10/10/15

IM Kona '15 - Thank you and race coverage


Karel and I would like to send a big THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us here in Kona (and over the past 13 months since we qualified) through your kind words, comments, emails, texts and calls.

This dream-come-true was more than a year in the making so it has been very special to be able to share this journey to the IM World Championship start line together as husband and wife. 

I am not sure how many times we will cross paths on race day and see each other but I already know that it will be very emotional to be on the course together. I am already excited to meet up with Karel after we each cross the finish line and share our war stories to one another and then bring in the final hour of finishers together. 

Over the past 10 days, I have used social media as a way for Karel and I to have memories for post race but I am so happy that so many of you have enjoyed following along during our race-cation.
It brings me great joy to share our behind the scene moments with you as we gear-up for the biggest triathlon race of our life.

I want to send a big thank you to my mom, family and close friends who provide Karel and I with unconditional support when it comes to our training and racing.
This will be my first IM World Championship (and third Ironman) without my dad but I know he would be so proud that I am here and even more proud of Karel who went from cyclist turned triathlete to IM World Championship qualified athlete. 
We miss you dad. We hope you enjoy the race with the best seat in the house. 


My first Kona in 2007 - what a special moment when my dad was body marking me before the race. 


My second Kona in 2011 - Karel, my dad and my mom were on the sidelines cheering me on.
My parents loved volunteering at the race. 


Although Campy can't read, I hope he knows how much we love him and how he makes our days 100x's better. Every morning is more fun with Campy as every day is not just another day - to Campy, every day is a new day for exploring, loving, playing and sharing lots of furry love. We just love Campy's love for life and his ability to make every day a lottery-winning day. 



We want to send a HUGE thank you to the 2015 Trimarni sponsors who have supported us in so man ways. Thank you, thank you, thank you for believing in us, supporting us and for being there for us!


And last but certainly not least - to the Trimarni coaching team, to all of my nutrition athletes, to all of the athletes who have received a RETUL fit from Karel, to our Jacksonville "family" and to our Greenville "family"......and to all of our Trimarni followers and fans. 
Thank you.
We realize that there are many blogs, social media outlets, professionals and other athletes that you could be following, believing in, trusting and supporting and we thank you for bringing us and Trimarni into your daily life and into your lifestyle. 

Tomorrow will be a challenging day. 
No Ironman is easy but racing on the big island of Kona brings a certain level of difficulty that is not felt in any other Ironman race.

The best of the best endurance triathletes are all racing at the same race venue together, on the same race course for the past 37-years but always with unpredictable weather conditions. 

We will be faced with waves in the ocean, wind on the bike and heat on the run.
As you track us and many other athletes out there on race day, always keep in mind that we are bringing a certain level of fitness to the race but in order to get to the finish line, we must all respect the island.

There will be times when we are faced with an obstacle which may require us to slow down and maybe even stop. But we will not give up.
We are bringing a smart mindset to the race, not excuses.

As you follow our journey as we swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles, we will be experience great moments but also very dark, lonely and low moments.

It is in the low moments that we will channel your energy.  Remember, a great race is the ability to finish what you started. Quitting is not an option.
That the best race result is told by the athlete - not by times on a piece of paper (or online). 

We are not out to chase a time goal tomorrow but instead, our goal is to execute the best we can, with the conditions that we are given, all while focusing on how we can keep our body in the best health possible throughout the day. And with all that in mind, we can then focus on getting to the finish line in the "fastest" time possible.

Also - I didn't talk about this much but Karel suffered from a partial tear in his plantar fascia in early June. It is a very slow healing injury. Thanks to a fantastic PT (Kent - Proaxis therapy), Karel was able to get in some run training but it was certainly limited. But on the bright side - he had huge improvements with his swimming. There are still some limiters with his running so we just want to let you know that if you track Karel and he is walking or if you see paces/times that are slower than normal for Karel, he is going to do what he can to finish the race in the safest way possible.
Despite this setback, Karel has really enjoyed his time here in Kona for his first (but hopefully not last) World Championship.
But then again - he may be running off endorphins and may have an amazing race!

