who has such an open-mind and vision for quality”

Heather will be racing a ladies Carbon Dulce frame and the Superfull Women’s specific wetsuit.
Quintana Roo has since its inception, harnessed the desire for female specific products. Although copied by all, Quintana Roo stands proud to be the first in the market with a female specific wetsuit. Quintana Roo is held under the umbrella of The American Bicycle Group alongside its Litespeed and Merlin brands.

For more information please contact Dean Jackson 423 238 8781

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gollnick & Jaggad Join Forces
December 20th, 2007

Jaggad and Heather Gollnick announce their exciting new partnership!!
We met Heather on our recent 3 month Triathlon Expo Tour across the USA. We hit it off immediately! Heather related to our “fair dinkum” approach to making technical wear the best it could be and we were really impressed with her down to earth style and off course her excellent performance!Heather is a five times Ironman Champion:

Ironman Wisconsin Champion 2002Ironman Coeur d Alene Champion 2002Ironman Wisconsin Champion 2003Ironman Arizona Champion 2007Ironman Louisville Champion 2007
Heather is a past National and World Champion at both the Duathlon and Triathlon level. CEO of IronEdge Coaching, Heather is also a USAT Certified Coach who relishes the opportunity to help others reach their own personal goals. She is an active mother of three who focuses her boundless energy on her family and her passion for racing
Welcome to our team Heather….

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gollnick Signs with 1st Endurance
December 13th, 2007

Nov 28th, 2007 – Salt Lake City, Ut – First Endurance is proud to announce they will expand their relationship with five-time Ironman Champion Heather Gollnick thru 2008. Gollnick, who has been with First Endurance for three years now, had her most successful Ironman racing season in 2007. She won two Ironmans, a ½ Ironman, had numerous podiums and set an Ironman personal record. “Over the last three years, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in First Endurance and what they stand for as a company. Without question First Endurance offers athletes the finest and most-effective endurance nutrition available. I used Optygen and MultiV for 12 weeks leading up to my Ironman win in Louisville, turning in a PR of 9:23. Quite Simply - these products work.

There are also a lot of important additional benefits to being involved with First Endurance. Not only are the products themselves fantastic, they also provide me with first-class customer service,” explains Gollnick, who will add Ultragen and EFS to her nutrition program for 2008. Gollnick is in the prime of her racing career and manages the IronEdge Ironman camps. Heather’s focus in 2008 is to keep winning Ironmans and share her knowledge with athletes at her camps.

2007 Results:
2nd Pucon, Chile ½ Ironman2nd Ironman New Zealand1st Ford Ironman Arizona1st Mountaineer ½ Ironman3rd Lake Stevens 70.34th Spirit of Racine ½ Ironman1st Ford Ironman Louisville*11th Ford Hawaii Ironman Championships*PR-9:23

About First Endurance:
First Endurance proudly sponsors Michael Lovato, Josiah Middaugh, Heather Gollnick, Greg and Laura Bennett, Seth Wealing and other top professional triathletes. These triathletes work closely with First Endurance on new product development. Input and trials from the First Endurance athletes are used to develop new products like PreRace, OptygenHP and the EFS liquid shot, which will be introduced in 2008.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

November 11th, 2007

Just returned from the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater and a wonderful weekend with my family.

We stayed with Rob Boos and his great family. Rob has been a client of IronEdge and a great friend for the past few years. I am pleased to say that Rob had an awesome day finishing twenty minutes ahead of his goal time in a blazing fast 4:41:45 – AWESOME JOB!!!

Thursday proved to be a great opportunity to meet with several of the athletes I coach and friends from all over the United States!! I want to congratulate a few more IronEdge athletes, Phaedra Cote from Spokane, Washington and Jennifer Cunnane from St. Louis Missouri. These are two terrifically talented women and I am proud to call them my friends. Phaedra has two boys and Jennifer triplets!! Us mom’s need to stick together!!!

