Sunday Non-Runday:

For a first weekend with no training runs, we sure had a lot of distance sporting. I spent most of yesterday oogling over the Kona Ironman Championship. I’m still stunned at the strength  shown during the marathon. I’ve grown attached to the term “run ugly”. 

Getting updates today on all the Tumblrs today was AWESOME. You guys are all amazing. I think it’s a crazy that we’re a cohesive community of runners with such vast differences in speed. There is, in my experience, just as much respect for my 5:12 marathon as there is for Chris’ 2:55. 

Cam and I attempted a bike ride to the climbing gym today. We made it 2.5 miles before I popped a tire. The tube was so flat that the actual tire wouldn’t stay on the rim. After about 10 yards it was clear that wasn’t going to work all the way home. Given the state of my toenails (UGH) Cam ended up carrying my bike. Such a trooper. The purple handlebar tape really complimented his beard. More than one onlooker suggested that we might ride the bikes rather than push/carry them. It would have been funny had I not been wearing closed-toed shoes for the first time in a week.

We made it to the gym a few hours later, but I forgot socks. Cam had a good showing - he flashed a couple of really killer routes. I nibbled on salt and vinegar pop chips and belayed until his fingers wouldn’t bend any longer.

We stopped for a new tube on the way home and had our signature weekend meal. Chicken with any vegetables that have been in the fridge for a questionable amount of time. As usual, it turned out to be delicious. The broccoli cooked a little too fast, but it was much more edible than pizza, which is what we probably would have had otherwise.

When, in my entire life, have I ever been tired of pizza? Never. Post-marathon eatery has brought me to a totally new low.

I’ve already got everything prepped for tomorrow’s dinner. We’re a whole new household without that silly running hobby. I miss it like hell, but I can already see how glad Cam is to be relieved of some of the housekeeping responsibilities. That extra hour+ every day makes quite a bit of difference.

I’m working on a list of goals. It’s overwhelming. I feel like once I finish it and publish it I’ll actually have to pick something and work towards it. I’m not sure I’m quite ready to commit yet… 


Kona 2012 - 9:39:07 WR # 173

I started working with Purplepatch and Matt Dixon at the beginning of August. I went to camp and listened and just tried to be in the environment as much as I possibly could. When we sat down and he asked me what I saw in myself in the years to come, I told him – with ALL due respect for an athlete he coached - that I thought I could develop into a Chris Lieto type triathlete. He didn’t balk at that, maybe because it’s in his philosophy to never balk at anyone, but that was the moment I knew if I was ever going to have a guy, he would be the end of it. That conversation was the beginning of a strategy for racing in Kona, talking about patient beginnings, working to the top of Hawi and the race really starting at mile 70, once the descent and free speed was over. He told me a story about Chris Lieto back in the pack, riding with a group and patient, not really working, biting his nails as he passed his buddies, building to the point where he could really start the work.

Day started fine. I was one of the last people to get in the water and swam far left for a hope of cleaner water. In my mind, I wanted to practice pacing for the day out to the first turn buoy, lots of patience. I was gunning hard for sub 60 but knew I lost it in that first half. I was in and out of packs and caught in several messes. I’ve also had this minor injury  - sprained ligament or worse on the outside of my right hand. I think 4 or 5 times in the swim, I’d get my pinky caught on someone and the pain was so bad, I’d lose control of my arm below the elbow for 15-20 seconds. Once I had some space on the swim back, I got into a good rhythm. Gerry said in the morning that I shouldn’t get passed by anyone second half, that I should be picking fading swimmers off the entire way back - because I’m a Tower 26 guy. That’s exactly what happened. Between packs of good swimmers, I made a relative charge into T1. The clock said 1:03 and I was mildly disappointed but ready to roll, 11 minutes ahead of last year’s time. And we all know it was a touch slower day here too. Gerry was out there ALL DAY and was everywhere. That was incredible. Thank you for everything G, and for all I will continue to take from you. I want to be your best ever, and am lucky enough to be stuck training with a pack of athletes at Tower 26 who all want the same thing for themselves. What a crew.

