One Day Until the IRONMAN 70.3

It’s the “it” accessory for tomorrow!

I am checked in, my bike is racked, my clothes are packed, and I’m ready to go.  So, here’s what’s going on.

It’s been raining, which may mean that the water quality is too low and the swim is canceled.  If the swim isn’t canceled, then we deal with the issue of water temperature. The water is warmer than expected so whether the race is wetsuit legal, wetsuit optional, or no wetsuits allowed will be decided when they take the water temperature tomorrow. So I might have to decide whether to wear a wetsuit or not at the last minute.

It’s way hotter than it was predicted to be when I signed up for this. I trained for heat tolerance but I wish I had done more –  heat is definitely not my friend when I’m trying for speed.

When I went to the course briefing the guy doing it laughed and said that he’s been doing this for years and couldn’t believe that he had to talk about inclement weather. Then told us that there may be lightening storms during the race (which we knew since all of us were obsessively checking the weather reports and talking about it online.)  I’ve definitely practiced riding in the rain but it’s not that fun, this course has a ton of sharp u-turns, and it just makes the bike more treacherous.

They aren’t doing changing tents (that was my misunderstanding – they do them for the fulls and not for halfs.) This is a problem because I change fully out of my swimsuit and then into my bike shorts.  I practiced transitions for about 30 minutes this morning and i have the clothing change to about 2 minutes which will work – in the worst case scenario I will have 10 minutes in transition and in that scenario I should still be fine.

Finally, they aren’t doing gear bags (where you put the clothes for each section into a bag and then they hand you the bags as you head into transition.)  That means that I have to set up absolutely everything for both transition in the very small space under my bike which pretty much sucks.

This kind of unexpected stuff is an expected part of the sport and whether or not I cross the finish line tomorrow is totally on me, and if I don’t that just means I didn’t do enough, and that will good information to have as I move forward to prepare for the full next year.

So the bottom line is the same thing that it’s always been – I may well cross the finish line tomorrow.  And I may not. Stressing out doesn’t help so I keep reminding myself that this is the halfway point test for my journey to the IRONMAN next year.  So as much as I want to finish (and as disappointed as I’ll be if I don’t) I’m trying to remember to treat this like a learning experience to get information that will help me (and help Steve and Ingrid help me) to be more ready for the full next year.

All of the IM volunteers have been completely amazing, everyone has been friendly and I haven’t dealt with even an iota of fatphobic BS which has been awesome. Despite three separate letter-writing campaigns by my trolls I had absolutely no trouble checking in or with my bike (and they say that I’m an ineffective activist?!)

For now I just want to say huge thanks to:  Julianne, Mom, Kelrick, Kenny and all the family and friends who have supported me, called, texted, commented, and e-mailed to wish me luck.  My coaches – Steve and Ingrid. My blog readers and FB and Twitter friends who have supported my journey this far.

One more day to half way…

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff!

IRONMAN Sale:  I’m having a sale on my books and DVDs and downloads to help pay for my IM – you get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! To check it out, you can go to No money?  No problem!  If you feel like it, you can leave a comment or send me an e-mail ( saying something encouraging, that’s incredibly helpful as well!

If you have questions about my IRONMAN journey  the FAQ might help!

If you’re looking for a place to talk about fitness from a weight neutral perspective, check out the Fit Fatties Forum. and the Fit Fatties Facebook page.

Book Me!  I’m a professional speaker and I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Buy my book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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15 Responses to One Day Until the IRONMAN 70.3

  1. Sending you well wishes!!! 😀


  2. Lani says:

    Go Ragen, you got this!! Look forward to your race report.


  3. Rebecca B says:

    Exciting! All the best – don’t worry about the weather etc – just keep on moving. Looking forward to hearing how you go. I’m supporting you from afar (Australia).


  4. Stacy says:

    I can’t believe it’s here already! I’m so excited for you! Please know that my thoughts are with you and I’m sending energy your way!


  5. rabbiadar says:

    CHEERING for you!


  6. Heidi says:

    Good luck tomorrow!!!!


  7. Lily O'Hara says:

    So the day has finally arrived, and it sounds like you’re as physically and mentally prepared as you could be. I know you’ll give it your all, and be proud of your efforts no matter what the outcome. This is such an incredible feat and I know how much you’ve inspired others to get out of their comfort zones. I want to say good luck, and I suppose you need some luck. But your guts and determination are really the things that will drive you on today. Can’t wait to hear all about it.


  8. lsstrout says:



  9. Mary J Weslow says:

    Whatever the results, the journey with you has been fantastic ! I m so thrilled for you and I thank you for your efforts, guts, will powe, determination and grace under pressure. Go Ragen! Collect your dreams today!


  10. LBTEPA says:

    good luck! Have fun!


  11. tehomet says:

    Thinking of you as you head into the half. I hope you enjoy it and learn from it. And I wish you every success. You’re awesome!


  12. Yeah it stormed for my whole half too! We had huge waves, but we still did the swim on the lake. Good luck! I know you can do it!


  13. I’m cheering for you! WOO!!! 😀


  14. Pauline says:

    Wait what?
    Your trolls had letter writing campaigns to stop you from doing IM?
    You trained for a freaking IM and *that’s* what they wasted their life doing?
    You rock Ragen. You rock and they suck.


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