trust the process

Podcast setup for a triathlon podcast show
October 22, 2023

If it Makes you Uncomfortable, Go For It!

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show notes


Kaylee Tyson shares her experience competing in Ironman Kona and highlights the joy and challenges she faced during the race. She discusses her preparation, including the swim, bike, and run legs, as well as the importance of mental toughness. Kaylee also emphasizes the trust she has in her coach and the adaptability of her training plan. She concludes by reflecting on her athletic background and how she discovered triathlon. In this conversation, Kalee Tyson shares her journey into the world of Ironman triathlons. She talks about how she signed up for their first Ironman race and the challenges she faced during the training and the race itself. Kalee also offers advice for beginners and emphasizes the benefits of triathlon in personal growth. She discusses the importance of overcoming challenges in training and the upcoming races she has planned. Kalee also shares her goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon and the unpredictability of race day. Lastly, she expresses her gratitude for the volunteers and her coach.


  • Proper preparation and mental toughness are key to success in Ironman races.
  • Having a supportive coach who understands your individual needs and adapts the training plan accordingly is crucial.
  • Trust in the training process and believe in your abilities.
  • Enjoy the race day experience and savor the moments of joy and accomplishment. Lean into what scares you and do it. Embrace discomfort and use it as an opportunity for growth.
  • Triathlon is a lifestyle that can positively impact various aspects of your life.
  • Overcoming challenges in training builds resilience and makes you a better person.
  • Volunteers play a crucial role in the success of races and should be appreciated and respected.
  • Having a supportive coach can make a significant difference in an athlete's journey.


00:00 Introduction and Background

01:03 Preparing for Ironman Kona

03:01 Swim and Transition

04:09 Bike Leg

12:36 Transition 2 and Run

21:21 Seeing Family on the Course

25:00 Working with Coach Brad

29:03 Athletic Background and Discovering Triathlon

30:20 Getting Started with Ironman

31:15 The Challenges of Ironman

32:43 Advice for Beginners

33:37 The Benefits of Triathlon

34:22 Overcoming Challenges in Training

35:20 Upcoming Races

36:19 The Quest for a Boston Qualifier

37:16 Dealing with the Unexpected

38:17 The Importance of Volunteers

39:32 Appreciation for Coaching


Mike (00:05.068)
Hi, Coach Mike Ricci here from D3 Multisport with long time D3 athlete, Kaylee Tyson, who's fresh off her finish at Ironman Kona. You can see the joy in her face and I'm happy to have you here, Kaylee. And how are you doing?

Kalee Tyson (00:19.246)
Thank you. I am doing great. I wish I were still in Hawaii. But I am still on Cloud 9.

Mike (00:22.931)
I'm sure.

Mike (00:26.816)
Awesome, you've had quite the run, I would say, with Worlds in Finland. You got a toddler, that's a whole new experience. Yeah, and I was gonna add a super, super supportive husband, Isaac, who is doing anything to help you reach your goals, which is awesome, right? Awesome.

Kalee Tyson (00:32.555)

Yes, this was a peak year, I think. I don't know if anything will ever beat this year. But yes, it's been, it's.

Kalee Tyson (00:48.202)
Yes. Yes, this was my year. He and I were alternating focus years. And so this was all about me. Next year, he gets to do a full so all about him, but I still have a busy year next year. So

Mike (00:54.28)
I like that.

Mike (01:03.077)
Awesome. That's fantastic. So tell me a little bit about the day in Kona. What was it like? Or the week leading into it, how that experience is just so much fun? Yeah.

Kalee Tyson (01:11.876)

Kalee Tyson (01:15.314)
Yeah, yeah. The week leading into Kona was awesome. I went in with the expectation I wanted to enjoy the whole experience. I didn't plan to win. Shocking, I know. I didn't think I wouldn't win my age group, so I wanted to soak it up, enjoy the week, have fun, still set myself up for a good race.

Mike (01:26.98)
This thing I want to show you is just open up and enjoy the view.

Kalee Tyson (01:34.262)
but not get too crazy deep into the Ironman prep leading in. The Iron Kids race with my fresh two-year-old was the greatest. I mean, my race was here, but that was super close here. She took it super seriously. It was so cute. I died. That was the hottest, actually, I felt the whole trip was that Iron Kids race. No, it was at 4 p.m.

Mike (01:58.057)
Was it like 9 o'clock in the morning? And oh my gosh, like peak heat.

Kalee Tyson (02:02.262)
And it was just like humid. Yeah. And down on Ali'i, it was just like sweltering and she was bright red and but it was so great. And the underpants run was so fun. The practice swim was so fun. Lots of acai bowls, lots of pokey. Yeah, the weekly in was awesome. The actual race, I'll try not to go on and on and on and on because like, there's just so much to talk about. But I think going in, we had good expectations set.

Mike (02:11.542)
Yeah, that's wild.

Mike (02:16.938)

That's awesome.

Mike (02:23.488)
Yeah, that's fine, that's fine.

Kalee Tyson (02:31.234)
Brad and I knew like I wanted to enjoy the day, not let the heat get to me and then just set myself up for a good solid day. I didn't have time expectations. During the week, somebody told me to expect 60 to 90 minutes slower in Kona. And I was like, oh God, okay, 13 hours, that's a long day. How am I gonna feel for that? I even added a bottle at the last minute. I was like, add an extra bottle, just get prepped, don't have expectations, enjoy the day. So started with the swim.

It was awesome. The swim was great. Solo key for me. Yeah, the practice swim was a little bit slower. And I so I went in like, okay, if I beat the practice swim, I'm happy. And the practice. I have no maybe let's pretend. But it was more there was no sighting buoys on the way back. So I would like pop up and I would just see ocean and I'd be like, where are the people? I'll keep going this way. But the actual swim was awesome. I found great feet.

Mike (03:04.148)
You had a great swim.

Mike (03:12.672)
Yeah, was there a current during the practice one? OK.

