It’s Time.

Everything is getting real.

My bike has been shipped. I’m 99 percent packed.  My pre-race pump-up playlist is complete. I swam for the last time at Shadow Cliffs this morning. I’ve practiced flat tire repairs. I haven’t tripped over my own two feet. I’ve checked into our flights. We leave tomorrow morning. It’s time for Ironman Coeur d’Alene and I can’t believe it.

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A year and a half ago I decided to make this giant leap from runner to Ironman. Why I was propelled to make this jump had no logical explanation. I had no swimming background, and cycling appeared dangerous and I couldn’t even fathom clipping in – all I had was running. But truth be told, an Ironman has always been that shiny star that silently consumed a hidden part of my heart. Every time I heard that someone had done/was doing one, they immediately entranced me. They were pushing the human body to its ultimate limit, reaching new highs and lows to achieve something once thought impossible. There! That’s it! Seeing what you’re made of to achieve the seemingly impossible – what is more inspirational that that?

I said no to the idea for a quite a while and used my 60 hour work weeks and two and a half hour commute each day as a rational reason not to train. But after three years of this, I decided to this wasn’t the life I wanted to live. I needed to do this. I talked to my managers, explained my goal, figured out how to make it work and it was settled, I was starting a new journey because it turns out, I am indeed in charge of my own life.  As we all are.

The journey began and the beginning wasn’t pretty. I gasped for air as I paddled through eight laps, I experienced crippling open water anxiety, I asked my husband how to pump air in my tires, I was terrified of clipping in, my confidence was rattled when I showed up to my first group ride and everyone was wearing Ironman jerseys, I was mocked for not having the right gear and looking like a Fred – I literally had no idea what I was doing.

At the time, I was embarrassed, nervous and well, just think of every adjective you could use to describe your first day of your freshman year in high school and that was me. But here’s the thing: when faced with trying experiences, you’ll find out more about yourself and the people around you than you could have ever expected.

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Coach Paul put up with my crazies and helped build my skills and physical endurance to where I am now. Simon swam with me in the open water, talking me through my anxiety. Ilona, Jared, Tom and Ray spent entire weekends with me, making me laugh as we rode hour after hour. Carrie helped work my ankle out after I obliterated it. The entire Kinney Multisport team became my weekend family, swimming, cycling and running, helping push me to new levels. My friends didn’t abandon me even though I never saw them. Aron and Nicole always Gchatted to check in on me. My husband and real family put up with my absences and supported this time-consuming endeavor. And my dad, my dad is the truest form of inspiration that keeps me going every single day.

Without ever planning or realizing it, a group of people form that build this incredible support system, a net that will catch you when you fall. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s not a matter of if you fall, but when. I’m blessed they were there to catch me when I did.

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Just days before Ironman Arizona, I fell, both literally and proverbially. As they wiped away my tears, I knew I had to get back on the saddle. After three months of physical therapy, I wasn’t about to quit and I re-dedicated myself to Ironman Couer d’Alene.

It’s been six months and we’ve come full circle. This morning’s swim had a significant amount of open water anxiety that seems to appear whenever I get nervous, and to say that I’m getting nervous would be an adequate assessment.  The flurry of questions and fears about race day are never-ending: will I have an anxiety attack? Will I get a flat? Will I fuel correctly? Will my ankle act up? Will my GI system play well? Will I finish?

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But as Coach Paul likes to remind me, right now I can’t waste energy on things that I can’t control. My mental game will either make or break me and I need to stay positive. With that, I look back on where I am now as compared to this time before IMAZ (prior to the injury), and it’s fascinating. I feel like a different athlete. My swim speed hasn’t improved, but my endurance has. I am so much more comfortable on the bike and have fallen madly in love with cycling. I also got in far more long runs this cycle as my knee injury wasn’t too much of an issue. I feel strong, excited and happiest when I’m cycling and running. Being out on the road fills my heart and it reminds me of my only mantra I’ve ever given myself, “This is who I am.

My heart feels like it’s going to beat out of my chest and I haven’t even left California yet. The journey to Ironman hasn’t been easy, but it has transformed me into a new person and has helped me test my limits, discover new loves and honestly, discover who I am. As my dad always says, “It’s not always about the goal, but the journey.” This adventurous journey has been truly irreplaceable.

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Now that we’re nearing the finish, I’m left wondering what it will be like to cross that finish line and hopefully hear my name called. Of course I have time goals that encourage my never-ending mind games. But deep down, I know that the goal here is to simply enjoy the day, what I’ve accomplished and to finish. That’s what the first Ironman is all about anyways, right?

