Race Report: Ironman 70.3 World Championships, Chattanooga, Tennessee – Saturday Sept. 9, 2017

It seems surreal to me to have experienced a competition along-side some of the best triathletes in the world. What an honor it was to participate in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Tennessee this past Saturday. It was a difficult race and I was thrilled to be able to check off another state towards my 50 states goal (Read More:Journey to Race in All 50 States). I arrived a few days early allowing me to attend the welcome banquet and have a day to put my bike back together, check-in and get acquainted with the race venue. Tennessee is a beautiful state and the humidity breeds ample foliage. The winding roads were surrounded by trees and greenery and I was excited to know that these would be the roads we would be riding and running on! I love nature!

My body was a little stiff and tired from the flight and travel but they managed to loosen up on a run. I had some physical limitations this year that have dampened my training efforts but overall my body felt pretty good, all things considered, and I was excited to be there.

Next I assembled my bike to find a mechanical problem that I remedied (or did the best I could, not being a bike mechanic). Then it was off to the grocery store for food. I always like to make my own stuff as much as I can so I can eat foods my body is used to. I also needed to pick up some Co2 cartridges for emergency tire changes since they are not allowed on the plane.

Then I checked in and picked up my packet and began assembling my bags and getting organized. I always feel so much better when everything is ready. This was a “clean transition” which means nothing more than bikes where allowed in the transition area. The bikes were packed tight with little space around them. Bags would be used for the ride and run and to be dropped off along with the bike Friday night before the race. This means I had to have everything ready in advance and as the race progresses each athlete picks up their bag, goes through a changing area and then moves to the next discipline. It would add a little bit of time to my overall time but everyone had to do it so I became familiar with all of that before dinner. 

The Welcome Banquet was spectacular gathering nearly 4,000 participants from all over the world (91 countries) who had qualified for this event in one big room. There was live music and a nice southern dinner with many choices including; pulled pork, chicken, slaw, green beans, corn muffins, green salad, fruit, chocolate brownies and pecan pie. We listened to many speakers welcome us with encouraging words. The highlight for me was when they introduced the youngest (18 years) and oldest athletes. The oldest man was 86! His finish would mark the oldest man to have ever completed the 70.3 WC event. So cool! What an inspiration and testament to triathlon being a life-long sport.

Race morning the transition was packed with excited athletes chattering about previous race experiences; the nervous energy was nearly palatable. I quickly double checked my bike and set up my nutrition then re-acquainted myself with all the transition ins-and-outs. Soon the women pro’s started. It was fun to see them run through their transition and cheer for them. Then finally it was time for me to head to the swim start.

After waiting for what seemed like an eternity we were taken down the corrals to the swim dock (nearly one hour and 40 minutes after the first women were in the water). Then we were off, as soon as I jumped in I could feel the current working against me. It was a difficult swim heading up-river which increased my anxiety but I tried to stay calm and focused. It seemed to take forever to get to each sight buoy and the sun was in my eyes. Finally it was over and a quick glance at my watch confirming my extremely slow swim time; certainly not a good representation of my ability however I quickly put it behind me and focused on the task at hand; there was no use dwelling on it. It is what it is!

I moved through transition smoothly grabbing my bike bag and switching to cycling gear; I stuffed my wetsuit in the bag and handed it to a volunteer and darted for transition. Sadly my bike was situated on the far side so there was a long run with my bike to the other side of the large transition area then I would finally be able to get on my bike. I kept moving and mounted quickly determined to make up some ground on the ride. I knew I could cycle strong. There was only a short distance before the long Lookout Mountain climb so I tried to get some nutrition in as soon as I could. I swallowed some river water but it didn’t seem to have the effect saltwater has on me so I was OK.

The climb seemed to come with no hesitation and soon I was spinning in my easiest gear and watching my heart rate climb. I tried to keep it in check and passed many women who were struggling and some who decided to walk their bike. It was a long leg-numbing climb similar to Snow Canyon in Utah with just some more twists and turns. After the main climb the route continued to be a series of inclines and descents with many turns, and I did drop my chain once. It seemed I spent much of my time in either the hardest gear descending quick then back into the easiest gear to climb so my legs were being put to the test. The route also teased with many false flats and a head wind the last 45 minutes.

Being the last wave of ladies in the water the women were spread out so it was difficult for me to really get into race mode since there were so few women around me and large gaps between racers. I worked on catching up to anyone I could see in the distance. A few times I was disappointed to catch a man doing a warm up ride (the men were competing the next day). Honestly, the ride was a little lonely with a few riders dotting the road. It was a welcome sight to see my “support crew” cheering for me at the half way mark. That really lifted my spirits. I tried to stay focused and ride strong getting all my planned nutrition in. It was not an easy course and to compound the problem my quads and back muscles were starting to spasm and I was getting odd pains in my hips. My muscles didn’t seem to be functioning properly. This was unusual. I later found out that my bike saddle had dropped over 1/2 inch over the course of 56 miles due to a problem with my saddle stem bolt/wedge system that keeps it in place. That explains all the odd pains I was having! My legs felt different but I pushed forward and was pleased to reach T2 without getting a flat tire.