Mike (03:20.778)

Kalee Tyson (03:31.55)
I was swimming next to one of my friends I found out later. And so that was super cool. And no sharks, that was great. But yeah, just low key swim. I was like, this is the only time I won't feel hot today. Enjoy this, like savor this. And hypothetically swimming's my probably strongest support of the three, yeah. And I try the least in it to be clear. So got out the water, super happy, hosed down. I took time in transition.

Mike (03:43.749)
right strength yeah sure

Kalee Tyson (04:01.05)
and I was glad I put sunscreen everywhere, got everything super set up and started the bike. Any questions about the swim? I can.

Mike (04:09.48)
Yeah, so did you, what was I gonna ask you? So you sunscreened up, you hosed off, sunscreened up, socks on the bike? Socks on the bike, okay. That's always one of my favorite questions. Oh, okay. Mm-hmm.

Kalee Tyson (04:15.867)
Hard. Yep. Socks on the bike. Yes. Yep. I've never ridden. I've never ridden without socks, because I train primarily on the trainer. And it's too sweaty, and it's too gross. And I like need the socks to absorb. Yeah. So I started the bike. And oh, yeah. I didn't put my shoes on until I got to the bike. So I carried them.

Mike (04:32.085)
Makes sense.

Mike (04:37.98)
So long run through transition, though, right? I mean, that's a long run. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Kalee Tyson (04:44.062)
I'm not one of those on the bike shoe people. So I just ran, and there's so many volunteers, yeah. And they're cheering you on, and they're like, great swim, great job. And I was by a couple friends out of the swim, so I got to kind of see them go to their bikes too. Yeah.

Mike (04:45.92)
Right. And you carry them. Yeah.

Mike (04:59.468)
That's fun. So you hit the bike, you go up the first hill, you go the out and back in town, right? And then you go up Pallani. Yeah.

Kalee Tyson (05:04.362)
Yep, which was speedy, but I just tried to take it easy because it was still pretty spread out. We were the first age group to go, which I think made a huge difference in the day. Like I had, I think a lot more space than people did. I wasn't ever crowded anywhere. That was super nice. And I was behind a girl that I know is like a top 10 Kona kind of gal. And she was taking it pretty easy that first bike. So I was like, okay, chill out.

Mike (05:14.285)

Mike (05:22.929)
Oh, that's good.

Mike (05:29.421)

Mike (05:33.056)
Yep. Learn from others for sure.

Kalee Tyson (05:34.446)
crews. Yes, get the cheers. Let people take videos, shoot them some in a lot of my pictures, you can see me on my bike with a little peace sign. I know. Well, theme of the day was that. But then hit the hit the Queen K. And I, I kind of broke it up in my brain because it's so long. And I thought it could be much longer. So it was the town miles Queen K.

Mike (05:42.936)
Oh, you're like so happy in all your pictures. I'm like, wow, she was having fun.


Kalee Tyson (06:03.522)
Part one, that was easy. I'd written some of that already. I'd actually gotten a flat on that in the week leading in. And so I was like prepared for all things. And that just kind of flew by. I hit the climb to Javi, and that was where I didn't really know. I had thought I would ride or drive the course, and then it just didn't play out that week with Chloe, my toddler there, and all the fun. No one seemed to think that part would be fun, driving the course. So I was like, ah, fine.

Mike (06:25.292)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Mike (06:32.384)
Yeah, let's keep it.

Kalee Tyson (06:33.57)
So I started the 18 mile climb and there were certainly challenging parts of it, but we, I don't know, we have a lot of hills out here. And even though I don't ride outside a lot, I posted this on social media before the race. I have some weird belief that I'm a great climber, even though I don't ride outside often. And so the climbs were easy, I thought. Nothing was super challenging and some of it was a little bit long and hot, but I was...

Mike (06:49.185)

Mike (06:53.593)

Kalee Tyson (06:59.83)
Hosing down with bottles. I tried to keep my core temp cool because that was one of my biggest concerns. And just chug up. And.

Mike (07:08.312)
Do you typically do well in the heat or is that sometimes a struggle?

Kalee Tyson (07:11.454)
I've only really raced in the heat in Cabo. It doesn't get super hot. I'm from Seattle. I guess I should have said that earlier on, but it doesn't get super hot out here. So I don't know. I've had races where I cramped really badly and I cramped in Finland really badly. Oh my gosh, Finland was a whole leg cramp top to bottom. Well, in hindsight, I didn't take any salt. Because it wasn't supposed to be hot. It was kind of cold out there leading into the race.

Mike (07:28.12)
The caps are quads or? Wow, wow.

Kalee Tyson (07:40.894)
I should have been thinking, oh, I'm racing. I should, you know, do something. Yes.

Mike (07:44.061)
Even when it's cold, you're still losing fluids, it's gonna stay warm, and electrolytes too. That's kind of a myth that people don't always think about. Yeah, it's hard.

Kalee Tyson (07:49.942)
Yep. Since Finland, I switched my nutrition and it played out really well in Kona and I think that helped a lot. I switched to, I went from tailwind and just adding noon into my bottles to precision hydration, precision fuel. And I used just the kind of standard one they have, like the 60 carb, a 1000 milligrams of salt. And I just go a little bit higher than that for both. Yes. And-

Mike (07:55.428)
Mm-hmm. So what was the change?

Mike (08:01.874)

Hydration, yep, yep.

Mike (08:14.496)
So it was like a pH 1000 or pH 1500 or something. Yeah, you preloaded. Yeah, yeah.

Kalee Tyson (08:19.066)
Oh, I did. And I've never done that before. I took a I had a little packet of the 1500 before the race, the night before the race, during the day before the race, we were just my, my best friend was also racing Kona. And she and I were just popping those tabs of the precision hydration. So just salted to the max. Yeah. But got to the turnaround in hobby. And Brad had told me to freeze my bottles.

Mike (08:24.451)

Mike (08:30.701)

Mike (08:38.988)
Yeah, good.

Kalee Tyson (08:47.266)
So I froze two bottles and then I had another bottle to refill my, what do you call it, torpedo on the front. My torpedo bottle was on fire. Like it was hot as I picked it up and I was like, oh God. And it tasted sour. It was terrible. So I go to grab my two frozen bottles and he was like, oh, you're gonna enjoy those frozen bottles. You'll thank me for that. They hadn't fully frozen the night before and they were absolutely hot by the time I got them. So they were no relief whatsoever, but in my head I was like, eh, it's fine. And my...