I knew, as I did in Vegas, that if I was going to have any chance at contending in the race, I was going to have to ride a great bike split. I went out with some caution for the first 40 miles. When I worried about going too hard I’d picture Lieto biting his nails. If I didn’t feel like that, I would sit back. The problem was, the riders ahead of me on the early road were nowhere near the same class. I spent most of the first 40 on the left, passing like a local 70.3. It was rare that I could sit in a legal line, which I wasn’t looking forward to anyway. Once we hit the climb to Hawi, I made my first move, knowing the roll back is always forgiving. Still, I was keeping a gear in my pocket for mile 70. I was moving up fast, working but under control. At 70, I dug for it to 90. The roads were sparse - I traded some legal pulling and suffering with a strong Belgian. At that point, I hit some trouble. I couldn’t get comfortable on my seat and had lost a lot of skin. It was so bad, I imagined the hospital bed after, and the drugs they would give me to put me to sleep. I lost some time 90-100 before rallying and going strong the last 12 into T2. Rode a 4:53, which was one of the best amateur splits of the day and put me into 3rd AG starting the marathon. When I got to transition, it was EMPTY. I didn’t think too much about it at the time and was instead just trying to collect myself for a patient 26.2.

Ali'i drive is the first 9 miles, and it goes along the water and it’s peaceful and all you can think about is banking those miles before things get real. I was running 6:42’s and felt good, and controlled, and pulled back to low 7’s to play respectfully. The super boss from Hammer Nutrition showed up next to me on his bike to root me on. He said I looked good and that I was gonna get paid. I knew better. I thought I was capable of a 3:15-3:20 marathon. Top AG’s in Kona all hang in the low 3 hours, and I saw them all coming at the first turnaround - Chile who beat me at Oceanside, Switzerland who beat me at Honu, Massachusetts who beat me at Timberman, two of the Pennsylvanians who beat me in New Orleans, the French who rolled me at St. Croix. It was awesome. That’s Kona. We were all about to go to war. At mile 9, my buddy Mike was on the side of the road. He screamed, “You’re in second, five minutes down, go get him Reilly!” I felt that so deep, it made me believe there was something superhuman inside of me, something that could make me rise if I could just HOLD IT TOGETHER. If you read this, thank you brother. That was a special moment to me. I was readying myself on the climb up Palani, even stopped to walk the hill a couple times to play safe and keep everything in check. I shook out my body and took some deep breaths and was ready to nail that 3:15. I was ready because my will exceeds reality, and always will. 11-17 was the worst. I faded hard and started to lose balance and felt more hurt than a connected person should ever self inflict. Every half mile, I had to walk 40 steps, as well as the aid stations. I saw the Purplepatch crew going into the Energy Lab, knowing I would need them more on the way out. They knew I was in trouble. When I thought there was no chance I could get lifted, they lifted me. Big thanks to Matt for all you have let me steal from you, and for giving me belonging amongst a special group of people and athletes. This is step 1 of 4.

On the way out of the Energy Lab, heading back into town, I was past Purplepatch and putting on my toughest face for the last six miles when I hear Dixon’s unmistakeable English rant chasing me down, “Betta pick it up Reilly, Sarah’s coming to get you!” I had passed Piampiano around mile 70 of the bike and knew she would make a push on the run, especially when I started to fade. I could go deep into the toughness of this girl, and how much she inspired me this year, and how I remember the first day I met her at the Pali High Pool when I thought I was hot shit coming back from Kona last year and how I wanted to some day go pro and how real she kept me from day 1. But this post can only go SO LONG. So I’ll save it. We have plenty of years to come, and better stories to come. The only thing I’ll say is that me and Piamps made a lot of bets going into this race. She won some, I won some. BUT there was one that we both lost. We agreed that if either one of us slipped below 9:30, we would have to wait for the Pacific Ocean’s coldest day over the winter, send out evites, and swim naked. So cheers Piamps, we get what we deserve. But seriously, I know what she went through this week and during the race. I know what she’s been through over the season…and in life. When I was coming down the finishing chute, I turned to look for her but she was JUST out of sight. Else I would have waited. She crossed the line just after me and I was there. Could not have been more fitting, or special. You’re a beauty stud, SP. I’m glad we landed you in SoCal. Here’s to MANY more battles, hopefully starting next March…say in the Middle East?