Race Day I had the unique opportunity to work for IronmanLive with Greg Welch (Welchie) and Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington. How can the day not be fun when you get to spend it with Welchie. It was an entirely different perspective for me and was really a blast! What a race – the men sprinting to the finish, nice work Andy and Oscar coupled with some outstanding running on the women’s side. Congrats to all!!

My husband Todd and I topped the night off watching our kids dance on the Ironman Stage to the live band after the awards ceremony. Another beautiful night in Florida!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

November 1st, 2007

Trick or Treat time where we live is just awesome!! People in our neighborhood make it a real party with many cooking out and hanging out in their driveways for the evening. The kids have a great time cleaning up on the candy front!! My three kids all went as Baseball Players – they all happen to wear the #1 on their uniforms this year. I have had some fun with this as just recently we all went to see the movie The Game Plan (I would highly recommend it by the way). Anyway, “The Rock” the star of the movie was taping a TV Commercial where his line was “#1 on the field - #1 in your heart”

I yell this out as they come up to bat – the OH MOM look on their face is priceless!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

October 25th, 2007

I had a chance the last few days to visit my sister who lives in Jupiter Florida across the state from us. She just recently had her fourth child. My 10 year old son Josh came with me for a little quality mother-son time. It was great having his company and he did a terrific job with the baby!! Time to look into that baby sitting course – he’s a natural.
She has four boys – and I thought my three kept me busy! WOW!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

October 20th, 2007

I have been enjoying some downtime (not training) just cleaning, organizing, working our business, planning for our February Tri-Camp (great gift idea by the way) basically doing anything but swimming, biking or running. Oh yes – did I mention eating!! YUM

Monday, October 15, 2007

My Race Day - Kona 2007
October 15th, 2007

What a Season!!2nd at Ironman New Zealand1st at Ironman Arizona1st at Ironman Louisville11th at Ironman World Championships

Although Top 10 was the goal, I am very happy with the day and with a stellar 2007 Season.
The race was hard fought and there were a lot of newbies (in Kona) for the Pro Women. It was great to see them shake things up a bit. I must admit when I saw Chrissie Welington in the lead I had no idea who it was. I had never heard of her - way to go Chrissie!!

For me I had a solid day in all 3 legs of the race. I got off to a good start in the swim but was getting hammered and had to jockey for position causing me to lose the pack I was with. I worked with Rutger Beke through the second third of the swim. We were then caught by a large pack. To my satisfaction I exited with a large group of key competitors.

There were so many women who exited the swim together making it very difficult for the women to spread out. I was having to work hard to keep these women in my sight as the first 30 minutes of the bike always seem hard as I try to find my rhythm. After the turn in Havi I feel like I had found a second wind and pushed hard back into town passing several women along the way.

I had some cramping during the bike and the first 6 miles of the run, but I was able to ease the discomfort with some Alleve and additional Electrolytes. Soon after I was feeling like myself again!! I started the run in fourteenth place, ran four girls down and got passed by one. I ended up running a 3:16 and considering how slow the first six miles were I was pleased overall with the run time as well as with the 9:40 PR in Kona.

Thanks to all my Sponsors and fans for your support and encouragement before the race. I loved all the e-mails!! Very special thanks to the Luna Team for a great week. Waldek, Chris, Dylan you were a great support - thanks for being part of our day!! For now its ice-cream and play time!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Arrival in Kona!!
October 5th, 2007

Just arrived yesterday in Kona!! Staying with the Luna Chix Team in the “Clif Bar House” for the week. Recovering from a bit of a cold (hard to avoid when you share a house with 3 coughing kids) but now the attention is on the Race! Looking very forward to Race Day - in Kona you never know what you are going to get but I have been having a great year and am looking forward to the competition. More throughout the week !!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Fashion Statement or new nickname??

September 18th, 2007
One of my friends wanted to nickname me Crash Gollnick since I just had a big one a week ago. Man was it painful – I went down sideways and tucked my arm in being careful not to break anything and rolled/skidded to my back side. I was in a little shock and it took a few minutes before I stopped shaking. Then it took all my energy not to shed mega tears.

