Chelsea Tris

Ironman-HERE I COME!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ironman CDA Race Report-6/24/07

For those who don’t want to read the whole shebang, here’s the short story-It was Awesome! I made my goal. Here are my times:

Swim Time: 1:23:17
T1: 6:11
Bike Time: 6:59:59
T2: 5:51
Run Time: 5:22:01
Total Time: 13:57:17

For those of you who do want to hear the whole shebang:

First let me start by saying that the absolute best part of the race was all the support. From the support of my husband, to the support of my friends, family, co-workers, volunteers and spectators was absolutely amazing and touching. To know that literally thousands of people (if you count all the spectators and volunteers in Coeur d’Alene) were rooting for me was so uplifting and inspiring. So THANK YOU!!!!


Shaun and I got up at 3 am, yes you read right, 3 am, to eat, get ready and then make the hour long trek to get to Coeur d’ Alene in time for transition opening at 5. The race started at 7 and I needed to drop off some things in my transition bags (which I had dropped off the day before), check my bike, drop of my special needs bag, get body marked, stretch, and get my wet suit on by 6:30. I was really glad we got there right at 5 because it quickly became a madhouse at transition and Shaun and I were able to get a spot on the grass for me to put on my wetsuit and I wasn’t squished in with the crowds of people. I was able to stay pretty calm and I was excited. In the car, I was singing songs to Shaun and trying to get pumped up.

At 6:30 Shaun left to go get a good spot on the race course for he and my family and I made the walk to the beach start. It literally took 15 minutes to go about 100 feet because there were so many people. I ate 3 shot bloks and drank the rest of my water. Once on the beach I found 2 people from my training group, Dorette, and Kirsten. It was so nice to start with them.

Ten minutes before we started, Mike Reilly (the voice of Ironman) announced “Listen up racers, we have an important announcement.” He then went on to say that the water was really choppy (there were white caps out there) and that race conditions were not ideal. He said that they were giving people the option to opt out of the swim and just do the bike and run. They would not be considered an “Ironman” at the end of the race but they would be able to do the other 2 disciplines. They normally NEVER give this option. If you don’t make the swim you have to stop competing. I looked at D and Kirsten and said “I didn’t train for 8 months to not do the swim.” It was at this point that my hands started shaking.

The Swim

Right at 7 am the horn blared and we were off. I stayed back from the front of the pack but towards the middle of the swim course. My ever knowledgeable coach had told us that we didn’t need to stay to the left of the buoys (it was a counter clockwise course) and that we could actually swim down the middle. We just had to go around the last buoy before going over and swimming back. This was my first mass start and really, it wasn’t that bad. I think the start at Wildflower was worse. I started swimming and it was difficult. The waves were BIG. I found that I couldn’t spot because anytime I looked forward I would get a big mouthful of water. So I decided to just keep the kayaks on my left and the buoys on my right and I would be okay. Where we had to turn around it got a little cramped as everyone tried to get around that buoy. Swimming to the next buoy was also challenging because the waves were bringing us closer to shore. The kayakers were yelling at to “Stay Right! STAY RIGHT!” I went around the next buoy and then I got to body surf all the way back to shore! Again, Coach D had a great tip to not spot buoy to buoy but rather to spot things that are unmoving. There was a tree that he pointed out that had no top (due to a lightening storm). It was the perfect spot and got me back to shore in exactly the right place. Swimming back was so fun! I felt so fast and my stroke was so long due to the waves bringing me in. I got to shore and saw that I had done the first loop of the swim in 40 minutes-that was REALLY GOOD! I was excited. I got at, ran to get back in as a guy next to me said “Are we crazy, we’re going to do that again?”

The second loop was just as challenging and I did start to feel a little tired from fighting the waves. On the way back in I was giving myself a pep talk saying “You’re doing great! You’re doing great.” Over and over again. I also thought “Man this is a looooooong swim.”

I hopped out of the water and looked up at the clock it said 1:23:17 I had said that if I had a great swim I would come in between 1:15 and 1:30. It looks like I had a great swim!


