#129.1: Melissa Urie on Mental Toughness & Uberman [Podcast] - Sparta Chicks

#129.1: Melissa Urie on Mental Toughness & Uberman [Podcast]

Sparta Chicks Radio

Dec 08
RangaMel is back on Sparta Chicks Radio
Every other time I’ve stood on the start line, I’ve felt like an Imposter. This was the first time that I’ve walked in and thought “yes, I belong here”. I had no hesitation about that.

Uberman is described as the world’s most challenging triathlon.

Consisting of 34km swim, 644km ride and 217km run, the race takes competitors from the Catalina Islands off the California coast to the trailhead at the top of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in Continental USA.

34k done and out of the water

Until 2019 when Melissa Urie lined up at the start, no woman had ever attempted the event.

But 135 hours, 15 minutes and 55 seconds after she started, Mel became the first woman to finish the race!

In the process, she also set a new swim course record, finished second overall and smashed the previous course record by 31 hours. 

And she returns to Sparta Chicks Radio this week to share the story!

This is Mel’s third time on the podcast, She joined me way back in early 2017 to talk about her experience at Epic 5 (which is 5 Ironman distance triathlons over 5 days on 5 Hawaiian islands). 

Then she returned to the podcast earlier this year (2019) to share her experience of competing at the Ultraman World Championships in Hawaii in 2018 (Ultraman consists of 10km swim, 421km ride and 84km run over 3 days). 

A long race requires a long conversation; Mel and I spoke for 2 hours about all-things Uberman - her preparation and training, the race itself and the aftermath. And my thanks to those in the Sparta Chicks community who offered their own questions for Mel!

The swag

The swag!

So I have divided this episode into two instalments.  This is part 1 and part 2 will be published on 23rd December 2019, making this (perhaps to the horror of Mel’s husband Michael) “the Month of Mel” 😉 

In this instalment, we discuss:

* the logistics including the entry fee, the swag and her crew,

* when she decided Uberman was the next step for her,

* whether missing the bike cut-off at the Ultraman World Championships in 2018 caused her to second-guess her decision to enter Uberman,

* where her mental toughness comes from and why every single training session is important,

* why Uberman appealed to her so much as to justify the physical, mental, emotional and financial investment,

* how she trained for Uberman while working on a full-time basis

* how she and her husband Michael manage the household chores during her peak training periods,

* whether she felt “ready” for the race, 

*- how the swim leg unfolded including what it’s like to swim for long at night, how she mentally and physically managed feeling sick (to the point of vomiting) early in the swim leg and the moment she realised she was on track to break the swim course record.

Stay tuned for Part 2 when we discuss the (600km) bike and (217km) run legs, the aftermath and more questions from the Sparta Chicks community.

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Notes and resources:

iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify

To find out more about Mel or to say hello, you can find her on Instagram or via her blog.

You can find my conversations with Mel's coach Kate Bevilaqua here and with her husband Michael here.