I was with a group of all guys on a group-ride in San Antonio Florida so I had to be tough. Lucky my friend Nader was with me to take care of me (thanks bud). Nader qualified for Kona at Ironman Arizona and has been my main training partner and is quite a stud!! He poured peroxide on me that we got at a gas station (again very painful).

When I got home I had to clean it but couldn’t bear it!! So my husband jumped in to help – I have never had road rash on my shoulder and back like this!! I started a new fashion statement – a shirt or sweatshirt with one arm and half of the back cut out – very attractive!! Neighbors would stop by or the delivery guys and I’d get a very strange look – until I turned around – then I’d get a GASP!!

I am happy to report it is healing great and I was able to get back on the bike to get in the Training!!

Friday, September 7, 2007


September 9th, 2007

I am home recovering after a fabulous time in Louisville Kentucky. I had my reservations about going, (the debate about proximity to Hawaii), but after securing my Fifth Ironman Title and Personal Ironman P.R.I am very satisfied!!

The day itself was near perfect after what I would say was a very average swim for me. I lost the lead packs and couldn’t find anyone to swim with – I found myself in la la land, about 50 meters to the right of the buoy line. I could see the lead pack(s) and they were getting further and further away. I had to tell myself to relax and that the swim was only the first part of a long day. I exited the water in 52+ minutes and felt relief until I saw my husband and he shouted Nina and Carole are 4 minute up!! I was thinking “what” ugh – 4 minutes!!

OK – get on the bike and just go!! My legs felt good and I was right at home as the first 10 miles were nice and flat. Then the hills… the first one hurt (bad), the second one a little less and the third felt good (it was nice and short and I stood up and hammered!!). Then I found my groove, I concentrated on my nutrition plan and getting speed up on all the downhills to help carry me up the next roller. It was a beautiful course! I was thankful for the out and back (about Mile 14) as I could see my competition. At that point I was still about 4 minutes back on Nina Kraft. She went 9:07 and set a new course record at IronmanBrazil earlier this year so I was glad the gap was not any bigger.

We then traveled further out of town to a 30 mile loop. The first loop was awful lonely but I was getting splits and Nina’s lead was down to 3:10 at 40 miles and about 2:50 at 45 and 2:00 at 50. You never really know the accuracy of splits that you get while on the course - at one point I did hear it was about a minute and then a few moments later someone yells you are four minutes down!! WHAT!!!! Ok, I told myself to just wait for someone I knew to get an accurate split. I saw Keith from Team Timex and knew he would have an accurate split, after all you can’t beat the accuracy of a Timex Watch – Right?

It was now 1:50 down – well that got me almost as excited as all the athletes on their 1st loop that I now saw as I turned for my second 30 mile loop. It was fun to constantly have athletes to catch and pass, a little dangerous but motivating as they would cheer as I went by. I ended up catching Nina at around mile 80!! From that point on the goal was simple – hammer on home to downtownLouisville.

I got off the bike and wanted to get out of transition as quick as I could and onto the run. I ran the first ¼ mile too fast and got a side ache and had to slow down. I was looking for Nina. I didn’t know what the gap was but figured I better get going. At Mile 2 I heard she was out on the run course and was starting to chip away at my lead. My side ache was gone now so I picked the pace up. At the turnaround I had gained back my lead but was still pushing hard. At the next turnaround, about half-way through the Marathon I had a 20 minute lead.

Wow I thought to myself – ok, this is mine to lose – be smart – so I slowed it down, ate, hydrated and relaxed and boy was this fun!! My last Ironman victory this April at IronmanArizona I did not take the lead until Mile 24 of the run. Even after catching Joanne Zieger it was still pedal to the metal all the way to the Finish Line, winning ultimately in less than a minute.