Running to T1, I again saw Dorette and another one of my training partners Lesley. We commented that we were happy to be done with the swim and ready to get on the bike. I grabbed my T1 bag and headed into the changing tent. A volunteer asked if I needed help and I said “sure!” And man was she a saint! She took everything out of my bag and lined it up in the order I would need to put it on. As I was changing she was spraying me with sunblock and putting my swim stuff into my bag. I ran out of T1 and had 3 volunteers putting more sunscreen on me. On my legs, arms, and face.

The Bike

I hopped on the bike and immediately started my heart rate monitor and started drinking. I knew that I’d see my family and Shaun at about mile 4 and I was excited to see them. As I passed there was my dad taking pictures, my Mom and Shaun holding a HUGE yellow sign and my sister holding another sign. I saw them and gave them a huge thumbs up and smile.

During the bike ride, I wanted to keep my heart rate below 135. It was at about 150 when I got on the bike and I worked to get it to come down. By about mile 5 it was down but I felt like I was going no where. At this point both Lesley and Dorette passed me. I just had to keep telling myself “Pace, not Race.”

My family had situated themselves at a part of the race course that I would go by 4 times. I saw them the second time and then went to the hilly part of the course.

I had my heart rate monitor set to beep every 5 minutes to remind me to drink (although I think I drank about every 3 minutes) and I was making sure to eat my PB&J, Carbo Pro and Luna Bars. I was drinking so much that I was actually worried about Hyponytremia and so I upped my electrolyte pills to 3 an hour. I WAS THIRSTY!!!

The hills. This year debuted a new course. The course in years past was pretty flat. Ummm…not this year. In total we climbed 5250 feet. It was all pretty rolling and none of it was climbing for an extended period of time but it was still hard! I kept my heartrate at 135 and let all the other people pass me and mash up the hill. In knew in my head that they wouldn’t be going as fast the second time around. My legs felt groggy and slow at this point and I felt like I was going soooo slow. But I kept reminding myself of something that Karen Kofod (a great training partner of mine) told me the week before. She said “If you keep your heart rate where it should be the first 40 miles of the bike will be slow-painfully slow, but it WILL pay off”

She actually passed me and I said “My heartrate is in zone and I feel painfully slow.” And she said “Good” but it was so hard because at that point 4 of my training partners had passed me. I kept thinking “What’s wrong with me?!?!?”

I was heading up a slight incline when a guy passed me on the left, he then immediately turned around and spit. It hit me in the face and on the leg! I WAS PISSED. The only time I spiked my heartrate on the bike was to pass him and say “Next time you spit, you may want to look where you’re spitting.” I really wanted to spit on him but thought that it would be a bad idea to start a spitting war at the beginning of the bike. I got the final revenge though, I beat him :)

Then it hit. At about mile 30 my legs woke up. I sped up and was feeling great! And then a second thing hit-I got a horrible side knit. I’ve never had a cramp on the bike before. It was in my right ribs and it hurt to breathe. I didn’t know what to do. I tried to eat and that made it worse. So I switched to only CarboPro, Gu2o (like Gatorade) and water. I caught up at this point to 2 of the guys on my team-Franciois and Steve. We all rode in a non drafting line for about 10 minutes and then I took off. Even though I had the cramp my legs were still feeling great!

I headed back around for the second loop. Saw my family (that was a huge boost!), gave them a thumbs up and then got to my special needs bag. I had packed Swedish fish, pb&j, pretzels, and chips. I threw them all away and just got new bottles of CarboPro (I finished the first one-YAY!), my Gu2o, and Shot Bloks.

I started at this point yoga breathing. I would breathe in and imagine sending all my breathe to the pain and breathe out, imagining that it was leaving my body. I even tried holding my breath for a few counts to get all the oxygen in there that I could.

I headed back out into the hills and lo and behold, all those people who were passing me the first time around? I was passing them :) Oh and did that piss some of the men off. There was one guy in an Army jersey who was trying his hardest not to get beat by a girl-he didn’t succeed 

When I had 10 miles to go, I was so happy! I thought “Oh only about 5 more minutes” and then I figured out that 10 miles is about 30 minutes if I go 20 mph. So I went 20 mph (and kept my heartrate at 135). I thought to myself “Man, this is a loooooong bike.”

