​I’ve got three races planned for the up coming season:

First up we’ve got Ironman 70.3 Bahrain on November, 25th.

I’m super excited for this one even though they have changed the run course to not include the section in their national park. Hopefully it will still be a great race. Part of the bike is on the F1 track so that should be pretty cool. This will be my first visit to Bahrain and we have about 4 days in the country, which from what I’ve heard is plenty!

Then it’s revenge at Ironman 70.3 Dubai on February, 2nd.

This time I wanna go under 6 hours and have a good run. My run last time on this course was ridiculous, but I had a lot of problems with my knee in the weeks running up to the race. Hopefully I won’t have that problem this time. I will also have Bahrain two months before to kinda check my form… Much needed! My best friend will be joining me at this race all the way from Sweden, so it can’t get any better! I’m so looking forward to not only having her support but also having her compete with me.

After this I have nothing planned (so far!) until Ironman Kalmar on August, 18th.

Yes, that’s right Kalmar, I’m coming back! It has been a while (*cough* 3 years *cough*) since I last did an Ironman, and with the m dot tattoo on my leg I kinda feel pushed to do another full distance race. Kalmar has a special place in my heart and I will have my best friend and supporter there as well. This year was actually the first time I hadn’t been in Kalmar since the race started in 2012… 

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I've made it to Switzerland! My dad picked me up from the airport in Zurich and together we drove over the Gotthard Pass down to Ascona. A trip which takes around 3hrs by car. It was truly beautiful! We drove big parts of the course that the athletes will bike on Saturday during Swissman.

Yesterday we hiked up to Pizzo Leone, 4km up up up and then 4km down again. Dad said it was good preparation for the last 8km of Swissman, and I guess it will be. We'll see on Saturday. Either way, we are surrounded by beautiful views here in Switzerland so the hike up was definitely well worth it. It only took about an hour to get up there, even with the 1000m elevation. Once we got to the top there is this book which you can sign, so of course we did! #readyforswissman

Has been awhile since I last hiked. Usually only do it in Vermont with my friend Alex. It's challenging, but its always so rewarding once you've reached the top and can enjoy the stunning views.

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Hello my friends from the internet.

Next week I'm going to Switzerland. I'm very excited. I felt like going to visit my dad, and turns out he was heading to Switzerland to do Swissman (for you who don't know, it's like an IRONMAN). Hence, I'm now going to Switzerland too and will be supporting him along with a friend. I will try to document it all with my GoPro and put together a little video. I think that would be a lot of fun, for everyone involved, including you guys!


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Friday 27th January 2017

My alarm rang early that morning. I got out of bed, and immediately put suncream and my tri kit on. My period had started, which meant I wasn't off to a good start. After that I made my way down to the kitchen to have my normal bowl of Special K for breakfast with a glass of orange juice. After that I made sure that my bags were packed, I got my street clothes on, woke my friend up and called a taxi. We made our way down to T1 where we pumped our tires, filled our bottles and soaked up the atmosphere. You could feel the energy in the air even though it was only 5.45am. After everything had been checked we made our way over to the Surf House for coffee. We met two other triathletes their getting ready for their race.

At around 6.15am I thought it was time to head down to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and to change into my new and beautiful Sailfish wetsuit. It was still dark outside as I wiggled my way into the wetsuit, luckily the sun rose not long after. We made our way into our different waves, wished each other good luck and a see you out there or at the finishline!

The start wasn't great. This was the first IM 70.3 for most of the participants and many people ended up in the wrong swim wave. I positioned myself in 40-45 thinking this could be somewhat realistic considering I swim 1500m, in 36min and 3.8km in 1.35hr. I ended up swimming over a lot of people and passing many breaststrokers. Annoying! Everyone seemed to swim slightly off course in the beginning but it was fine! The last 400m were the hardest because I had the sun in my eyes the whole swim in. I also swallowed a lot of salt water (yuuuck!).

Ran into T1 and grabbed my blue bike bag. At this point I felt slightly sick and started to get that "I need to throw up" feeling. As soon as I sat down in the changing tent I felt I couldn't hold it back anymore and threw up in my hand. Luckily it was only salt water that came out. I took my time in T1 as I needed to get the sick feeling away. Changing out of my wetsuit into my "Every minute counts" shirt that I wear in memory of little miss India Skye and threw on a pair of bike shorts (extra cushioning is always welcome!). Took a quick look at my watch and realized I swam in under 45min. YAY ME! (I would later find out that I did the Swim in 44:34min). I ran to my bike and headed out of T1. The first 10km flew by as we biked out towards the desert and passed my house. So this was a road I was used to (driving at least). We had headwind all the way to the turn around point (so like 45km...) Great. Felt like a snail, but stayed in Aero! On the way back to the city it felt like I was flying! It was going so much faster, and that made me very happy. There was one section just after the turn around point where sand covered the road. That was a bit scary as I didn't want so slide on the sand and fall. Luckily it wasn't a large section. At every aid station I grabbed an ISO drink and two bananas. One to eat, and one I stuffed in my bra "for later". For me this is all that works. Even during the full distance IRONMAN. Around reaching km 70 you could start seeing the outline of the city and Burj Al Arab again. This would give me and as I would find out later my friend as well lots of energy to finish the bike strong! Coming in to T2 I felt great. It felt so weird to have "only" done 90km and be done with it. My legs felt ridiculously fresh.

