Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I'm back in SD an Ironman. I finished the race in 11 hours 32 minutes. The day was a long one both mentally and physically but an AMAZING one just the same. This is on the list of favorite lifetime moments…ever! I'll give a brief recap of the good, the bad and the ugly. A full race report will be in the future....

The Good: the energy out there on the course, the volunteers (they were awesome), seeing my friends on the course, meeting new friends along the course, thinking of all my friends back at home cheering me along, realizing at the 13 mile mark of the run that I was going to do this and do it much faster than I ever imagined, the pretzels they passed out during the marathon (best food I had ever tasted), seeing my family and Pat out there on various parts of the course! And of course…the best – heading into the finish shoot and hearing the words "From San Diego, California, Mary Haney you are an Ironman"

The Bad: the flat tire I had right out of transition (seriously, I had not even gone a ¼ mile – no idea how that happened), the moment I realized that the volunteers had taken out all my gels (food source) from my jersey before I left on the bike and replaced the pocket with sunscreen and a leg warmer???, the second loop where my chain dropped and I spent five more minutes on the side of the road trying to get it back on with shaky hands, the taste of bananas at mile 90 on the bike (note to self: five bananas is a bit much to process), the hill, heat and headwind on the last leg of the bike.

The Ugly: what I saw running down other athletes legs (I'll leave it at that), the blisters on my feet, the last 8 miles of the run (I went out a bit too fast for a marathon), the mixture of sports drinks, bars, gels, bananas and other "fake" food in my stomach (this leads to the really ugly below)

The Really Ugly: Mile 20-22, acid reflux kicks in, Mile 23 = Mary on the side of the road throwing up. (sorry folks, but I did feel better after that).

Anyway, I owe a HUGE thanks to Pat and my family. They stood out there for hours cheering me on and it truly meant the world to me. Also, thanks to The Haney's and other friends that tracked me all day online from afar…you guys were the best cheerleaders ever. Some of the messages on my voicemail were a riot! And to ALL my friends and family (those who get it and those who don't :) ). I felt so loved and supported (and still do). It truly means the world to me. I also raised over $1,000 (my goal) for my sister's foundation (vasculitis).
So what's next? Well, right now I plan to take a few days off and recover (the soreness is one-of-a-kind), eat some turkey (perfect timing) drink some wine, chill with friends. I'm looking forward to a full race season in 2009. I've only done a handful of triathlons so I'm excited to try to take it to the next level next year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Counting Down...

Well, two more days until I hit the road for IM AZ. I can't believe it's this weekend! My head is full of so many emotions right now! I'm totally scared and excited all at the same time. I know I've done everything I could to prepare for this but I also know that anything can happen (i.e. unexpected pain, flats, nutrition issues, etc.) and this really scares me. On the other hand, I'm so excited to get out there and truly experience the day. To do an ironman has been one of my lifelong dreams.

Time has flown since I first signed up for this race nearly a year ago. I can't really even remember what made me push the button and sign-up. What I do know is why I'm doing this ( - lists one of the many reasons) and what I've gained since that moment: an AMAZING group of new friends, more mental strength and courage and a whole slew of new tri gear and random knowledge.

I'm going out there Sunday and laying it all on the line. I'll fight with everything I have to get through the day. No matter what I'm not giving up.

That said, I want to thank all my old friends, new friends and my family. I couldn't have gotten where I am without you all and I feel so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. Most importantly, I owe a huge thanks to Pat. He's put up with a lot over the past year. It's not always easy when only one spouse is involved in a hobby as time consuming as long-distance triathlon but he's been so encouraging and supportive through this all. I think he may make me take a brief distance training break post-ironman...but I can handle that :)

I've been asked numerous times over the past week what time I want to go. Truly, I don't know...don't have a clue. I guess that's the beauty of it being my first ironman. I have no time goals and my only expectation is to finish in the 17 hours required...anything better than that is icing on the cake and a PR :). I received this quote from a friend today when I was telling her about all the expectations I was feeling from my coach and others. I love this:

"Somewhere behind the athlete you've become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back... play for her. "- Mia Hamm

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


So, it's taper time this week and this means I have much more down time. I've decided I'm not very good at this whole rest/cutting back thing. I keep thinking I need to train more and I'm super hungry. I have no idea if the increased hunger comes with the taper or if it's just me (might have to research this one)? I'm just hoping I can control the eating and not pack on too many lbs before next weekend. Anyway, I am very productive around the house right now. I better stop while I'm ahead though...I don't want Pat to like tapering Mary too much. Here's what it's making me do:
Laundry - tons of it
Cook - this has always been Pat's role..I know, I have a great husband, he loves to cook but I think he's enjoying the change...
Organize drawers and closets - I sort of got bored with this though so everything is partially organized.

Okay, off to bed. I need to start getting more sleep too!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wind and Rain...not a fan!

My ride today was awful (sorry, I realize that's a very negative way to start a post). I had to get in four hours at "race pace" so I opted for the Coronado strand--very boring but pretty solid riding...normally. I say this because normally there is a pretty mild headwind but it's a great place to just go and not worry about too much traffic or navigating. For me, it's perfect when I am riding solo. If I get in trouble out there my husband (or someone) can get there quickly (and find me easily).

Well, today was quite the experience. The headwind had been transformed to a "Wizard Of Oz" type wind. It was followed by an awesome tailwind going the opposite direction, but the speed and ease heading north was nothing compared to the pain going south. I think I was being pushed backwards, every few minutes I literally swayed from side to side (hello crosswind). This was all followed by rocks and sand that kept hitting my face. Just when I thought it was calming down, the rain came. Normally, the rain doesn't bother me so much, but today, it hurt. Mixed with the wind it created even more pain on my face, legs and arms.

The WORST part of the day was a toss up between dealing with the creepy guy that kept riding up next to me and talking about leg veins (he would not go away, I slowed down, he slowed down, I sped up, he sped up...and seriously...all he had to talk about were how he loved leg veins that popped out...GROSS). Also equally as bad was the song I had in my head for 2 hours...."And I would walk 500 miles..."

Okay, I feel much better, just needed to vent. I know it was good for me to deal with these "challenges" today. Makes me tougher, right? I'm ready for AZ...bring on the wind, bring on the rain--I'm secretly hoping for neither--but PLEASE someone give me another song to sing should this happen to come back to the brain on race day!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I just received the best news! My best friend Laura is flying out for IMAZ!
Laura and I met in high school and quickly became best friends. Over a decade later, we still talk almost every day. In many ways we're as different as night and day (this comes in handy when I need fashion advice, great make-up and a good laugh from her teacher stories) but, despite our differences, she seems to get me...and my crazy hobbies better than most.

Her friendship means the world to me. Laura has always been the one person who can make me laugh so hard I cry, who knows just what to say when life is good and when life is bad, and my biggest supporter through every work, life and athletic endeavor.

She called me to tell me the exciting news: that she's flying out from Kansas on Sat. morning (11/22). I started crying when she told me (yes, I realize Ironman training is making me crazy emotional). I just feel so lucky that not only am I getting to go out there and try to achieve one of my life goals (completing an Ironman) but I'm getting to share it with my AMAZING husband, my entire family AND my best friend. I can't wait!