Sunshine Coast 70.3 Ironman ~ Pinky’s Race Report

Many of you made wonderful suggestions as part of our Ironchicks birthday giveaway  survey ~ one of them was you’d love to read more Ironchick race reports.  Well I’ve got a pearler for you.  Meet Pinky.  Pinky and I became social media buddies a while ago and I feel like I’ve know Pinky forever (ummm, do I sound like a stalker 😐 )  Pinky competed in the Sunshine Coast 70.3 Ironman last weekend and she has an amazing story to share.  

Honestly, you will giggle out loud.  Who knew detox / training zits were such a thing….. I think Pinky is onto something!  As for the term *CUSS, you can decide what replaces it 🙂

Thanks for sharing Pinky and a big Congrats from all the Ironchicks.

Pinky racing Sunshine Coast 70.3 Ironman
Kacey and I “stalked” Pinky during the run for a racing selfie.


On Sunday, I successfully finished my first 70.3.


I had a 4.5 month training program to complete beforehand. 3.5 months in I got sick. I figured it was like every other time I have been sick in recent years- a virus- rest and ride it out. Turns out it was bronchitis. CUSS. This is important to mention as, up until then, nothing I had expected to go wrong or expected to get in my way, had happened. I expected that the training demand was going to be very challenging along with full-time work, family, being a nice human and stuff but, that went very smoothly! I also expected a physical injury.

When you train, you detox.

My husband has a theory that the detox is about releasing stuff from the past that is stored in old fat cells. Interesting theory, right? Every 4 weeks I would get an angry looking zit in a spot where I never get zits and be like ‘Ohhhh, that one is from 1988, that time I found Dad’s jar of M&M’s in the shed and ate them all‘.

My husband and I laughed about the Bronchitis. We decided it was my body trying to sabotage me after stopping me from doing athletics as a kid due to asthma. “NOOOOO! YOU CAN’T DO A 70.3 BECAUSE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE SICK, POORLY KID!”


So yeah, I was all like, this is cuss, I have one month before the biggest race I’ve ever done and I’m sick and unable to train.

I was well aware that my sickness was temporary and things could be a whole lot worse for me, perspective, I got that. I do believe that training for an event and competing in an event, is, at the end of the day, a first world luxury. “Oh, look at that! The roads have been closed off so I can ride my bike along the beach while ingesting food and drink and I paid money to do it! Lucky me!

Alas, it doesn’t change how frustrated and ripped off you feel, oh, and angry. You give it a week, another week, it takes 3 weeks from you and you still feel like cuss. There’s no finish line with being sick sometimes.

It was a long and crappy battle to get better and come race week, I felt nothing like the person who had been training her butt off through winter.

No good, no good.

I felt weak and lousy, a cold came in just as I felt better, it was there the night before the race too. Seriously.

Earlier in the week, I had resigned to the fact that I wouldn’t be able to get the times I hoped for. It was my first 70.3 so the times were really just my gauge of where I was at.

It was now ALL about finishing.

Physically I didn’t feel ready for it at all. The other bugger of a thing that I was prepared for was saddle issues on the bike. I had trialed a new saddle from a bike shop, it took a few weeks to get used to. I’d also done a 100km ride on that saddle after breaking it in and my ass was fine. By the time I went ahead and bought my own, I was sick and not training. I expected that my sit bones were used to that saddle but as it was new and not broken in, could give me some pain on race day. Just a bit…oh wait…A LOT! Ah cuss it, I’m going to the start line regardless of how cuss I feel and I’m doing it.

So, we go to the race. Haven’t trained for 3 weeks. Did my little bits of pre-race training the week of the race and coughed and spluttered my way through a short bike ride.

There’s a lot to be said for being fit and healthy. It’s everything.

The swim was lovely, not very crowded and only a couple of guys swam right over me, you know, there was no one else around, they just COULDN’T SEE ME OR FEEL ME but that’s ok because I know swimming karate, it’s a thing, pretty sure.

