Monday, June 30, 2008

Run: 26.2 miles!!! and the FINISH!!

When I thought the run would be the worst part of the entire day, it turned out it was my favorite as I had a lot of support out on the course! (with some surprises along the way)

As I got in from the bike transition and said a huge..."Thank You God!!" for no flats and bike issues, I made my way to get my Bike to Run bag and headed to the changing tents. Changed out of cycle jersey into tri top and then handed the Body Glide to the volunteer and told her to put it anywhere my Tri Top touched my body. With the dry climate, the last thing I wanted was major chaffing. The Body Glide left a slight white film on my body.

Next stop: Sunscreen station. I walked up, put arms out and said...Get me!! The volunteers went at it and covered they started to rub in, I said "oh no, that's will do that itself, I got to start running!!"

As I got out onto the run course, a friend told me I looked like Casper! I said...I am already going to be in pain, I don't want it to be worse because of a sunburn.

Here is where mentally things got interesting...I headed out for the small first loop and noticed that quite a few people looked as if in pain, not letting it get to me I put one foot in front of the other (as planned). I got to mile 3 and saw many friends from Austin...Coaches Chrissie and Mo, my good buddy Adam Reiser and a few others. Just two miles later at mile 5 were the ladies from Florida...and one surprise. My friend Heather that I had performed with at Disney drove in from Seattle the night before. She had told me she was coming but I did not know if logistics and her son would keep her from this....I don't know why I's Heather for crying out loud! She had her son Zach and dog with her and was screaming on the sidelines with my other 3 friends. When I made the loop back around and hit mile 10..there they were again but with Heidi's parents now joining them. (it is awesome when 6 people are SCREAMING your name) Then a few miles later..the Austin crew again! A few miles later, a sign with my name and number and a woman I did not recognize at all..little did I know that my friend Missy Daly from Orlando had told a friend of hers in CdA my name and number and she was just out there cheering for the heck of cool is that?!?! With all of this support...the run went by fast as I focused on who I would see next rather than the mileage or the numbness in my feet!!

When I reached half way...I couldn't believe it..It didn't even feel as though I had run 13 miles at this point...I felt good, my pace felt comfortable and I thought...I JUST might finish this marathon within 5 hours. My goal initially was to run half way and decide from 13 miles I knew I could run I made it to 20 and said....Hell! It would hurt to walk now, I gotta keep moving!

Rounding the corner for my big finish is something that I will never forget...Adam Reiser was at the last corner and told me to "Enjoy it, I deserve it!" I wish I could have made those last few minutes last a little longer. It almost felt like I was in slow motion going towards the arches and the voice that proudly announced..."COLLEEN WILSON, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!" I wanted to turn back around and run over the mat again just to hear it one more time! (can you do that?) When I realized the clock said 13:14 on it, I thought something was really wrong. I couldn't have done it under 15 hours?!?!? (which was my super stretch goal!) When I asked Adam if that was right..he laughed and said.."Yes had a super great run of 4:30! You looked solid the whole time, as if it was a 10k or something!"

It was then that the emotion hit me hard. The tears started rolling and Adam walked me over to my girls from Florida where I celebrated with tears, hugs, pictures...see below.

What a crazy ass day!! And it was only one week ago that I couldn't walk down stairs or get up from my bed!

I am ready to set a new goal...don't worry, nothing crazy! I know I need to sign up for another race (not an Ironman yet) and get myself on a schedule! Tonight I will start going to core class again and do some light biking and swimming this week. Running will be a few feet are hurting a bit still!

I am going to upload a few more pictures after this post...enjoy!

Thanks again for all the crazy support!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Bike: 112 miles

So as I head from Swim to Bike into the changing tents I realize I must have had a good swim (once again, not knowing time). A few things about the changing experience...the wetsuit strippers? Yeah, that is the deal. I had two guys yank on the legs and I was on my way to the tents. Got inside and it was TOTAL and UTTER MAYHEM!!! It was so packed that I couldnt' find a volunteer to help me at first or a seat to sit in...but one finally came over and helped me put my arm warmers and jersey on. That is tougher than you think with wet skin. Grabbed helmet and bike shoes and was on my way out....saw the sunscreen folks and they smothered my legs with some SPF and I went to go find my bike!