This was a much different feeling. I had time to contemplate taking the cartwheels out of retirement. I had done one cartwheel for my First Ironman victory in Madison, two cartwheels for my second in Coeur d’ Alene, three for the third – but the fourth – well – I didn’t want to be like the Olympic Snowboarder who lost the Gold after show-boating so with Ironman Win #4 in sight and Joanne close behind there were no Cartwheels in Arizona. But here… I still had not decided when I came running down the finish shoot but there they were – 5 cartwheels and Ironman Win #5. At least now my husband thinks I am a real athlete as my finish made it on ESPN!!

Congratulations to WTC who did a great job putting on this Inaugural Event, and to the city of Louisville who embraced the Ironman Athletes. I also want to thank all of my Sponsors for their continued assistance and support. This wonderful group includes The Luna Tri-Team, Orbea Bikes, Mavic Wheels, Blue-Seventy Wetsuits, Giro Helmets, Wigwam Socks, Village Bikes, my newest Team Member KORT (Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team), Marc Strickland my Sports Psychologist and expert packer, William Muhlstadt my Massage Therapist and Tim Crowley of CTS, my Coach – thanks for coming!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

August 26th, 2007
Chris McDonald and Heather Gollnick won today’s inaugural Ford Ironman Louisville. McDonald won his first Ironman title in a come-from-behind effort in a time of 8:38:39, while Gollnick claimed her fifth Ironman title (and second of this year) with five consecutive cartwheels and an overall time of 9:23:22.

TJ Tollakson led for more than seven hours of the race today, coming out of the water ahead of even two-time Olympic swimmer Chris Hauth. The Ironrookie held his lead through the bike and 16 miles of the run before McDonald finally managed to get passed. Tollakson would eventually be passed by another Australian, Craig McKenzie. Austria’s Gernot Seidl ran his way to fourth, followed by Patrick Evoe who rounded out the top five. Nina Kraft led the women’s race out of the water, with Carole Sharpless on her heels heading out onto the bike. Kraft would eventually fade during the ride thanks to back problems. She actually spent 10 minutes on the side of the road trying to figure out if she should continue the race!

That was after Heather Gollnick had gone by. The former age group world champion and now five-time Ironman champ powered her way to a comfortable 17-minute lead starting the marathon. Kraft made it through the run, but was never in a position to challenge Gollnick, who has now made a habit out of winning inaugural Ironman races here in North America. She won both the first Ford Ironman Wisconsin and Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene races and now adds the first running of Ford Ironman Louisville to her resume. A former gymnast, Gollnick has made a habit of doing a cartwheel down the finishing chute of each of her races. Gollnick set a personal best time in winning today’s race by almost 30 minutes. Kraft would hang on for second, Mariska Kramer-Postma ran her way to third, age grouper Catherine Phillips finished fourth and Sharpless rounded out the top five.

Of special interest to the media here in Louisville was Andy Baldwin’s 10:02 finish. The star of the hit show The Bachelor, came across the line escorted by his bride-to-be, Tessa Horst.
To see the complete day’s coverage, click on the coverage tab on the Ford Ironman Louisville race page.

Top 5 Women:
1) HEATHER GOLLNICK (#33) 9:23:222)
2) NINA KRAFT (#34) at 9:51:533)
3) MARISKA KRAMER-POSTMA (#37) at 10:24:144)
4) CATHERINE PHILLIPS (#1529) at 10:27:455)
5) CAROLE SHARPLESS (#36) at 10:30:43

Top 5 Men:
1) CHRIS MCDONALD (#3) won in 8;38:39, followed by:
2) CRAIG MCKENZIE (#2) at 8:44:143)
3) TJ TOLLAKSON (#26) at 8:46:534)
4) GERNOT SEIDL (#42) at 8:52:365)
5) PATRICK EVOE (#27) at 8:59:14
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Monday, July 16, 2007

Half Ironman Crazy??


A). Great Training
B). Slight Insanity
C). Rockin Vacations
D.) All of the Above

WOW! I have just done 3 half-ironman races in a four week period. Needless to say, I was a little tired by the third, but it was the most fun – read on to hear about my adventures.

The First Half-Ironman was the Med Express Mountaineer in Morgantown West Virginia, which I won. I had the opportunity to stay with friends Vinnie and Rona Monseau. The night I arrived was a large cookout for friends, pro athletes and HFP Race Management. The race day was a perfect morning.

