Hello friends! Today I bring you a blog takeover from my Canadian friend and training partner, Steph.  A five-time Ironman, 8-time 70.3 Ironman, 70.3 World Championships Qualifier and winner of a few 80km, 100km and 125km ultramarathons (seriously, I could dedicate twenty blog posts to her amazing accomplishments), she's one of the main reasons I'm working hard and accomplishing my Ironman goals this year while having a lot of FUN doing so.  
Steph and I somewhat delirious (or just hangry) after the 2013 Great White North Half Ironman.
Since many of you know me well, Steph thought it would be fun to give you a Canadian perspective on the new-and-improved Julie as a triathlete.  Without further ado, take it away, Steph!
Julie Mason (right) the world’s most calm & collected triathlete on race day, examining the swim course.
Although her writing doesn’t try to hide any pre-race anxiety, it certainly comes across that Julie Mason is a calm, cool and collected triathlete racer. This blog takeover is an attempt to show Julie from a the perspective of a co-racer and the humour of Julie’s self-admitted Type-A personality under the pressure of a race that she never expected to do in the first place, and that for every other racer standing at the start line, there is a back-story of worry, anxiety and self-doubt that they had to conquer to get there in the first place.

When I first met Julie, I remember talking casually to her and telling her that I thought anyone could and should do an Ironman. ”It’s not that hard,” I said. “I mean to finish, anyone can do it.”  For someone who had spent time in the past training for a Half Ironman and having illness steal that dream from them, I’m sure Julie wasn’t very impressed with my laissez-faire attitude towards it all. But instead of seeing the negative, ever-positive Julie cast her doubt aside and later on that month signed up for Ironman.

Enter a GChat conversation from January 30th 2013:

Julie: so this leads me into my next question.  which i think is me losing my mind.

Steph: oh yes.  i'm waiting.  impatiently.

Julie: do you think i could pull off a full ironman in august?  

Steph: anyone can do an ironman.  at anytime.

Julie: that quickly?

Steph: they are easy.  they really are easy.

Julie: that is YOU talking, lol.

Steph: now if you would have asked "do you think i could do a 12 hour ironman" then i would say no, but 14 to 16 hour...no problem and you get to walk half of the run even.

Julie: yeah i just want to finish.  finish well enough, but finish.

Steph: swimming is easy.

Julie: yes agreed :)

This attitude of thinking through self-doubt, thinking the logic doesn’t make sense, and just going for it, is the Julie Mason – Canadian Version that I know. This same thing happened for Ironman 70.3 Calgary; Julie signed up pretty quickly (and just one week in advance of the race) after some gentle nudging and we were on our way!

Enter a Facebook chat from Sunday July 31st 2013:

Julie: hahaha. i am looking at calgary now. i am tempted, just not sure about the $ and i don't want to overdo it. that's moreso my concern, ha.

Steph: oh you won't over do it. that's just a myth.

Julie: i have been seeing and watching all of the course updates.

Steph: really?

Julie: 7 am sunday start. i lied, 7:05 wave for us.

Steph: (thinking: she said us. she is so in!)

Despite this, ‘ahh let’s just go for it attitude’ there remains an essential part of Julie in pre-race jitters, like every triathlete. Because Ironman 70.3 Calgary was a girls-only trip, sharing a room with Julie gave me plenty of gems. Allow me to present to you: First Hand Facts about Julie Mason - Lessons from Ironman 70.3 Calgary

  1. Julie needs a plan. Do not rush her. 
  2. Rushing Julie makes her forgot her PowerBars - and she ONLY eats the chocolate kind.
  3. Julie can hide anxiety beyond well and will apologize a lot, but you will still check every gas station for PowerBars.  She has super powers to make you do this :)
  4. Julie must not be late or close to late for any race - suggest it and watch the tension build.
  5. Julie is competitive. Very competitive. Soon she will be the fastest woman out of the water. Yet she will also graciously offer to let you draft her - if you can keep up. 

Watch out world, Julie is a focused triathlete and great athlete and once that go-for-it-anyway attitude completely takes over from the doubt and logic she will be unstoppable!  I’ve seen this on our swims, runs and rides and can’t wait to see her go for it on Ironman Canada race day!


07/31/2013 15:08

Poor Julie, I'm not sure if in Jan 2013 she knew Steph as well as she does now to realize what she was getting into. FYI, when Steph says something is easy, you are in big trouble. I'm suprised she didn't follow it up with, "but think how much fun it will be!"
Nonetheless, I know from racing and training with both of them that they are strong, determined women who can accomplish anything that they set their minds to. And a little encouragement towards mind setting is always helpful.
I can't wait till you both rock IM Canada! I'm sad I won't be there to cheer, but as previously promised, will send along a pie to help fuel you :)

05/17/2014 16:35

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