Headed out onto the first loop and I was feeling good. I had written some messages on my aero bars to keep me in the race as far as nutrition. (DON'T GET BEHIND! SALT EVERY HOUR!! EAT EVERY 30 MINUTES! AERODRINK EVERY 10 MILES! SMILE! THIS IS FUN!!) The first loop I felt great and I stopped to pee once. Now before you all start to write me and tell me to go on the bike, I tried, I could not make it happen. I could not get myself to relax that much. Oh well. The second loop was much harder as the climbs seemed longer and steeper for some reason and it started to play mentally with me. And I had to stop twice to pee and so that was was hard to get back on and gain momentum. Then I looked down and saw SMILE! on my aero bars...I knew that I had to play it smart. Keep drinking, watch cadence and save my legs for the run. Do not let stupid things get in my head.

As I approached mile 90, I dug pretty damn deep to get back to transition continuing to hydrate and get myself ready for a marathon. I felt good. I felt strong. My final time on the bike was 7:00. I am wondering what it would have been without 3 stops to use el bano. I possibly could have broken 13 hours. Maybe next time? Did I just say that??

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Swim: 2.4 miles!!!

As most of you all remember, one year ago..the swim was not something I enjoyed AT ALL. I would whine on my way to the pool, I would grimace at the thought of an open water swim and I would go to every race thinking things started once I got OUT of the water. Well....Nemo I am no more my friends and I proved that on race day!

I had been in CdA since Wednesday and was able to get in the water on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for about 20 minutes each day just to feel the water and visualize the swim. I felt good going towards race day and I had a plan thanks to Chrissie and Mo from T3.

In the past I had always started near the back during Tri's but since my 100m had gotten better my coaches had told me to start up front. They said those that are up front don't want to be a part of the kicking, pushing, fighting, they will just swim around me and then I can find my pack to swim with. That is exactly what I did. The cannon went off and I was in the VERY FRONT!! The first 300m felt awesome and I was with super friendly swimmers as not one kick or punch came my way. Finally I found a group to swim with and I had my eye on the last red bouy to make that first turn left. It was the first turn that panic hit me. It looked like a bunch of seals trying to make a turn. Finally I took a deep breath and calmed down, I realized that with so many people I could just stretch out and get pulled with the draft. I put my arms and legs straight out and got pulled around the corner with no bruises. Once I cleared that I took off for a good 100m to clear the pack and find a group again.

The second lap I found my rythym even more so and came out of the water at 1:18. (averaging 2:03 or my 100s) goal when I signed up a year ago was to just clear things by 1:40!!!! Clearly I had done the work and I stayed in the game mentally for the swim. I was not wearing a watch at any point during the day so I did not know this until I finished but I got out of the water feeling really good....not exhausted and destroyed. It set me up for a great day.

My coaches used to call me The Windmill when in the water. They can't call me that anymore. I will continue to swim even during this recovery phase because it has helped my fitness so much! Crazy that I really like swimming now!!!

Lose Yourself..thanks Eminem

While I will get on that total recap of the weekend and my race....I have to say a large THANK YOU to Eminem. As I started to walk down to the swim, on the large speakers came his song...Lose got me pumped inside. I love some of the lyrics to this song and there were moments during the race where I could feel the beat pumping through my veins...

Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted, one moment
Would you capture it, or just let it slip?

His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti
He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready
To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgettin'
What he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won't come out
He's chokin' how, everybody's jokin' now
The clock's run out, time's up, over, BLOW!
Snap back to reality, oh, there goes gravity
Oh, there goes Rabbit, he choked, he's so mad
But he won't give up that easy, no, he won't have it
He knows his whole back's to these ropes
It don't matter, he's dope
He knows that, but he's broke, he's so stagnant that he knows
When he goes back to his mobile home, that's when it's
Back to the lab again, yo, this whole rhapsody
He better go capture this moment and hope it don't colapse on him

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime

This will alwasy be in my pre-race mix now! I will start recapping the weekend very soon! Thanks for all the well wishes...yeah, I said I would NEVER do this again before the race....I am going to have to take that back. I WILL do another Ironman, just not in 2009....who wants to join for 2010? :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

If you didn't know....