The swim gave us the opportunity to do a dive start, (most all of us were long course athletes so we had never done a dive start like the short course athletes so often do). I was dropped immediately by the fast swimming Laurie Hug. She put 1 minute 30 seconds on us during the swim.

On the bike the hills were truly a shock to my system as I am primarily riding flat, flat roads. It took a little to get going. I was going back and forth with Amanda Lovato who was aggressively riding the hills. We eventually passed Laurie. On the second loop I felt much better and pulled away on the bike.

I came off the bike in 1st, ran the first loop hard – at the turn-around I had about a three minute lead on Amanda and wanted to save some energy for my next 70.3 race just seven days away. I finished 1st, Stephanie Jones was second and Amanda was third.

My second half, Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens, was a family trip to visit an athlete I coach and her family. She has two boys who are the same age as my children. My daughter Jordan and her son have been e-mail buds so they couldn’t wait to meet. Needless to say all three of my kids were very excited and when on vacation with five children – flexibility is key!!

The first day there we had a 2,100 yard swim workout and a 1.5 hour bike planned. I wouldn’t say we “blew it off”, we just didn’t have time for it – didn’t need the stress. We had a large cookout pool side while we watched all the kids swim. That night I went to a local Triathlon Shop, Fitness Finatics for a Tri talk and Q & A. It was a great group of people, I very much enjoyed the experience.

The race field was strong and I was really looking forward to racing some athletes that I haven’t raced before. I have never been to this area, it was a beautiful picturess lake surrounded by snow capped mountains in the background. I had a great swim, maintaining contact with leader Rebecca Keat.

I learned after these three races that I need to work on my transitions. She was off and I trailed ten seconds behind. Melissa Ashton passed me on the bike and I hated watching Rebecca continue to ride about two inched off her back wheel. She did get a penalty and served her time in the tent. Kelly Couch went by strong on the hills, I worked hard but she pulled away. I kept focused however and managed to reel her back in at mile 40.

Rebecca Keat went flying by with a group of guys at the end and took off fast on the run. I got off the bike in fifth place and was able to run down some of those in front of me to podium finish behind Keat and Ashton.

Half-Ironman Race #3
I was going on a paid trip with my oldest son Joshua – some one on one Mom time, time to see old friends and grandma. He couldn’t wait and his excitement got me going even though I was feeling sluggish going into this race, but was so excited to go back to my home state.

My friend Sandy picked us up at the airport and took us to the expo, and dinner and to our hotel. The next day my best training partner back in Wisconsin (I talked my other best one, Linda into moving to Florida). Frank Alvarez came to ride with me and doing a little run. Grandma Bruett came to hang out and take Joshua to lunch. We swam in the hotel pool and visited with more friends.

Oh yes, back to the race – it was a competitive field with a lot of foreign competitors, Australians Mirinda Cafree and Abbigail Bayley and Canadian Lisa Bentley along with Kate Bevliaqua. There was a lot being made of the race field with the #1 and #2 finishers at the 2006 70.3 World Championships on hand.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ironman Arizona Champion


Six weeks ago after returning from my 2nd place finish at Ironman New Zealand I was talking with my husband and told him that I felt like I had something left in the tank and was contemplating a return to Tempe for Ironman Arizona. We discussed it with my coach and in the end we all felt like there was nothing to lose, I already had a Kona spot locked down, not to mention I love Ironman Racing! We proceeded to make arrangements so that I could bring the entire family out to Tempe to be part of this special day. Special thanks to my Sports Psychologist Marc Strickland of Phoenix who hosted us for the week. We truly appreciate your unwavering support! It was great to have my kids with me during the week. My husband had some shirts made which read “Our Mom Rocks” they were a hit!!

They took part in all my pre-race activities – for me that’s what it’s all about! Sharing this experience with my family made it that much greater.

