Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I am an Ironman!

"Once upon a time..."

Woke up @ 4:30 AM, didn't sleep really good. I felt like a pressure cooker the last few days...

5:30 AM - Transition opened, I checked on my bike & put my French flag sticker on it... I was trying to stay calm but had butterflies in my stomach... Lot's of them! 

We walked about 1 mile to the swim start. I took the decision to swim without a wetsuit.


7:00 AM - Start
SWIM: 01:41:42 / 08:41:42 AM

I was still awaiting in line at the porta potty 5 minutes before the start. I left my bag to hubby & went off. He opted for the wetsuit & start was @ 7:10 AM.

I jumped in the lake & didn't think anymore, I was just happy that the waiting was over. Then the gun went off & well, I cannot even begin to describe the mess it was! What a zoo out there! People swimming on top of each other, how do you call that a swim? lol Anyway, I managed to look @ the buoys & go from one to another. First time I looked @ my watch was 51 minutes & I wanted to be done with it already! Then an Ass--- swam on top of me & took off my cap & goggles. I drunk some water & almost throw up. Ewww... I don't think I yelled at someone that bad before but yes I did today! That guy didn't even stop... I got pissed off & it might have made me swim faster who knows! :) Anyway, let's just say I was really happy to get off of the water! I was happy with my time.

T1: 00:12:01 / 08:53:43 AM
I ran & grabbed my bike bag & went to the changing tent. It was not easy to put on my bib, my jersey & socks being wet. I made sure to put on some Chamois butter as I knew it was going to be a long ride!...

Mile 30: 01:43:01 - 17.47 mph / 10:36:44 AM
I felt good on the bike, hubby passed me around mile 30. It felt really good to see him. I was happy to know he was out of the water too! :)
I was looking at the landscape & wildflowers, singing in my head... The ride was nice.
Mile 56: 01:49:39 - 14.23 mph / 12:26:23 PM
Aid stations were every 10 Miles. I started feeling the heat on the concrete. The wind was blowing in my face & I started struggling... I do not like wind on the bike!!! It was about 13/14 mph, gusting 21/22 mph.

I stopped @ Mile 60 & went to the bathroom. I picked up my special bag but couldn't eat the bagel I prepared. I stretched for 2, 3 minutes & went back on the road. Suddenly roads appeared to me really long & hilly!...

Mile 70, they didn't have anymore water at the aid station. That was a huge bummer... I had lost my 2 Gatorade bottles on the bumpy road (train rail) & didn't have anything left to drink. I drank a little bit of the melted ice, pushing the grass on the side... from that little tiny pool where I could imagined hundred of bottles floating, too many sweaty hands grabbing these bottles!... I know: so gross!
I pushed to the next aid station with that weird taste in my mouth... I was so thirsty!
Then as soon as I got off the bike @ Mile 80, I felt dizzy & the volunteer called the EMT team. I told them I was fine, just bothered by the fact that I had water in my ear from the swim, my ear was going on & off... I just needed water! They sat me, told me that was a symptom of dehydration, the inner ear fluid something... Took off my helmet & poured ice cold water on my head & back. Man, that woke me up! They gave me a Mountain Dew to drink & a bag of chips to eat. I stayed there for about 40 minutes. The all time I was thinking, that's dead, I am never going to make it, such an horrible feeling... 3 others guys were sitting with me, they had given up & were waiting for the SAG vehicle. Another girl came in crying & joined the saddest club ever saying she was done... Hey hold on a minute guys, I wasn't done, I was just resting! I looked at them & just couldn't quit, I had gone too far in that journey to quit! I had made too many concessions in the last 5 months to be part of that race... I stood up & grabbed my helmet & 2 bottles of water, told the medical team I was feeling brand new & was back on the road again. No discussion!

