IM Arizona PRs!


Congrats to Chris K and Stephenie F. Both worked hard to fit the training in with their life and they both had amazing PRs at IronMan Arizona 2016 recently. We are almost into December and itt’s wet, cold and windy. Here’s some great inspiration to keep you motivated through the winter months! 

Chris was eager to learn and as a single dad, he had a very busy schedule. He realized that he could not fit all the training in and was smart about making the most of what he could accomplish. His love is soccer and he kept his regular soccer games in until the last month of training when the need to do some longer rides. He did his homework which is definitely required for an IronMan distance but managed to not get obsessed.

Chris executed a great race day and then went off to celebrate at Disneyland!

Chris writes:

I can’t believe it! It was a great day to say the least. Super pleased with everything except missing the negative split on the run. I went out too fast and had a hard time slowing down until my body didn’t give me a choice. Thanks again for everything! To say your coaching paid off would be an understatement!

Stephenie had great support from her family. She got creative and would ride around the campground while camping with family, she would run around soccer fields or between houses and meetings to get her workouts in. She struggled a bit with learning when to push more and when to back off as she hovered on the edge of over training. Mentally she wanted to push through some of the longer workouts near the end of the build but ultimately she understood that physically her body needed rest. She played and practiced with nutrition and gear. She asked great questions and worked very hard.
Race day, she didn’t let the murky swim or wind on the bike get to her and she just kept going to finally hear Mike Riley tell her she was an IronMan! (She has finished two before but neither time did her name get called.)

Stephenie writes:

I’m excited to be done! The swim made me nervous. It took me about 10 minutes before I could breathe without panicking.  

I made sure I was concentrating on going slow that first bike lap. It was pretty windy. It looked like that rain storm was trying to push in. So for the first lap, the wind was against you up the beeline, and then with you back down, so that helped make up for it. On the 2nd and 3rd lap, the wind changed directions and was against you on the way down. I couldn’t make up the time on the way down.

The volunteers were amazing and so was crowd support. First time at the turn around, because of crowd support I honestly got really emotional and had to fight back tears.  I loved this: they gave you a bracelet to give to someone (volunteer) to say thank you. I gave mine to a women helping me with my water bottle which I couldn’t get open, and help me with my CarboPro.  Great idea!  I wished I had 10 more of them!!!  

I was so excited to go through that chute, and have Mike Riley say my name!  And I’m really excited about my time.  It wasn’t my ultimate goal, but I PR’ed by over 50 minutes!  

No upset stomach after and no IV fluids like my last one. I had 3 slices of pizza, and then waited for my cousin to come in. I had my aunts and uncles there to cheer me on and my amazing husband.  It was a very successful day.  I wish I could sleep but woke up still too excited!

Thank you so much for being an amazing coach.  There is no way I could have done this without you! 


Travis – You are an Ironman!


Congrats to Travis for his finish at the recent Ironman Arizona! Travis really worked hard on the mental side of training and was very thoughtful in his approach to the race choosing a well thought out race plan. That equaled great success in his first Ironman adventure. He shares his thoughts about his first Ironman.

Was it what you expected?

It was easier because of the weather, cloud cover and rain. The heat and sun would have been rough on me personally. However, the key is that it felt JUST LIKE TRAINING which is exactly what it should have felt like. I felt good with my pace, knew my limits and where I should push it, and what might happen (e.g. cramps) if I didn’t fuel, etc.

How did your training prepare you mentally and physically?

The IM was exactly like training with the exception that the run was tougher just because it came after the full distance of the other sports but that was expected. Knowing my pace and what I needed to do (pace, fuel) to finish was crucial. Knowing how my body responded to fueling was important as well because of my issues with solid food and sweets. Your tips on fueling probably saved me.

What was most helpful?

Having the pacing figured out ahead and burned into my mind. If I didn’t have a clear idea of what bike pace I needed to hit, I could see myself getting behind there. However I forced myself to keep my pace up on the 3rd lap which was hard mentally but important to ensuring I finished with time to spare. There was a time on my 3rd lap, in the pouring rain with sustained headwind, where I started thinking about sitting on my couch and showering and getting warm. But knowing the paces that I had to hit, I forced myself to pedal faster to keep the 2:30ish per lap. I’ll admit that was probably the toughest part mentally – heading back around mile 80 or so, when I was thinking about my living room, I almost mentally broke down but did manage to keep it together. At that point I wasn’t sure how the rest of the day would go, but after that it got much better. Coming out of the bike with 30ish minutes to spare, plus the 30ish minutes I carried over from the swim told me that I had an hour or so to spare heading into the run – and that gave me the confidence that I would finish and allowed me to take an extra minute or two in T2. Coming out of the bike I knew I would finish barring a major injury or cramp, and pretty much told myself I needed to fuel, not do something stupid, and keep myself moving forward at the right pacing.

