My first Triathlon
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Revolution3 Full Distance - TriathlonFull Ironman
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= 14h 25m 28s
= W 35-39
Age Group Rank
Woke up about 4am and took a shower and shaved. Sleep was crap-tastic. I was not stressed about the race, just active brain syndrome, probably got about 3-4 hours of sleep. I always like feeling clean the morning of Ironman knowing I'm going to be gross for the rest of the day. Ate a banana and a bagel with peanut butter on it.
Marked my arms with "suck it" and "4 Michael" as I would be racing Rev3 in honor of his fight with cancer.....a battle he is currently winning!
Amy and I headed over to the start and into transition. There was a bike with a seat so high the guy who rode it must have been close to 7 feet tall! The seat came up about 3 inches below my shoulder! The morning was chilly and being a smaller event, not too busy so Amy and I went back to her SUV and took a short snooze. Secretly I wished I could fast-forward past the swim and just get to the bike.....the water for the past 2 days had been very choppy and had me worried. It was the first time since I started racing tri that I had felt a bit intimated by the water.
We got up and headed over to the swim start and saw Alice and David. We all walked over together and as the sun rose, I was grateful that the winds had shifted and Lake Erie seemed fairly calm!
Walking to the swim start. I didn't bother to get in the water before the start, it's Ironman......the entire swim IS THE WARM-UP! Heading over to the swim start I'm just relaxed and will just accept what the day will throw at me.
1h 29m 38s
02m 07s / 100 yards
This was my first beach start in a race. I looked around and saw tons of men and I said to Amy "geez I hope I don't get trampled just getting to the water." AS the pros went off I wrote "5x IM" in the sand and said to Amy, "it's a great day to become a 5-time Ironman!" It was pretty cool they we were both doing our 5th together. We had a blast leading up to race day, Ironman friends rock!
Finally we started and headed into the water. The running into the water was ok, the water was pretty shallow for quite some time so almost everyone was walking. Finally started to swim, the water temp was fine, I could not see the bouys so I just followed the feet in front of me, the benefit of being slow in the water, just play follow the leader and hope like hell they can see where they are going!
It was the usual washing machine of being punched, kicked and groped. I got a karate chop to the back of the head that made me see stars for a bit. Got to the first turn bouy and there was a log-jam, but just kept swimming. There was a guy in a red Orca wetsuit that kept hitting me I was getting annoyed, so I would let him pass and then I would catch him and he would hit me again! Uggg! Finally we headed into shore and the bouys seemed to fly by me!
Got out, ran through the timing spot and headed for my second loop. I checked my watch, but it had been kicked and was in some mode that I had never even seen before, WTF!? As I waded back into the water I asked a guy next to me what our time was and he told me 45 minutes. I felt ok about that, I'm no speedster.
Got back in for more beatings, although not as bad as the first loop. By the time I hit the first turn, boredom set in. For me the hard part of the swim is not the distance, but the boredom of swimming for so long. I started to think about getting on my bike and turn toward the beach....it seemed so far away! Current must have changed as this time I kept getting a mouthful of water when I turned to take a breath, oh well it's fresh-water, I could use the hydration!
Finally got to where I could stand and dolphin-dove into shore for a bit and finally just walked the rest of the way up to the beach and ran toward the timing mats. Looked at my watch, which was still in that bizarre mode.
What would you do differently?:
Check with USAT and see if I can wear a crash helmet during the swim?
Rinsed my feet in the buckets they had out, thankfully i washed away the sand. Grabbed my bag from the rack and headed in to the change tent. I sat down and was so thankful I had remembered to pack a towel to dry off with, yay!
There was a girl across from me shivering and they had a blanket over her and were looking for some warm liquids to give her. I felt bad for her, but could not understand why she was so cold, the water temp was not bad at all.
I dried of as best I could and then asked a volunteer to help me put on my ghetto arm-warmers, tube socks with the toes cut off :
) Threw on some deodorant and I headed toward Mags
(I raced on my road-bike since I had not done any long rides on Sparty after my rib fractures
) and looked down at my watch and saw it had gone into chron mode again and that I was out in about 1:35ish for the swim and T1. Cool!
What would you do differently?:
This was a good transition, worth the few extra minutes to dry off.
6h 25m 6s
Ride started out flat, maybe some tailwind, I can't be sure as I was just so excited to be on my bike. There were a few people out cheering in front of their houses, as I went by I heard "you go girl!" and "oh a girl Ironman!"
Suddenly was turn off of this boring road and I'm struck by wind, I immediately hope the course is not horribley windy. Living in the Bay area, I don't mind climbing..at least you can see a hill, but wind....she is a sneaky bitch, can strike out from any direction!