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fond Farewell & THREE

Had a good last night in Austin...met up with my friend Fuller where I received the ultimate plane goodie bag full of trashy magazine and clean magazine, gum, hair ties, bubbles (I left those at home to not get flagged), tic tacs, iTunes card and all sorts of fun goodies. Then Beijing (meg b)stopped over to give me 2 homemade CD's for the trip. By the way Meg, I have only listened to the one entitle bad ass. rocks. Then I opened up a box from my friend Stephanie in Orlando...when I opened the cardboard box there was a little blue Tiffany's box inside. As I opened the card (I am paraphrasing) it read, "when it gets really hard you will certainly need a litle faith." I opened the box to find a silver cross necklace. And then the tears started....Stephanie is another one of those amazing women that has stood in the gap for me when I couldn't do it any more. She is my music buddy as we enjoy rocking out to the same bands and she is one of the most giving people I have ever met. Thanks Steph...I am wearing it right now.

Dropped miss Eloise off at the week long baby-sitter and saw a few more good friends...(thanks Julie, Tom, Randy and Jeff for talking me off the Lost Creek bridge) and met up with Sammy for dinner and final packing.

Now....I am in Denver waiting for the final flight to Spokane where I will meet up with new friend, Jami and we will spend some relaxing time together in beautiful CdA!! I can't wait to see what restaurant and good times we will have....

I am so excited to see this journey come full circle this weekend.


**by the way Pat...I am enjoying all the "muppets" so far on my plane all decked out in the compression socks, aero helmets, IM gear to let me know they have done 6 others all over the world. Good times. Good stinking times.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I love this picture! Way to go Tiger in the US Open....I want to feel like him in this picture on mile 18 of the run!

I leave tomorrow! I am all packed! I am READY!!!

FORE more days!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

In the next few days....

Got home and had this email from, I have a lot of really amazing friends. Thanks for the reminders...Did I mention I am nervous??

"So in the next few days, and particularly on Sunday, when the miles are feeling oh so long, I want you to remember...

who you are! A survivor, a fighter, a rock star, a fabulous woman.

why you're there! And only you know the real reason. Just remember it and stay true to it.

you've done the training. All of it. It will take you where you need to go.

you're my hero. Enough said.

you are loved. By me, your friends, your family.

I'll be watching you on Sunday. I only wish that I could be there in person to see your face as you come across that finish line.

If you need something while you're gone, call me. I'll do what I can to help.

You're on my mind. Now go get em Snakebike!"

It is things like this that will run through my head on that course. We do get by with a little help from our friends...yes? Ok, off to eat a good dinner and REST, REST, REST!!!

Carrie'd Away!!

My other friend, Carrie B. or Tri to Be Funny blogger sent me this on e-mail today...

1.) If there's ever a moment you feel like you're working too hard--YOU ARE! Slow down and get back within yourself. (unless you're sprinting to the finish line)

2.) Don't let anyone other than a race official pull you off the course. As Chrissie and Mo said, there may be times you want to quit or abandon the race. Don't DO it unless you medically CANNOT continue. Chill out for a while, walk, eat...whatever it takes to change the attitude and get back on the course.

3.) Only think about one discipline at a time.

4.) Consume a ton of calories on the bike. It will make all of the difference in the run.

5.) You've planned your race. Now, race your plan!!! (sound familiar?!?)

I cannot wait to watch you cross the line on Sunday night. I swear, I'm going to be glued to my computer all day!! I'm so glad this sport has led me to a new friend and I can't wait to celebrate properly!!!!!

Have the best day of your life and smile like there's no tomorrow! You are going to be an IRONMAN in just a few short days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks are a true glad we are friends through this crazy thing called Ironman!!

Carrie W...super FUNNY!!

I open up my email and have an ecard (If you haven't seen these cards, someecards, check out the site, they are too FUNNY!!) Thanks Carrie W for the good laugh this morning.. Here it is...

She wrote that the card was a bit premature but she is sure I will make the marathon...don't you worry Carrie...SNAKEBITE will make you proud!!!


NO more weekend workouts. NO more. I stayed true to Saturday and Sunday workouts. I feel strong. I am eating like a champ right now, I am staying hydrated...and in honor of the number FIVE....let's dance.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Do we all see that IM is NINE days away....yes, in the Single Digits now.

Breathe In, Breathe Out Colleen.

Is it ok to drink at work?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Magic Number


This is the Bib Number to track me with., June 22.

Team Colleen!!

