Friday, November 27, 2009

12 hours and 49 minutes make this Ironman

ok, I am going to keep this as short as possible for you all but hopefully give you a good picture into what November 22 was for me. So, let's start at the very beginning.

Wake up at 3AM and get in my 1500 calories. Oatmeal, eggs, fruit, smoothie, pankcakes....anything to get the calories in to set me up for a great day and with my stomach on full. (but not too full)

I then got the drop off from Mz. Fuller at race site so I wouldn't have to walk far. Sammy went with me and we first dropped a few last minute things at my Transition bags, then time to go put air in the tires and pull all nutrition on the bike. This is where something small went wrong. I went to fill up the front tire and air wouldn't go in. As I reached down to make sure the pump was tight enough, my valve extender came off. As I had had very little experience with this, I went over to Sammy at the fence. He couldn't get it back on. (here you can insert tears, a bit of freaking out and then a rush over to the mechanics) I had a wonderful mechanic who took a valve extender off his bike (he wasn't racing) and then put in a new tube for peace of mind, filled up my tire and sent me on my way. I was still worried about that tire, but had to try and put it behind me.

After some deep breathing and some apologizing to Sammy for my freak out (as you can imagine...he felt horrible) I went to make one last stop at the bathroom, stuffed myself in my wetsuit and said my goodbye's to Sammy. I went to the water and waited until the last possible minute to get in the 63 degree water.

The SWIM. It was cold, treading water for 10 minutes in cold water was not fun. I didn't set myself up at the start the right way and so I got a bit off course. I had a rather large cramp in my left calf near the turnaround and had to hang onto a canoe for about 3 minutes. I still swam a 1:20....but I am capable of a 1:10. oh well, must continue the race and shake it off.

The BIKE.
This was the best part of my day and I was secretly hoping it would be. When my stress fractures happened in late June and I was left to swimming and biking, I didn't miss a bike workout. No matter what I did not miss my long bikes on the weekends, and I didn't miss the smaller trainer rides that build strength. (I once had to do 2.5 hours on a bike in a hotel fitness center, but I did it) Biking was my weakness at CdA last year and I desperately wanted a better time. In AZ, it is a 3 loop course and so my plan was to be steady and to drink eat, drink. The course in AZ is deceiving in that it is a false flat on the way out and then a speedy entry back into town. Plus, you are guaranteed some wind at some point and we did have our fair share of that. I ate and drank everything on the plan and ended up with a 6:09 bike split. (18.2 mph avg) This is one hour off my bike time from CdA...yes, I said one hour. Apparently, the work I had put in showed up that day! (I did not know this during the race as I did not wear a watch)

The RUN. This part of the IM is what I was most worried about. I had been booted for stress fractures in July/August and was not able to start running any distance until late September when I raced 70.3 Augusta. I had to trust my base training from the winter as I had run 5 Half Marathons. I also had to start aqua jogging, which was not even close to fun. As I took off on the first loop of the run, I actually felt really good and avg'd 10 minute miles, the second loop I felt good as well and avg'd 10:30 miles. A little bit of a slow down but that was ok. Then near the end of the second loop I had an intense throbbing in my left foot, the foot I had injured. My foot was swelling as I had to have people untie and re-tie my shoes 3 times during the final loop. At this point, I knew I could do 8 miles and it felt easier to run than to walk. I pushed on keeping Des's spirit with me. I saw her right before my final 5 miles and that was all I needed....I could do this, I could finish. Crazy enough I ended up with an 11:37 mph average on the marathon...in CdA I did a 10:37 mph average, so with the injury I wasn't too far off!

As I approached mile 25 I was overwhelmed with the day and how it had gone. At this point I didn't know times as I had raced without a watch. I didn't know a PR was in my grasp, I just knew I couldn't run more than one more mile. So I turned the corner to the Finish and grabbed my niece's hand. As I crossed under and a volunteer took me...she said, Congrat's! You did it under 13 hours! I said...WHAT? and looked behind at the clock seeing 12:49. A 25 minute PR? Is that possible? Is that what I had done? Yes. I fought for it though. I fought hard that day.

It was a great day for Ironman #2....and crazy enough, I can't wait for Ironman #3! (but not until 2011 folks!) Whose IN?

**I will post pictures from this day very soon, I am just waiting for friends to pass them onto me.

5 comments:

pupbutt said...

As always, I am filled with love, admiration and pride for you in all your endeavors. I know this one was special and difficult. I am ever so proud of you!! You are a true Rock Star!!! And a FRICKIN' CHAMP!!!!

Cancun here we come, baby!!!

pupbutt said...

As always, I am filled with love, admiration and pride for you in all your endeavors. I know this one was special and difficult. I am ever so proud of you!! You are a true Rock Star!!! And a FRICKIN' CHAMP!!!!

Cancun here we come, baby!!!

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Kirsten said...

What a great race! Loved reading how it all came together. Again, I teared up, so much goes into these things and you had a ton of inspiration. (which shines through and inspires the rest of us!) So happy for your impressive PR, awesome!

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