The journey isn’t over just yet, but I can say this, if there’s something you want to do, then do it. Don’t be afraid to take risks, be courageous and go on adventures. But more importantly, do it with passion or not at all.

With that, I want to say thank you for being part of this journey. Your comments encourage me every day and always bring a smile to my face. If you want, you can track me here. I’m #129. I’ll be posting on Instagram and Twitter, and am contemplating having Chicken Face tweet for me. Thoughts?

Well, I guess this is see you later and Happy Running!

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64 Responses to It’s Time.

  1. I’m so so so excited for you! I teared up reading this!! I’ve read every single blog post since your first posted that one about signing up for Arizona, and I can’t wait to see it come full circle! My friend Tori (who also reads your blog all the time) and I talk about you on our long rides sometimes when we see funny Instagram pictures (like riding your bike into CVS to get Pringles) and how inspirational your journey has been for us. YES! Have chicken face twitter for you!! Have fun! Enjoy the journey!! Good luck! Can’t wait to see you become an Ironman!

  2. Morgan says:

    Goooooooooooood luck! Enjoy every moment, embrace the suck, and soldier on when times get tough because at the end of the day you’re going to be an Iron (Wo)Man!!!!

  3. Natasha says:

    Best of luck! It’s an amazing experience – don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

  4. Chelle says:

    Good luck! I started reading you right after your injury and you are so inspiring to me! I’m waiting out my own injury at the moment and I’m off running for the rest of the month. Reading you has reassured me that I will get through it to the other side!

  5. Karyn says:

    I’ve been quietly following your journey to Ironman for quite some time, but have never commented before… Anyway, just wanted to say, 1) I love your blog and 2) Good luck, have fun and enjoy every moment of the day!!!!!
    The race is definitely the celebration of all the hard work you’ve put in and your first Ironman is something you will never forget. ROCK IT!

  6. Wendy says:

    I am sooooo proud of you. Golly, what an inspiration you are! Please have Chicken Face tweet all day….k. Thanks!

  7. Kim says:

    PAGE! This is amazing, I am so so proud of you. You are going to kick ASS at IM CDA! I can’t wait to track you :) And when things start getting tough out there, just remember that we are ALL cheering you. So when you feel weak, just think of all of your friends out in blogland pushing you and screaming at you to keep going! Have an amazing race – you are a true champion before you even step foot on the start line in my eyes! xoxo

  8. Janice says:

    Hey!!! I’ve been following for quite some time now & this post is amazing! It tells your journey and inspires for anything. Yes I felt like a “Fred” at my first measly 5k. You have a admirable amount of dedication & drive. I would watch this on tv if I could, so yes, you’d better put Chicken Face on twitter!!!!! We need to know!!!! Good luck, do what you do girl and YOU will be great!!!

  9. Landi says:

    Best of luck! Your story is so inspiring. I have a goal of doing a half iron, and your experience has convinced me it is possible. I will be cheering you on from TX!

  10. Although you a MUCH better runner than I am, seeing how you went from complete novice swimmer and cyclist to Ironman tells me that I too can do an Ironman. I have followed your training from when you announced you were going to do IMAZ and you are ready. There is no question in my mind that you are going to kick major butt out there because you have earned it. Good luck and have an amazing race!

  11. Cate says:

    Soooo excited for you!!! You are going to have an amazing race and I will be obsessively stalking :)

  12. Alyssa says:

    SOOOOOOOOOO excited for you!!! Best wishes & HAVE FUN :D

  13. Jen says:

    Good luck and HAVE FUN!!

  14. Kimra says:

    You sound ready. Go become an Ironman. So excited for you!

  15. Lauren says:

    I love this post so much!! Congratulations on making it to this point in your Ironman journey. I’m so excited for you. Can’t wait to hear how the race goes. GOOD LUCK!

  16. Jen B. says:

    Good luck!! I’ll be rooting for you! Your story and journey are an inspiration !!!

  17. I am so so excited for you! GOOD LUCK!!! You’re almost an Ironman. Go kill it.

  18. yay page! it’s been so great following your journey! i know you’re going to be AWESOME.

  19. Jen says:

    good luck! I’ll hopefully be done with my first half ironman on sunday by the time you’re in the water so I’ll send some positive vibes your way.. .:-)

  20. Clare Sand says:

    I am so excited for you and can’t wait to hear that you’re an IRONMAN. This post was truely inspriational!!

