the journey to IMAZ

A year ago I was in Tempe, cheering on friends and volunteering for a spot to register for Ironman Arizona for 2014. Fast forward a year and here I am, sitting in my hotel room,  impatiently waiting for Sunday to test where I am right now.

The journey wasn’t what I expected it to be when I planned 2014. Last year as I had discussions with friends and my husband about where I was during the Tempe trip, it all of a sudden became crystal clear to me that I was in a really bad place in regards to triathlon. I had started to hate it. With two Ironmans planned in 2014, the year wasn’t looking like a good start. I didn’t believe in my coach, hated the workouts, hated the system and this caused me to doubt myself in a way I hadn’t in a really long time. I was broken down.

When I told my then coach I needed to go in a different direction and it wasn’t working for me, it was like the 500lb weight on my shoulders lifted. But it left me a bit scared and very lost. What now? I didn’t have an unlimited supply of money to spend on a coach and I needed someone who would work with me and understand me, because I was broken.

I sent a chance email to Mary, who took me under her wing. I explained everything to her and was completely and brutally honest with where I was at. After two bad coaching experiences I was worried that maybe I didn’t know how to be a good athlete. Was I uncoachable? I know I’m certainly stubborn but did that mean I couldn’t follow directions. Not all coaches and athletes are going to get along (and that’s okay, everyone needs options), so after having two coaches that didn’t fit for me, I was wondering if a good fit was really out there.

She was patient with me and knew that if I had to obey a HR monitor again anytime soon I was going to lose it. She wholeheartedly trusted me and believed in my instincts. We spent a lot of time just going out and feeling my fitness back in. Come a year later, we’ve loosely gone back to HR training (and no, I don’t want to kill it, mostly) and my fitness is coming along and I’m back to trusting my instincts and feeling good. Am I where I had hoped? No. Life came along and got in the way. But I had to take the path I did to find the way back to enjoying the journey.

I absolutely took on more than I should have these last months, but I was too excited to sit back and not get started with some things. I have a full time, stressful and demanding job, full time status as a grad student for kinesiology, I’m training for an Ironman, working on my USAT coaching cert, and don’t forget the whole eat, sleep, play with fur kids and be a wife thing. Do I regret jumping in head first? No, but it meant that I had to adjust my training and expectations a bit, and that’s okay. I don’t get paid to race Ironman, it’s my choice.

Do I think I’m in PR shape? Yes. This course should suit me nicely and be a little friendlier with the temperatures. Does that mean I’m guaranteed anything? Absolutely not. Will things go wrong? Yep. I have to make smart decisions and keep a cool head.

I need to handle the day I’m given and be grateful that I get to be out there racing with my heart alongside my friends. So, that’s my goal. To celebrate that I’m once again a happy triathlete, chasing the dream of trying to be better than I was the day before. So on Sunday, I will be out there for me, to celebrate my abilities and to see what happens when I dig down deep into the bottom of the well.

She is brave and fearless. 

See you at the start line.


** You can track me online at or at  for race day

3 Comments on “the journey to IMAZ

  1. YIPPEE Heidi!! I’m really glad you found Mary and she was able to get you back on track and rekindle your love of triathlon 🙂

    I’m so excited to track your progress on Sunday and can’t wait to read all about IMAZ race from your eyes. Have fun, smile and race with heart and courage 😉

  2. Wishing you the best! Unfortunately I won’t be out there this year to cheer you on as Sunday is always my ‘big’ training day for the week as I train for my ultra. You’ve got this!!

  3. So stoked to cheer for you on Sunday, Heidi! It’s gonna be a good day for you, I can just feel it 🙂 #heartandcourage … and, can’t wait to meet you in person!

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