I ended up finishing with a 9:39 on a day they said was 15-20 minutes slower than last year. Last year, I came in at 10:29. Taking 50 minutes off a race is a big accomplishment, I know. But I don’t really care about that. More than anything, I care that this race was sensical. After Vegas, I was lost. I had a plan that I was not able to execute in the slightest. Here, the bike split I knew I had (I still think I had more yesterday) was available to me. I knew the run was going to be a stretch - the last full I did was Kona last year. With 8 70.3’s under my belt in 2012, I knew how to box that effort. This run got to me, but it was supposed to get to me. If we ran 13.1, I would have held onto top 10 world amateur. That’s what I’m taking with me into the offseason. That’s the weakness. In 2013, my swim will be strong, bike ridiculous and the run improved. I’m excited about the future.

It was a great week in Kona. Thank you for following. Some of you have been here since the bitter beginnings. Lastly, thanks to the best team on the island – my mom, dad, and brother. They put up with me and just keep showing up…going on 31 years now. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Race Week - Honu 70.3

Big one coming. I’m leaving LAX on Wednesday night for Kona, the place that has quickly become one of my favorite places on the planet. I’ll get a good day of tuning here in Los Angeles on Wednesday, make the 5.5 hour flight, and sleep in Waikoloa that night. Thursday is off. Friday I’ll wake up and put a little fire in everything before shutting down early and racing Saturday. The swim is a Hawaii swim, meaning it’s beautiful and perfect. Bike is a 56 mile battle to Havi and back. Run is supposed to be a bastard - golf course and grass and heat and thousands of turns and hills and madness! There’s been a fire burning in me since the disappointment in St. Croix and I feel the approaching need to race so hard I hurt myself. Doesn’t mean I’ll be going at it like a fool, but I won’t be playing safe or sitting back either.

The longer I’ve been doing this, the more I’ve come to accept this notion of triathlon giving out exactly what is deserved. On any given day, there is a LITTLE room for heroics and racing above ability, but the fitness built and fought and suffered for is far and away the greatest factor for success. When I was looking back at St. Croix on the plane ride home, the primary thing running through my mind was that I got exactly what I deserved. It wasn’t as much three 70.3’s in 5 weeks, but thinking I would keep improving in those weeks between, get better, and just steamroll these major goals I’ve set. And yes, I understand how foolish it must seem to be looking back at a stretch of races with such wisdom considering all these things happened mere weeks ago. But it does feel like that. Time will tell.

This is my last chance to qualify for the October Ironman World Championships. It’s a big deal to me, not the primary goal for 2012, but definitely the most profound. The only number I’ve been able to see in my head the last 3 weeks is #1 30-34. It’s likely #1 & #2 in my age group will qualify. The field will be fast enough that there’s no margin for error, anywhere. And not only that - I will also have to have my BEST race. That’s not nearly as daunting as it is exciting. I’m excited to swim well, redeem my bike in the eyes of the Queen K’s heat and wind from last year’s WC’s, and prove myself on what I know is going to be a challenging run. It has been keeping me up at night, the thought of dismounting and charging into that 13.1. My mind is already seeing it, whispering, “everything, everything, everything.” It’s already telling me that what I consider as everything isn’t going to be enough, and that I had better correct myself, and soon. It’s reminding me that I need to be 1st off the bike, and that accomplishing such a thing is no small task.  It’s readying me for the coming furnace and the 80+ minute run and fighting off constantly threatening failure. It’s telling me that if I’m to attain what I’m out to attain, I must treat all of these things as delicate bad bitches and then dance dirty with them until there is no seeing straight.