Mike (08:53.153)
Here we go.

Kalee Tyson (09:16.038)
I had the little power bar shoes to refill in my bike. I like to add just a couple more calories and they had totally melted together into one solid, I'll call it like a taffy chunk. I pulled it out and it just strung out. Panic shoved those and then took off back down and it was super fast leaving Javi. It was so fast and it wasn't super windy, which I'm sure they, a little bit of a breeze, but it was definitely worse during the week where I had moments that I like. You know?

Mike (09:27.064)

Mike (09:36.804)
Mm-hmm. So no crosswinds really. Yeah.

Mike (09:45.044)
Yeah, you're not letting go of the bars. Right.

Kalee Tyson (09:45.526)
was like, ooh, right. And it was a little bit like that, but not what I assume is like the worst possible conditions. Yeah. And I mean, the rest of the ride was pretty seamless. My feet pads were on fire most of the ride and that, I kept them in, but I just tried to pedal differently. Yeah, yeah.

Mike (09:52.824)
The normal, yeah.

Mike (10:01.216)
Yeah. Did you take your feet out or keep them in? Yeah. Like take the pressure off the middle of your foot. Yeah, I've had that. I've actually taken my feet out during the race just to give them a break and then put them. It's just, it gets hot though. I mean, it gets so hot. Yeah.

Kalee Tyson (10:13.45)
Oh, that's so smart. I didn't even think of that. Yeah, it was a distraction for sure, but it was like, well, as long as they don't hurt on the run, I'll be fine, and they didn't. So kept flying. Brad had said that some people think the race starts at mile 85 of the bike. And so that was my benchmark of like, get there, feel good. And I did, and I could still sometimes push my watts. I'll say I didn't hit my targets at all.

Mike (10:31.997)
Mm-hmm. Yep.

Kalee Tyson (10:39.542)
So if you look at my data, it's like not what it should have been, but effort wise, it felt really good, really strong. And just, I mean, it was really an uneventful bike, which I was super thankful for.

Mike (10:51.768)
Did you guys have, you and Brad, did you choose like a number to say 70% of FTP or 72% or you knew a range? Okay.

Kalee Tyson (10:59.282)
range. I'm sure it's a percentage that he's setting, but my Ironman watts were, I don't know if it matters sharing them or not, but they were between like 145 and 160. And the first half of the bike, the goal was to do the lower end of that range. And then if I still felt good, the second half pushed the upper end. And I never even hit that lower number. As soon as I felt the heat, I was like, oh, I was pushing the legs and I was like, I don't know if these watts are hitting today.

Mike (11:10.209)
Yeah, OK.

Mike (11:20.673)
you felt good.

Kalee Tyson (11:28.386)
And the thing we had emailed about was like, kind of let go of expectation, see how you're feeling and go based off that. And so I was like, ah, for once I think I'll just kind of focus on biking easy because I think I've always over biked in Ironman events. So I just let it go. I wasn't too stressed about it. The legs felt good, they felt solid. And my bike time was great. Yeah, although I'll say I...

Mike (11:45.164)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You had a great time. Right, so where are those 67 seconds? Right. Yes, right, right.

Kalee Tyson (11:53.482)
Estimated between six hours and six hours and 10 minutes and I did six hours and seven seconds and I was like oh seven seconds. Oh At that a thousand places right like so many places not stringing all of that taffy into my mouth Not slowing down for extra water But in the end it was worth it I a few set a few minutes on the bike or a few seconds on the bike in comparison to how my marathon turned out Like worth it

Mike (12:12.452)
That's funny. Totally.

Mike (12:21.836)
Right, right. So, you know, just watching in here and watching in the long run through transition, it's like a half a mile. I mean, you get off your bike and you're just running all the way around. And you're obviously in your socks by that point. Your shoes are still on the bike probably.

Kalee Tyson (12:36.174)
Oh, I didn't do that. No, I just, I took off the bike shoes, but I didn't leave them on my bike. Just ran holding them, yeah. I was like, I'm not gonna run in these.

Mike (12:38.848)
You ran in your bike shoes? Oh, so you ran with them, okay. Got it, got it, okay. And then you got all your stuff and it was a chaotic in transition with a lot of people in there? Yeah.

Kalee Tyson (12:49.926)
so many people. But I took the transitions pretty slow. In hindsight, I just kind of didn't think I would have a crazy great time. And so I wasn't worried about that. And I was like, sunscreen, get all of the things I need and like get in a headspace to go in a in a good place. And my girl in T2 was super helpful, put all my stuff on me, help lather sunscreen, dried me off. And, and she

Mike (13:05.806)

Mike (13:14.36)
Those are the best volunteers. Those are the best. Yeah.

Kalee Tyson (13:16.606)
And she was so sweet. She was like a young girl. And I was like, how's your day going? And she was like, oh, I'm waiting for my mom. She's gonna be off the bike soon. And I was just like, oh, I love that. So I was like, thanks for volunteering. And so she was great energy. And I changed my socks and I put fresh socks on for the run, which I've never done before. And I'm very glad I did. They felt really good. My socks were so disgusting getting off that bike because it was just water, water. And I do pee on my bike.

Mike (13:24.966)
Oh, that's so cool. Right.

Mike (13:35.904)
Yep. I was going to ask you that. Okay, good.

Mike (13:44.5)
Yeah, yeah, right. Right, right. Disinfect the shoes after the race and the whole thing, right? Yeah, yeah. Ha ha ha.

Kalee Tyson (13:46.166)
So I peed in my shoes and you just want to be clean. You feel so dirty. Yeah. So Isaac did all the things. He takes his Sherpa duties, his responsibilities very seriously. And they were just the bike. Oh, and the bike was so gross. Just all the salt, all of the like sugar too. Just, yeah. Yeah.

Mike (14:05.494)

Yep, stuck on there. So you head out into transition, you go up the little hill, you go along the first little section and then back down to Lehe Drive and all the people there waiting for you and it's hot and energy and.