Hit the mile 10 marker and then headed out to the country. I passed some people and was a bit worried about being bored on this ride....I should have worried more about the road surface! Knowing this race is not my "A" race I just wanted to enjoy the race as much as possible and not ruin myself as I prep for Ironman Arizona in November.
I wanted to ride at a comfrtable pace, tried to keep my cadance around 90. As always I worked the downhills.....free speed! NO clue what miles I hit headwind, but I know that I was miserable in it. I think this was my first Ionman ride where I kinda zoned out...maybe it was boredom, maybe it was an effort to forget the pain on the road surface!
We hit patches of chip-seal which is a gravel-type surface that flattens out as cars drive over it. It is a horrible, bumpy ride. Literally your body vibrates from your feet to the top of your skull. At times you are riding on this crap and into head-wind! At one point on the ride I was in so much pain in my crotch that I said a little prayer for my girl and hoped that my sex-life would not ben destroyed by these roads! I ove Ironman, but there are some things I'm not wiling to trade in the name of racing!
MOst aid stations did not have bananas, one of my staples in IM racing. There were bananas twice on the course and both times they were green, eww no thanks! Beyond that I was eating my ClifBloks and having Enduralytes about 1 an hour or so. As I passed people or they passed me, I thought to myself, "where are all of the girls at?" I know Ironman is a big dick-swinging contest, but come on ladies, have some balls! LOL
At one point I guess the pros pass by as I'm riding close to pack of 5 men. ONe guy says, "did we just get lapped by the pros?" I said, "I have no clue, I guess I'm not paying attention." The course was kinda empty but I did catch a guy on a blue Trek wth Silver shoes, sweet! I used him as a my rabbit for about 10 miles and then he jumped off his bike to pee :
( I complimented him on his shoes as I went by.
I tried not to look at my time too much, but around mile 80 I did some Ironman-math, where I calculated that I could be of the bike in about 7.5 hours of racing! I got excited and made a deal with myself to be off my bike no later than 8 hours into racing. This seemed like a great plan, but of course headwind had other plans for me as did the chip-seal.
At some point I roll my ghetto arm-warmers down to my wrists. They were like that for a while and realized I didn't want to have sock tan-lines on my wrists and took them off.
Around mile 90 or so I yelled out "f-ck, I just want of this bike!" I took an Advil becasue my entire body was in pain from the vibrations os the road surface. I even debated the possibiity of riding standing up for the rest of the ride, thats how much pain my no-so-iron-tata was in!
Finally hit the school and I quickly realize there are 10 miserable miles left in this ride. I want to cry out of frustration from the wind and pain. I look at my arms and think of Michael and know I can suck it up for 10 more miles.
Finlly we hit the long road back to T2....uggg....it took forever! It was like a scene in The Shining where the hallway seems to be endless no matter how fast you are trying to get to the end. I struggle in the wind and think to myself, "damn I am one miserable b-tch right now!" look at my watch and see I am close to my 8 hour deal I made with myself...to be off this friggin bike within 8 hours of racing. I yell out "f-ck" and power through until I see T2, yay!
What would you do differently?:
I can't control wind or road surface, only how I let them effect me. I cursed a bunch, but my truck-driver mouth was more than called for in this case. I was happy to be riding my road bike as being in the aero-position on those roads would have been even worse in the saddle area.
I got through this ride without tummy issues!!! Woohoo! I jumped from 43rd to 33rd by the time I got of the bike. Great bike time for me with these crazy conditions!
I glady gave my bike to a volunteer. My body felt so beat up, I took my time in transition, it just felt so nice to not be on a bike. I went into the tent, threw on my socks and sneakers, but wished I had deodorant in T2, I really needed a refresher. A volunteer brought me some water and I asked for vasaline, they didn't have any! I used a baby-wipe to wash my face, it felt great! I had 1 peanut butter sandwich cracker and headed out. I used the porta-potty, the first time I peed other than during the swim.
What would you do differently?:
Deordorant in T2 bag I was ripe! Also some vasaline in case the race does not provide it.
6h 20m 12s
14m 31s min/mile
I headed out of T2 with the idea of run/walk 5:1. I quickly realized my body just felt weak and pummeled from the ride and went with 3:1 for a while. I saw Amy and she was running! I also saw Jenn, gave er a hug and she handed me a pink bracelet as she was finishing the Half. Alice passed me and she was looking really strong too. I love seeing familiar faces on the course!
At the aid stations I would grab some grapes and water. Of course there were plenty of green bananas for those who could stomach them, gross! Tons of people pased me on the run as usual. Hey some of us have to finish later to make the faster people look fast! :
After an hour on the course I picked it up to a 5:1 run/walk. I was feeling pretty good. I looked at my watch and did some ironman-math again and realized I could go about 13:30 at my current pace! I got so excited at the prospect of PRing!!
