Last week was a long one. The boys were sick and we had a lot to cram into Wednesday to Saturday including rest for me so I had as much energy as possible for Sunday. The boys being sick meant very little rest. I managed to stay healthy from Wednesday on and got in all my mini workouts including a swim in the beautiful Canyon Lake with the Canadian Team TriLife crew.
Derek and I left the boys in the wee morning Saturday while Anthony had been up since 2 am. Grandma Deb took over (so thankful for Grandma! Not sure last week would of been possible without her) so we could make it to Tempe Beach Park for Derek to do his mini Sprint Triathlon. Derek is amazing and crushed it. He had to literally jump into freezing water (14 degrees) and just start swimming on a really cold morning and he did it. This is no easy feat for a guy who can not handle even slightly cold water.
After his race I did my practice swim, checked in my Bike and Run bags and checked in my bike. Time to rest and rest I did thanks to that Grandma person. Without the boys for the day and night I was able to stay off my feet and I slept for 7 hours!
Race morning was non eventful. We were up and out the door by 5:10 am which left me plenty of time to add my nutrition to my bike and pump up my tires.
We again met the TriLife crew. Danny helped me get my wetsuit on and then Tara and I headed to the swim start. Tara was like my security blanket from then to the swim start. We lined up and waited for the pros to start. They did a rolling start after that putting a few swimmers in at a time. I was in the water by 7:03 am and although the water was cold I barely noticed. Now if you have been following my journey this year you know I have been panicking in the water and easily becoming out of breath and gasping for air because of this. I was in that damn cold water for 1 hour and 43 minutes and not once did I panic or become breathless! I was hit by many swimmers but nothing to bad, this did not frazzle me! I had calf cramps in both calves at about 1:15 and I just swam with my arms changing my mantra to THIS – TOO – SHALL – PASS instead of JUST – KEEP – SWIM – ING. This was likely due to the 16 degree water and I knew I would be out soon so I wasn’t too worried. The 4 km swim took me 1:43:00. In July I swam 3 km in 90 minutes. I am beyond happy with this improvement! Mary Jessey thank you for being a huge part of this accomplishment.
Transition was a 400 m run with my bare cold feet on cold wet cement. The crowd was electric and I barely noticed it being as horrible as it was. I saw Derek smiling and taking pictures and Angie and Sharon cheering me on. By the time I got to the wetsuit strippers I had my suit to my hips so the rest only took a moment. I didn’t have a helper in the change tent and I just went through my normal system of wash feet, socks, shoes, chamois cream, helmet, sunglasses. I put everything else back in the bag and I was off. A volunteer offered sunscreen on my way out and I said “yes please but quickly”. I got to my bike before the next volunteer had it unracked and I was off. Considering the long run here I am happy with my time of 10:25
The bike was great. The course was flat with a 17 km incline halfway through each of the 3 laps. I stuck to my power plan using my 4iiiicom power meter and every time I thought I could go a little harder I reminded myself not to burn any matches because I still had a long day ahead of me. I stopped twice to pee and quickly at special needs. I just can’t bring myself to pee on the bike so I lost at least 10 minutes with the pee brakes but I can live with that. My nutrition was on point. 2 gel blocks every 20 minutes and one line of Carbo Pro out of my bottle every hour. I drank every 10 minutes and emptied my bottle over my head before every aid station to keep cool. I saw my cheer team after the first lap and then they headed to Lego Land. The Sharon Styles Hamm the TriLife Banana and Danny were there to cheer at every lap. All in all rather uneventful.
Transition 2 took a little longer than possible at 7:32 because I had to pee again! I coated my feet in Trislide as well as under my 4iiii heart rate monitor, thighs and underarms to avoid blisters and chafing. The sun was only going to be up for another hour so I left the sunglasses put on my Do Epic Shit hat and I was off to finish this epic shit!