Kalee Tyson (14:14.638)
Mm hmm. Yep. And that was so fun. Oh my god. So and all my friends, I saw most of my friends on that Ali'i out and back. And they were all close to each other. And it was just so fun cheering and you were just so distracted the whole time. But I felt so good. And I kept looking down at my watch. And I was like, this is too fast. Like, slow it down. Slow it down. Slow it down. You're not gonna feel this good later. You know?

Mike (14:27.622)
Oh, that's awesome.

Mike (14:33.635)

Mike (14:43.884)

Kalee Tyson (14:44.366)
And so I just soaked it in, enjoyed it. I had some girls flying by me. I feed a lot off of cheering people on because it makes me happier. And so I could just be like, yeah, great, go get them. Great pace.

Mike (14:51.224)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, for sure. And were you targeting a pace, a heart rate, RPE? Yep.

Kalee Tyson (14:59.75)
we might like goal pace was 915 to 945 for the marathon. I've never ever had a good Ironman marathon. I've always fallen apart, whether it's like cramping or walking or feeling out of control. And so I was like, let's actually like, do that. Take the first 5k easy, it's gonna be really hot, it's gonna be a suffer fest, everyone says you break in the energy lab, like, let's just go. I think one of my friends had said,

go slow or slow down to go fast. So I was like, okay, slow down and did that. And every aid station I hit, I did some amount of walking, whether it was a little or a lot. And I had like five tasks and it was ice in my ice sock, which like can D3 needs a ice sock branded. Like it, I learned this from D3 and it has changed my races. Like Oregon, I never felt hot.

Mike (15:39.264)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Mike (15:56.785)
Yeah. Is it go around your neck? Oh, yeah. Okay. Well, we'll look into that then. We'll look into that.

Kalee Tyson (15:57.67)
I never felt, no, I hold it in my hand. I hold it in my hand and I just pat, and I get the, yeah, get the inner elbows. And so I would fill my eye sock, I would fill my flask. I ran with a flask because mentally, I like to have control of water intake and it stresses me out waiting for the next aid station. Although I didn't realize how many aid stations there really were. Like they are constantly on that course.

Mike (16:24.772)
There's a lot, yeah.

Kalee Tyson (16:26.078)
So I didn't totally need that, but it was good. It was fine. Ice down the front, ice down the back, salt pills, mortons. Yep.

Mike (16:35.212)
Cool. And then, so you run down to Lihi, a lot of people obviously in the way back, you know, and you got the rollers and you're starting to say, do my legs feel good? Do my legs feel bad? And you know, you're probably still feeling good. Then you climb up to the bottom of Palani, right? Loaded with people and you know, people cheering. And how did you feel going up to Palani? Good.

Kalee Tyson (16:45.45)
Yep. So good. Yeah. Yep. And then alone. I felt really good. And I was like, okay, it's gonna get really lonely and it's gonna start getting really hard and really hot. And I never felt too hot. I think the ice sock was the reason, but it was time to like zone in, right? You're like, okay, that was fun. Saw my friends, we're all cheering. And then it's like you.

Mike (17:13.481)

Kalee Tyson (17:14.146)
get in the brain, get in the zone, foot, foot. And I just like was so focused on each aid station and each task and doing the math of Morton at this time, salt at this time, which there was no timing on salt. It was when I felt like it, but like, okay, take a salt in two miles. And the miles just ticked by and I was like, okay, hit the half. Okay, now it's the energy lab. And I was like, okay, this is the moment. I'm gonna, it's make or break here, the energy lab. And I just never.

Mike (17:22.25)

Mike (17:35.712)

Kalee Tyson (17:43.554)
had a break moment. It was just, I kept the same pace. I felt totally in control. I was never breathing hard. It was totally sustainable. My legs were strong, my brain was strong. And the energy lab was awesome. Um, I saw people struggling, and people throwing up people walking people crying. I mean, it was very, it must have been very intense for a lot of people. But it like fueled me because I felt so good.

Mike (17:48.076)

Mike (18:08.171)
Yeah, for sure. Yeah.

Kalee Tyson (18:12.322)
which is horrible to say, but I was like, dude, I'm really not feeling bad. Like, I still feel really good, but this is gonna get hard, it's gonna get hard. So did the little out and back and it was so great. There's music out near the turnaround, got special needs in the energy lab and all I needed was more salt pills. And I just kept feeling good and seeing my friends and they were, all of my friends did, had great races too. And like my handful of friends that I'm close with.

climbed out of the energy lab and I was like, oh my God, I still feel good. This is insane. What is this? And I was like, you could still cramp, chill out, take your salt, take your Morton's. And then the Queen K part's so long. I didn't really realize how long I should do more research. This season is the most prepared I've ever been for courses. Usually I just go in blind and I wing it. And for Finland, we were super prepared and like I knew the chorus and Brad and I had like, you know, trained a lot for specific things.

Mike (18:55.193)

Kalee Tyson (19:11.422)
And then in Kona, we were also very trained and prepared, but I just didn't realize how long that section was. And so you're just rolling out there and it is hot. Yeah.

Mike (19:18.288)
I mean, that's a key part of the race, right? So you come to the top of Pallani, you take your left, and then you get past all the people, and then it's you and the aid station. Of course, there's runners out there, but you're just kind of out there by yourself with your thoughts. And it's a long, you're like, where is the turn? Right? Because and then you get there and you're only at like mile 10 or something. And you're like, holy cow. Like, this is a long way to go. Yeah.

Kalee Tyson (19:34.27)
Yeah, it's, yeah, it was so long. And I, in my head had thought I'd heard that the energy lab was at like mile 14. And I was like, okay, so I started doing, yeah, going down in, I think you take a left and you start the energy lab portion at mile 14. And then I did the math and I was like, okay, I was on the Queen K for X miles. So I'll get out of the energy lab around.

Mike (19:45.148)
Mm-hmm. That's like the bottom I think or when you're coming out, right? Yeah

Mike (19:55.356)
Mm hmm. Oh, okay.