  21. GO PAGE GO! I’m so excited that the day is (almost!) here and I can’t wait to track you and see you rock IMCDA! Reading your journey has been amazing and I’ll be cheering for you all day from afar. You’re a strong athlete, and it’s going to be amazing see you finish!!

  22. Nicole says:

    Very well said!!

    I am glad that I could be a tiny part of your journey and I am seriously so excited for Sunday!!! I wish so badly I was going to be there! I’ve been telling Mike all week how much I wish we could cheer you on in person but the Internet will have to do.

    Go out there and keep calm on the swim, chick a ton of dudes on the bike (especially those hills) and then crush more souls when you pass hundreds on the run. Soak in that moment running toward the finish line and don’t let anyone steal your finisher photo. Then after, eat pizza and watch the finishers at midnight!

    YOU’VE GOT THIS!!!!

  23. Susan SRMS says:

    Go get it, Page..it’s your time now! :-)

  24. Lindsay says:

    Good Luck Paige!!! As avid runner and nervous about trying to become a tri-athlete you are an inspiration to all of us and our dreams. Thank you for your blog.

  25. Linda Curtis says:

    I loved reading about your journey to your goal: IMCDA. I’m comfortable with Olympic distance triathlons so I’m impressed with anyone who wants to “travel” further. I think we may have met at TBF’s Tri For Real (I commented on your Soas tri suit). Anyway, Enjoy your race and will look forward to hearing about your adventure soon!

  26. MJ says:

    Been following your journey silently for quite some time now but had to break my silence today to wish you the best of luck! AND, congratulations for having taken on this challenge/ adventure – it has been inspiring to follow.

  27. Becca says:

    Good luck!!!! Have a stress-free trip and most of all, have an incredible race! I can’t wait to read all about it!

  28. Leah says:

    GOOD LUCK!!! It has been so so much fun to follow your journey, can’t wait to hear how it ends!

  29. Liz G says:

    IM CDA was my first Ironman last summer and I loved (almost) every minute of it! It’s been great reading about your journey, it makes me excited for my next Ironman. Best of luck!

  30. Elisabeth says:

    Enjoy the day, and remember to smile! It’ll go by in the blink of an eye,. I’m headed up to CdA on Friday to support my team (Ironteam LA). Excited to be out there and cheer (if you see people dressed in ridiculous costumes, you’re not hallucinating, we just like to be a little crazy). Good luck and have fun!!

  31. Good luck lady! I’ll be following you. Stay calm, and remember that no matter what, it’s a PR!!

  32. holly says:

    Can we track you? I looked on the site and couldn’t find any info. Best of luck! Enjoy the day! Can’t wait to hear all about it.

  33. Cathryn says:

    Good luck! So excited for you.

  34. Good luck! I’ll be following in your footsteps in 6 short weeks at Lake Placid! Can’t wait to read your race report. Sending positive vibes your way!

  35. Nelly says:

    I know that you will kill it. Most of all, enjoy the day out there, no matter what happens.

  36. Jana says:

    PLEASE have Chicken Face tweet for you. We’ve been on this journey so long, we want to be with you every second of the race. Or just tell him to text me every minute of the race. Photos win him bonus points :-) If he needs viewing spot recommendations, I’m a CDA pro now! BTW, if you want IM clothes at the expo, shop early, don’t hope they go on sale. Christian missed out on some things he wanted thinking he would be them at the expo the following day.

  37. Elizabeth E says:

    Good luck page! I know you’ll rock it, and I cannot wait to read your recap!

  38. Layla says:

    I am so excited for you! You will be great; I KNOW it. Sunday’s journey won’t all be roses, but you’ve already had plenty of thorns, so now you have the experience of picking out those thorns and moving along without a second thought.
    I just double-checked the timezone; I’ll be four hours behind you, which means I can stalk you all afternoon! Yay!

    Go get ‘em. Have fun. Kick some ass. And as for the pre-race nerves, try to turn them into excitement.

  39. Good Luck!!! Have an awesome race! Your first Ironman is all about finishing! Don’t think about it. Your body knows what to do it has been training for over a year! I have you on my tracking list!!

  40. Susie says:

    I’m so impressed by your dedication to project Ironman! Thanks for letting us in on the experience through your blog, I find it really inspirational as you don’t pretend it’s easy to fit everything in but you still manage it somehow. And yes to Chicken Face tweeting!! Enjoy! You’ve put the work in during training – this race is your victory lap.