The bike course was hard but it was cool. Not a ¼ mile went by that there weren’t spectators. Everyone in the community was so supportive and awesome. It made those hills much easier!

I wanted to do my bike in under 7 hours. I got into transition at 6:59:59. Looks like I made my goal :)


I got into the changing tent and again had a helper. She me in my clothes on my way. This transition took a little longer as I changed ALL of my clothes-but I’m glad I did.

The Run

I started out on the run and I felt great-the cramp went away!!! All those brick workouts really paid off. My legs felt fresh and my heartrate was right around 130. I knew I had had a negative split on my bike and wanted to do the same for the run. I kept it going nice and easy.

My pace was right at 11 min/mile and I was happy. It was hard to see the 20 mile markers (for the people on the second loop) but I kept telling myself “Next time I’m here, that will be what mile I’m at.”

I saw my sister on the run course and she asked how I was and I said “Great!” I passed my parents and Shaun and I gave them a huge thumbs up. My pace was looking good and I was feeling good.

I started seeing training partners on the run and we all looked strong and told each other so! I only stopped to use the porta potty and didn’t even walk through the aid stations. I knew that if I started walking that it would be hard to start running again.

On the way back on the first loop my Dad ran along side of me and I told him about the cramp. He told me to keep getting the fluids in. I went in for the second loop and thought to myself “okay, now it’s time to pick it up” and I started to.

Then it hit. The second loop I had major GI issues. I would say that I spent a good 20 minutes in the bathroom. All the liquid and no solid food caught up to me and the Imodium that I took in the morning and at mile 13 of the run just didn’t do the trick.

It was okay though, I kept a smile on my face and kept running. I didn’t walk. At mile 20, 2 guys that I had raced with said to me “If you keep running, you’ll make it in before sunset”

I picked it up! The last 3 miles I got progressively faster. At mile 25 a guy said to me “In a mile, Mike is going to call you a Ironman” as we passed mile 25 we both cheered and then I started sprinting. I also thought "Man, this is a long race."

I saw Willy and my sister and I threw my fuel belt at them and they were so excited. Next I saw my parents and my dad gave me a pat on the butt and that got me going faster. Then I saw the straight away and I just wanted the race over with. I ran as hard as I could. I saw Shaun and he got so excited and gave me a hug and started running with me. He asked if I wanted him to go over the finish line with him, I tried to say yes but he says it came out as “mufffhhhhammmkm” and so he steeped back and I crossed the finish line with my arms up.

When the GI issues had hit, I basically gave up my goal of finishing under 14 hours. I didn’t think it would happen. As I was crossing I heard Mike say “Chelsea, you’re going to finish in under 14 hours.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

I crossed the finish line at 13:57:22. I made it before sunset.

It was one of the best feelings in the world. The only better was marrying Shaun.

I had a handler and she made sure I was okay and didn’t need medical help-I didn’t.

I got my medal, my picture taken and then I went right into Shaun’s arms.

Training and competing in the Ironman was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I pushed my body to the limits and it delivered. I met wonderful people in the process and learned so much about myself. I also learned what a supportive and amazing husband I had. I already knew, but this process just cemented it. I also got to see just how amazing all my friends really were. All the support and love I received was overwhelming. So yes, my favorite part of the race was crossing the finish line. The best part of the race? All of you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I'm packed and headed off to bed! I wake up at 5 tomorrow to head to the airport!!!

All 3 of my suitcases are packed. Who ever knew you needed so much stuff? But I'd rather overpack than underpack...

I think I'm ready to go...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oh the nerves, THE NERVES!!!

They've started to set in. I'm starting to freak. I was so calm. Not so much anymore. My mind is racing a million miles a minute.

Check this out:

That's the start last year. That's where I'll be on Sunday at 7 am MST. CRAZY. I'm shaking thinking about it.

I leave Wednesday morning. I dropped my bike off on Saturday and I can pick it up on Thursday, although I may not. I may just hang out at our cabin on Wednesday and Thursday and then start the race craziness on Friday. I know how I felt before Ralph's (the first half I did) and seeing all those super cut people at the race site just really affected my nerves and I don't want to go through that sooner that I need to. I just need to remind myself that this is MY race. It's not to beat those people. It's my race to race smartly. To keep my HR in zone 2 with occasional spikes to zone 3 (AND NOT ABOVE unless it's the last mile of the RUN). I can't race anyone but myself.

