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! 


NYC Triathlon


Congratulations to Pierre for a smart and focused race at the NYC International Distance Triathlon. Pierre got a new job at the beginning of May and has had to be focused about training. It’s been quite the learning curve in how to fit it all in but he has managed well. And race day was hot (above mid-80s/above 30 degrees Celsius) but Pierre maintained his cool even with some race day challenges and when the run course was shortened as a result of rising temperatures!

What a day it was last Sunday for the NYC triathlon! I enjoyed every minute of it from my early move to the start line (2 hours before my actual start) to my finish in Central Park.
I had a good feeling throughout the course despite hot temperatures.

1500 Meter Swim: The temperature was 76.4 F so I wore my wet suit. On the positive, I had a good start and a good first half. The Hudson River was not clean and after my goggles got foggy, it was hard to keep my line. The race website notes: “The Hudson River is the cleanest it has been in 30 years and is considered bathing and recreation quality.”

40 K Bike: I felt good at start and I had power in legs. The downside was that I lost my second water bottle + my handlebars got slowly shifted from my front wheel. My mistake and I should have tightened my handlebars more. I am happy with my bike leg overall.

Run: After a quick T2, I had no side stitch and good legs from the start. The temperature was approaching 95 F and the run had to be shortened to 8km because of the heat. With such a crowd in Central Park, it felt amazing. I pushed hard to stay close to 4mn/km but only manage 4mn30s/km. I am happy with my performance with further improvements expected on the run especially. I attach a picture from the race so you can feel how hot it was.

Recover well Pierre!

Breaking out of winter!


Tony claiming the podium!


Spring has sprung and we have some athletes already doing some great work.

Client Tony demonstrates just what to do when a race isn’t going your way.

“Halfway through the (half marathon) race I saw the 1:30 pacer pass me and thought ok Tony just settle and enjoy.  Consider it a training run.  Then I saw all the other runners running towards the halfway point I had already passed and I decided to root them on as we met.  It was pretty cool.  I found a 10 yr old boy running the 10k and ran with him for about .25 miles and gave him a fist bump, keep it up.  Great job.  I wasn’t going to make my time so I thought I’d try to rally the other runners to do their best.  This was a really great run.  I didn’t expect to get first and to date I don’t even know my time.  I didn’t look for it.  I just ran and it was awesome.”

For the record Tony ended up placing first in his age group. Sometimes reminding yourself that it is a privilege to be out running a race can help turn a tougher event into a positive experience. Way to go Tony! And we are pleased to hear that this past weekend, Tony finished 1st overall today at the 10K Train run. WOW! Congrats Tony!

Client John completed his first marathon this past weekend at the Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon. If you don’t know about this marathon, it is a very challenging marathon course meant to honor a special group of WWII veterans. With his first marathon, he rose to the challenges of altitude, sand (!) and the unknown distance to finish strongly.

“It went well. It was a tough course.  Big climbs, deep sand, and rolling hills. Great atmosphere, scenery and history with this race. Miles 1-20 were great. My legs started feeling it at mile 21. I pushed the last 5 miles, they were not fun, but made it.  My chip time was 4:04.  I think unofficial it was 6th for the old guy group (aka 40-49) and 21st overall.  Very happy with that for first 26.2 mile race.  Thanks for everything.  Couldn’t have done it with out you.”

Congratulations John! that is a huge accomplishment for a very first marathon. We can’t wait to see what you do next.



Tony –

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!

Weather or not, Ready, Set, GO!

 And weather was definitely a part of the weekend for Coach Lesley athletes this weekend.

Congrats to Marcelo for another PR at the marathon distance at the Chicago Marathon this weekend. Race officials had called weather conditions “moderate” as warmer than expected temperatures were likely later in the day. Enjoy that recovery Marcelo, you have earned it!

As athletes were getting ready to go the Fall City Half Marathon and 10k, weather conditions seemed pretty dire with drenching rain. Congrats to everyone for even getting out of bed!

Fortunately, the rain let up at the start of both races but did turn the events into an almost swim as it poured for runners during the second half of their events.

Congrats to Tad for her 1st place AG award with Coach right behind her in 2nd place.  Beth and Keith kept smiles and chatting up through the whole event as did Kristen JS and her sister, Kim.

Linda and Robert joined in the fun to run the 10k.

 Thanks to Tara and Jim for cheering and for our littlest supporter P who made sure everyone was well supplied with coffee.  It was grueling work but someone had to do it!

Making the most of Race Day

John S at mile 4 of Leavenworth Half. Photo courtesy of Patrick S.

It’s been a busy couple of weekends for Coach Lesley athletes with four hard fought PRs. You may have a great training cycle, nail all your workouts, dial in your diet and make sure you are getting enough rest but sometimes you still cannot plan for what race day will bring.  It’s up to you to make the most of what you have. Congrats to these athletes at battling through!

Congrats to Marcelo for his PR at the Berlin Marathon! Marcelo had a race plan but crowded conditions on course meant he had to do the best he could. Even though this crowding was frustrating, he kept his head and maintained focus. Once the crowd thinned, he was able to pick up the pace. He’d been able to maintain his hydration and fueling plan with added electrolytes. As cramps struck he was able to add in electrolytes and hold on for a well earned new PR!

John S runs his first distance race at the Leavenworth Half Marathon. Congrats on his new PR. John was on track until IT band woes struck. Ouch! He was able to manage the issue and pick it up for a fast last mile at his first ever race and first half marathon!

Cheers! A well earned post-race celebratory reward.
Cheers! A well earned post-race celebratory reward.

Darren J is now a marathoner! Congrats on finishing his first ever jaunt at this distance. Darren had a tough training cycle full of work travel and was limited by the chance of an injury. It was not a given that he would even start the race but he did and made it through the warm day at the Portland Marathon. Congrats on your new PR!

Congrats to Rachel L for a PR and BQ at the Portland Marathon! Rachel need to work through some nerves about a warmer than expected forecast for the Portland Marathon. With some help she was able to focus back on the things she could control in the race and even with the warmer than expected conditions ran well enough to PR and BQ and she knows she can run an even better faster race with better conditions.

Enjoy the recovery! You’ve earned it.

A first 70.3 and an automatic PR!

Ironman support
                                    The Crew!

Congrats to Dean S for his first ever 70.3 Ironman finish at Santa Cruz recently.

Dean put it all together with a controlled swim and a very strong bike section. Dean always finds the run portion challenging but he was deliberate, kept his calm and stayed focused to that sub 6:00 finish!

We can’t wait to hear what Dean picks next on his athletic journey.