Kalee Tyson (20:03.902)
mile 19 ish, 20 ish. Yeah. And so I was like, Okay, so it's another six miles of it. So six miles on the Queen K like that's so long. And man, it just on and on and on and straight. And the only time I've had another straight course was Boulder 70.3 where you like, have that long one mile out and long one mile back. And that feels long. So I was like, Oh, god, this is gonna feel long. But just trudged along. And I will say

Mike (20:05.703)
Yeah it's almost 20.

Mike (20:14.251)

Mike (20:24.712)
Yeah, monarch, right. Yep.

Kalee Tyson (20:31.574)
seeing people coming off the bike, I was like, well, at least I'm done with the bike. At least I'm at least I'm eight miles in at least.

Mike (20:35.136)
Yeah, totally. No, it's crazy. People are out there and you know, even though, you know, people that are going to go, you know, 11, 12 hours, you're out there cheering for them on the Queen K and people are still coming in on the bike and you're like, Oh my God, they're not going to start the run till five 30. You know,

Kalee Tyson (20:49.594)
Oh, I even, yeah, I saw people starting the run as I'm coming back and I get the, it's also a staggered start, so like some people are just starting much later and that's what I told myself anytime I got blown by a girl in a different age group, I'm like, she's just the girl that's, you know, they're the top 10, it's fine. But yeah, it just, it's a wild day. It's very long.

Mike (20:56.234)

Mike (21:01.117)

Mike (21:08.436)
Yeah. So any points, like it sounds like the bike went great. The run went great. Maybe, you know, that stretch on the Queen K obviously was a little bit of a mind bender saying it's a long stretch. Anything else? It doesn't sound like you had any lows during the race. It sounds like it was all pretty positive.

Kalee Tyson (21:21.63)
Um, I had a little GI distress in the energy lab. And I did see a girl that had an accident in her kit. And I was like, Don't be that girl. I don't want to be that girl. But I wasn't and it passed. But I was just like, yes, yes. So I was like, and I was running right behind that girl. And I was like, I smell something funny. And I was like, Oh, goodness. Pass her.

Mike (21:25.328)

Mike (21:31.08)
Yeah, yeah, totally. Yeah. Yeah, that'll make the recovery week that much harder

Mike (21:44.192)
Yeah. Oh. And. She had a great saxophone range. Yeah. She went into signature trance and then into the future. Right. I love it. I know. I love it. I do.

Kalee Tyson (21:45.89)
But she had a great, that girl was going great. She was going, it just clearly she'd trusted a two that she shouldn't have. So, you know, but yeah, other than that, I'll say mile 20 to 21 felt like at least three miles. You know how when you're like, don't check the watch, just keep it going, I was like, okay, I'm still feeling great. I passed mile 20 a while ago. I certainly have to be almost to 21, 20.33. And I was like, oh my God, don't look back at your.

Mike (22:05.34)
Yep. You know how when you're like. Yeah.

Mike (22:11.484)
Right, right. You look at your watch and you've only gone three minutes and you're like, oh my god, brutal. Right, right.

Kalee Tyson (22:15.622)
Like don't even look at that again. But I just kept checking my pace and it was just steady. And even walking through the aid stations, it was steady. And as soon as I hit like mile 23, still feeling so good. I was like, oh my God. And I picked up the pace. I started going faster. My last mile was like an eight minute mile. It's downhill and it's a lie, right? But it made me wonder like, oh, could I have pushed more? But when you feel that good.

Mike (22:35.263)
Oh wow, wow. Yeah, that's okay though, that's great.

Kalee Tyson (22:44.786)
It's just like, ah.

Mike (22:44.846)
Yeah. Well, it felt good because you paced it correctly, right? Like you train properly, you paced the bike correctly, the nutrition was there, the salt was there. I mean, everything just kind of, you had the day. You had the day.

Kalee Tyson (22:54.886)
Yep. Yes. And thank God it was in Kona. Like I, it's still mind boggling because so much can go wrong if it's completely out of your control. And I mean, getting a flat on the Queen K and I don't know, I didn't know how to change a flat tire. That was one of the year's goals. So it was cool to accomplish that, but certainly made me worried during the race. And I saw girls get flats. And I met a girl at the airport that was like, you know, I got two flats on that ride. And

Mike (23:03.66)

Mike (23:16.771)

Kalee Tyson (23:23.39)
I don't know what lesson life was teaching me, but hopefully I'll figure it out. And I was like, oh, you just can't things you can't control. Yep.

Mike (23:23.64)
I don't know what Latin life is teaching me, but hopefully I'll figure it out. I wouldn't know. If you can't control it. That's right, that's right. So where did you see Isaac and Chloe on the course? Like. Yeah.

Kalee Tyson (23:35.454)
Yeah, so I saw both of them on the bike going up Pallani. So going out to the Queen K. Chloe was down for her nap because, you know, nap schedule's very important. Yes, she was down for her nap when I came back in and started the run, but I saw Isaac. We had friends and family there helping with Chloe so he could spectate. And she was back on the course with a cowbell for the run.

Mike (23:43.695)
Yep. Well, that's a good dad to do that.

Mike (24:01.313)

Kalee Tyson (24:05.11)
And I think that, I don't think they were on the run course while I was out. So I don't think I saw them again until the finish. Every time I saw her, she was crying, to be clear. It was not easy, because she wanted to follow me and be with me, where's mom? But I knew that would happen, because we've spectated Isaac racing this year, Chloe and I, and she doesn't do well with that yet, but she doesn't get it. Yeah.

Mike (24:12.78)
Nice. I just kinda offered to be clear, it was not easy. She wanted to follow me and be with me for a long time. Of course. I knew that was gonna happen. Yeah. I was like, we expected a hybrid between her and me here, Chloe and I, and she doesn't do well with them yet. Yeah. She'll get it. Yeah, she'll get it. It's just a little separation anxiety going on, but it'll. In the local range that she tried to run off to the work. Yeah, yeah. So. I'm not gonna lie.