My friend my high school truly still inspires me every single day of my life.

Yesterday, for the second time, she completed the Kona Ironman.  The race went in no way that she had planned.  Her swim split was amazing, as well as her bike split, which was so much more consistent than last year.

But as soon as I saw her first run split I knew something was wrong.  And they continued to show signs of trouble.  She finished her marathon in 4 hours and 20 minutes, which is almost a full hour slower than last year.

I am so, so proud of her for sticking it out and completing her second ironman.  She was in the medical tent after the race for 2 hours going in and out of consciousness so she completely gave it everything she had.

And it’s so inspiring.  I know she’s going to be disappointed with her performance.  But to me…I think she is absolutely amazing.  She makes me want to get my life back in order.  She makes me want to do something equally amazing so that I too can inspire people with my actions.

I know that I have a long way to go to get better. And i know that I have a lot to sort out in my life but I really am trying as unconvincing as that sounds.  My friend’s performance yesterday was a huge reminder of the joy I used to find in challenging myself and inspiring others. 

Heading to Hawaii

I am excited about going to Hawaii to visit my daughter for 10 days. The only problem I see is that I won’t be able to ride a bike while I am there. Since I started planning this trip, I have been looking on Craigslist for a cheap bike to get around town on. Nope, not finding any. She doesn’t like the bike, so we won’t be planning any bike rides, but I was thinking about getting up early and just cruising while she sleeps in. She took the week off to spend time with me, but she will be sleeping in a lot later than I care to. So, I will go for runs and go to the beach until she gets up. I love the beach. I could be a beach bum. I don’t want to go 10 days without riding a bike. I don’t want to pay $40.00 at day to rent a bike either. I don’t know what to do. 

Also, while I am am there, the Kona Ironman will be happening. I would love to go watch it, but it would mean an additional $300.00 to go to the island and I don’t think my daughter would appreciate me taking time away from her to go watch, and No, she wouldn’t be interested in watching it. Bummer. How cool would it be to be a spectator at my bucket list race!!!

I love Hawaii, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I can’t wait to go. I really need to get away.


Ironman Kona 2014 - 9:40:09

Yeah yeah yeah, just like everyone else, I swear I’ll never do an Ironman distance race again. And that was true at this time last year. At some point you learn your limiters and stay away from them. Part ego, part self preservation, I think. When I accomplished most of my 2014 season goals early on this year, I decided it was time slam my way back into Kona. When I was thinking about this year’s version of the race, I wanted to get myself back into my 2012 position, where I was on Ali'i, and up front, to have another go at running a smarter marathon and killing some personal demons. 

Well, things worked out through the bike. I had a pretty great swim. Lined up on the far left side so I could get out of trouble if necessary and so I could control my own race. Found feet often, and often served as feet. Most of the swim, I spent thinking about my bike. Came out in a 1:02 and then went looking for a fight.

Compared to all of my crying at Tremblant, refs were throwing a TON of penalties on this bike. So there was no bullshit, which was a damn relief. Wouldn’t have mattered anyway this time around, because I wasn’t going to let it matter, because I was going to be gone. Aimed to hold an average of 295 watts and finished 282. Really lagged coming back from Kawaihae after being on track at 309 to the turnaround at Hawi. Ended up riding a 4:50, which was big and put me at #1 about 90 miles in before I traded spots with some guys the rest of the way to town. My thoughts are that I probably overcooked the climb to Hawi. No lucky clouds this year. When I came back into town, I was fighting to hold power in the 260’s, which is a fall, but not a blow up. I was ready to run smart, just like I’d been seeing it.