You don't even know how much I love these just don't. These ladies in the picture are my posse from Orlando, Florida. From left to right..Robin, me, Heidi, Andi. I met Andi from the Wonderful World of Walt Disney singing days...("do you remember when we were in Vybe??") I met Robin and Heidi through Team In Training and well, the rest is history I guess you can say. These ladies will fly up to Idaho for my Ironman in 10 days. They will sit through 13+ hours of me on this course, they will cheer and probably lose their voices, and they do this just because they love me and love seeing me set goals.

Life is good with people like this in it...I love them for the way they have supported me THROUGH IT ALL!!!

Can't wait to see you 3...

Look what he did...

Yes, I went to turn in the gear bag at J&A's a bit ago, (the bag that goes with my bike for Tri Bike Transport) Sam had taken part of yesterday to put some finishing touches on my bike and well, as you can see, he gave it the old Livestrong touch. Made me laugh and smile!!

I have to say in all this crazy training, it has been nice to have someone that enjoys taking care of my bike...Sammy has been awesome in replacing my cables, new brakes, a lighter durace cassette, handle bar tape, cleaning it...dialing it all in so that when I get it off the truck in Idaho...all will be good. (I have also learned that I am not so great in taking care of my bike...)

Ironman here I come....Thanks Sammy!!

Fartlek Workout & a Swim...

Ok, so now into the taper it all feels weird. It is hard to motivate myself for a 45minute Fartlek run. However, I left work at 4:00 and went to the trail to get this done. I am glad that I did this.

I usually go to the Tuesday morning swim...somehow my alarm went off at 5:00 AM and the next thing I knew I was waking up at 730 AM..I slept through swim yesterday morning...which meant I had to go in the evening...which means ADD Colleen comes out because after a long day of work and a run ...I don't want to pay attention. However, last night at swim I focused as hard as I could putting in the 2900m with my swim coach, Chrissie. By the way, if you live in Austin....I love T3 and there swim program. Why I chose to do the bike/run portion with Texas Iron and get coaching from them, the swim part of my Ironman is going to rock because of Chrissie and Maurice. If you are looking for a great swim clinic and many swim sessions during the week to choose from check out T3.

Our workout consisted of a lot of 150's last night, and Chrissie told me it was all about consistency and being comfortable. From the moment I hit the water for warm-up to one hour later...I felt really good and strong. I kept all my 150's under 3 minutes...(let's remember 4 months ago when holding my 150s at 3:30 was a task) looked something like this.

300 warm-up with drills
8 x 150 (each 150 had some sort of spin on 50, 85% 50, fast 50..etc.)
300 recovery with drills
6 x 150 with fins (these were fun..keeping on a 2:45 interval..I killed it coming in around 2:25)
cool down...

It is crazy that the ONE thing I really want to keep doing after this Ironman is swim. I have really learned to LOVE it and I want to continue getting better as I see the swim improving my overall fitness!! (don't get me wrong, I want to keep biking and running...I just want to do it on my terms for a few months, not be tied to some schedule!!)

Anyhow...I am tired and trying to stay hydrated. I turn in the bike TODAY!!


Monday, June 9, 2008

last Big weekend!!

Had another strong weekend....Friday was a 75 minute run that happened primarily in pouring down rain in the morning. There is nothing I detest more than wet socks and wet shoes...however, I persevered.

Ran into my good friend Cathy at the grocery store later that afternoon. She is another CdA'er and we were talking about all the things going through our head, how moody we have been and the ups and downs of emotion.

Got to bed rather early after seeing Son of Rambow with Sammy. Really good, funny movie. Love me some British and 80s humor. Got up on Saturday and crawled my way to the kitchen to prepare for the final 4 hour ride. For some reason, I was moving rather slowly and the 7 AM start became 915 AM. I went an swam 45 minutes in Barton Springs first where Andrea Fisher swam 4 lengths to my one and then got out and started my bike ride (sans the wetsuit of course) I felt good on the final 'BIG' ride...just taking it easy and adding in some hills as I took on the Dam Loop, Riverplace, Courtyard and a trip up Lost Creek at the very end. Good times.

Got back to my place and rested a bit and then met my friends Meg and Fuller for Chuys!!...this is Meg below from Cap Tex. She is super cool. Went home and just cleaned up some things, watched the movie..P.S. I Love You and fell asleep around 930. Yes, I know....I am such a partier.