Kalee Tyson (24:32.478)
in the in the local races, she tries to run onto course and do the run. Yeah. So yeah, so I saw them at the finish. And then like, as soon as I finished, and I'll talk more about that probably too. But I like immediately I didn't even enjoy I didn't take my finisher picture, which was so I can't believe I didn't. I grabbed pizza immediately exited so I could go see her because I knew she had to go down for bedtime. And we had contingency plans around like, okay, however the day goes, how late do we keep up?

Mike (24:43.908)
I didn't even enjoy it. And then to finish my picture with someone I can't remember, I would grab a pizza, immediately exit it so I could go see her. And then go down for a bit. And then we have to continue to see each other. Okay, I'm going to go. I'll wait until she's done. Then she actually goes to finish. So I want to picture her. Yeah, of course. Enjoy it with her, sure. Yeah, I finished.

Kalee Tyson (25:00.974)
Chloe so that she I can see her at the finish. Cause I wanted pictures and memories and all of that. Yeah, but I finished so much sooner than we thought. It wasn't even an issue. Like I got to hang out with her for a while. So yeah, yeah. It was great seeing her on course.

Mike (25:11.688)
Yeah. That's awesome. That is awesome. So you've worked with Coach Brad for a while. How long has it been? I've been working with Coach Brad in 2019. He's 83 and 27. Yeah. And it's just funny, like, so chance, but I'm not really monitoring it. Yeah. And it happened in New York. Right, right. Yeah.

Kalee Tyson (25:20.658)
I started working with Brad in 2019. I started with D3 in 2017 when it's so funny, life is so chanceful. Like I just randomly bought a training plan and it just happened to be yours. But I started working with Brad in 2019.

Mike (25:34.528)
Awesome, awesome. So give me, and I actually talked to Brad this week quite a bit and he is renowned for covering all the bases. He's really good about course prep. He's great about making sure you're getting some strength and making sure you're hitting the watts, you're running the paces in the pool. For you, you're a good swimmer. Maybe that's not an issue. But I admire the fact that I think he's really good with the mental side of things for his athletes. And I'm always trying to learn from him. Just give me something maybe he gave you

Kalee Tyson (26:00.834)

Mike (26:04.422)
you on race day that you were able to take with you and think about and like when it got hard or, you know.

Kalee Tyson (26:11.982)
That's a great question. We do race visualization in the week leading up and I'm sure maybe lots of people do that. But it's even as simple as like the smells and the sounds and things like that and really setting aside the time to do that. I'll say one funny thing that during the race as you were going down Javi, you could smell cows and I laughed because I was like, well, that wasn't a smell I visualized or practiced in my like it was so stinky. But

I just think that we're constantly working on like the mental toughness and the strength and like pushing through. And it's like a muscle you're always practicing. And I think that's kind of what does it.

Mike (26:49.908)
I like that. Yeah.

Kalee Tyson (26:52.462)
Um, every time there's like a key workout and I think Brad knows I get kind of freaked out by like testing when there's really hard workouts. Sometimes I get a little intimidated. And always in there. It's like really zone in focus on pushing through like focus on those intervals and really like give it your best. And I think giving that extra focus on those days where it matters. Really helps. Otherwise, I don't know. I think what's so great about

what I was thinking about this before this interview, of course, like what's been so great about Brad is he kind of meets you where you're at, and then like, makes it work around you and who you are as a person, because I think what works for me is different than what works for someone else. And for me, it's like, I don't know, I have a life training is part of who I am, but it's not all of who I am. And we're constantly flexing around what's going to work for my schedule in my life and like the kind of mental state I'm in. So yeah, I don't know.

Mike (27:48.34)
Right. That's great though. No, I think, you know, yeah, coaching, I mean, coaching obviously is a lot about the communication, the relationship with the athlete. Um, but you're right. The coach has to meet you halfway and say, okay, you only have eight hours this week because you're traveling or your daughter's got something at school, your husband's got a big event, like whatever it is. And you have to be adaptable and realize that, you know, those eight hours this week are just as important as the 12th of the next week. Right. And maybe it's condensed or maybe it's not that you don't get the long run in, but you've got everything else in and it's the trust in the process.

Kalee Tyson (27:49.171)
I just think we practice a lot of mental.

Mike (28:18.254)
that stuff, right? Yep.

Kalee Tyson (28:19.218)
I think just the trust in general. Like I trust that Brad knows what he's doing. I trust that he's looking at my data and knows how my body's doing. And like he adapts things based on that. And then, yeah, I don't know. I really trust him inherently. Like I have one meltdown every Ironman lead in. And, but even in that email, like literally it happened and I was like, I knew this was coming. This always happens. I'm freaking out.

Mike (28:23.672)

Mike (28:38.028)
We all do.

Kalee Tyson (28:44.886)
But even in that email, I'm like, I know that we've done the work. I know that we've done all the right things. I trust that we can do that, like that I can accomplish this based on all that we've done. So the trust, I think being mutual is really helpful.

Mike (28:54.04)

Mike (28:58.276)
Awesome, awesome. So just real quick, give me a little background on your background, like, athletically. OK. Oh.

Kalee Tyson (29:03.01)
Yeah. I played competitive soccer growing up. I tore my ACL when I was 17. And I, because of that, had a lot of free time and decided to become a lifeguard. I had, I'll say I swam growing up, I did summer swim team in like middle school, and lifeguarding and swimming and that kind of got me through that injury and then was a job for me for quite a while. But other than that, just soccer, swimming.

That was my, no, I was so burnt out. When I tore my ACL, I was relieved. I told this story just the other day. I was like, oh my God, thank God. I was playing on two teams, high school and travel, yeah. So, yeah.

Mike (29:32.204)
Did you go back to soccer after the ACL injury? Oh, wow.

Mike (29:42.757)
In club. Yeah. That's rough. That's rough. And then so when did you discover Triathlon? How old were you?

Kalee Tyson (29:50.686)
Yeah, I was, I want to say 25. I had been running, I picked up running in college just for fun on a treadmill. Just, yes, on a treadmill, something to counteract the partying, honestly. And I started doing half marathons. I did a couple marathons and my friend who I was lifeguarding with at the time did his first Iron Man. And he, literally my story starts with Iron Man. That was my first triathlon I ever signed up for.

