Well hello land of the walking… and breathing… and drinking red wine. OK, let’s be real! I’ve never stopped drinking red wine! But I havn’t been walking or breathing all that well the last couple of days. MAN a half Ironman is tough!!! Kuddos to all you crazies who actually do a whole Ironman. Can’t imagine. For those of you who don’t know, people who race (I mean the real racers) always write up a race report following all of their races. This is for future reference so they can compete better. For me, my “race report” is called a “blog post” and it’s so I can remind myself to NEVER EVER EVEN IN A MILLION YEARS do another half Ironman triathlon.

So here ya go! Here’s how my race went. And you know me. There’s always a pre story so my “race report” starts the day before I even got into my wetsuit. We begin on Saturday.

My cell phone rings at 8am. Unfamiliar number so I hesitate to answer but I click accept at the last second. It’s my pulmonologist who just cleared me to race on Thursday. He says he’d been reading the newspaper about the Tour de Nez race (bike race) in downtown Reno and he’s now worried that I might be doing something as crazy as that. “Well are you??” he demanded?

“No,” I replied. “I”m doing freaking 70 of those!!”

“Oh my. We might have to reconsider you doing this race,” was his retort.

Retort this buddy! “Can I do permanent damage to my lungs? And what’s the worst thing that can happen to me?”

“No, no, no! There’s no worry about permanent damage! I just can’t believe you’re going to race for 7 hours!” says my doctor who walks 30 minutes a day after work. “Can people really do that?? Well if you must, OK fine. The worst thing that can happen will be your lungs go into a full asthmatic attack and it will feel like you can’t breathe.”

“Well FANTASTIC!!  So when I’m dying for air and it feels like I’m breathing through a straw, I guess I’ll know my lungs can’t handle the stress and I’ll pull out of the race. Thank you for your concern. I’m DOING THIS DAMN RACE!!!”

Keep in mind this converstation comes after an entire week of talking to doctors, some of who forbade me from competing. So my stress level going into the race was a tad high and this last minute phone call didn’t help my nerves.


And now, fast forward to Sunday Morning.  My friends, Amy and Heidi and I, take some fun pre race photos where we decide posed pictures are lame, but looking lame in pictures is totally cool.   We do some easy strokes in the water to acclimate to the temerature and to get our heart rates under control.  And then at 7:45, our wave takes off.  The first 300 yards are great.  I’m thinking, lung issue, what lung issue?  I’m feeling really good.  And then it happened.  My chest started tightening. My breathing became extremely shallow. It was all I could do to get to the safety kayak. This race started off terrifyingly, to say the least.  Full details tommorrow. 




About Wendy D

I was born in San Francisco and ended up marrying a rancher in Reno, Nevada. I have a big city job anchoring the 5 o’clock news but come home to the country where my husband’s family has ranched for 5 generations.


  1. Cathy says:

    Wendy, I am glad you were able to participate in your race but asthma is nothing to mess with. I’ve had it most of my life and exercise induced asthma is my worst enemy. I understand yours is allergy induced but once you go in to a full blown attack, it’s a real bitch. Spent 4 days in the hospital once, a day and a half in ICU, another day and a half in CCU then was put in a regular room for the rest of my stay. The only thing that opened my airways kept me awake for 36 hours straight. Though my asthma is under control, the only exercise I can tolerate is walking. Just a thought….this might be a good idea for a Health Watch segment since you now have personal experience. Most people think asthma is the inabiltiy to breathe in when it’s really the inability to exhale the air that was inhaled. Over time your will see what you can tolerate and what you can’t but I hope you never have to experience a full blown asthma attack because like I said, it’s a real bitch.

  2. Heidi Miller says:

    You beast. Beautiful inside and out and able to crank out a half ironman with a full time gig, kids, and a husband. I’d say I’m impressed! Keep it up Wendy. BTW, 25 minutes in the swim?? Jeez, that would be almost half of my regular swim for that distance. Let’s do Wildflower 2013!!! That’s the one everyone wants to do. I’m on pause for Ironman’s after this one, just looking for halfs. Love to do another together…


  1. [...] Sunriver, OR but they shortened the bike course to just 25 miles due to snow on Mt. Bachelor) was extremely stressful. But the morning of the race was glorious! My friends Amy, Heidi and I stayed at my Little Friend [...]

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