Soon I was off on the run. No sooner did I start then my right quad completely seized up (only about .3 miles in) and I slowed to a walk. I remember thinking, “Oh no, this is going to be a long day!” I downed some extra electrolytes that I always bring with me just in case and took the time to put on some extra chafing cream under my arms. I then pushed my legs to run again. A fellow athlete I bumped into at the airport warned me that the run would be challenging as it was constantly up and down. I could not agree more: it was a challenge so I needed my legs to cooperate! As the miles wore on my legs felt more and more spent and didn’t seem to want to respond to my taunting so I resolved to focus on enjoying being part of this historic event. I took in the scenery and listened to people cheering. I always appreciate the volunteers that spend all day feeding us at aide stations and keeping us motivated. I thought about my friends and family and the encouraging words they have said to me recently. It was fun to see the community involved as many had lawn chairs out in the front of their houses cheering and my personal favorite; the sprinkler going in the road so we could run in it and cool ourselves down. Go USA! 🇺🇸

The temperatures where not too bad but the humidity made it feel hotter than it was. I looked forward to cheers from my friend and sister who had come to see me race. It was such a boost hearing those cheers by name and seeing familiar faces. They made fun signs for me and I found myself looking for those bright signs every turn; it really kept me going and I can’t thank them enough for their support! It was a long day and as I counted down the last 5K, I was delighted to know that I was going to finish an Ironman 70.3 World Championship that day.

I did it! I made it to the finish with a smile on my face grateful that I am physically able to do hard things and push my body despite my physical struggles this year. I am truly so grateful for my friends, family and sponsor support from near and far. Those kind encouraging words I get throughout the year carry me through the hard workouts and tough challenging courses like this one. You are so appreciated! Thank you!  Here’s to many more adventures together!

Coach Lora Erickson

Go USA! 🇺🇸 @champsys #beyourownbrand #bountifulbicycle #intermountainsportsmed #bountifulbicycle #xterrawetsuits #cocogo #ensoroller #Wasatchrunningcenter #dohardthings #gratitude

Related links:

I did it! IG link to post: https://instagram.com/p/BY1zP8Snzo9/

Number and visor picture on FB

Medal Monday IG post: https://instagram.com/p/BY63v7eHSt7/

Win a Spot in the Labor Day Triathlon at the South Davis Recreation Center

August 9, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Prevention & Safety, Races

I just LOVE local races!  This is how I got started in triathlons.  What better way to do a race then getting a free entry.  Check out my Facebook giveaway below.  If you can’t wait to register use the code LABOR2017 for $5 off.  Register Today! Come join the fun!  Can’t race, come volunteer with me!  Message me at theblonderunner@gmail.com if you’d like to help out.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Need help with training.  Contact me, I would love to help you kick butt!  I will also be offering a free route preview the Wednesday before for those registered for the race.  Please message me if you’d like to attend.

Labor Day Triathlon Bountiful Discount Code

I love local races!  This was my very first triathlon and got me started on my journey.  I love to do triathlons!  Use the code LABOR2017 to save $5.  Come join the fun! I will be offering a training clinic and class, message me at theblonderunner@gmail.com if you want to learn more.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Race Report: Ironman Boulder 70.3 Goals Accomplished!

August 7, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews, Races

All races are tough in their own way. This one was hard because I was tired going into it, but I was please to accomplish all of my goals (see post below). This was a training race to prepare for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships next month in Tennessee. I learned some things from this race and will make some changes in training to adjust and should be well prepared for World’s. I can thank my friends and family enough for their support. If you need help training don’t hesitate to contact me. Triathlon training rocks!
Coach Lora Erickson
BlondeRunner.com
Who is Blonde Runner?

Intermountain Healthcare Clinic’s Annual Wellness Fun Run -July 29, 2017, Salt Lake City

I love to see local community events that encourage people to be fit. What is even better is when they offer the race for free.  The community is invited to participate in the IHC Annual Wellness Fun Run held at Sugar House Park on July 29, 2017 at 8 a.m.  Come join the fun and bring your whole family to “live the healthiest lives possible.”

It’s free but please register here so they can plan accordingly. You can also learn more about the event

Description

Join us for the Salt Lake Region Fun Run! Bring your families and run, walk, skip, scooter, skate, or cartwheel. Our goal is for you to get out and move and have fun.

Length: 5k (3.1 Miles)

Where: Sugar House Park

When: Saturday, July 29 7:30 am Registration 8:00 am Start

Cost: FREE!

