Monday, October 24, 2011

Half-Ironman Day!

Friday October 21, 2011

An ironman requires a minimum of physical preparation... and you've got to have cute toenail too!
I took the Friday afternoon off to get ready...
I registered under the French citizenship so here you go... French colors on the way...

Then I needed a sport suit & I just love my "peace & quiet", my "me time" when I am training... I really need that "me time" not to lose my sanity with 2 toddlers, 1 teenager & a working crazy bunny... And I might add, crazy long hours @ my work too...
Anyway, enough excuse... I just wanted to be kind of cute! lol

Saturday October 22, 2011

Here we are, ready to leave around 10:00 AM. 

We stopped on our way @ Subway to eat a sandwich.
Weather was fine, sunny, windy & cloudy as we were approching Austin.
Bunny was wondering why did I want to register for that race again?
I don't really know... I was bored on Christmas day last year... I was surfing on internet & triathlon stuff... then I saw the ironman website & that was the end of it... Good thing the full ironman in The Woodlands, TX was sold out at that time!!! lol I didn't really think too much about it... thought that would be a challenge & I went to ask bunny if he wanted to play Santa again... He could offer me the registration fee... Then 3 weeks later, he registered as well, That wasn't my fault! lol

So we got to the expo & waited in line, so many people arriving at the same time! 

I had to take that picture... that was so weird because bunny just asked me: "I wonder if I could put my bike on my bike"... then I saw that bike & said: "I guess so, look at that"!

Isn't that the craziest thing? lol

We picked-up our package & had to go check our bike in.
Transition was huge! I felt like my bike didn't belong there for a while because at least 95% of the bikes were carbon with aero wheels...  

Well, I got my pink handlebar tape... lol

Then we went to check out the lake... & the water temperature. No wonder it was wetsuit permitted... :)

I loved the course, 2 turns only & waves every 4 minutes.

Bunny was looking at the water like... this is a long swim!!! lol We couldn't even see the last buoy...

We went back to the expo center & check in for the run transition. We left our bag on the rack...

First time I saw pink & blue portable, so I had to take a picture...
Around 4:00 PM, we drove the bike course. I was really concerned on some comments I read the weeks before on the Austin group... People were saying the roads were in bad condition & hilly. Well, they didn't lie about that...

We finally got to the hotel & had dinner, were in bed around 9:30 PM.

Sunday October 23, 2011

We woke up @ 4:45 AM, realized that we wouldn't have breakfast because it was too early... Ok that wasn't a good move... We grabbed a cereal bar & water at the hotel before leaving...
Silence in the car, we were in our thoughts... Then bunny told me he didn't sleep good, was too stressed about the race. I didn't even know what I was feeling anymore... :)
We parked at the expo, took the bus to the start. Really well organized!
Body marking, dropped my stuff @ the bike transition & went to the swim start. I was cold already & didn't touch the water yet... :) I was excited & wondering at the same time if I'll be able to finish...

Swim: 1.2 miles - 48:06 (rank 78/146)
I was one of the crazy people that didn't wear a wetsuit... and we were not that many... only 2 in my waves of 175 people... lol
Well, I didn't want to spend more $$ so I thought I could handle the cold water... Until I started swimming & realized it was cold. Swimming is my favorite. At the end of the first line, it was foggy & I thought it was my goggles, but no, as I swam to the second line, it was real fog! lol 
Around the half, one guy swam on top of me & as I was going up, another guy swam on top of me again... For a moment there I had this thought that if I was going to sink nobody would even notice... the lake was really dark & it freaked me out. I drank water & coughed for a few seconds. That wasn't a good feeling at all... but I kept going & found my rhyme again. After 35 mn, I couldn't feel my fingers & my feet, I was just too cold.

Transition Swim/Bike: 09:48
I was happy to get off the water! I wasn't really tired at this point. I ran to the first bathroom because you know... that time of the month... yeah, couldn't pick a better day really!
Anyway, I got to the transition & let me tell you... try on putting a tiny cycling short when your fingers are cold & your legs are wet... Took me 3 minutes! lol Then I realized I should have brought a bigger towel because my feet were really muddy. The half bottle of water did make it for both feet but I had to use my transition bag... kind of doing yoga for a while... trying to find my balance at the same time as I was putting my socks on... 
Then I went...

Bike: 56 miles - 03:50:11 (rank 96/146)
Like I said before... roads were in bad condition, they had a lot of craks & poor concrete... After one hour, I had enough with the hills already & the wind started blowing. On the last half we were riding with headwinds... that was tough. At mile 40, the back of my neck was killing me, I wasn't used to stay on my bike that long... Then I stopped for another bathroom moment... lol The EMS asked me if I needed help... I said: "I just need a new pair of legs...". I stretched for maybe 5 minutes & felt better... 16 miles to go, peace of cake right?
I was on the last turn when bunny passed me. That felt really good to see him! He was pissed off because he got a penalty for drafting... try passing people on the hill under 20 seconds... that's just impossible! Anyway... I saw him at the penalty tent when I got to the transition, felt sorry for him... :(

Transition Bike/Run - 6:54
Switched my cycling short for my skirt & put on my running shoes. And guess what? Yes I had another bathroom stop... lol

Run: 13.1 miles - 03:09:49 (rank 93/146)
At this point, I really wondered how I was going to run... I could barely walk... I had to concentrate on my feet to go straight... Run was 3 loops of hills & downhills... I walked the entire first loop, my knee was killing me, I'm getting old!
Second loop was a little better, I started running 1 minute, walking 2 minutes... yes I know, really amazing running style! lol
It was so hot, I was pouring water on my head @ the water station (every mile) & by the next mile it would be dry. 
Spectators & family around were cheering up everybody, they were just amazing!
Each time I was crossing bunny we hugged & kissed... I was looking forward to see him! :)
Third loop, I guess because you know that's going to be the end, you run better! :) I was so happy to see the finish line, I almost cried. :)

Total - 70.3 miles - 08:04:48 (rank 92/146)

Overall rank 1839/2500 (44 Pros...)

Overall, it was not easy & I didn't train enough for sure. But the feelings at the finish line are amazing, so great that the next day you want to do it again... maybe a full one this time... who knows?
Call me crazy (that would be fine...), I registered for another 70.3 in April 1, 2012. And that's not even an April fool's jook... But this time I made sure it was flat & rolling...
Lone Star 70.3, Galveston Island, TX.
I just cannot let 10 months of training go to waiste... 

Christmas list this year: that wetsuit will be on the top... before the box of chocolate! :)

If everything goes well, 2013 would be the year of the full ironman. :)

Thank you everybody for all the good wishes I received prior & after the race, and special warm thoughts to the MM! :) 

I cannot thank you enough bunny for sharing that experience with me... Do you want to register for the Galveston Island one? We can offer each other a wetsuit on Christmas day!... lol

1 comment:

  1. Congrats Karine! You did an absolute awesome job and I'm really proud of you! I totally understand that you plan another one! Go Karine Go!