I remember standing in line the next day (that was when you still had to do that for Ironman Canada) and watching other athletes move around like they hadn't even raced! I wondered how in the world was that possible when I was hurting everywhere?!?!
This year, the day after the race, my muscles were sore for sure, but the recovery is like lightening speed compared to my first race in 2005. By Wednesday, I was able to run up and down stairs and I was swimming yesterday. I still marvel at the difference. Hahaha!
Onto the race itself...
In short, this race was a massive disappointment for me. I had a time goal of 10:48 and at around mile 6 of the run, my stomach wanted to upchuck. Walking hurt, running REALLY hurt. I would run, but then the vomit feeling would come and I even brought up a little bit. As soon as this would happen, I would start walking. Part of me wonders if I had forced myself to keep running and actually puked, if I would have felt better...
I did meet many athletes who experienced the same thing I did on Sunday. Some puked and still felt terrible, so I'll never know.
What I do know, was that it was very hot on race day. So hot, that when I reached one aid station, a volunteer said, "Ok, I am going to put these cold sponges on your neck. You are going to feel a shock and inhale sharply." When he squeezed it on my neck I didn't feel anything. That scared me. The volunteer was so awesome, he went into superman mode and started squeezing water again and again until I cooled down.
Most of the marathon was spent standing, doubled over at aid station with my head hanging down. I am so grateful for the many volunteers and fellow athletes who offered help and words of encouragement/advice. Only in Ironman, will a fellow competitor stop running and walk beside you, hand on your back and ask if you are OK. To everyone who asked, I tried to respond without vomiting, "I'm Ok - you go have a good race. You look strong."
I wanted to quit so many effing times. The only relief I would feel was by doubling over and curling around my stomach. I wanted to curl up in the fetal position. There were actually only two things that kept me going:
- The athletes still heading out to the run turn-around. They were hurting and still moving forward, so it would be terrible if I just gave up.
- That damn finisher's medal, t-shirt and hat. I paid for them and I better get them.
I had dropped my salt tabs at the beginning of the run, but had no issues with my usual dizzy, light-headed, tunnel vision experiences. It was stinking hot outside, and my mouth would become so dry instantly. I couldn't swallow -- couldn't feel my tongue. It was very odd. I knew I should keep drinking water, but every time I would, my cramps would start again. I contemplated drinking nothing else until the end of the race, but decided that maybe that wasn't too good an idea.
At about 7km left to go, I was able to *run* if I held my stomach with one hand. When that arm got tired, I'd hold it with the other one. I started making grunting noises and heaving noises once in a while and would bring up a little spittle/other stuff.
As I approached the final mile, my very good friend Susi popped out of nowhere and ran the rest with me (outside the run course, through the crowds.) She shouted out encouraging words -- OMG, I was feeling so terrible I couldn't even respond. Every time she would hear me about to puke, she would say, "Just breathe, Just breathe." Thank God for Susi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I crossed the finish line in 12:57:58 -- almost an hour slower than the last two years. For those of you who have done more than one IM and start to get time goals, you will totally understand the massive disappointment I felt. Couple that with the physical and mental depletion an IM race requires and you can just imagine how truly $hitty I felt.
But.....I got over it. :) Onwards and upwards. Had many good conversations, email chats with good friends which helped me put things in perspective.
I have another iron-distance race in Florida on Oct. 22. And I am VERY excited about it!! :) :)
And next year, is the year of the non-M-dot race. :) I am really excited about checking out other iron distance races!
In the mail yesterday, I received a card from The Great Floridian Race. A personalized card saying they hope my training is going well, that they hope the next two months of training go well, and they included a bumper sticker. Now that is pretty cool! Hee-hee! A little bit different to an IM race already! :)
Here are my times from IMC:
Swim: 1:09:28 -- fastest swim yet, pleased with this!
Bike: 6:09:55 -- fastest bike yet, I regret not changing back to my 12-27 cassette and leaving my 11-25 on, but it made me stronger! :) :)
Run (Not run, but standing around/walk): 5:33:23 -- nothing more to say here.
Yes I am happy to have finished, but for me, that is no longer good enough. I make no apology for it. I have big goals and I am on my way to achieving them. :) In my mind, the race is like a big piece of furniture with all these drawers in it. I took out the feelings of disappointment, frustration, and anger, felt them, and then put them away. I'm over it.
Now for the FUN stuff!!!!!
- The day before I left for the race, I stood up from the couch and I couldn't stand on my foot. My ankle felt like it was broken! HOLY CRAP!!! After a tearful converstation with my coach, I headed out to Penticton the next day anyways and headed to the ART tent after I checked in. They were closed, but were soooo kind enough to take a look at my ankle anyway. It was a tight ligament! They sort of rubbed it around, pulled on my foot and presto! All done. How frigging weird is that? The foot rubbing did make me drool a little. There is something about people handling my body that makes me relax. LOL.
- Susi. The most amazing friend in the world. My kindred spirit. How do I even list all the wonderful things about Susi? I will do my best....I stayed with Susi and her boyfriend, Marco for IM week. She bought me a book. :) She gave me all her positive energy at the end of the race. SHE UNDRESSED ME AFTER THE RACE. That's right -- when I couldn't move let alone bend over, Susi took off my pee-clothes, and my pee-shoes and put everything in The Pee Bag!!!!!!!!!! She said, "Lift your arms." And took off my top and put on a fresh one. I kept apologizng and wanting to cry that she was willing to touch the pee-clothes!!! Now that my friends, is a TRUE FRIEND. Susi --- I love you. I eagerly await the day when I can sherpa for you in any race/endeavour you choose.
- SHE HANDLED THE PEE BAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- My partner Mike and my parents who support me 100% in pursuing my goals -- Mike puts up with my Taper Bitch attitude and all the green stuff in the fridge (which by the way he is actually eating and REQUESTING more of!), and my parents who mow my lawn, baby-sit my cats, pick up my crab apples (oh sweet geezus it's THAT time of year again), and make Mike spaghetti since I've gone paleo. :)
- My friends...I have met the best, kindest, most thoughtful, generous people through triathlon. You'll see the best of humanity during the marathon portion of a hot iron-distance race.
- http://www.asiorders.com/view_user_event_video.asp?EVENTID=75725&BIB=2594 Check out the video clip -- LMAO!!!! I come from the left side of the screen, body check a guy in the middle and exit the right side of the screen from 1-5 seconds of the video. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I kept watching it again and again. I didn't bump into him on purpose!! I was just scooting through! Sorry, guy!! It was not intentional!!! :) :)
- My next race, I am using all real food -- no more gels and carbo pro for me. Yams, dates and homemade energy gels made out of chia powder, agave syrup etc. I am convinced that eating well all year and avoiding sugary shit, only to dive into piles of sugar on race day CANNOT be good for my stomach. I am very excited about trying this new way of race nutrition! During races, my teeth start to ache and hurt after a certain number of gels. And, two days after IMC, I broke out in so many zits it was disgusting. All that sugar coming out. Not for me. No more. I always thought it was weird that as triathletes, we do our best to eat well, rest, train well, be healthy, but then on race day, consume as much sucrose, dextrose, whatever-ose, and high fructose corn-syrup as we can....