Then the nightmare started! lol
I was counting the miles to the next aid station, pouring water on my head, back, legs & arms... switching my counter to miles & race time... I wasn't riding any faster for that! lol
I couldn't stand looking at the wildflowers anymore... as beautiful as they could have been hours ago... concentrating on the road & my pace, going from hill to hill... that bike ride was not flat! :)
I stopped in the shade to stretch again @ mile 90 for about 10 minutes.   
I passed Mile 100 & I swear those 12 last miles were torture... I started looking at my counter, mile per mile... how many minute per mile... looking at my watch, I had to go faster if I was to make the cut-off, come on girl you can do it! Why did you stop that long on that last stop?
Finally I reached the last turn & could hear the crowd, "You made it"!
Mile 112: 05:03:49 - 11.06 mph / 17:30:12 PM

T2: 00:13:29 
Got off the bike, grabbed my run bag. When I arrived @ the changing tent almost crawling, 2 volunteers asked me what I needed, drink, fruits? They gave me a coke & helped me change. I couldn't use my left hand, too much pressure on the bike handlebars I guess... They put on my compression socks, laced my shoes & pushed me out. :) They were the sweetest thing, real angels! I don't think I could have made it without them.

RUN: 17:43:41 PM
So here I was, on the road again! My first thought was: "Ok, that's just a few miles right? Then... How in the world am I going to finish that marathon???"... I could barely walk, my lower back was hurting & my legs felt like jello... Enough complaining lady, your call to register for that race remember! Suck it up! The sun was high & I could feel the heat from the concrete.
After 3 miles of agony looking around & trying to keep going, I started to feel better & started running few minutes per miles... few steps really...
I finished the first loop, looked at the athlete that were going towards the finish line with envy!
I was drinking & eating a little bit of fruits at each aid station (every mile). Pouring water on my head. I really enjoyed the cheering from the crowd & the volunteers, they were amazing!
On the second loop, it started to get dark. I guess that's the good thing of finishing late, you don't have to deal anymore with the sun & heat! lol
I was looking @ my watch & calculating how long I should "run" a mile to make the run cut-off @ mile 17! Yeah, another cut-off! :) I did make it by 7 minutes... My feet were hurting me, especially the right one, each step was painful. Wet socks are not blisters friendly! I was thinking of hubby waiting around the finish line... wondering if I was going to make it or not... No doubt in my mind he was an Ironman already!
I was on my third loop finally, wanted to pick-up my special need bag but everybody was gone, so no head light for me! :( I was running in the dark on a trail in the wood at some point... my imagination went crazy... hopefully I will not walk on a snake or something funny... I was hearing noise in the woods, maybe it made me run faster! At this point, I think I was going crazy too, losing my mind!
I was so thrilled to see the 26 miles mark I almost started crying! I could hear the crowd & the music... gave me chills. It was so load, so many people wanted to give you high 5, I was overwhelmed by it. The emotion you feel on that last turn is almost impossible to describe.  
I was done, I was an Ironman! :)

FINISHING TIME: 16:49:18 / 23:49:18 PM


Monday, May 13, 2013

It's all about timing... Or not...

Ok so now that the training is over... good thing... I have to admit, that went fast!
It seems like yesterday when I had that crazy idea of registering for that race!
So today is the day you start wondering... Am I going to make it or not?

That is THE big question of the moment...  5 days from THE day...
You look back at the stress you had dealing with extended work hours (I am talking about more than 60 a week here...), training mostly in the evening, sleeping 5 to 6 hours a night, waking up early & eating in your car (I don't call that having breakfast!) so you can beat traffic & maybe make it to the gym @ lunch if you're lucky, thanks to the work load... all these hours spent away from your kiddos, missed calls from your Freshman in college... "Yeah I know mom, you were biking, oh sorry ok you were out running!...", not much couple's life (except when we were biking side by side on the home trainer, sharing really intense sweaty romantic moment!) switching chores & taking care of the kiddos so we could train... Not to mention dealing with tons of laundry!

Anyway... when you're thinking of all that, you'd better succeed!

