The past few months, Gina has been setting her sights on her second triathlon – the Ramblin’ Rose. A great event now in it’s 10th year, consists of a WOMEN’S ONLY triathlon with distances at 200 yard pool swims, an 8 mile bike, then a 2 mile run. She was set to do this event last September in Huntersville, but her mom’s illness and subsequent passing caused her to postpone. The race director allowed her to pick her race as a deferral and she opted to do the event held a few miles away in South Charlotte. Being earlier in the year helped too as she has been training hard since March which allowed her to progress in each discipline in small bites weather permitting. We swam at the YWCA, then early 5am runs on the track, followed by brick bike-runs at 6am on weekends. She got her gear straight with Melissa’s help at IOS. Nailed her nutrition. Did her homework. It’s ben a blast training with her as we did last year, and she was hitting all her goals going into the end of May. We test rode the course. She studied her bike gearing. All of this training helped gain her confidence, making her not only a seasoned Ironsherpa, but she now with a rookie race under her belt, was better prepared to plan a race strategy to bust her previous time. And with her M400 Polar – her activity was accounted for.

Her birthday was last week, so we didn’t “party” celebrate as we would have. She wanted to wait the week to taper right, eat well, get some sleep (even if it meant 9pm) and fully engage her mind on the race. Believe me, we got the stock pile ready to party tonight!!!

We had a great week of training to get her in race mode. A few early morning runs. A few swims. Finally a nice bike ride the day before. All systems checked. She had her list. The weather looked awesome calling for mild, humid conditions in the low 70′s. Just as she wanted – no rain that is. I loved taking on the role of Ironsherpa and even though we had crazy work schedules, by Saturday evening we were locked and loaded ready to Ramble!!! She was well rested as one can be on race night and waking up at 5am on a Sunday morning was like another day.

We got the XTerra loaded and off we went at 6am. We had plenty of time to get  great spot and set up as the 700+ other women rolled into transition area within the next hour. It was a flood of joy, nerves, anticipation, fear, and so many other emotions with one common denominator – get to the finish line. This is a great event for women and being a Sherpa just makes it special to see the other side of the bib number. This was HER day. HER race. I was excited for her because I knew how much she trained for this and I knew how well she could do. She set her bike up and all her transition stuff. She had her plan. No nerves. She focused. She did the bathroom check. Mapped out her in’s and out’s. All systems were go. The flood of women now engulfed the Harris YMCA area. The race support crew did a phenomenal job out there. The venue area was ideal for this event. As 8am rolled around, it was my turn to give her 3 kisses and let her go line up to the pool. No spectators were allowed in the area so wither her seeding herself towards the last few wave starts, I wouldn’t see her for the next hour at least.

As the swimmers came out of the indoor pool area, they had a long 400 yard jog along the parking lot to their bikes. In small chunks they exited and was fun to cheer them on. I could tell what waves were going off as they were kind to simply tell you if you asked each swimmer “what wave were you in?”  I knew she was to be coming out soon, as it now was almost 9:15 and for sure she probably seeded herself TOO SLOW. Sure enough she was soon running along out of the pool saying just that – she was TOO FAST for that wave and had to bust threw a few folks in the water. YEAH!!! Just like an open water swim! Fortunately she held her composure and got out unharmed and ready to ride. Once she got her gear on (her Carb-BOOM clothing was a fan favorite – chants of Go BOOM!) she was out on the bike. Being in the back waves actually allowed for a less congested bike course. She smoked her first lap in 19 minutes! I swear it was a blur standing there while she was biking. I was trying to tweet and message her sisters/friends all throughout while keeping my Sherpa duties straight. Sure enough she came through the 2nd lap just as quick and surpassed her goal times on the bike!! She was doing awesome! I was able to gauge how she felt but she was going to walk out of transition to gather herself before the run. Sure enough she did just that. And it helped her big time. I was able to now see her a few times on the 2 lap run and once she had a mile to go, I knew she was good. Wait – I knew she was even on pace to crush her time!! I got great spot behind the finish line and as she came in full view, got video of her finish. Here she comes running in and finishes with a time of 1:21!!!! Her run goal she smashed by almost 2 minutes! She place 14th out of 21 in her age group. AND she PR’d by almost 12 minutes!!!

Here’s the video to her finish – sorry but it’s upside down in video link here. GINA FINISH

All hugs and kisses no matter how sweaty she was! Role reversal yo!!! She did even pour water over her head! SHE WAS A TRIATHLETE AGAIN!!!!!! Big bling bling medal and all was done did!! Time to celebrate! I made sure she stretched as her hamstring was sore, then she changed, we tried to find a breakfast place that wasn’t packed (Sunday’s here in Charlotte no one seems to make breakfast at home) so we wind up doing just that – and better – just like we always – big pot of java, some waffles, and yeah we’re golden. No wait lines.

She was able to take a quick nap, I gave her a leg massage, and she picked out her cake/goodies to go with our Moscato, Reisling, AND Sangria. Not necessarily in that order. Even though we are running on fumes, we will go out to dinner and toast this wonderful day. She earned every bit of it, and now she can celebrate this AND her birthday. I truly am motivated by her tenacity – Double Nickel – and she has been dedicated to her training for this race for the past few months. She has accomplished a big goal today. All love yo.

I’ll spare you the Latin version but:  Confidence Contained / She Inspires Me / Now Do


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