Out on the run I knew I had to keep my pace below 10:25 km/min to make all my cutoffs and finish this thing under the 17 hours allowed. I knew I had this thing in the bag but I also knew I had to be smart because I had never ran 42 kms before! I veered from my nutrition plan slightly because the Carbo Pro in my race belt just wasn’t doing the trick. I grabbed water and ice at every aid station for the first 10 kms, some red bull here and there but wasn’t taking in enough calories. I set out to just suck it up and take in those gross gels. They make me gag eating them but they don’t bug my stomach and I needed that fuel. I took a gel at every other aid station and made sure it was down by the next station. I would say I had about 2 an hour but I lost count. I tried chicken broth at an aid station because coach said I should but I instantly knew it wouldn’t be good for my stomach so I tossed it. I got my salt all day from Base Salts because even Gatorade turns my stomach and I didn’t want to add stomach distress to my day. I was comfortably holding a 9:50 min/km pace for a long while but then I had to pee and that put me up to a 10:05 min/km and then again and that put me up to a 10:18 min/km by the end of the first half marathon. I was concerned but not worried. I decided to keep with it and do my 4/1’s and walk the hills up and run them down. No sense burning matches on those hills. I told myself if I could get myself back down to an average 10:16 min/km I could pee again, if not I would just have to hold it. I also backed off the caffeine because I knew that was likely making me have to pee more than I actually needed to and it worked! No more red bull for me for the rest of the race. I saw Derek, Angie, the banana and Danny cheering many times. I even saw Tara once after she finished. She finished an Ironman and stuck around to cheer, such a warrior! 7:09:19 for the run.
I saw Derek again with less than a km to go and then he ran off to the stands to take pictures of the finish line. I ran my 4/1’s right to the very end! I am proud of my resource management all day to make that happen! A couple of other racers in the last few kms told me to walk the finish chute to take it all in. There is nothing like finishing your first Ironman and it is a waste to run through it. They were right! The crowd cheering and high fiving is electric. The feeling of finishing 140.6 miles of swimming, biking and running is surreal.
Derek, Angie, Sharon and Danny were all there for a post race chit chat and pictures. I was done an Ironman! A freaking Ironman!
16:33:26 total time!
There are so many people to thank. Angie Anderson thank you for taking me on with 2 months to go. I wanted to go into the race confident I did those last 2 months right and that is exactly what happened. I showed up Sunday knowing I was going to become an Ironman thanks to you.
Grandma Deb Hyslip. You and Noel are amazing. You helped us out every step of the way last week to make this dream of mine a reality. I know it wasn’t easy especially with both boys being sick but you did it and for that I am beyond grateful.
Thank you to the local Triathlon store Tri It Multisport. Richelle Love and Todd helped me with every question from gear to nutrition to special needs. Thank you for your commitment to athletes, even the back of the packers like myself this year.
Everyone who cheered for me near and far. I felt your energy all day. Thank you.
For those of you that doubted me. Now there is cross over here between cheerers and doubters for some. I do have to say thank you. You gave me a little extra drive to say Fuck you I can do anything! To those that said point blank I couldn’t… Fuck you. Your opinion didn’t matter before and it sure as heck doesn’t matter now.
Last but definitely not least. Thank you Derek Greene. We made this crazy dream of mine happen together. From our late night swims and bike rides, to our open water swims to you taking care of the boys when the workouts were longer than I could do before they woke up. Your love and support throughout was not unnoticed. Team Greene for the win once again.
As for me now that I have had a few days to recover I am happy to say I am uninjured. All my ailments and injuries are not flared up. My insanely sore quads only lasted till late Tuesday and I just have a couple angry toes left. I am very proud of this. I took care of my rickety body through all of the training and it worked! I am also very proud of my training. It wasn’t easy with our two precious kids(3 year old and 14 month old), working part time, breast feeding through a good portion of the training, working around injuries and everything else that is life. I am proud of all of it. I am damn proud to be an IRONMAN but it really is all the other stuff that completes the pride.