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Onward: Dimity and Ironman Coeur d’Alene

Dimity just before she knocked out 75 miles on the bike during a family vacation in Moab, Utah.
Dimity knocked out 75 miles on the bike during a family vacation in Moab, Utah.

Last week, Dimity’s triathlon coach, Briana Boehmer, emailed me on the sly, asking if she could write a blog post for Dimity. “Just talking about all she has done…. I imagine the corresponding support from the AMR community would be such a great boost for her. She has been so quiet about all her hard work. I just thought it might give her a big HUG and lots of love for race day. AND just give her a full understanding of how far she has come....” With happy tears in my eyes, I heartily agreed. Here is what Bri wrote:

I’ve started this post a dozen different ways…

First, with the ever-popular (and admittedly cheesy) motivational quote. Next I tried an anecdotal story. But let’s face it, I’m not a super-witty writer like your pioneers of badass mother run-ness, so accept my apologies now for a very matter-of-fact post about your very own Dimity “Humble as Pie” McDowell.

I have had the true honor of coaching Little Miss Dim for her “first” Ironman (yes, Dimity, I put that in quotes: You say this is your first and last Ironman, but I’ve heard that waaaay too many times to believe it anymore, so there!). Suffice it to say, Dimity has been downright coy when it comes to revealing all she has done to prepare for Ironman Coeur d’Alene. You see, Dimity has been diligently training for this event with me since November 1. And when I say diligent, I mean it in every sense of the word.

One especially gratifying workout during Ironmother training.
One especially gratifying workout during Ironmother training.

There are many things I can do as a coach to prepare an athlete for an event. Yet no matter how great the workouts are, and well thought out the roadmap is, the athlete still has to show up. “Showing up” is my term for not just doing the work, but fully committing to the process. It is doing all the little “extras” and doing the workouts as planned, as crazy as they may sound. Dimity knows how to show up, and she does it in a way that cannot be taught, it is truly who she is. Dimity, you are a coach’s dream with your dedicated, no-nonsense work ethic. You are a phenomenal example to your mother runners that, when you show up, there’s nothing you can’t do.

At an aquabike half-Ironman last fall, before she began her Ironmother training.
At an aquabike half-Ironman last fall, before she began her Ironmother training.

While Dimity has hinted to doing “lots of training” and hitting “rough patches,” her humble nature has not revealed all that she had done to reach the starting line on June 23 ready to take on 140.6 miles in one day. There’s no sugar-coating it: Ironman training is hard if you want to do the race right.

A much-needed ice bath after D's longest run of 18 miles, which happened to be just 3 days after a weekend when she tackled a hilly 80-miler averaging 18.9 MPH and a 15-mile run with additional biking the very next day.
A much-needed ice bath after D's longest run of 18 miles, which happened to be just 3 days after a weekend when she tackled a hilly 80-miler averaging 18.9 MPH and a 15-mile run with additional biking the very next day.

While Dimity has always said the goal is to accomplish the feat, she and I both know you don’t do this thing halfway. Hence, with both feet forward, Dimity dived into training knowing that her body has been unfortunately plagued by nagging, annoying injuries. You’ve read about the “left side”--not her “strong side.” This time around, that was the least of Dimity’s worries. She had to deal with a painful neck/shoulder flare up that kept us from swimming for literally 2.5 months of our training and hindered her ability to bike on her triathlon bike (yikes, right?). Then there was the unfortunate slip (we all fall down, D, don’t worry) that fractured her foot and had us leave our running in the thick of training. A marathon requires its fair share of consistent miles, but tag it at the end of a 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bike, and you can sense that, well, missed run training isn’t ideal.

The foot injury was a tough one. I still remember the phone call: Dimity wondering if she really could do this thing, thinking maybe she just wasn’t cut out for all this event takes. Just like you can’t sugarcoat Ironman, I never sugarcoat what I tell an athlete they can do. On that call, I told Dimity what I can’t tell most athletes--because most athletes aren’t like Dimity. I told her that not only was she strong enough to do this, but she IS a very talented and gifted athlete.

Yes, Dimity, you are. What Dimity has been so quiet about is that not only has she racked up more 330 hours of training in 7.5 months (yep, she made up for all the lost time with her injuries!), but she has done most of them FAST. Yes Dimity, FAST! She has pushed her body to new heights, always seeing what more she could do. She didn’t just get past each injury and roadblock, she rose to the occasion they presented. To train as Dimity has takes guts and showing up, no way around it. And, Dimity, this is why, no matter what happens June 23, you are already a badass Ironmother.