Race morning was filled with the typical nervous stomach but I was excited about the day to come! (I actually was able to eat all of my Gluten Free English Muffin and Peanut Butter!!). I arrived at the race site early, got tires pumped, filled my Bento Box, did my pre-race warmup, kissed my kids and headed to the water.

The pros started at 6:45 am, fifteen minutes prior to the age-group athletes.
As we approached the start line two distinct groups were forming. I was in the group to the left of the start line – to my right was Joanna Zieger, Hillary Biscay, Tim DeBoom and other speedsters. I was thinking about quickly moving but did not want to get caught in “No Mans Land” when the gun went off. I stayed put and was able to get on another athletes feet. I never look at my watch during the swim – I was at the back of a pack and didn’t want to risk losing it to look. Before I saw the clock I saw Michael Lovato ahead of me and breathed a sigh of relief as I never really know where I’ll come out. I felt good about my swim exiting the water in 52 minutes.
I took off on the bike immediately chasing Joanna Zieger and Hillary Biscay along with the rest of the Pro Women’s field. I felt comfortable with my first two laps on the bike but saw Joanna’s lead slowly increasing. By the beginning of the third lap it was up to 10 minutes. Katja Schumacher had passed me as well and she was moving fast. I knew the time was at hand to push the third loop hard. I was coming off a series of 2nd place Ironman finishes at New Zealand, CDA in 06 as well as 2nd to Michelle at Arizona last year. I didn’t want to take 2nd again. I couldn’t let the gap get any larger so I pressed harder. The wind was picking up something fierce and I knew the time was now to cut back into Joanna’s lead. By the end of the third bike loop I cut the lead down to 6 minutes and change. Could I catch them? Six minutes is a lot, especially since Joanna is a former Olympian Speedster, but my run has been great lately so I was looking forward to the third leg of my race day.

The run was flat out exciting! Joanna had a strong lead and was running well, Katja Schumacher took off strong and was gaining time on Joanna as well. I knew it was going to be a long day on the run so I settled into a pace that I knew I could maintain. The 1st loop I didn’t make up much time on either racer but by the 2nd loop I heard split times getting less and less. It was hard as the splits jumped all over the place – someone would yell you are now 2:30 back, next person you are only 4 minutes behind. I had to keep pressing on. We were two hours into the run and I could see Katja getting closer, maintaining my pace I passed her and focused my sights on Joanna. Throughout the day I was praying for strength. My faith is an important part of who I am and relying on God for strength gives me confidence!! At the beginning of the 3rd loop, as I was crossing the bridge, I could finally see Joanna on the road beneath me. She was approximately 1:30 – 1:45 ahead at that time. If I gained 10 seconds a mile she would win by about 25 seconds. I needed to push more and like any athlete you have extra motivation when you have your competition in your sight. I also knew that if I could dig deep and give it my all I had a chance to overtake Joanna for the lead. As she was getting closer to me I kept picking it up. I moved past Joanna into first place just after the 24 mile mark. From there on the thought of seeing my kids at the finish line was my motivation!! I crossed the line at the 9:36 mark, securing my 4th Ironman Victory.

I really love the Arizona Ironman Course Setup, a three loop course is fantastic. Being able to see my family as well as the competition throughout the day is motivating. A special thank you to all the supporters who cheered me along throughout the day – thanks to you I never felt alone. These types of victories would not be possible without the support of my Sponsors. A special thanks to the Luna Tri Team, Orbea, Wigwam Socks, Village Bikes, Blue Seventy, Mavic, Dr. Bergman and Chiro Kinetics, Racer Mate, Giro Helmets, Computrainer, Power Cranks, Tribe Multisport, William Muhlstadt, Zogisle, Marc Strickland my Sports Psychologist, Coach Tim Crowley from Carmichael Training, Alan & Headsweats for the visor as well as Brian the “Stitch Wizard” for the cool “Our Mom Rocks” shirts.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The week before Ironman New Zealand I had come down with a cold and sinus infection but thankfully four days prior to departure I was on the up-swing and decided to go ahead with the trip. I was so elated to be there after the long journey, Tampa to North Carolina to Los Angeles to Aukland New Zealand then finally Taupo. Taupo is a beautiful destination, I am so thankful for this job as it allows me to travel and New Zealand is truly an amazing Country, I only wish I had more time here.

