Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ironman Louisville Race Report

This was a really amazing day. I mean truly amazing.

The few days leading up to it were exciting and nerve wracking. I love how much of a community it is. Everyone is talking to everyone els
e, and it feels like there are no strangers here. I had a blast feeling the energy.

I had a great time at the welcome dinner hearing the inspiring stories, hearing people talk about times that I thought seemed crazy fast, talking about the hills and heat, etc.

Packing the bags was hilarious. There are SO many of them. It is so different from a normal triathlon. It is just such a spectacle getting ready for the ordeal.

Morning of, I checked my bike. I deflated and inflated my tires 3 times, because I was so nervous about them. I just kept checking stupid things again and again. We walked about a mile to the swim start, and then stood in line. It is a time trial swim start, so you wait and wait until the cannon goes off, and then the day begins. The line starts moving, and the friends and family have to leave the line. My husband didn't go far, though, so we could keep talking. As we got closer to the start, the line speed picks up, and eventually, I am at an all out run. My husband thought there would be a moment when I stopped to really jump off of the dock, but instead, I just kept running, like I was in a cartoon!

I started swimming, and I felt great. I navigated around people, and I felt like the current wasn't moving against me. I was aiming for a 1:30-1:40 swim time, and so I was thrilled with my time just under 1:22. I was so excited to hop out of the water and into the changing tent.

I got my stuff on and ready to go. Then, out to get my bike and start that adventure. My bike did beautifully. All of my fears about a mechanical issues were thankfully unwarranted. I stayed hydrated and kept food going down my throat! I enjoyed the ride. It was beautiful on the course and there were people cheering throughout. There were amazing horse farms, and rolling green hills. We went though a town where they had bussed spectators in, and you felt like you were in a grand tour with everyone cheering. At one hill, there was even a guy in a devil costume cheering us up the hill. Now, don't get me wrong, it was still 112 miles in super super hot weather. It was not easy, but I stayed focused, stuck to the plan, and stayed within my self.

Once I got back to transition, everything started to hurt. I need insoles in my bike shoes, and my feet hurt hurt hurt. I told myself that I could walk through the whole transition, but that I would just suck it up and run once I left. I rubbed my feet and hoped the pain would stop, and I walked to the transitions exit.

Out I went. 95 degrees, 70% humidity, and 26.2 miles left. I felt pretty good. I tried to get a pace that was challenging at that point, but that I thought I could keep up. I took water, I took coke, I drank powerbar stuff, anything I could possibly swallow, except real food. I knew that this day would be a losing battle with hydration, but I also knew that my peak month was atlanta in july. I know how to handle it, even if it really hurts! The miles cruised on by until evil mile 14, when I had to run right past the finish line. I mean next to it. Cruel. I started to tank mentally. I mean, fall apart. My pace slowed way down. I started to feel dizzy and faint. I drank coke and soup. I am a vegetarian, and I didn't intend to take the soup. The combo had me keeled over and ready to throw it up. But I just kept on trudging forward.

And then, like a beacon from above, was the 20 mile sign. A 10K left??? I can do a 10K in my sleep. That's it?? It was like the fog lifted (which might have had something to do with the gel I was able to choke down at mile 19). I could see and hear better, and smile crept onto my face. When my family and friends saw me next (they were ALL over the course, it was amazing), I was grinning from ear to ear. Fans were saying, "number 206 is smiling!" I felt like a million bucks. Well, like a tired and dehydrated million bucks. I just knew I was going to finish then. I just knew it.

So every mile marker was so exciting. As you enter into town, the crowds thicken, and they are going wild. It was amazing. I turned the corner and saw the finish line. I was so happy I can barely even describe it. I heard them say my name, where I was from, it was my first ironman, and those magical wonderful are an ironman. I was done.

Not only was I done, I was so happy I could hardly stand it. I felt incredible. It was faster than I believed I could do it. I survived the race and the tough conditions. I passed through the chute, got my medal, had an amazing volunteer help me through. Grinned stupidly at the finishing picture and fell into my husbands arms laughing and crying. I immediately said I wanted to do the finish line again, and my husband gently reminded me that you can do just the finish line! That's ok with me. I loved it. I mean, I loved the whole day.

I took a shower, ate some pizza, and went back to the finish line for the last hour of finishers. It was so emotional to cheer people on as then dragged themselves across the line with so little time remaining. It was incredible, and I loved it.

The next morning, I bought my nice finisher stuff and headed back home. Wow, buying finisher gear is SO much fun! I will be daydreaming about that from now until May 8th when I finish my next one!

My school had an assembly to honor the work and the accomplishment. I was so honored, and my students heard and loved the story all day. It was amazing.I just adored the whole thing. I had a celebratory dinner with my coach, where we decided that the next one will be in St. George, Utah in May.

Everything else I have done athletically pales in comparison. It was really just the best experience.My friends Mia and Sparkles were really incredible, and my husband's support of me continues to amaze me. I am truly a fortunate person.

Speaking of incredible friends--Mia made this awesome video for me!

Here's the nitty gritty:

Swim 1:21:52
Bike 6:24:59
Run 4:43:06
Overall 12:43:36
Rank 643
Division position22

2.4 mi. (1:21:52)
23 mi (1:14:22)
18.56 mph
40 mi (55:27)
18.39 mph
70.5 mi (1:47:45)
16.98 mph
112 mi (2:27:25)
16.89 mph
112 mi. (6:24:59)
17.46 mph
3.39 mi. (32:48)
8.2 mi. (49:51)
13.1 mi. (49:45)
15.33 mi. (24:17)
20.1 mi. (59:35)
25.04 mi. (54:08)
26.2 mi. (12:42)
26.2 mi. (4:43:06)


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The beginning.....kind of

I am not much of a writer, but I find that I spend so much time thinking about triathlon and training, that I need a place to put some of these thoughts--thus the blog.

I finished my first Ironman one month ago todayn in Louisville, Kentucky. I will post up my race report here later.

I am starting to feel good again, and planning for the next one in St. George, Utah. It is a challenging one, and will certainly be an adventure. In fact, that race is in 220 days! Wow! I have a lot of work to do between now and then!