Toward the end of the first loop I walked a bit with a guy from Michigan. He was hurting and I could tell he needed a friend. My time seemed less important than helping fellow racer. We chatted and this was his 5th Ironman too! We chatted for about 10 minutes and he thanked me for talking with him, said "I really needed a pick-me up". Around the half-mary mark I see trixie and dresed as Wonder Woman and she give me a hug.
By this point I think my stink had it's own stink.
One guy yells to me as he passes, "Damn Abbie you rock that bike, I need to take some cyclng lesons from you!"
Was still feeling good as I hit mile 14 and realized I should pick it up a bit from the long walk break. I decided the new strategy would be run from aid station to aid, great plan......in theory. However, my body had other plans, I lovely blood blister had developed on my right pinky toe. It hurt, A LOT! I ran on it for about 2 miles and then stopped to ask for a bandaid, no bandaids....WTF!? ONe of the voluteers had one in her purse, it was small, but I would give it a shot. She even let me sit in her car while I put it on. I took off my shoe and saw blood on my sock, uggg not good! Got the bandaid on and it did nothin to dull the pain of each footfall :
A lot of people did not have Enduralytes and were cramping, I had more than enough and gladly shared them along the way. ONe guy was looking really bad and as I pased hima few Enduralytes he said "Abbie, if I finsih this race, it will be from your generosity." LOl, it was just a salt tablet, not a piggy-back ride to the finish-line!
I saw Kevin on the course and he said "my wheels fell off somewhere back there". Along the water I se a woman with a 10-yr old boy and and an older couple. I ask "do you have a bandaid?" She said, "sorry, I dont" and I said, "well I figured since you are a mom, you would have some." They all laughed as I continued on what felt like a death-march.
Suddenly hear footsteps and it's the 10-yr old kid. He says "what kinda bandaid do you need?" I say, "just something ou would use around your finger." THE KID RUNS HOME AND GETS ME 2 BANDAIDS! He and his family meet me on the course and hand them to me while his mom says, "there's a bench for you to sit on right here dear." I smile and almost cry from their generosity.
My skin feels gross, like a hmn salt-lick. I can feel the salt on my arms and shoulders, ewwww.
I keep running and I pass them a few miles later and the grandma yells, "hey there goes our girl!" That was the last positive thing o my run. At mile 21 I cry out of frustration, my PR dream is dead and my feet can only shuffle so fast or slow depending on how you look at it and my left knee is now in pin from the crappy way I'm running in a lame attempt to not land on the blood blister. I suck it up and keeping going and at mile 24, tears roll down my face again....I just wat to stop and be done. I tell myself "be off the f-in course by 14:25 you can do it! In less then 30 minutes you will be a 5x Ironman!"
The last miles are so dark and lonely and as I get close to the finish I hear "go Abbie!" It's Amy and she is going to see me finish! I see the finish line and head in. I hear my name called and take a bow right before crossing the tape.....I did it, I am a 5x Ironman!
What would you do differently?:
Must figure out my blister situation!
Amy hugs me after I cross the finish line and says something about 5-time Ironman finishers! I cry on her shoulder for a few seconds and just mumble "I am in so much pain." I pull myself together and we head over to the medical tent to get my blister cleaned up.
They ask me if I need vitals taken. I say, "I'm just here for a blister. This is my 5th IM and I alwasy get this blister on the same foot/same toe and I just need some ointment and bandaids" Kinda funny to be instructing the medical people around after an Ironman :
Amy tells me about her amazing race, I am sooooo proud of her!
What limited your ability to perform faster:
"Buddy the Blood Blister" screwed up my run. I'm still not at my peak performance but had Buddy not shown up, I could have PRed, which gives me great hope for an amazing IMAZ race in November!
I had such a blast hanging out with Amy in the days leading up to the race. This sport still amazes me in the wonderful friendships I have formed in the name of racing and training. I'm excited for Amy to go sub 11, it's just around the corner for her!
This year I am reminded of what makes Ironman special for me..you can lose your job, your spouse, your house....all 3 of which have happened to me in the past 9 months. However, my Ironman finishes are something I carry in my heart and are something special I can never lose.
To Michael you were may inspiration for this race, keep fighting!!
Thank you to those who continue to inspire me through my training and for those who have contributed to my fundraising. One more Ironman to go this season.....there's a PR with my name on it in Tempe :
Last updated: 2010-05-17 12:00 AM
01:29:38 | 4224 yards | 02m 07s / 100yards
Beach start with 2 rectangles broken up by a quick run on the beach in between.
0F / 0C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:25:06 | 112 miles | 17.45 mile/hr
Wind, some rollers and crappy road surface at times.
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:20:12 | 26.2 miles | 14m 31s min/mile
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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