Miles 1-10 in Kona take on rollers and the coast. In the past, I’ve remembered it being cooler than the highway. My plan was to keep it in the 715-745 pace those first 10, depending on the rollers. And it was good. Tough, obviously, but under control, and thoughtful…meaning I was backing off, keeping calm, trying to be tactical with the terrain. I was managing the race – it absolutely felt that way. At mile 8, I checked my watch and there was even a point there where I told myself to back off…even if just a little bit. At 9, the sun seemed suddenly hot, and then my body followed, and then things quickly shifted. Walking up Palani at 10, I wasn’t straight. Two volunteers asked me if I needed help as I acted like a kid trying to hide a virgin drunk from his parents. They followed me for a bit. I heard them talking to other people behind me about the way I was moving and something about a “pull.” This is all probably over-dramatic, but I have never DNF’d, and could never imagine it at Kona. I was scared and saw it happening there. Never felt like that before. Like I was hollow and about to topple. And yo - this ain’t my first rodeo. But I made it to the top of the hill and then the clouds showed up. There was a lot of walking. At a point, I sat down, took my shoes off and rubbed bag balm all over my feet. Then I made it to an aid station and had everything, but more importantly – Red Bull and coke. And then what eventually felt like a miracle – I came back. I mean, not really…but I started running again, and actually put a few miles away at about a 7:45 pace. I’m sure it looked rough from the outside looking on…but to me, it felt like I was riding a chariot on fire, being pulled through the sky by a team of magic, screaming eagles. None of this lasted very long, but it showed me the depths of the pendulum that can occur during an Ironman - even more so Ironman Kona. The majority of the rest of my run was a slog, but a slog I was very grateful and proud to be a part of. It made for a very satisfying day. Around mile 22, my buddy, the very fast usually faster Brad Williams came up on me and wouldn’t let me lag. He probably gave 3 minutes of his own time to pull me to the line and give me 3. We crossed together and flew some colors. Great end to a fierce day. A damn fierce day. 

Season is over. I have some big ideas for 2015 and am looking forward to starting the process of hatching them. In the end, I didn’t have the complete day I wanted here, but few do. Love it. Loved it. 

A green sea turtle swims beneath some of the 2,300 athletes awaiting the start signal for the 2016 Ironman World Championship triathlon on 8 October in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Green turtles, also known as ‘Honu’, are a symbol of good luck and longevity in Hawaiian lore

Photograph: Handout/Ironman via Getty Images

When you shamelessly live stream Kona ALL day…. 

Super rainy in Seattle today, so I got to do my 40 miles on the bike indoors on the trainer- still watching Kona :) What great fuel! 

Pumped for my long run tomorrow- will surely be dreaming of my own IM someday…..

@Regrann_App from @met_helmets - “The accumulation of hills, both running and cycling, are fresh in my memory again…” Tomorrow @frevanlierde will compete for the @ironmantri World Championship at Kona.
You’ve got this!

#methelmets #MetRivale #triathlon #triathlete #triathlonlife #ironman #iromantri #IMKona #Kona #iromanworldchampionship #KonaCountdown #triathlonworld #swimriderun #cycling#biking #running #cervelobikes #P5X #simplifaster - #regrann

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The green sea turtle, also known as ‘Honu’, is a symbol of good luck and longevity in Hawaiian lore. This native friend provides a little mystique to the 2,300 athletes who await the start signal of a 140.6-mile journey at the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship triathlon on October 8, 2016 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Donald Miralle/IRONMAN via Getty Images)

One great sports photo for every day of the year: bit.ly/1Uv6qBR

Shout out to all the stellar athletes competing in Ironman Kona this weekend!!

Here is a #tbt to that time I did Ironman Canada! 🇨🇦 … which is a heck of a hard course, especially the bike leg. But, you can see from my face – I truly loved it. I was shooting for a sub 14 hour IM, as my first one was 14:07, and - I ended up surprising myself with a sub 13! I may return to IM some day – but for now, I’m loving the trails too dang much. #ironman #ironmancanada #workhard #dreambig #smashgoals (at Whistler, Canada)

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