I racked my bike and ran towards the red run bags, grabbed my bag and headed to the porta potty for a change of tampon (ouch so freaking painful!) managed to multitask in there and also get my bike shorts and shoes off. Rand into the changing tent and sprayed my legs and knees with something to sooth the pain. Or as I hoped, it would help prevent pain! Dumped the bag outside the changing tent and headed for the 3 loop run course. As soon as I came out of transition I was met with lots of people around the course. The run started off feeling good! At around km 3 I ran into my friend who was on his second lap. The first 11km felt fine. I ran in a slow and steady tempo and walked the aid stations where I would get coke to drink, a banana to eat and a water bottle to carry with me to dump on my head before overheating. On my second lap I saw my aunt along the course cheering me on as well as I was able to see my friend and wish him luck before he headed down the finish chute. During the last lap I had to run/walk. I would run 2 lamp posts and walk 1 lamp post and I kept doing that. At one point I had this guy run up behind me asking who India was, and I told her story and my previous Ironmans and we talked about the different distances and how the days has been. Sometimes its nice to find someone to chitchat to. I completed the entire run with a huge smile on my face. I would smile to fellow athletes, to spectators and for myself! "Race with a smile". When I was coming back form lap 2 I was met by my aunt and a huge group of girls cheering me on with screams, claps and cowbells! Great motivation to finish strong! There was also this woman sitting on the side of the run path playing music. And I thanked her when I ran past for being there, and I thanked the little boy standing on the side of the road applauding constantly. For you reading this, if you're a spectator or an athlete, smiling, applauding and cheering on someone else can really make their day. It is so worth it! That little joy you get from hearing your name, even if its from a stranger pushes you a bit further and faster. I felt excited when it was my time to run down the chute! Right before turning right for the finishline, my aunt and my friend was on the side of the road: "Zip up your shirt Michelle" - "Take your sunnies off!" - "Be ready for that picture" All I could respond was duuuuh I'm ready!! I started to sprint so I would pass the guy infront of me and get alone time infront of the cameras. Haha. Hearing Paul's famous voice again, that I had heard at many races before, say: Michelle you are an Ironman! Felt amazing. But also the acknowledgement of my smile. "You see that guys, that's what I call racing with a smile!" as I went to take the finisher picture with my medal I heard Paul again: "Michelle, come one thats not big enough, you can smile bigger" Haha. At this point my smile was huge!

That was the end of my day 6hr44min38sec. Much better than I expected. I was thinking 7.30, but honestly hoping for 7 of maybe just under 7. But I smashed it! Feel so proud of myself. For next year I would like to go under 6.30 but under 6 would be amazing. Got one year ahead of me!

After getting my medal I wandered over to the medical tent to get some more pain relief cream for my legs and then went for the complimentary massages offered. Felt amazing! Painful, but amazing. The I collected my things, had a small photoshoot infront of the banners and went to check out my bike!

Completing an 70.3 was much easier and manageable than a full IRONMAN. I felt completely functioning the next day, though a little sore.

Now I am tired of writing. But I'm glad I got this down, at least for future reference!

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I wanted to save my old racereport (even though it's rubbish) so I thought I'd publish it here:

Ironman Sweden/Kalmar. Where to start?

I took the train down to Kalmar on Wednesday morning, so I had a few days before the race. The temperature was good but it was very windy! On Thursday dad and I went out on a short 20km bike ride to get a feel of the bikes and make sure all the settings were correct etc. The wind almost knocked me off my bike at one point but it was alright.

Friday our family came down so we all had dinner together which was very nice, however, not an ideal pre race dinner. We all also got matching shirts from Fitz who was running for a charity event called Every Minute Counts in Indias memory, so of course I was running in my personalised Michelle shirt.

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early, still didn’t feel very nervous at all, had a big breakfast and lots of liquids. I kept forgetting things as I went back and forth between transition and our hotel… silly me. But everything was okay! Made it down to swim start where dad and I separated and I joined Fitz in the late 1:30 time slot, didn’t take long before my family came to cheer on us before we started our 3.8km swim. Sure there were big waves this year, but waves have never bothered me, instead I had a game plan that I followed and after the first few strokes I realised Id completely forgotten how nice it felt to swim with a wetsuit, torpedoing through the water. I came to the conclusion quickly thought that I should have been in a faster time slot because I kept passing people doing breast strokes because of the waves... Lots of kicking in the water and lots of people swimming the wrong direction. Came into T1 with the time 1:36! a 10 minute improvement from the year before.

Got on the bike, not much to say about it since biking is my weakest. It went really slow because of the wind, and constantly had to hold on tight so I wouldn’t fly off. Came of the Island of Öland 1.30 hours earlier than the year before, yippie! When I came back into Kalmar and saw my family I got a huge energy boost that I really needed, the last 30km were pure pain in my back…

In to T2 and could unclip my left foot, completely freezed and it took me a moment to get off the bike, once the bike was racked and i was in the tent i couldn’t bend to get my shoes off haha. After throwing myself on the ground I got the bike shoes off and running shoes on but it was painful and I started to think id have to walk the marathon.

However, I quickly noticed that running wasn’t the problem! The first 28km went very smoothly with a few pee stops (that were incredibly painful!!!) at around 36km I started doing little intervals, running to one lamppost, then walking to the next, then running etc. Continued this all the way to the finish line! On my second lap I realised I had 3hours to do 10km and that I most likely were to finish and it was hard to hold back the tears. So when I ran down that finish line high fiving Paul and Björn it felt so good and I was crying! Hearing the famous words from Paul: Michelle, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN! Was incredible. The I got taken to the medics because of my back but other than that, it was amazing.

I did it, I finally did it.

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