Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I asked for humble pie, but they only had cherry or Ironman St. George Race Report

at the Veyo Pie Shop:

Ok, so the race report. This race was hard. Hard. Hard.

I am going to lead with this:

1. I was injured 8 weeks ago. Not many 8 week training plans for an ironman, so I am grateful my coach and therapists got me to the start and the finish lines.

2.Bike Course:

3. Run Course

4. Weather

Hottest day of the year. Over 90 degrees. No shade. Enough said.


On to the Pre- race report. I am not entirely settled with this race, as you can probably tell with my pre-race report 1-4. It was really really hard.

We flew into Vegas on Wednesday night, and headed to bed. Then we made the 2 hours drive to St. George, checked in, and went on a little adventure riding the run course. It looks a bit like Mars.

Here I am with my friends Mark and Laura. These smiles are hiding the fear we are feeling after experiencing some of the heat and riding some of the run hills.


At the athlete's dinner that night, there was a lot of talk about how insane this race is. The videos were not particularly inspiring, and the speakers talked about how insane we are. Even the referee said that drafting wouldn't help us because the run was going to kill us. Awesome.

We dropped off our bikes and checked out the swim course.


Gorgeous. At the dinner they reminded us to enjoy the scenery. They told us we would have time, because we would not be going that fast. Great.


Then, we checked in our run gear at T1, which was 20 miles away from T2.


Then, it was time to relax, rest, eat some great food, and prepare for the race.


The Race **Deep breath**

This was hard. Have I mentioned that?

Here I am with my amazing husband:

And here I am with my friends Mark and Laura before we jumped in:


This was the first true mass start that I have ever done. Not going to lie, it was pretty scary!


I got a little beaten up on the swim, but I made it. I did have trouble sighting because the buoys were the same color as the red rocks, so I kept on messing up. Sighting is not my strong suit anyway. When I came out of the water, I had a really nasty cramp in my calf, so I stumbled out. Those should be great pictures ;-)

Off to the bike. This was not my best ride. It was hard, it was hot, it was hilly. I struggled. I wanted it to be over. I had one great decent, but for the most part, I struggled. I thought that with all of the climbing I had done in preparation, I would be ready, but I wasn't. It was a really long time to be on the bike. As I saw George on my way in, I started crying out of exhaustion, frustration, and relief at putting my bike away.

Off to the run. This is where I had to come to terms with the fact that there was no way I would get the time that I wanted. It was dry. And my stomach hurt. And it was hot. And it was uphill for a long time. George came to run beside me and we had to seriously rethink my game plan .

I have never walked in a race. Never say never. I walked the uphills. Ran downhill or when I could. I went into pure survival mode. I tried to throw up and start fresh with my stomach, but nothing worked. My stomach hurt with ever step until mile 19. I don't think I am ready to figure out why, but it hurt the day before too. I had to force down liquids, but when it is that hot in the desert, you force it down, or your day is over.

I have never walked in a race. Never say never. I walked the uphills. Ran downhill or when I could. I went into pure survival mode. I tried to throw up and start fresh with my stomach, but nothing worked. My stomach hurt with ever step until mile 19. I don't think I am ready to figure out why, but it hurt the day before too.

I actually enjoyed the "run" more than any other part, even though I didn't feel great. I just loved the energy of seeing my family and friends, and knowing that I was trudging towards the finish.

I finished. It was a really long day. I went 14:50, which is over 2 hours slower than Louisville. This finish line felt like relief instead of joy. I am glad it is over. I'm glad I made it through.

I am glad that my friends did an amazing job. I am really proud of them.


I am trying to enjoy the accomplishment, the extra dessert, and the finishers gear. It was a long day and I earned it all. The tough part about endurance sports is that when things are not going well, it means you are out there longer. I joked with George at one point that I was just trying to get our money's worth by spending more time out on the course.

There are no pictures of me grinning from ear to ear like in Louisville, but I am glad that I finished it, and I feel like it was a special race that I will remember forever.

By the way, I did eat cherry pie after the race. And I am still chewing on some of that humble pie.


  1. Great job!!
    I am still having flash backs to last year and my neck is twitching as I write this.... and I find myself mumbling.....

    I still haven't fully recovered :)

    But you are not only an Ironman.... you are the finisher of the toughest IM on continental North America!!

  2. I was impressed how well you did in Louisville. I thought that was a terribly tough bike course and the heat and humidity was killer. Great job on getting this one done too. You're a super-star! See you at Cedar Point.

  3. Killer work! It was a super fun time and great time. Be proud of your time and the humble pie was good stuff! Keep up the hard work! Maybe see you at an "easier" Ironman. My first was at St. George 2011 and it was a fun 11:17:02! Happy recovery!!

  4. Kacie, you did absolutely amazing. I'm sure there was a bit of humble pie, but like the old saying "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger". You had the cards stacked against you with an injury 8 weeks out, belly issues, wind, the heat and a challenging course to say the least - but you did what any strong woman does... got it done!

    Congrats, enjoy the recovery and know that we are all so very proud of you!

  5. Heads up! I am sure you have heard this before but do you know what they call the last person who crosses the line? An Ironman! And you were not last, you were middle of the pack. At, as others say here, the hardest one there is.

  6. We are so proud of you Kacie!
    Love you!

  7. I couldn't wait for your race report, and you didn't disappoint! GREAT JOB KACIE!! I want to tackle the epic course someday, and you just verified that we must be CRAZY. Stellar job, you are STRONG for gutting it out. Now take your recovery just as seriously as you took your training and racing- mmmmmargaritas!! It's summertime! :)

  8. Great job Kacie and nice recap! Who would think such a beautiful place would be so damn mean? I think I might want to do this one someday.

    Way to tough it out KAcie!

  9. Great job Kacie!! You did so well on a freaking tough course!! From what I understand, THE toughest course in the continental US. Just coming off an injury and stuff it is so tough. You are simply amazing, congrats

  10. That course sounds freaking insane. No matter how you felt coming across the finish line, you are a machine. Be proud.

  11. you did GREAT Kacie. Seriously. considering the conditions and your stomach- you stuck it through some tough times out there and when you look back a few years from now, I bet you toughing this course out will be even more rewarding than louisville. my stomach sucked too and I had to walk a ton. I puked once on the bike and 5 times at the finish. the dry heat was just totally brutal. so glad I got to see you out there- enjoy your recovery and the rest of the season! you looked great out there when I saw you (and it was at the end of an uphill if I remember right!!!)

  12. Great job :) Yup, I want to race this even more now after reading your recap :)

    I love the challenge and the thought that a finish is NOT guranteed.

    Keep up the good work and you should DEFINITELY be proud of yourself!