Mike (29:55.072)
So you're young. Wow.

Mike (29:59.544)
Just for something to do activity, yeah.

Kalee Tyson (30:20.954)
Um, he did his first Ironman. He's a great swimmer. Um, but he had never done a marathon before and I'd already done a marathon. So certainly if he could do it, I could do it. Right. Um, so I signed up for that and literally Isaac was like, okay, well, you shouldn't ride the bike by yourself and let's buy bikes. And so I guess I'll do it too. And then my sister signed up and, um, we signed up for Ironman Canada, which was 2015.

Mike (30:29.716)
You have a huge advantage.

Kalee Tyson (30:47.858)
in 2014 and then we did our first sprint type Olympic race. It was Whistler then it was it was the year it rained in Whistler. And it was all it was pretty terrible. But yeah, so we ended up doing a couple of local stuff that summer to start learning. But if I had any idea how like integral the bike was in Iron Man, I probably would have thought twice about just being like, yeah, I'm gonna do an Iron Man. Why not? Sounds easy.

Mike (30:52.684)
So Pink Tinkton was your first Ironman? It was Whistler. Whistler, right. OK. Is it your first Ironman? OK. And then it was Pink Tinkton. Yeah. But yeah, we ended up doing it on mobile. We got the summer, started learning, but I had no idea how to play into what it was like once in Ironman. I was probably a little bit surprised. Right. It was like, yeah, I'm doing Ironman.

You know, it's funny during the race, they were talking about Taylor Nib a lot and how ignorance is bliss. And it sounds like that was you and obviously it didn't turn you off to it, right? Like you kept going with it.

Kalee Tyson (31:22.219)

Oh, no, we were hooked. It was a lifestyle at that point. I'll tell you, Isaac ran his whole first Iron Man marathon. So he was in. He was like, I'm great at this. And it took me 15 hours and 45 minutes. My sister and I walked many miles of the marathon together, and it was just all about finishing. It was like, beat the cutoffs. I think my bike was like eight hours, some minutes. It was just insane, but it was great.

Mike (31:35.67)

Mike (31:44.78)
Right. Well, especially being a good swimmer, I'm sure you're closer to the front and then all these people go by you on the bike and then you're walking. Right. You're like.

Kalee Tyson (31:53.151)
I was just so scared the whole bike that year like a bunch of the pros pulled out because it was so cold But I didn't know any better. You know, I oh My so much it was But again ignorance is bliss. That's just what Ironman is. It's raining. That's what you do. It's a long bike Yes

Mike (31:58.712)
But that was the course that had a ton of elevation too. All the climbing, right? Yeah. Right.

Yeah, you think it's all this hard and this terrible and in your head you're like, I'm going to tell everybody I got through this. It's, you know, this is brutal and they can't do it because I'm, you know, I'm so tough, right?

Kalee Tyson (32:13.165)

Kalee Tyson (32:16.702)
It was, we were very proud. That was my sister's only Iron Man. She'll never do another. But yeah, it was epic for sure. Yeah, yeah.

Mike (32:25.388)
That's awesome. That is awesome. So, well, okay, this has been fantastic. Let's say you're talking to somebody who's getting into the sport. Maybe you would suggest they do an Ironman right away. I'm not sure. What advice would you give somebody just starting out and just to kind of get them on the right track?

Kalee Tyson (32:43.122)
Oh gosh, first I'll always ask more questions like, oh, do you know how to swim? Do you ride a bike ever? I think, I think lean into what scares you and do it. And I think that if you're not like uncomfortable, you're not growing. And so anything that's guiding you in those ways, go for it. I think anyone can do a sprint triathlon if you have the physical means or some way to do that. I think it's totally doable for anyone and anyone can train for that. So.

Everybody that's like, oh, I thought about doing a triathlon. Like, don't even tell me that. Now I'm hooked on it, and I will not leave you alone about it. But just lean into whatever distance scares you. Like, full Ironman distance is the only thing that scares me anymore. I love haves. I think I'm getting really good at them, and I'm excited next year to focus on them. But Ironman scares the heebie-jeebies out of me. I'm trying not to swear. And I enjoy that. I love it. And I think...

Mike (33:31.908)
That's awesome. That's a great answer. Yeah.

Kalee Tyson (33:37.586)
I don't know, there's so much in our lives we can't control and training and being diligent and making minor accomplishments and things you can control is really cool. And it like makes me a better person throughout my life. And so I think triathlon is just like, I think everyone should do triathlon. But the swimming I feel like is, I always hear people are so scared of the swim. So I say, get a swim coach. Yeah.

Mike (34:16.912)
get your feet working.

Kalee Tyson (34:18.966)

Kalee Tyson (34:22.694)
Mm-hmm. Brad no longer calls it a test for me. That's been the.

Mike (34:24.256)
You know, so I have to, yeah, I tricked them into it. I'm like, it's, you know, we're doing five times eight at threshold with two minute rest, like all out. All out.

Kalee Tyson (34:31.77)
All out, just all out, all out, go. I think if you're not failing too sometimes, you're not really pushing it. And I have to tell myself that every time I fail and panic about it.

Mike (34:41.099)
Yeah, no, it's.

It's amazing how I have to convince athletes it's okay to fail. Like, you know, if you give them a set, like, let's say they're fast and they can do, you know, hundreds on one 30 and we go, okay, let's do the first two on one 25, like I'm barely going to make them. I'm like, that's okay. And if you don't make them, guess what? That's okay too. Like let's make one this week. We'll make two next week. Right. Like just that small incremental progress and, uh, but pushing yourself to the point where, you know, things are tough and you have to mentally and physically engage to, you know, reach that goal. So.

That's awesome. I love that lean into it. I love that. That's awesome answer. Let's see what else. So what else? What's up for the rest of the year? Just kind of relax. You're not doing a marathon or anything, right?

Kalee Tyson (35:11.81)

Kalee Tyson (35:20.522)
Oh my gosh, I don't know. I'm going into a void. Not, not yet. Looking at the void ahead of the rest of this year, my next race on the calendar is a Coeur d'Alene 70.3. We always do that one, because it's kind of local for us. And I'm like, oh my God, I don't have anything to do till June next year, like that's not okay. But I'll say we've got Coeur d'Alene 70.3, Oregon 70.3, the New Washington 70.3. I think that's gonna be a good one. I think that's gonna be really cool.