Things I have to do before Wednesday:

-Go to Longs and get:
-Rubbing Alcohol-for my ears
-Imodium AD-for my butt :)
-Finger Nail Clippers
-Nail Polish Remover (I'm giving myself a mani pedi on Saturday night)
-Swedish Fish-for my special needs bag
-Fill out my race day nutrition quiz that Coach D gave us (I know it all in my head but will help if I write it down
-Print out directions
-Print out our boarding passes
-Don't forget my wetsuit (I'm so scared I'm going to)
-Do the last loads of laundry
-Stop freaking out!

And, Shaun was sick last week and 2 people that I work closely with are sick this week and my throat feels dry. I hope to GOD I'm not getting sick. I'm taking Airborne and Emergen-C and hoping for the best. My throat has felt dry for like 4 days, so hopefully it's just nerves....

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bib # 2003

It has finally arrived! My Bib # is 2003. So if you'd like to track me on race day you can go to:

"48 hours before the race start, you will see links for the Athlete Tracker in "The Latest" box on the home page of You can also access the coverage by navigating to "Events", then choosing the race you are interested in. "

I'm doing Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene and my bib # will be 2003 =D

Seeing as how I met Shaun in 2003, I'm looking at this as a good thing :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I can't believe it's so soon!

I dropped my bike off on Sunday to get a complete service and to get a new chain and brake pads and whatever else it needs. I pick it up on Thursday and then ride it down to Palo Alto on Saturday to drop it off to be transported to Idaho.

I have the workout week from hell this week. We're supposedly in a 3 week progressive taper but this week I:

Monday: Cycle 2 hours
Tuesday: Cycle 1.5 hours, Strength training 45 minutes
Wednesday: Optional Rest day (I'm taking that option)
Thursday: 70 minute run, strength training 45 minutes
Friday: Swim 1.25 hours, Run 60 minutes

and then the taper starts (in my mind):

Saturday: Swim 1700 yards (approximately 30 minutes), 40-50 mile bike ride
Sunday: Run 1.25 hours (much less!)
Monday: Cycle 1 hour easy
Tuesday: Run 30 minutes, light strength training
Wednesday: Travel, rest day
Thursday: Swim 30 minutes on race course, run 20 minutes with pick-ups, bike 30-45 minutes on race day run course with pick-ups
Friday: Swim 10 minutes on race course, bike 15 minutes, DRIVE bike course
Saturday: This one makes me laugh: Run 8 minutes, swim 7 minutes, eat =D

We fly out next Wednesday! It's getting so close!!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I guess it won't be that much longer of a post...

I had quite the training weekend. I had to ride 120 miles on Saturday and then get up on Sunday and ride for 45 minutes and then run 18 miles.

Well the 120 mile bike ride was long, cold, windy and hard. The first 40 miles I kicked some major ass, the middle 40 miles I slowed down a bit and then the last 40 miles I kicked some more major ass! It took all day and the conditions were horrible and I almost got run down by a cow. But I did it and it wasn't too bad.

As for Sunday's Bike/Run Brick. My hip hurt a bit on the bike ride and I was really worried about the run. BUT my body must be trained because about a mile into the run I felt great and had no hip problems. OH and it was confirmed that ALL of my knee problems stemmed from my shoe laces. I ran with the new shoes, laced the way my old shoes are laced with NO knee issues. By my third 6 mile loop I was feeling great and on top of the world!

The blisters are because it was hot yesterday and my feet were sweaty. The purple toe nail is from my nails being too long and hitting the end of my shoes...nice.

It was a great training weekend because now I know I can finish the Ironman which happens in less than 3 weeks!! 19 DAYS TO BE EXACT!!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Ow, my toe..

A much longer post to follow, but this weekend I:
-Rode my bike for 120 miles (Saturday)
-Rode my bike for 45 minutes (Sunday)
-Ran 18 miles (Sunday)
I feel pretty great and not too sore...except my poor toe nail, which will fall off :(