What the hell is Ditch the Tiara?

Redefining the word beautiful...one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, with a few downward dogs along the way...

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Did I already mention that I have absolutely the BEST friends in the whole wide world?!? Well, if I didn't, let me reiterate that I have the greatest friends ever - the best endurance family anyone could ask for!

Saturday started off with a nice 50 mile ride on my new bike, 'Veruca' - as in the princess b**ch from Willy Wonka. She got what she wanted, didn't take NO for an answer and was one tough chick. Worked through kinks and stopped a few times to screw around with the seat height. Got a lovely and unexpected international call at 10am from our friends, Jackie and Gordy in the U.K. It was 5pm their time and they were just popping open a bottle of champagne. They were saddened that they couldn't make it to the party so they were having their own, celebrating in my honor. They are flying into the U.S. this week and will be at IM Wisconsin, cheering me on and I will return that favor when they compete in IM Arizona in November. Please think strong and positive thoughts for them as they are going to be entering the BUILD phase of training.

We were the last to arrive at Chez Gumkowski and what I walked into was the most positively charged and cheer-filled house. It was festive and fun and definitely got me pumped up for Ironman. I choked back tears, sighed heavily and did my best to remain tough - that's what an Ironman should be, right? Tough? Well, I guess there are always excepctions to the rules - I might be tough on the outside, but inside I am one girly, emotional mess.

I was given so many words of advice and encouragement. My coach took me aside and we went through my entire day of nutrition, dos and don'ts, plans of attack etc. I feel so confident going into next Sunday. I am prepared. I am excited. I am so grateful.

I was given a scroll - on the cover it said in chalk writing from IMCdA... the wisdom of Petra... who has definitely prepared me for the swim start. I am safe and there is nothing to be afraid of...and in my mind, there will be a little yellow TYR swim cap right next to me...

On the back of the scroll, were cherished "Words of Wisdom" from the experiences of the '08 CdA Crew and my Coach...

....and you can't call it a party without a PINATA!!!!!!! A cow that moos to be exact... we had so much fun watching the kids take a whack at it, then it was my turn. After several slaps at it, it broke open and from it fell everything I could possibly use or need for Ironman...powerbars and swedish fish and lip balm and biofreeze packets etc. Afterwards, Jess gave me a bottle of champagne that had been sent by Jackie and Gordy... so thoughtful! My twin, Dee, sent me a fun text from Washington- she's training for her first 50 mile endurance run in October but has been a huge support to me!

Chris, Jen and Suzy - the 3 amigas... what can I say - YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!! (sorry, I don't have any pictures with the 3 of you together! haha) I will KICK IT and be SO SKIRT in the hottest pink dress, ever!

To my heroes: You have shown me what it takes to become an Ironman, from the physical aspects to the mental strength to the committment to myself. I have enjoyed listening to your stories and experiences and will carry them with me on 9/7/08...and now? It's finally my turn to create those stories and share my own experiences to those who will follow me for the first time... I have waited 1 year for this day...trained 6 months - over 3,700 miles, hundreds of hours...and there is only one thing left to be said.


Thank you IMMOO Crew - for paving my path, laying the bricks and throwing all that hay in the barn!

Petra, Ironman Florida 2007

Mike, Craig, Jessica, BJ and Brian, Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2008

Craig, Ironman Switzerland, 2008

With my pepperminted feet, glittery toenails, karma beaded wrist, swedish fished out special needs bag, Be Extraordinary T2 towel, wisdom and many experiences sitting in my back pocket waiting to be used, including the amazing fortune of holding an Olympic Gold medal from the marathon, will head out at 7am next Sunday and KICK SOME SERIOUS IRONMAN ASS!


Go.2.Belle said...

omg. I don't know if I can handle all this emotion next week, I'm already getting wonky emotional, and I'm just there for the cheese! and you. ++vibes++ all ways. Love, your sis

Anonymous said...

i am pumped and Alexis and I are ready to cheer you on like you would never believe, i will have my cheese hat on (greenbay packers, thanks nate) just for you, i am so proud of you. I have two wonderful sisters who i cherish and will always be my heroes!!!!!! Love you-your other sis