Race Shirts: Race shirts are available to adults on a first come, first serve basis in adult sizes only. Please RSVP and add your adult shirt size (Men’s or Women’s XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL). We only have a limited amount of shirts available so you are not guaranteed one. Shirts will be sent via inter-company mail before the race.

Prize drawing after the race!

Learn more

 

Race For Grief 2017 Results and Pictures

June 1, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Races

To see race results and pictures please visit the Race For Grief Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/RaceForGrief/

Thank you for supporting this annual charity event.  I hope to see you next Memorial Day.  Let me know if you need help with training.

Run Happy,

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

 

Women’s Triathlon Clinic in Riverton

Women’s Triathlon Clinic in Riverton

August 10

6:30-8 p

Triathlons are a blast! Learn some tips and tricks about competing in a triathlon from Coach Lora Erickson aka Blonde Runner (mother of 4).  She will demonstrate transition set-up, review the Triathamom course as well as give you tips for triathlon racing and training. You don’t have to be a participant to join the fun! Learn what to eat during a triathlon to fuel yourself to a strong finish.  This will be a lecture style format starting at 6:30 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m.  Come join the fun and get all your questions answered to complete the a triathlon event! Beginners welcome Limited spots. Cost: $25. Invite a friend and join the fun!  Limited spots

Get Registered

To learn more visit www.BlondeRunner.com

Learn more about Coach Lora Erickson, Ironman All-World Athlete

Blonde Runner Triathlon Yard Sale 2017

May 11, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Races

I am trying to earn money to pay for my trip to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Tennessee in September 2017. I am so excited for this unbelievable opportunity! Over the many years I have done triathlon I have accumulated stuff; it’s time to find new homes for these items, many are brand new. Please contact me with a private message if you are interested in anything so I don’t miss any comments. Don’t see what you need? Message me and I might just have it and have not put it up yet. Pick-up only – in Bountiful. I will be adding things, so check back often. Thank you for your support! Happy shopping! Triathlons rock! Thanks!! ~ Coach Lora

You could always take one of my classes or hire me for full custom coaching (that helps too):

Running Form Analysis

Running and/or Triathlon Training

Endurance Sports Nutrition

Adult Swimming Class – Triathlon Specific (pool & openwater) Visit BlondeRunner.com to learn more

See what I have for sale: https://www.facebook.com/lora.heylerickson/media_set?set=a.10212367307767802.1073741833.1533356182&type=3

Check back often, new things added weekly.

Donations can also be made directly to paypal (theblonderunner@gmail.com). Thank you for your support.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Race Report: Ironman St. George 70.3

May 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Races

Wow! That was a tough day. The training leading up to the event was pretty solid but I couldn’t  seem to avoid consuming water on the swim leaving me nauseated for the ride and limiting my ability to consume nutrition in the bike. I only seem to consume water in very specific conditions (in a race, when it’s hard to see and/or gets crowded), otherwise I have no problem in training.

The trouble is that I was only able to tolerate about 1/3 of my planned nutrition on the bike but ended up throwing that up at the beginning of the run. I felt better and tried to consume some fluids and as much solids as I could tolerate. I did start feeling better around mile 4 or 5 on the run so was able to pick up the pace for a while, then had to walk when a wave of nausea would hit so I could keep down my nutrition. Then I started experiencing some cramping towards the end of the run despite my attempts to get some nutrients & electrolytes back in me. I was so grateful to have company to run with and help me. I still had some major chafing on my neck and could really feel it burn on the run when the sweat hit it.  Ouch! 

The volunteers were also amazing. It was a bit windy and warm so I was so happy to have so many aide stations along the way, about a mile apart.  This race is challenging when you are feeling good so it’s even more difficult when you are sick and your body is shutting down but I pushed through. No way was I going to pull out. Despite my results I am so happy to be able to finish and participate in these events. This was an event I have had on my bucket list for a while. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good.  Overall I was pleased to finish and will continue to search for ways to get through my challenges. Triathlon training is my favorite. Thank you to all my friends, family and sponsors support! You are so appreciated. 

Coach Lora Erickson 

BlondeRunner.com

 

 

 

 

 

Wahoo! I am so excited to be participating in the Ironman St. George 70.3 event this weekend. I have wanted to do this race for quite sometime now and it finally worked out so I can. Hoping my shoulder holds up. It’s a hilly route and looks like we might have some heat and wind. Reminds me of Kona #hawaii #raceweek #swimbikerun #utahathlete 

Win a Spot in the Daybreak Triathlon

April 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Races

I just love local events!  I have done the Daybreak Triathlon before and really enjoyed it.  Come join the fun! Try for a free spot or register using the code “blonde” for $10 off.  Get Registered

Happy Training,

Coach Lora Erickson

If you need help with training, let me know. Message me at theblonderunner@gmail.com

BlondeRunner.com

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