Photo: Dream. Believe. Achieve.
10 days...You have all the support you need:
Your older son who's 19: "You guys are crazy!!!" But he's our official babysitter for that event so 2 thumbs up for him! He might be as exhausted as us by the end of that week-end! lol
Your son who's 5: "Mommy, can we go to the splash pad when you're done biking please???"... Well, ok these longgggggg ride on the home trainer were not kids friendly... "I'm almost done sweetie"... when you look @ the counter & you've done only 20 something miles... & still have 3 or 4  hours to go... Well...
Your daughter who's 3: "Mommy, can I go with you?"... wearing your helmet & running shoes...
Your hubby: well, he's in that same boat... Lol

Taking all of that into consideration, it looks like you have no choice: yeah sure baby I can do it! lol

Then since you feel like you're going to make it... you start wondering how long will it take you?
Are you insane lady? It's not enough crossing that finish line before cut-off, you also have a time in mind? Really?
Maybe? Maybe not? You have an idea of what you would like to accomplish... Should I say?

Swim: 01:50:00... you're thinking more like 1:35 but with all the mess @ the start & the crowd...
T1: 00:10:00
Bike: Ewww... not really sure about that one! :) You'd say 07:45:00 because you plan on stopping like 5 minutes to stretch every 1 & 1/2 hour...
T2: 00:15:00
Run: 06:00:00, sure why not!!!

So you come up with a total of 16 hours... Yeah right, well... ok so it would be your dream to finish under 16 hours... Then you come back to reality & talking to yourself... lady, if you make it to that finish line you'll be so emotional & full of joy, you won't care about the timing anymore ok!!!

See what Ironman training does to a first timer? lol


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Super Sprint Trigirl - Mother's Day Reward!

May 12, 2013
200 Yards Swim / 8 Miles Bike / 2 Miles Run
00:52:34 on my watch - 00:52:47 chip time?

What a great mother's day gift to start the day with a PR, one week before THE Day! :)

Woke up @ 4:45 AM, wasn't really sure if I was to race or switch to volunteer... My back was still stiff in the morning & maybe I was about to make a huge mistake to go for it... Well, as I was putting on my wetsuit, I thought I could always quit if I didn't feel good along the way... Sure, I would be ready to do that!...

Swim: I don't know about that lake but man, those waves are pretty crazy! 
I swam with my wetsuit, lake temp was @ 68... Yeah... Way too cold for me!

T1: I didn't lose so much time with the wetsuit... I struggled with the little rocks & putting on my cycling shoes...

Bike: I loved it! Lost my bottle @ the start, lost maybe 20 sec to get it back. The only readon why I turned back was because it was my Trigirl bottle! :) Felt so good to bike outside, was passing so many people for once! I encouraged every one of them, I just love to share support.
I was really careful on the many turns, maybe too careful even but I was so afraid to crash... I used the aero position all the way, never happened to me before... Felt confortable, way better than on the home trainer.

T2: I just had to put on my running shoes, no socks. Went the wrong way, turned back! Lol
That's because I was looking @ my watch & didn't pay attention...

Run: I am usually slow so today considering my back pain, I'd say it wasn't so bad! :)
I came to the conclusion that I run faster when I'm hurt! Lol

Now I need to relax & enjoy every minute of that adventure next week. 
I did good to race this morning, made me remember how fun & friendly triathlon was! Kind of lost that feeling after all these long hours of training on my own.

Last Year:
Swim: 00:07:05 
T1: 00:02:17 
Bike: 00:27:26 - 17.5 M/H (28.16 Km/H)
T2: 00:01:24
Run: 00:22:04 - 11:01 Mins/M

This Year:
Swim: 00:06:03 
T1: 00:02:01 
Bike: 00:24:17 - 19.8 M/H (31.86 Km/H)
T2: 00:01:10
Run: 00:19:17 - 9:38 Mins/M