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What is it like to compete in the Ironman? How do you train for the Ironman? Where do you begin?
Meet Nicole Levenson and Maria Kivrizis
Today, I talk to Nicole Levenson and Maria Kivrizis, who competed in the California Ironman competition. Read more about them below and enjoy the episode!
Nicole ran varsity cross country and track in high school. She was a 400/800 sprinter in college running Division 1 Track at UCSD. After this, she started running half marathons which turned into a couple of marathons and eventually got into triathlons.
She did all athletics with her twin sister, Roxanne, and even got to cycle with her once. Tragically, Roxanne passed away in 2017. Since then she races in her honor.
After hearing that doing an Ironman could qualify her for the Ironman world championships in Kona Hawaii, that was her (silent) goal at Ironman California. Anything can happen on race day and she never felt like she had it “in the bag”.
Not only did she achieve her goal, she surpassed her own expectations by placing top 3 overall female. This race is dedicated to the memory of her precious sister. Even though it wasn’t easy, Nicole set a goal, worked hard, and achieved it.
Maria grew up in Orange County and moved to Canyon Lake in 2003 when she got married. She has 3 kids (16 and 14 year-old sons and a 12 year-old daughter). She wasn’t active as a kid and couldn’t even run a mile without having an asthma attack. As she grew up, she began to be more active and try new things as an adult.
After having her daughter in 2010, she wanted to do something different and challenge herself so she started doing triathlons. She completed her first 140.6 event in 2013- “CanyonMan” which was a Canyon Lake Triathlon event.
This year Maria spent 6 months training for the Ironman California and did her best to complete the training during the week so she wouldn’t miss too much time with her family. While it was tough, she trained in the early mornings on weekdays before work and even on weekends so she could still make it to her kids’ games, she even trained on vacation!
After all of the work and time she put in, she completed Ironman California this year. While she doesn’t know if she’ll do another Ironman again (and if she does it won’t be anytime soon) she’ll continue to enjoy living an active life with her family while doing things that make her happy!
In This Podcast
- The Ironman Experience
- Training for Competition
- Beginner’s Advice
The Ironman Experience
Nicole and Maria share their individual experiences competing in the Ironman California. Even though they were only a few days out of the race, these ladies sat down with me to tell me about their race experience. We talked about the course and how they felt throughout the entire race. I also learned how they get nutrition during such a grueling experience and where/how they go to the bathroom during the race 👀 Nothing was off limits!
Training for Competition
Maria and Nicole both spent significant time training for the Ironman and they talk about what sacrifices they made to be able to compete. They put in lots of long hours and Nicole explains the difference in training being self-supported vs. a competition where water, restrooms, and facilities are more easily accessible. Maria shares how she spent 6 months training as a mom and what that was like for her.
They both make sure to point out that ANYONE can do this. There are people in the Ironman who have different body types and different goals, but anyone who sticks to the plan and trains can compete! Also, Maria says that baby steps were the key for her. Start small and work your way up.
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Meet Melissa Vogel
Melissa Vogel is an energetic keynote speaker, business owner, certified personal trainer, certified group fitness instructor, 1st degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, a mother of three, and a podcaster.
Melissa was voted Best Personal Trainer for 2020 by Inland Empire Magazine, and built the Busy to Bomb Fit Mom exercise system.
She is quickly becoming recognized for her expertise and influence in her field!
Melissa has also contributed to numerous publications and has been featured in the Trail Blazer Magazine, she was published in the April 2020 edition of Health Magazine as well. Her approach incorporates personal experience, energy, humor, and charisma.
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