Even at the height of training, Dimity added a very special event into the mix--a Girls on the Run 5K with daughter Amelia.
Even at the height of training, Dimity added a very special event into the mix--a Girls on the Run 5K with daughter Amelia.

Each time I visit the AMR page, I notice the very first line reads, “a virtual aid station.” It is such an uplifting metaphor for what Sarah and Dimity have created, a 24/7 support network. That network is fueled by a lot of love, and I am now asking the community of mother runners to shift that aid station back to where it started by lending your support for Dimity as she embarks on one heck of a grueling day. If you give her a shoutout nearly any hour on June 23 she will be racing. Yes, Ironman is an all-day, non-stop kind of deal.

Even better, you can follow Dimity live on the Ironman site via the athlete tracker. (Note: The tracker is slow to load updates so don’t fret if you haven’t seen a change in her status in awhile). And, if you want to see the BEST part, stick around for the live camera at the finish: You can see Dimity finish in real time, which I get teary just thinking about. Then you can hear the special set of words that signal the long hours were for something: “Dimity, you are an Ironman.” I’ll be tweeting updates throughout the day via @TheMotherRunner on Twitter, and I’ll be sure to tweet an ETA of Dimity’s arrival at the finish line.

Dimity, enjoy every minute. You’ve earned it. Soak it up, because as long as Ironman is, the day will fly by. Like a wedding, it will all be over in the blink of an eye, and you will wonder where the day went. Revel in all you have done to make it to the line and know that there is a community of mother runners you have supported through the years that will be supporting you on your journey. As you’ve said after every hard workout: onward!

105 responses to “Onward: Dimity and Ironman Coeur d’Alene

  1. So proud of you and excited for you, Dimity!! All your hours of training are going to result in an amazing “this day”!!!

    The AMR tribe will be with you on Sunday!!

  2. Go. Go. Go. You are a rock. And a star. Show up and do what you have trained to do. All day. Get your money’s worth. Best wishes to you. I will most definitely be sending good juju on the big day.

  3. Dimity,
    I met you at the Disney Princess Expo this past February and got so star-struck. Reading your posts and portions of the books, it seems like I’m reading something written by a friend. I know you are going to be great! Wishing you well…

  4. Tears for these words of support! Dimity, I don’t know you in person, but I feel like a good friend is tackling something huge and I’m so proud of you! You really are an inspiration and I hope you have such a great day. Now go kick some Ironman butt! We’ll all be waiting at the finish line for you. . .

  5. When I was training for my first marathon (and stressed beyond belief), I met up with a friend and veteran marathon who also (still) is a great runner and racer. I asked her for words of wisdom while I was embarking on training for my first 26.2. Her advice? “Just stay out there.” If you have to run, walk, crawl, just finish the distance you set out to finish and move one. Don’t worry about times, competition, etc. Worry about how you feel on the road.

    That advice “just stay out there” has helped me now through two marathons and countless halfs. And it inspires me during every run.

  6. With a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye I want to say “well done Dimity, you are an inspiration. Go enjoy the experience. You will be awesome”.

  7. I KNEW something was up with you, Dimity!! I have been noticing that your body seems to be changing shape (sorry, don’t think I’m creepy) and that you are on the bike a LOT. I just bought my first “real” bike, a Trek, and I’m just starting down this path. You have really inspired me. And Heather, a wonderful post… And you ARE a writer, just as Dimity is an athlete! Thanks ladies! I want to get on my bike!

  8. Wow, that brought tears to my eyes!! I am so proud to be part of this community. Thank you SBS and Dimity for bringing it together. Thank you Heather, thank you Bri. Can’t wait to “see” Dimity cross the line!!! You guys are awesome.

  9. So inspired! I had a few bad weeks post hot humid race. Got me some electrolytes and read AMR and had a great workout!

  10. Anybody who can do something like this is just amazing and SO inspirational. But what makes this even better is that you encourage SO, SO many other women on a daily basis – even when you AREN’T training to be an Ironmother! You’re a role model for anyone who has ever said, “Someday, I wanna (insert physical challenge here)” because you said it and now you’re DOING it! Thanks for all you do! I can’t wait to hear how AWESOME you do on your big day! (Remember when you’re “big day” used to mean your wedding? Snort!)