  41. Monika says:

    Page, I found your blog when you were about half way through Arizona training. I was hooked and read each post! When you announced your ankle injury, I gasped, oh noo!! (like when your favorite reality tv show character gets eliminated, haha)!
    I’m so glad you didn’t give up and that you’re sharing the good and bad parts about your Ironman experience.
    Be safe and have FUN! Enjoy every moment, you are going to kill it !!!

  42. Jessica B. says:

    SO EXCITING!!!!! Best of luck. I cannot wait to hear all about it!

  43. EEEEIIIK can’t believe it’s here!!! yes have him tweet for you!!! good luck, have fun, enjoy the hell out of all your hard work

  44. Sarah says:

    Best of luck! It’s been so inspring reading about all of your training over the last few months. I know the race will be absolutely amazing for you. Looking forward to reading your race recap!

  45. Naomi says:

    I’m not going to say good luck because you have worked your ass off for this race and you’re doing well will have nothing to do with luck. It will be because you have earned it and I can’t think of anyone who deserves to own a race more than you. I think I speak for many when I say that your ironman journey has truly been an inspiration. Have the most wonderful time!

  46. Good Luck! I love this post. It really gave me confidence to continue trying new things.

  47. Lauren says:

    Thanks for taking us through this journey with you. Cant wait for the recap of you crushing it out there! Whether you crawl to the finish or run through it, it is one of the greatest physical accomplishments of the human body and mind that most people will never be able to comprehend. Good luck #129!

  48. Sarah S. says:

    Good luck! You should definitely have Chicken Face Tweet for you!

  49. Shannon says:

    I never comment, but I want to tell you how inspirin g you ‘ve been for me – I also have a horrible fear of open water and want to do a 1/2 IronMan (and maybe a full at some point). Seeing that someone else struggles with that has made me feel like I can get over it to accomplish my goals, so thank you! Best of luck this weekend, I know you’re going to crush it:)

  50. Helen says:

    Good luck! I’ve been following your training for a while and just wanted to say you’re awesome :)

  51. Carrie says:

    Wishing you the best of luck! I have been compelled to come out of lurking to cheer you on for the big day. Your blog has inspired, motivated, amused, and affected me greatly over the past year or so, and I am very excited for you as all your hard work comes to fruition! Just remember to trust yourself and trust your training. You will be fantastic! GO PAGE!

  52. Jared says:

    Go get them girl. I appreciate the friendship, the inspiration, the drive and the forever push to encourage me to do my best. This weekend is about your day, get your head into it and remember even if you crawl over that finish line you still hear those famous words.

  53. Rebecca says:

    Good luck!!!!!!!! Jared and I are going to be cheering for you from SF ALLLLL weekend!

  54. Soak in the experience, enjoy what comes and let go of things that may distract you. You’ve trained so hard, I know you can do this. Just have fun :) I’ll be tracking you from my art studio on Sunday and cheering for you every step of the way. Such an exciting adventure awaiting you. <3 Hope you do your finish line dance at the end hahaha

  55. erin says:

    SOOOO excited for you, girl! Enjoy every single step tomorrow! I’ll be cheering all day from Minnesota! #teamSOAS

  56. Charlotte says:

    HI Page, I’ve been lurking since your first round of training last year, through that (at the time) heartbreaking injury and through your triumphant return. Sending you best of luck for tomorrow! Cheers, Charlotte

  57. Tara says:

    Best of luck to you! I have been lurking around your blog for a long time! I have enjoyed the journeys you have taken everyone on! Hope you meet all of your goals!!

  58. JenJ says:

    GOOOOOD LUCK!!!!

  59. Julie says:

    You finished! Today was my first triathlon ever and after I finished my sprint, I tracked you and a couple friends that did it with you! Great time! Hope you’re very proud of yourself!!

  60. Kristin says:

    Congratulations on your finish! I tracked a few friends doing IMCDA and was so glad to see that you had a great day. What an amazing accomplishment — cheers to you!

  61. Becca says:

    I saw that you finished– that’s so incredible! Congratulations!!

  62. Pingback: Weekly Recap PC Training Week #22 | Triathlete Treats

  63. Nikolay says:

    Sara,I have question.My hair color is dark brown/black. I want to dye my hair into dark red / bungurdy. I don’t want to bleaching my hair.I want to use permanent dye. I live in Indonesia. Commonly available brands are L’oreal and Garnier. Do you have any suggestions, what color suit me? And which products are right for me and should I use?I also want to have a few streaks/highlights in my hair with bright colors. Such as blonde, or whatever fits.I don’t know if it matters, but my skin is yellow Asia. So it might be to adjust the color of my hair.Thank you so much

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