To follow us on race day (and any other athletes/professionals): 

CLICK HERE - to access Ironman live for tracking.
Marni bib number - 2129 (30-34 AG)
Karel bib number - 1739 (35-39 AG)

CLICK HERE - for LIVE footage of the race
(any problems - you can post on the Trimarni facebook page and it's likely that another Trimarni follower will be able to help you out) 

Race day live coverage start time: 6:00 a.m.(Hawaiian time) - 12pm EST

Pro men race start time: Saturday, 6:25 a.m.
Pro women race start time: Saturday, 6:30 a.m
Age group men: 6:55 am (Karel)
Age group women: 7:10 am (Marni)






IM Kona '15 - Day 10


The day we have been waiting for is finally here - one more sleep until race day!!!

Karel went to swim with Purple Patch/Matt Dixon at the pool at 7:30am (he biked there) and I headed out on my bike at 8am for our pre-race warm-up.

I rode for about 50 minutes (to the airport and back) and included a few pick ups to wake up the legs. Karel also rode after his swim and I spotted him on the other side of the Queen K hwy. 

After my bike, I went back to the condo to grab my run shoes and watch-free, headed out for a short run with a few pick-ups. 

After my workout, it was time to eat. I had made pancakes before my workout so they were all ready for when I got home. I had 3 large pancakes with lots of syrup and chopped dates, two hardboiled eggs (one whole, one white) and lots of fruit. 


After the workout it was time to re-pack the transition bags for bike/bag check-in at 2:30pm.

With so much time between our workout and when we had to check in our bikes, I walked down to the expo to say hi to my go-to contact at Clif Bar. We chatted for a while and then walked back to my condo to hang out a little more in the AC. 


Around 2:30pm, my athlete Kristin came over so that we could chat about the race and then it was finally time to head to the race venue to check in our gear. 


I just love the pre-race hype of any Ironman but at the IM World Championship, it is quite special.


First we stood in a long line - helmets had to be out of our  bags. 


Still waiting.....


Still waiting....


There were several bike companies handing out shirts and hats to athletes who had related gear (I received a Stages visor since I ride with Stages Power). 


We then approach the bike check where a volunteer checked everything on our bike to make sure all the numbers were on and everything was race ready. 


Next, we received an M-dot sticker on our bike that we had "passed" the bike check. 


Next - it was time for a picture...of our bike. 



Getting closer.....


Next - it was time to wait for a volunteer to take our gear bags and walk us to our bike rack. 


Fancy carpet before the notorious "green" carpet in Kona. 


With 2367 registered athletes, the pier was covered with bikes! 


I put my bike into it's spot with the helmet on top (required).
I'll bring all of my liquid nutrition in the morning. 


It's always a mystery as to what Madame Pele will give us on race day for weather but regardless, I'm looking forward to 112 miles with my bike and my body tomorrow. 




The hoses to rinse us off out of the water. 
After I dropped off my bike, I hung my run bag and then walked through the women's changing tent. Then I dropped off my bike bag.
This is all reverse of what we will do on race day.
Get out of water - hose off - grab bike bag - go into women's change tent - change, put wet clothes into bag and drop off into a bin - run to bike - roll bike to mount line - get on bike to ride 112 miles.
Return back from bike - hand bike off to volunteer - run all the way around the pier to run bag - go to women's change tent - change - put bike gear into run bag - run out of transition and run 26.2 miles to finish. 


A backside view of the big screen at the finish line. 


Karel and his Czech friend. 


All of the buoys are out - every 100 meters or so is a buoy for a straight out and back 2.4 mile swim course. 


Our start and finish for tomorrow. 

Thank you for the support! 

10/9/15

IM Kona '15: Day 9


Thursday morning in Kona - that only means one thing.

Put on your best "undie" outfit (aka as little clothes as possible) and run 1.5 miles on Ali'i drive for charity).

The Underpants run (UPR Kona) serves as a great ice breaker for athletes who are racing but also for friends, family, kids and locals to have some fun before the race. 



I shared a few videos on my Trimarni facebook page if you want to see all the fun (and almost naked bodies of all beautiful shapes and sizes)




There were so many people that we filled up the parking lot behind the King K hotel!