  11. Loved reading this! You’ve worked so hard. No doubt you will be awesome and strong and BRAVE on Sunday. I’ll be sending you all the positive mojo I got on Sunday and the days after.
    Hugs from St. Paul.

  12. Thank you for this post, Bri. I can hear the pride in your writing! Dimity, it is so inspiring to read about your training journey to this special day! You have worked so hard and I stand in awe of your strength. You know we’ll all be thinking of you on Sunday and virtually cheering you on! Go Dimity!

  13. I teared up reading this. Dimity–you are and always will be a role model for us mother runners that read your blog. The mantra I run with is “hard work, dedication” and that is what you embody and that is why you will crush this! You are in my thoughts and my heart as you complete this amazing and epic journey–be proud! You are amazing!

  14. Wow, what a great post! I got teary thinking about how awesome this will be for you Dimity! You’ve worked so hard, you are an inspiration! Enjoy every minute!

  15. Dimity! I am so excited for you. Have a wonderful race and enjoy yourself. The day really does zoom by. Trust in your training this week and don’t panic train at the race site. :). Beware of sticker shock at the Ironman merchandise.

    Have fun!!!

  16. GREAT POST!! I will so be cheering for you Dimity! Virtual high fives!!! Way to put in the effort; you are really such an inspiration to all of us out here. Our runs this weekend will be nothing compared to what you will be doing and we will keep this in mind! CHEERS!!!

  17. Go Dimity! You are such an inspiration! Read this post this morning with tears in my eyes. How many of us downplay her accomplishments? The Mother Runner tribe is SO SO SO proud of you!!!!!

  18. Good luck Dimity! You truly are an inspiration! I am so proud of you and excited for you! I can’t imagine how amazing it will be to cross that finish line and earn the title Ironman. It is on my bucket list and you give me hope that one day I could also accomplish this amazing feat. I will be sending many good vibes your way on race day!

  19. I’m so impressed with your dedication and hard work. You have been mentally and physically strong for months now, no small task. Enjoy your day, you’ve earned this race. I’ll be following and cheering like so many others.

  20. GREAT post! Thanks for sharing Bri. Dimity I just started following you recently, but you are already a total inspiration of mine. I am not a mom (yet), but when my time comes, I hope to be a badass runner mother like you!! You will do amazing on Sunday!

  21. Wow, Dimity, I’m just in awe of how truly badass you are!! You really inspire all of us to keep pushing, to keep trying harder. I will follow your Ironmother race on Sunday. You will rock this!!

  22. So thankful to read this post (with tears in my eyes!) and know that I can follow your progress. Go Dimity GO! You are going to kick some serious ironmother ASS! I know you will. Indeed, you have accomplished so very very much, this event will be icing on the cake. Enjoy it, soak it up and have the time of your life.

  23. Wow, what a wonderful tribute from your coach! All that work speaks for itself. Best of luck Dimity–I’ll be following and cheering from Boulder Public Library on Sunday. What a great day it will be for you!

  24. What a great tribute to an athlete who has been focused, motivated and determined. Coach and athlete are a true inspiration to me. I hope you both enjoy Dimity’s upcoming “tri-ump” (hee, hee) this weekend.

  25. Dimity, I’m so glad I got to meet you at the meetup in San Francisco a couple months ago. After you finish on Sunday, I’ll be able to say I’ve shaken the hand of an Ironmother! You’ve got this, and I am in awe of your accomplishments. 🙂

  26. Don’t think……just GO!!! GO Dimity GO!!!

    and thanks for the link to be able to follow Dimity’s progress! I’ve already set my psychic support alarm to send good vibes all day Sunday!

  27. Onward!! Dimity – your tribe will be with you!

    When Brianna says give her a shout out on Sunday, is she speaking figuratively or literally? If the latter, how do you suggest we do that? Also around what time do you expect to cross the finish, Dimity? It would be cool to see you cross the finish!!

  28. Sweaty eyeballs!!!
    Go Dimity go!
    You are such an inspiration for me to do more, go farther, and literally stand taller!
    xoxox

  29. Dimity, I think my mantra suits you far better than it suits me: “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” As Christopher Robin said to Winnie the Pooh. Remember: Braver. Stronger. Smarter! Now go get ’em!

