2014 started out as a rough year. On January 26th I was running down Barton Ave finishing up an easy 11 mile run when somehow I tripped and fell. I somehow made it back to the YMCA but later found out I broke my distal fibula. So I was back in the boot (I had just gotten out of the boot 4 weeks earlier from a stress fracture in the tibia on the same leg). 8 weeks later I was finally back to jogging. First race back was Country Music Half Marathon in April. I had signed up for the full marathon but I only had 3 weeks of running under my belt so decided that really would not be a good choice. So I kept training and in May completed the Rock and Rollman Half Ironman in Macon, GA. That race is always so hot every year. The water was already 83 degrees in May! Luckily I do okay in the heat and somehow pulled off a 2nd place overall victory.
June and July were dedicated to long runs and 100+ mile bike rides. (Well I did attempt the Rock/Creek Stage race, but had to pull out during day 2 due to sharp pain in the ankle I had broken). In the beginning of August, I made the road trip out to Boulder, Colorado for their inaugural Ironman triathlon. The reservoir where the swim (and T1) was held was a good 6 miles from T2 and the finish line, which made it logistically complicated the day before the race to drop off all of the transition bags. The day of the race was great though. The swim was one large loop in the reservoir. On the last stretch before exiting the water, I got smacked in the nose by some guys elbow and ended up with a broken nose. I kept going (because you can’t really just stop swimming) and got on the bike. On the first slight incline my heart rate jumped up. I had to keep in easy gears going up any sort of incline due to the altitude. By the end of the 112 miles, I was ready to get off the bike! I attempted to start running but was getting such bad chest pain that I could only run for about 20 seconds before I would have to walk so I could breathe. I attempted the run/walk trying to increase my run time but I was so limited due to the chest pain from lack of oxygen breathing. I was so happy to finish that race and still make it under 13 hours.
A few weeks after Ironman Boulder, I developed a sharp pain in my left quad with walking, stairs and especially running. I had to take 6 weeks off of running to be able to even walk pain-free. Luckily I could still bike and swim without pain so I really focused on those. I was started back running and it was finally pain-free a week before Ironman Chattanooga.
Ironman Chattanooga was a dream come true when it comes to weather conditions. We could not have asked for a better day. The swim was super-fast down-stream, the bike had barely any wind and was the perfect temperature outside. Even with the extra few miles, I had one of my best bike times. Once I got to the run though, my lack of run training for the past 6 weeks took a toll. I ran with a guy from the Chattanooga Tri Club for almost all of the run. It was great to have someone to run with and keep each other motivated. Although not my fastest time for an Ironman, I was really happy to finish that race in the daylight (always one of my goals).
After Ironman Chattanooga, I focused on running since I could finally do that again pain-free. In December, I ran the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, AL. It is a nice flat race. I was doing really well for the first half (probably too fast) and really started dragging by mile 17. I pulled myself across the finish line really glad to be done. When I finished, my boyfriend said, “you look worse than after you do an Ironman”. I guess it is time to rest then begin training for 2015 races!