Got up at 530 on Sunday, ate some food...and left for my run rendevous with my friend Shelley. I had mapped out a route from Rogue Equipment that was 14 miles..7 out, 7 back. It was a pretty route and Shelley ran the first 7 with me, which was good because it caused me to take things easy having a friend to run and chat with. As I hit the turn around the first 7 were in 1 hour and 9 minutes...I wanted to move a bit quicker and do the final 7 in under an hour. That is what I did and I felt great at the end. It was good to put my feet on the asphalt and take time away from the trail. (I also find it is easier for me to bail on Town Lake trail runs. I get bored easily) I did the final 7 in 57 minutes...meaning 8 minute miles and a negative split!! Later that day I went for a recovery swim in Barton Springs...and that was a really great ice bath!!

I spent the rest of the day making lists for packing and getting my bike ready for Tri Bike Transport. Started working on transition bags and special needs bags and other various house chores.

It is now Monday...and the official taper begins. A 60 minute recovery ride today is quite laughable, but I will do it. The rest of the week?

Tuesday- swim with T3, 45 minute run
Wednesday- swim at the Quarry
Thursday- Texas Iron workout, bike
Friday-Day off!!!
Saturday- 30 minute swim, 2.5 hr ride and 30 minute run
Sunday- 75 minute run

I know this is going to feel weird but I am tired of feeling tired so I know I need the REST!!

Only 12 more days!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hungry, Hungry Hippo

Yes, we have all played this game. In fact, I wish I were right now. Instead I am trying to keep from eating EVERYTHING in site!! I feel like one of these Hippo's going for every crumb put in front of me! It's not cool.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Uno, Dos, Tres.....Workouts!!!

Here is what the weekend held for me...

First- Friday swim of 2.4 miles. I was headed to the Quarry after work and had written on a piece of WILL do this today. And that is exactly what happend. 5 laps of the Quarry, 2.4 miles, a new awesome wetsuit (thanks Jack!) and a time that I was really really happy with. Now just add some really cold water and 2000+ athletes, and we will see what happens, right? (insert smile here)

I had gotten the idea from Michelle (another CdA athlete) to do 2 loops of the Longhorn course on Saturday. Originally I had planned to ride Real Ale but when I realized it didn't start until 830, which means 900 for cycle events, I just didn't want to be on an 85 mile ride in all that heat...and I knew the terrain was some difficult climbing, so my time would be longer. Instead, I took off for Lake Decker with a 630 AM start, my tummy full and ready to go. The first loop was great as I just got my legs moving and played things super smart averaging 16.6 mph for that loop. (I also got lost once so that played with my speed a bit in searching for this road called Monkey) I drank 5 water bottles and did all my nutrition as planned. I took off for the second loop knowing that my friends Randy & Naomi were going to come find me on the course to provide me with support and Naomi was going to ride the last 25-30 miles in with me. They found me at mile 85 and when Randy opened up the back of his car he had COLD COLD water, gatorade, pickles (my absolute favorite on a bike ride!!!) and a PB sandwich for me. I fueled up and Naomi and I took off for the last bit. When I got done my final average was 17.1. I had really kicked it in for the second loop and I felt amazing at the other 60 minute run went really well. It wasn't about speed it was about me feeling comfortable....and I did. (insert another smile)

After much debate I decided to wait and run Sunday evening. Sunday morning I had not had enough sleep after visiting with some friends the night before and I didn't want to run in the heat of the day. I took off for my 2.75-3 hour run around 615...and man, did it hurt. I am guessing, it is supposed to though right? I mean after 115 mile on the bike the day before, what is going to be comfortable about a 3 hour run. I did some of the run on the trail, some on Lake Austin and Scenic throwing in a few hills. And although it was tough, I finished it and I felt really accomplished at the end. (insert an even bigger smile!!)

Ironman in 19 days and I can't believe that it is here. I need to eat right, sleep and make sure I stay in the mental game. I need to make sure I don't let the taper get me down. I am really looking forward to June 22, 2008. Thanks for all the crazy support friends!

This weeks schedule is:

Monday: DAY OFF!!!!! YIPPEEEEE!!!
Tuesday: swim & tempo run
Wednesday: swim and 90 minute ride
Thursday: Texas Iron Brick workout (PM)
Friday: 75 minute run
Saturday: 60 minute swim and 4.5 hour ride
Sunday: 2-3 hour run, and 30 min recovery swim

One last tough week and then the magic word.....TAPER!!!