Mike (35:32.927)

Mike (35:44.014)
Yeah, I saw that. Yeah. Yeah, it looks like a really nice, nice part of the country. Yeah, cool.

Kalee Tyson (35:49.222)
Yeah, yeah, and warm, but hopefully not too hot, we'll see. And then New Zealand, so New Zealand in December. So yeah, there's an art, I think, to not having too long of a season and burning out. Somehow, I never burnt out this season. I never felt, maybe it's because I had Chloe and then last season was challenging and then this season was so fun because I felt good and my body felt good. But I'm thinking about a marathon. Someday I wanna be Q.

Mike (35:53.444)
and then New Zealand. That's right, you have New Zealand, yeah. So world again.

Mike (36:04.996)
Do you think that actually in the last few weeks Yeah, for sure. and then if you

Mike (36:18.198)
Yeah. How far are you from it?

Kalee Tyson (36:19.27)
but oh well it depends what's the actual time they're using. This year I did a marathon just to try it out and I did a 341 and a bq for me would be a 335 and this course had a lot of elevation and gravel, random gravel.

Mike (36:24.212)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Mike (36:32.653)

So you probably had to do like a 332 or something like that, right? So 329, wow, that much further. Wow. Okay.

Kalee Tyson (36:38.35)
I think a 329, it was five minutes and yeah, so it was way, way off. So I'm kind of like backing off from that. It's so weird to be cute and not have control of getting into the race.

Mike (36:50.516)
Yeah, you know, and you mentioned that about control and I, and I like that, you know, that you're right. It's incremental things you can control. And even though, you know, you put so much time into training and all the dedication to it and the discipline and all the particulars, like even just your race gear and making sure your zipper and your wetsuit works and all this stuff, right. And you get out there in race day and you have so little control, right? Like that's something that it's just hard for us type A's to reconcile, right?

Kalee Tyson (37:15.929)

I had a friend who in Kona last year, I mean, he did slay, he did great, but somebody cut him off in an aid station and he crashed. That totally, he had a rough run because of it, because of the pain, and it's like, you can't control anyone around you for sure. And let alone like, I always have some gear malfunction. Even the practice swim, I recorded as a run. You know, it's just like, and I was at my watch, I had it on open water swim, I found myself, I was ready to go, I don't even know how that happened. Just weird stuff happens.

Mike (37:16.937)

Mike (37:27.463)
Yep. Right.

Mike (37:46.077)

Kalee Tyson (37:46.792)
died during races when it didn't make any sense. Just yeah, so many things and I think I expect those to happen. Like that's something that Brad definitely worked with me on. Like there's going to be things that happen that you can't control. There's going to have things go wrong and it's about problem solving your way out of those throughout the day. And not too much went wrong in Kona thankfully. Yeah. I mean little things like I came with my ice sock and no one knew what I wanted. Put the ice in the sock. There's my 10 seconds missing my PR but it's fine. It's fine.

Mike (37:55.949)

Mike (38:01.012)
Absolutely. Yeah, it sounds like it was a great day. Right.

Mike (38:15.552)
It's me, Kaylee. Help me out.

Kalee Tyson (38:17.01)
Yeah, duh, duh. Actually though, I'll say that volunteers were so incredible in Kona. Like they had so many kids volunteering, which one, it was so hot. But two, the kids were having fun. Like there was, I came upon one group of kids that were all holding cups of water and they would celebrate like who got picked by the person. Like the fourth kid got picked like, yeah, Johnny. It was Johnny. And you're just, it was just like such a good vibe.

Mike (38:35.896)
Oh, that's... Right, it's my seventeenth person I've helped!

Kalee Tyson (38:42.366)
Yeah, exactly. It was so much fun. And they were just so, I don't know, they took it so seriously and did such a great job. It was the best volunteers I've ever seen. Yeah.

Mike (38:51.988)
Yeah, that's awesome. Well, world-class race, world-class volunteers, that's what it takes. Yep.

Kalee Tyson (38:56.926)
And Hawaii, I mean, they were very gracious. And I know that last year was kind of an interesting year for the island. And I don't think it was all, it was very not positive maybe for some people. And I talked to some locals leading into the race and they were like this year, they were saying like, it already feels better. It's not as crazy. Like people are being very gracious and kind. And so that was really good. I was like, oh, be really respectful of the island. I wanna come back here someday. Yeah.

Mike (39:07.073)

Mike (39:23.076)
Totally, totally. Well, thanks for talking with us. It was a great conversation and I pulled so many great nuggets from this and I learned a lot. So that's always fun for me too. So thank you for the time and yeah.

Kalee Tyson (39:32.398)
Thank you. Well, thank you for thanks for D3. Thanks for Brad. I mean you paired me with Brad So and it's been great. So I appreciate it Yeah

Mike (39:40.632)
That's great to hear. He's an amazing coach and you know, it takes an amazing athlete to work with an amazing coach to get an amazing result. So congratulations to you. You, you did all, I like, I tell my athletes all the time and I'm sure Brad would say the same thing, you do the heavy lifting, right? Like we lay it out, but you have to do the work and that's, um, that's the big part of it. So, well, thanks for talking. All right.

Kalee Tyson (39:46.39)
Yep. Thank you.

Kalee Tyson (39:57.515)
I have, yeah. Yeah, thank you, appreciate it. Of course.

Coach Mike Ricci is the Founder and Head Coach for D3 Multisport.  His coaching style is ‘process-focused’ vs. ‘results-focused.’ When working with an athlete, their understanding of how and why they are improving is always going to take precedence over any race result. Yes, there is an end goal, but in over 2 decades of coaching, experience has shown him that if you do the right work, and for the right reasons, the results will follow.

Coach Mike is a USAT Level III Elite Certified Coach, Ironman University Certified Coach, and Training Peaks Level II Certified Coach. He was honored as the USAT Coach of the Year.

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