  30. Dimity- as a two time “Iron Mom” with a third to come next spring, I will tell you that there is NOTHING like crossing the finish line of an Ironman! Bri is wise to have the foresight to predict that this may not be your one and only…while Ironman is a beast, it is one that bites you and doesn’t let go. Enjoy every moment of this glorious day, have faith in your training, ride the highs and dig deep and use the crowd on your lows and most of all relish Mike Reilly’s voice as you cross the finish line as he yells, “Dimity McDowell, you are a FIRST TIME Ironman!”

  31. Tears! Go get ’em, Dimity! What an amazing journey and how proud you should be to have completed all the hard work to get to the start line. You are an inspiration.

  32. Great post!! I’ll be cheering you on this weekend and yelling “go Dimity go!!” at my computer monitor as I track you 🙂 Congratulations on completing your training – you’ve earned a slice of pie (and it had better not be humble!!)

  33. When I read Dimity’s review of her preview to the IronMan and saw the photo of her I thought to myself, “I am not like Dimity, she is a real athlete”. I would kill for those legs, AWESOME looking and strong! I will be thinking of Dimity on her quest 6-23. I soak in her advice and she motivates me to get going. I’ve even changed my eating, Ezekiel bread with either hummus or avocado for lunch is my favorite! Dimity you ROCK!

  34. What an awesome post! Tears in my eyes. I’m so glad to hear the coach’s perspective on this since Dimity totally downplays all her hard work. I have D’s bib number and will surely be tracking her and cheering her on Sunday.

  35. Go, Dimity, go! You will own this event — and I know I’m not alone in sending loads and loads of love and support to you. Can’t wait to follow your day and read your recap!!!

  36. Dimity! You are a strong, dedicated and amazing woman! You have trained for this, you can do it!! Us BAMRs love you and will be cheering you on! You go girl!!

  37. You are an inspiration! Congratulations on giving 110% for training. Your hard work will pay off. All us Mother Runners are cheering you on!!

  38. What a great post! It’s hard to talk about just how much work you’ve done on something, so it’s awesome for us to get a glimpse of it. Congratulations on this very long road and I can’t wait to track you this weekend!!!

  39. We all knew she was killing it, here’s proof! And of course a HUGE group hug for the #1 Badass Ironmother. Can’t wait to see the reward for all of the hard work!

  40. I’ll be checking to watch her progress. I can’t wait to hear the race report. I’ll be thinking and cheering for you, Dimity, all day!

  41. Awww, I got teary eyed thinking of all of the hard work she put into this and what a great accomplishment this will be. The race is really a big victory lap, so do it in pride Dimity!!!

  42. Best of luck from your friends at Garmin! Super impressed with your training stats and I can’t wait to follow you and cheer you on from afar!

  43. I am getting teary already reading this, and will absolutely be tracking Dimity on her quest, which I have no doubt she will rock!

  44. Dimity! A couple weeks ago I listened to your podcast, the one where you and Sarah suggested new songs for our running playlists. You brought up the song Brave by Sara Bareilles and I went to iTunes immediately to add it to my mix. And now I think of you and all your Ironmother training every time I hear it. You are one amazing woman, and I can’t WAIT to hear how you kick ass at the race on Saturday. I’ll be thinking of you and cheering for you! HUGS!

  45. I’m tearing up too. What a wonderful tribute Bri! My brother is running two Ironmans this summer, working to qualify for Kona. Suddenly I had a daydream flash of being able to cheer on both he AND Dimity that day. Gave me goosebumps! You bet I’ll be checking in through the day on the Ironman site, and cheering Allez Allez Allez from here in Ohio. Go for it Dimity!

  46. What a beautiful post! I think there’s another writer on the horizon.

    To Dimity- you are amazing and my hero! I had literal tears running down my cheeks while I read this. You can do this. You will be the first ironman finisher that I “know”. You’ve done the training now hopefully you can enjoy the race. I’ll be cheering you on virtually all day long. Congrats on an amazing accomplishment!

  47. Dimity! You are freaking amazing! I love how Bri compared an Ironman to a wedding…a little more sweat, a little less tulle.

    Much love to you and best of luck this weekend!

    xoxo,

    Amanda N.

  48. Had tears in my eyes and a nervous excitement in my gut while reading this. Relish is you own awesomeness Dimity McDowell. You’ve earned every sweat drop of it and are inspiring more women to go Ironman and believe!

  49. Real conversation at lunch yesterday between me and my BRF:
    “How excited are you for Dimity this weekend?”
    “I know, I’m so nervous for her… and sending her huge positive vibes. I can’t wait to hear about it next week.”

    And we have never met Dimity!

    You have a community, YOUR TRIBE behind you! Kick ASS!!!!