What would you have done differently in training? On race day?

Considering everything, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. If I had another 10 months to train starting over, I might put more energy into improving my cycling pace b/c that was a weaker area, but overall I’m happy with finishing which was my simple goal.

Also, after the Seattle marathon I couldn’t walk for 2 days. I was stiff right after the race, and then for 48-ish hours afterwards.
After the IM, I was definitely stiff that evening and had a tough time walking around, but the next morning I was totally fine. Mildly sore and stiff but could easily walk around. And I have no doubt that is due to the training.

Recover well Travis and we cannot wait to see what you do for your next adventure!

140.6 Reasons to be an IronMan – Step 1

In honor of our team taking on IM Arizona between now and November we are going to share with you some of our favorite 140.6 reasons to be an IronMan!

  1. To learn the power of commitment and determination.
  2. To develop an Iron will.
  3. Because a hot shower never felt so good.
  4. Bragging rights for life.
  5. Running miles next to someone without speaking a word and knowing you’ve made a friend.
  6. Feeling supremely accomplished by 6:30am.
  7. To focus on this mile, this stroke, this moment at a time.
  8. To make life long friends – it truly is team sport.
  9. To find your limits and then find brand new ones – all in the span of one day.
  10. The first step after you cross the finish line and it hasn’t even sunk in yet.


SkiGirl: A promise, a decision and the road to IMAZ!

The decision to sign up for an Ironman is one to take seriously! Last November, several members of the CL team headed south for a weekend of volunteering, spectating, observing and fun at IM Arizona in Tempe. For many of us race day started early as we had to be on-site by 6:30am and ended well past midnight to secure a Fast Pass registration for the next morning – this pass gave us priority for volunteer sign-ups.

Volunteering at IM events gives you an up close and personal look into what the race is really all about – the excitement, the nerves, the joy, as the day wears on the pain and then at the finish you witness athlete after athlete reaching their dream. For some it’s been a long journey to the point, for others the journey has been shorter, but just as sweet!

After a long day of volunteering and cheering on athletes it was time to try to get some sleep – it was close to 1am and the alarm was set for 5am once again. In the end, the fast pass proved to be the way to go. We were in and out of registration in less than 2 hours. The best news was the CL athletes who did not have fast passes also got registered – which was a very good thing after they were getting up and going to stand in line about the time we got home from our volunteering jobs. The best part of training is our group of six CL athletes has grown to seven in recent weeks!

It was one thing to volunteer and stand in line for our own shot at IMAZ, it was another thing all together to pull out that credit card, sign the paper work and actually do! It was terrifying, exciting and a bit overwhelming. Emotions were all over the board as reality set in…there were no refunds; there was no turning back now! Questions were spinning in my head – what had I done?, could I really do this?, am I totally crazy? and the ever present question of why? The answers to the first three questions came easily. It is the answer to the last question that remains elusive, but over the past months the answer has truly started to take shape. For me, it all started with promise to myself years ago that one day I would do an IM and now many years later making it a reality and while I am chasing my dream, the question of why still remains on many days!

The decision to do an IM has been a life changing event for me as a person and as an athlete. When I made the decision to do an IM I also made the decision that this journey wasn’t just about the finish line. It was about all the things I could learn about myself – all those lessons I have glossed over for years would be presented in all their glory, because there is nowhere to hide after a 20 mile run or 6 hours on the bike or 1:45 in the pool. I’m finding it’s best to accept the lesson, embrace it, learn it and then move forward. The other amazing part of the decision is discovering the village you have around you. It is this village that will be there through the good times, the bad times, the highs and lows. They will help get you out the door on days when you really don’t want to go and they will remind you often that this was your choice, no one made you sign up and it’s up to you do make it happen. My village continues to grow every day and they have an amazing knack of being there when I need them!

Yes, signing up for IMAZ was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s been an amazing few months and the next 17 weeks promise to be even better!



Swim Start IMAZ 2013
Swim Start IMAZ 2013


IronMan Arizona: The Road to Tempe

As the summer winds up our 8 athletes competing at IronMan Arizona November 16, 2014 are in the full swing of their training. Workouts are harder and longer. The demands of training, nutrition and recovery are becoming more and more prominent. But attitude and perspective are everything and these athletes are committed to going the distance. A few of our athletes have agreed to give you a front row seat on road to Tempe – check back often to see what they have to say and how their training is going.