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



  1. Congratulations ! La Môlo' team

  2. Bravo Karine YOU RE AN IRONWOMAN !! Quel parcours vélo, ça a du être dur dur !!

    Alors ça fait quoi maintenant après qq jours de recul ???