I told ya - all shapes and sizes.
Be proud of your body and don't be afraid to show it off!





Love Jesse Thomas! One amazing athlete who writes awesome/funny/oh-so-true articles for Triathlete magazine. 



Bumped into Instagram friend Carolyn who is a plant-strong dietitian and athlete. She liked my custom-made triathlon "Fueled by Plants" shorts from Funnyshirts.org.



Oh Karel :) A little too comfortable walking around in his underwear. 



The undie run isn't just for humans. 

After the undie run (which started at 7:30am), Karel and I went back to our condo to quickly change before our 2-hour private session with Paul Buick (Purple Patch Fitness cycling expert).

Paul offers so much experience with cycling but also with a great understanding of how to ride on the IM Kona bike course with the rolling hills and strong winds. 



Now you may think "why doesn't she just listen to her husband Karel who is a bike expert?"...

Well, we can all learn something new and it's not always about how much experience someone has but also how someone explains the information. 



This was a valuable lesson for both Karel and I as I took away so many new skills and tips to help me on Saturday but also for the future. 



I've constantly been telling myself that the IM Kona course is not "my type of course" because of the gusty winds that make me feel uncomfortable and tense as well as the layout of the course. But Paul gave me the confidence (and skills) that I need to feel as if I can ride smart and strong for 112 miles in Kona.

The great thing about the IM bike course is not knowing what the weather will be like which makes for a day of not chasing power or time goals but instead, being smart with execution, tactics and being patient (aka not racing with an ego). 


Thank you Paul for the great session!
I'm finally looking forward to race day - especially the bike!



Because we were attending the athlete opening ceremony in the evening, I had my ritual pizza dinner (two nights before an Ironman) for lunch - it was a late lunch around 2:30pm since my breakfast was around 11am (pre-workout snack before the undie run/session with Paul) but it was still delicious and totally hit the spot. Pizza is my comfort food and I always feel good when I eat it and after.
This was a frozen Digiorno pizza with spinach and mushrooms. 



This week seems like it is rushing by but we are still making sure to stay inside and off our feet as much as possible and resting as much as we can.

After running an errand to the grocery store for more food/water, we drove a few miles up the road to the Purple Patch Fitness house for a team pre-race course talk.



Matt gave an exceptional pre-race talk which not only calmed our pre-race nerves/anxieties/jitters but also talked about how to race a great race. 

I took a few notes:
-Be task oriented, not outcome driven. The moment you start to do mathmatics on the course (figuring out what you need to hold to finish in x-time or that you won't meet your time goal), you are done. Focus on what you can control and erase time goals. Time goals get you out of bed when you are training but on race day, you want to get to point A to point B as quick as possible. 
-You will get into very dark places on this course, on race day. Only you can get yourself to the finish line. Don't give up. Break down the course so your only goals are to get to the next destination.
-You love to train and you love to race. This is nothing more than a long training day. Manage your resources - never miss a feeding or hydration station.
-Never give in. Maximize YOUR day.
-Focus only on what you can control and look only after yourself. 


After our 4:30-5:30pm meeting with Matt, it was time to head to the welcome ceremony behind the King K hotel. 



The finish line area is now closed to traffic as the transition area and finish line chute is beginning to come together. 


It's truly amazing how this town transforms from a touristy island to the home of the Ironman World Championship. 



The finish line chute minus the carpet, barricades and cheering fans!



The finish line doesn't look too fancy but it will be amazing on Saturday!!



Time to eat! Lots of Vegetarian Marni-friendly options. 



You can check out my Trimarni Facebook page  for some videos from the evening. 
It is quite the performance/show at the Ironman World Championship - certainly not the "normal" Ironman opening ceremony. 



So many people!



So happy to share the evening with Trimarni nutrition athlete turned coaching athlete Kristin (qualified at Boulder) who is racing her first Ironman World Championship on Saturday. 



And finally....the waiting is over.
Just one more full day until race day.

It's such an honor to have this number on my bike and be one of the 20% of females who will be racing in the 2015 Ironman World Championship.