I arrived tired and safe but without my bike (gulp!!) - they had no idea where it was so the Airline 1-800 number became my new best friend. Day two still no bike and it wasn’t looking promising since in their computer they had it listed as a set of ski’s and poles (now I started to worry). Thankfully my husband was coming and plan “B” of bringing a second bike was in full swing. The next day I awoke to good news - it was located and being delivered!!

One thing checked off the worry list, unfortunately my cold was returning. The woman who worked at the local pharmacy and I became very close over the next few days as I loaded up on nasal spray, Echinacea tea, Vicks Vapor Drops, sore throat gargle - The Works!!! Thursday I was not feeling well at all and stayed in my room until the mandatory media interviews. I was a struggle to stay positive which is a huge part of my racing and any Ironman! How do you stay up when you feel like garbage and question whether or not you should even hit the start line?
Any athlete knows that what you think about the day before race day affects how you feel and perform. Training your mind is as important as training your body. Both were ready and I was determined to not let a cold ruin that. I decided that it would be all positive thoughts from here on in. I gave myself permission to detach myself from any outcome goals, knowing I would be more relaxed and ultimately perform better.

I had done everything I could up to this point and need to trust in my training and let my body do what it knows from the miles I had invested (commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed - Proverbs 6:3).

Race day was clear and slightly warmer which I was psyched about; after all I am consistently spoiled by the Florida weather. From a health standpoint I had been praying I would wake up feeling 100% but I was still plugged up. I got up extra early to have some warm tea and let my sinus’s have time to drain (early mornings and evenings are always the worst for a cold).
I knew the swim would be tough without the ability to breath out of my nose. I got a good start and was right with Jo Lawn but fell off the pace after a few minutes. I felt lethargic and contemplated stopping after a ½ mile into the swim. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw an orange cap fly by. I thought it must be Hillary Biscay, I wanted to stay with her but she was quickly gone - again thoughts of dropping out plagued my mind. Mentally this was the most challenging swim I had ever done - I had to keep telling myself “Come on Heather - think Positive Thoughts!!” - the day before the race I was talking to Marc my Mental Sport Coach and we discussed plan B and C in depth. My goals had to change being sick - there were three Hawaii spots and I knew that Jo and Hillary already had one so that spot needed to be my main goal today.

Thankfully several amateur men kept passing me on the swim and I was usually able to get on their feet for a while but the concentration and intensity was not at the level it usually is. Another athlete and I were fighting for a draft and I just let him have it and backed off. I was disappointed and off my game plan already. I wanted to exit the swim with Jo. I knew that if she was in my sight sit would be easier to push the bike. I exited the water with a great time in fourth but already a few minutes off Jo, Hillary and Gina Ferguson’s pace.

Once on the bike I felt better - my nose was running like a faucet but I could breathe and it wasn’t taking every once of energy like the swim. I kept it very moderate the first twenty miles and as my mind and body realized I would be able to do this and go the distance I was able to pick up the pace. I caught Gina at about the forty mile mark and Hillary at 50, Hillary rode strong and stayed right behind me. In the meantime Jo Lawn had taken off like the shot out of a cannon, she was a rock star from the get go on the bike and already had twelve plus minutes on us. She really knows this course and how to push the bike.

The bike seemed long and I was starting to feel myself loose focus. Hillary passed me back and pulled ahead. Thankfully the position we ride in had allowed my sinus’s to drain during the last five hours and I was looking forward to the run.

