Thursday, April 30, 2009

OLD Blog from my First Half Ironman June 2008

This is the SHORT version... I will post the long more detailed version soon, just haven't caught up on sleep just yet....

Here is a link to the HIM in Effingham. Thanks for all of your well wishes.

(Shanon.. that is Half Ironman... 1.2mile swim 56 mile bike 13.1 mile run) Does that help ;-))

In a quick summary I bought a sleeveless wetsuit a few days before and when I first put it on it felt great. Easy on, Easy off!! Compared to the full sleeved one I had been practicing in.. it was a nice change. But when we got to the hotel room, Jen, Melissa and Rob noticed how baggy it was on the back of my knees and on lower back and we declared it 'too big.' I had a friend coming to the race who had not left yet so I asked her to swing by my house and grab my full sleeved one for me. Phew. Glad I did. (Jen- You Rock!)

The water for the first of our two loop -(with beach exit and run around a cone)- swim was nice and smooth but then the 100mph winds picked up. The swells were so big for a lake and the water was so turbulent and choppy and it was throwing me off course pretty badly. When you brought your arm out of the water, even with full sleeves, you could feel the wind pushing against your arm. But.. I remembered Dr. Meanie's words.. "you never win an Ironman by winning the swim" so I held back a little bit, and didn't kick almost at all. When I exited the water I started stripping my wetsuit off so I definitely look like a Baywatch picture in action
"takin it all off."

T1- I took my time b/c since it was my first, I didn't want to forget anything. Then out on the bike. Well, the first 2 miles I think I giggled uncontrollably b/c it was setting in what I was doing. Then I started singing. Then I started cussing -the 100mph winds were back! THEY WERE 'EFFING' BRUTAL. ( haa haa get it) Then it started to get even windier.. lets estimate...hmm 200mph winds, and it started to storm and rain. The stinging kind of rain where the drops aren't big and soft, but really small and pelting you by the now, 300mph winds. I couldn't see b/c my sunglasses were covered and I left my automatic winshieldwiperglasses back in the hotel. DARNIT. To make it even more scary, we were now riding over a tar'd pavement. Oh well. I had to laugh b/c we got it all. My first HIM and this is what I get!! AWESOME.

Back to T2, everything was soaked, but the sun started to come out. My shoes were drenched already as I put them on.. grabbed my Garmin and other stuff.. after standing there like a dumbut trying to remember how many GU packets I would need. I think I grabbed 30 to make sure. When I started my run, I looked down and noticed I was running a comfy 8:27 pace and wondered how long I would be able to hold it. Well at Mile 1.67... not so long. I was back to my turtle speed of 11:11 and pretty much held it between that and 9:45's the whole time. A guy came running up behind me and I noticed his feet pitter-pattering mimicking mine. We ended up running the whole half marathon together talking the entire time. It was his first too, and he was running it in HR mode and said we would finish this thing together no matter what. HOW COOL WAS THAT!!! My new favorite life saver.. Some cop from Joplin named Mark--- who even stopped and waited for me when after the first, (rightfully called), circle of death, I had to stop and pee... he waited for me. I swear I would have walked if it hadn't been for this guy.

Did I mention that it started to pour on us again right after I left the bathroom and we started the second loop of the run?.. Oh yah.. another windy downpour. My feet were rubbing so badly in my shoes.. BUT I DIDN'T STOP !

At the last aid station Mark was so hungry so he grabbed a GU and a half of banana and we walked about 50 yards or so. I was pretty delerious by that point and the finish line just kept moving farther back. My friend Jennifer caught us and we all three ran into the finish together. It was AWESOME! I was back to giddy and giggly and as soon as we saw those orange arches I yelled out "CHALLENGE," and we started a sprint to the finish line grunting and yelling. It was so dramatic! When we crossed, I squealed and jumped up and down and then JUMPED ON JEN and high-fived everyone in my path. I think I danced to "doin the butt" or something like that and I just couldn't stop jumping and squealing.


On the way home, I kept looking over at my friend Rob.. and saying.. "hee hee... I just did a Half Ironman." I think I was lucky he had sunglasses on because by the 349'th time, I think he was rolling his eyes at me.


I am renting a wheelchair today. Maybe even for the week.. and possibly a choffeur.


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