  50. Dimity, I will be sending you all of my badass mother running vibes for your race! Go get ’em!!! I know it’s going to be a life changing experience for you and I can’t wait to read all about it! 🙂

  51. You have motivated and inspired me more than you’ll ever know! It has been a privilege to follow along with your training. You are amazing! Have a great time!!!

  52. You’ve done all the work so now get in there and enjoy every minute of it. Be present for every moment and SMILE when the photographers are around !!!!

    I am sure it will be your best race ever and you’ll be able to tell LOTS of stories afterwards. The best part is that we’ll want to listen to them all even if your family doesn’t.

  53. Dimity, you are amazing. The amount of dedication the training takes makes it hard to fathom how many hours you have spent on this goal. I cannot wait to hear your race report…and remember that your BAMR’s will be with you in spirit on Sunday cheering you on!

  54. Go Dimity Go!! You are going to kill that Ironmother course. Feel proud, feel strong, and know that you have a HUGE tribe of women swimming, biking and running along with you.

  55. Go Dimity go! You will rock this race and in doing so will inspire oodles of mother runners that follow this page to do the same! Have an awesome Ironman!

  56. This brought tears to my eyes! I know you will do well Dimity b/c after all, you are a bad ass mother runner!!

  57. What a wonderful touching tribute to an inspiring woman! You are amazing Dimity and I hope your Ironday is every single thing you wish it to be!! You’ve got this! Good luck where it is needed, as for the rest, you did everything you could. Go Dimity Go!!

  58. Reading this with tears in my eyes. Dimity is such an inspiration to me and thousands of Mother Runners (and Mother Athletes) to not think, just go. Suddenly my marathon training doesn’t seem so hard!

  59. “No matter what happens June 23, you are already a badass Ironmother.” Very true! Just getting through that amount of training is an amazing feat that takes incredible strength, perseverance, and willpower. I have NO DOUBT that Dimity will rock the race. Thank you for leading by a great example. I also have NO DOUBT that she will have the loudest cheering section at Coeur d’Alene, virtual or otherwise.

  60. Omg, tears in my eyes. Go Dimity! I’ve got a double serving of kid birthday party Sunday but I will be thinking of you all day

  61. Go Dimity! You are such an inspiration and strong athlete/mom. You have put in the work…now reap the benefits of all of your training. You will be great on race day-just trust your training. You are truly badass and amazing! Good luck!

  62. I’m tearing up too! What a lovely post. I’m amazed at the thought of an ironman, and am so proud of you already, Dimity! Is that weird to say? We’ve never met and I’m proud of you? Anyway, have a great race this weekend and I can’t wait to follow along virtually from Minnesota.

  63. So well written and what an amazing relationship you both have! Kill it Dimity! You’ve earned it. “You’ve got this mama.”

  64. Since I just read the chapter in RLAM where Dimity admits to crying frequently, I’ll admit I was in tears reading this. You have so got this, Dimity!

  65. Made me cry over my am coffee… In a good way. What a awesome coach you have. You WILL do great and you will have so many mom’s cheering you on from all over the USA. Now that should keep you pumped! You got this. Sick up every min. Of the last leg of your BAM journey. Go, go, go!!!!! We can’t wait to hear all about it…. ONLY after you rest a bit after the race. Cheering you on from Maryland.

  66. What a wonderful post…I am in complete awe of the amount of dedication and hardwork that Dimity has put forth to not only “do” an Ironman but to totally OWN it….and what a great post to not only own the race, but also own all those months of unbelievable dedication-no matter how the situation changed. So here’s to you-for all the inspiration you shower on us-I will be cheering you on from New Jersey.
    Xoxo
    Mariah

  67. Well said Coach Heather!!! As a sister of 3 Ironman brothers, as a spectator of 5 Ironman races, as one of Dimity’s biggest fans… I know and proudly say… Dimity’s, it’s your time to shine!!! Giddy up and enjoy your Ironmother!!! I’ll be following you on IronTrac as I have done so for my brothers and our friends. Sending lots and lots of good strong, happy vibes!!!!

  68. I trust that you will do great, Dimity! As a fellow Minnesotan, I will be cheering for you from the other side of the ocean! Go make your mark!!

  69. Whooo hooo. You are going to rock this race, Dimity! We are all going to be there with you in spirit, cheering you on when the going gets tough. Soon enough you will hear Mike Reilly say your name! Go get’m.

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