Got out of the swim and was happy with the time. Expected.

Bike time. Things I was worried about starting this leg: CAN I POSSIBLY FINISH THIS RACE ALIVE AFTER BEING SICK, nutrition, saddle.

I was cruising along, very happy with my pace, eating and drinking until about 50km in and my butt started screaming at me.



Like I said, I expected some discomfort but not this. I was up and down from then on (literally) and my pace dropped right off. Then I was all like, I’M A SLOW RUNNER, WHAT IF I DON’T MAKE CUT OFF BECAUSE THE BIKE WILL TAKE 5 HOURS! Ok, I didn’t take that long but in all honesty, it’s the only time I have HATED being on the bike. Ever. It was bloody awful. The good news is that fitness wise, I was still feeling good and took in almost all of my nutrition.
Run. I ran my first half marathon 7 weeks before this race.

My program has been all heart rate based, there wasn’t any speed work. I was training for endurance and distance, not speed. When I started the run, the sun was starting to belt down.

I know, I know, that’s WHAT A VICTORIAN WOULD SAY! {As a local, it was a bit hot Pinky ~ Cath}

I trained through a Victorian winter and no longer have skin that is used to sun exposure, like when I was a Queenslander. Here we go again, WILL I MAKE IT OMG!

A friend of mine who also did this race, agreed with me, that the 2km out felt more like 10km. Crazy. I got to 8km and my brother saw me and asked me how I was going. I was dead set freaking out that I wouldn’t finish in time. I had felt that way the whole way though, normal when it’s the first time doing a distance but did I tell you I had been sick!? It’s such a confidence sucker.

It wasn’t until I had 4km left to go that I even uttered a sound. 4 K TO GO! I yelled out to the volunteers who were spraying us down with hoses…4 K TO GO!



Sunshine Coast 70.3 Ironman
Heading in to get “that medal”

I was actually, properly smiling by then and picked up the pace. I met a lady on the way to the finish line and we ran together. It was her first 70.3 also. We hugged at the end.

As I crossed the finish line, my brother was smiling his head off and the Ironchicks crowd cheered me through, then I saw my friends, one whom had also finished his first 70.3, they were there waiting to hug the crap out of.


70.3 Ironman Sunshine Coast Pinky bits
Pinky’s new BFF – her medal

My next 70.3 is on February 1st here in Melbourne. My bike saddle will be well worn and I hope for a healthy, injury free ride to the starting line, with a chance to really see what I can do. Can’t wait.

A big shout out and thank you to everyone who supported me through the months of training, the race day and the celebrations after. I can’t name you all but BIG LOVE TO EVERYONE, oh and 70.3…I LOVE YOU MORE…NO YOU HANG UP…NO YOU HANG UP!


Nice work Pinky. What a legend.  Can’t wait to hear how your Melbourne race goes for you (I think it’ll be a blinder).  If you’d like to follow or check out Pinky’s blog, you can find her at

Im almost anticipating my next “training zit” so I can analyse it’s NASTY past.  

Thanks for making us smile!  You’re an Ironchick through and through!

Catherine Thiele Ironman Ironchick triathlon
Cath xxx


PS:  There’s still time to ENTER our Birthday Giveaway if you’d like some goodies.   VISIT HERE to enter.

You can still do the Survey too.  If you do the survey we have Ironchicks bike decal stickers to give away ~ however they’re nearly all gone, so get in quick.  Visit here 

Good luck, Cathxx


Categories: Ironman 70.3, Race Reports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 thoughts on “Sunshine Coast 70.3 Ironman ~ Pinky’s Race Report”

  1. So so funny…my daughter Gemma and myself were on the run course volunteering and Pinky just stood out a mile. We loved cheering for you and it was great to read your race report…it made us both laugh. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. I remember you both Sara! Thanks so much for cheering the ‘speechless’ me on 🙂 You guys are so awesome for volunteering, so very much appreciated 🙂 See you in 2016 perhaps? 🙂