The Iron Granny: Swarm Collective Member Vicki C.

Posted by casey weaver on

We could try to write an amazing intro to give you the background on Vicki, but instead, we are just going to jump right into the interview.  Needless to say, we are stoked to be working with Vicki and hope we are still charging as hard when we are grandparents!

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1.  What is your background as an athlete? 
I was what I would call a "sporadic" athlete.  I was a competitive swimmer in high school, got sick of 4 hours a day of training and dropped out once I completed high school  I played with a little bit of Body Building/Fitness competition in my early 30's and then just got busy with life and fitness went to the back burner.  I suffered some back injuries in 2003 and ballooned up to 200 lbs.  Pain management doctor told me to get used to the pain and to take the pain meds.  When I was 48, I became a grandmother.  My granddaughter moved in with us when she was 8 months old and I started walking.  I realized that the only time I was pain free was when I was walking.  Long story short, 8 months later I signed up for my 1st triathlon.

2.  How long have you been competing in Ironman and / or endurance sports? 
I raced my 1st triathlon in 2007.  I built up the courage to enter an Ironman in 2012.  Now my goal is to get to Kona while racing every US IM locale in the process.  As the 3 Stooges used to say....inch by inch.....step by step.

3.  What is your favorite race you've ever done? 
Ironman Wisconsin was my favorite all time race.  The crowds make you feel like you're a complete rock star.  I even thought it was fun having "scary clown" in the cornfield.  I laughed so much during that race. I've raced 6 different locales and nothing has topped it yet!  But a close 2nd was the Skydive Ultra.  You jump out of a plane and then run anywhere from a 10k to 150k race!!  Serious fun!!

4.  What is the absolute hardest race you've ever done? 
The hardest race was Ironman Coeur D'Alene 2015.  The year of 105 degree real temp.  Highest temperature of any US Ironman race.  I saw tires explode from the heat on the bike course.  They ran out of water at mile 83 of the bike!!  When I stopped at that aid station, firefighters measured the heat of the pavement and it was 148 degrees.  I actually took a wet rag from the empty kiddie pool and squeezed it to get water out.  Yes, I ingested other peoples' DNA that day.  When I got off of the bike, the bottom of my feet were covered in blisters from the radiating heat.  I had several friends racing that day and many did not finish.  I wasn't quitting.  I don't quit.  I finished with a 16:53:59.  This was my 4th Ironman and the one that really made me feel like I earned the title "Ironman."


5.  What motivates you to train and race triathlon? 
My mother is 90 years old and "all there".  I know that I have a long life ahead of me and want to make the most of it.  I have found that movement is key to keeping my back from "taking me down".   I would love to still be racing Ironman when I'm 80 and I am laying the foundation for that accomplishment.  My 2 eldest grandchildren look up to their "crazy, bad" grandma!  My 7 year old granddaughter is swimming competitively now and says she wants to be like grandma.  My oldest grandchild has a "never quit" attitude.  She "blames" me for that!! . 

6.  Outside of triathlon, what are your favorite hobbies and / or how would you "prefer" to spend most of your time if possible. 
My husband and I are known for our soft hearts for animals, especially dogs.  We've taken in multiple senior dogs that had nowhere to go and taken care of them till they pass.  We have had up to 7 dogs in our home at one time.  We're now down to only 4 and the house feels empty.  But for now, we have a couple of "special needs" dogs that have pretty intensive individual care.  And I always relish time with the grandkids.  I spend time every day with my soon to be 12 year old granddaughter.

7.  What are your key races / goals for 2018? 
I am racing Ironman Boulder and Ironman Florida.  IM Boulder scares me and I'm planning on "parading" this race.  Wave to the crowds and smile for the cameras.  And FINISH.  IM Florida....now that's a different story.  I will finally be racing a "flat" and hopefully hot course.  I live and train in flat south Florida and I've never raced a flat course....anxious to see what I can do when I "race how I train".

8.  Go-go smoothie recipe? 
I'm a person that likes routine.  Every day, I make a shake with the following.  Couple of handfuls of kale or spinach, 1/2 banana, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 apple, 1/2 orange, broccoli sprouts, almond milk and of course Fieldwork Nutrition!!

9.  Stones or beetles? 
I am a total Stones girl!  I've seen them in concert 4 times! 
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We are Stones all the way, too!  Thank you, Vicki, and good luck in 2018.

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