I got off the bike feeling like a new person, legs fresh and ready to run. Jo was already eighteen minutes into the run and Hillary was forty seconds ahead and Kim Loeffler was a little over five minutes back. I know that Kim is a super runner so I took the run out fast but in control, (Hillary was doing the same). I caught her at about the three mile mark and forged ahead. I could see Jo’s lead shrinking each time we passed but she had a fairly strong lead and would have to falter in order for me to catch her. I instead focused on myself and my run stride. My lead grew on the field behind me as I finished elated that God enabled me to continue on a day that I was not feeling one-hundred percent. When all was said and done I had set a new Ironman (9:28) and Marathon (3:11) PR for myself - WOW - What a day!!

I want to congratulate Jo on an outstanding win and to the rest of the field for pushing me to new PR. Also to my husband, my greatest support and to my many sponsors highlighted below. A very special thank you to a very good friend Ed Levins and Village Bikes of Sarasota Florida who committed his time to building a second bike for me if the event that mine had not arrived. It is this type of support that I am so appreciative for - thank you Ed you are a great friend!!

Additionally I would like to thank the following sponsors for your continued support. The Luna Team and all those at Clif Bar, Orbea Bikes - one of the best products on the market, Chris and Wigwam Socks, Ed Levins and my friends at Village Bikes, Guy and the crew at Blue Seventy Wetsuits, as well as my massage therapist William Muhlstadt, Marc Strickland and the rest of my support team.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

PUCON 70.3 Race Report

I was looking forward to starting the 2007 Season at the Pucon Chile ½ Ironman. It is a great early season race to test your fitness level. This super hilly race had me a little nervous coupled with the fact that the women’s field was very deep including Lisa Bentley (3rd at Ironman Hawaii) Desiree Ficker (2nd at Ironman Hawaii) and American Kim Loeffler.

I had been to Chile two times and was looking forward to a Holiday. Todd and I needed some time together and some rest and relaxation. This race is nice as all the athletes are put up in the same Hotel and we share meals, it’s a great time to see friends. Todd enjoys hanging out with Lisa’s (i.e. Summer Roberts) husband Dave, he’s as cordial as she is.

Our trip was pretty smooth, but the long flights are always hard. We went Tampa to Miami to Santiago to Temuco to our final destination Pucon. Pucon reminds me very much of a small quaint town in Colorado with the Mountains, beautiful water and endless adventures (climbing the Volcano, rafting, canopy) it’s an outdoor paradise.

The race is great if you traveled far or are not a morning person as it starts at 9:00am. I welcomed the chance to sleep in and then race. It was a beautiful cool day but my stomach was going crazy from nerves in the morning. I couldn’t believe that it felt like ages since I raced, but I was ready. I had done a lot of treadmill workouts to prepare for the hilly run. My goal was to get out on the swim and then just go as hard as I could the entire race. I set a goal of besting my previous Pucon Times.

I had a fantastic swim coming out of the water with a pack of pro men. I knew I was the second female but I didn’t know who was in front. Spectators were screaming and the only words I picked up were “dos” + “chica.” I biked hard and passed Nidia Kondratavicius at around 15k - at the turn-around it was myself, Nidia, Lisa, then Kim and Desiree. I wanted to stay in front as long as I could and pushed the pedals hard.

I also concentrated on fueling myself more as my notes from last year indicated I ran out of gas with a lack of fuel. I got off the bike in the lead and was anxious to see my lead, my bike was three minutes faster than last year. It is a three loop run course so you get a chance to see competitors six times. At the first turn-around it was Kim then Lisa then Desiree. All looked to be running strong but I was feeling great as well. This was going to be exciting, Kim and Lisa exchanged places a few times with them both gaining on me.

Lisa caught me with about 1.5-2k to go and I stuck with her for as long as I could - I had to dig deep. I ended up eleven seconds behind Lisa for second with Kim third and Desiree fourth. I was thrilled as I was almost twelve minutes faster than last year. This marked improvement is an indication that I am heading toward an exciting 2007 Season.

I want to thank all of my wonderful sponsors: Village Bike Shop in Sarasota, The Luna Tri Chix Team, Sugoi, Orbea, Adidas Cycling Footwear, Giro Helmets, Selle Italia Saddles, Blue Seventy Wetsuits, Wigwam and William at the Center 4 Recovery (my massage therapist)