Friday, November 28, 2008

Run and finish..

As I sit here in Denver, visiting my new grand baby for Thanksgiving, I can't believe how lucky and grateful I am for all my blessings this year. The baby is TOO CUTE! Here I am holding her, before I realize that I have a full blown head cold. For now I am quarantined in my hotel room until the Dr. gives OK for me to be around the baby with a mask and gloves. I really hope so..

Back to IMAZ:

The run: I ran out of transition after an angel stretched my legs post biking. I felt pretty good the first lap of the run. It is 3 loops that went kind of in a figure 8 around Tempe Town Lake although I could not retrace my steps for the life of me. Thank goodness it was well marked and lots of people running. The volunteers at the aid stations every mile were fantastic! Of course there were folks passing me who were obviously on their 3rd loop which was a little discouraging but I kept up a 12 min/mile pace the first 8 mile loop. At the start of the 2nd loop Lorna called out to me that Becca and baby were doing great, as this was a worry of mine and she had agreed to call them for me. I thought of the new little one the whole way, I was so happy. The 2nd loop it was getting progressively harder to keep up the pace. My legs were really starting to hurt at this point. At one aid station there were more stretching people, but I didn't want to stop. I walked all the aid stations, stopped at the porta potties probably 6 times on the run. My stomach was getting pretty upset by now. Infinite concentrate and water worked for awhile. I tried to take in some Carboom but that made me go to the bathroom only more so finally I switched to chicken bouillon and coke. I crossed paths with H 3 times on the run, at the same place. He was about an hour behind me I finally figured out. I walked with Miguel for a bit, who was having leg cramps. I saw Brian heading the other way,also Mark and Michi. The last loop was really, really hard. My legs were hurting more than they ever had before, probably because I was on pavement and we had been training on dirt for so long. Also I had pushed on the bike more. I took as many Advil as I could but then lost track of how many I had taken so was scared to take more. I usually take Tylenol also on the marathon but somehow had forgotten to put them in my race belt-damn! I started to walk some at this point. It was very dark by now, I was just trying to get the whole thing done by now. Trying to keep positive thoughts. I'm a runner, I'm a winner, I can do this! was my mantra. I even talked out loud to myself I think at one point. The weird thing is I never got what I call "Ironbrain Syndrome" on this IM marathon. In the ones past, I had gotten really spacey and dingy in the head at the end. Even though I was hurting so much more at this one, I never had that experience. I crossed paths with poor MG, who was obviously suffering on his run. I tried to encourage him. I saw a clock somewhere along the way and knew I would not get a PR. I was, and am, discouraged by this. I thought I deserved to get a PR since I had done 9 months of training, 2 IMs and 2 half IM's in a year, shouldn't I be getting a PR? Oh well, I changed goals-beat my time at IMCDA. Land somewhere in the middle..Last lap, mile 25, I saw a woman in my age group walking. I flew by her running and just ran as fast as I could into the finish. I could have sworn she was right behind me but she really wasn't. It was inspiration to fly into the finish though. I slapped hands, jumped into the finishing tape and there was Duane!! he gave me a big hug, they gave me a T-shirt small I might add, usually they are out of my sizes but this time. Small but important detail..

Run time: 6:02
Final time: 14:44

Halfway in between my IMFL and IMCDA finish time. My run seems to stay the same almost with each race.

28th out of 52 in my AG although 60 women signed up for the race so I choose to count those and say I was in the top half of my AG. Also I was one of the older ones in my AG. So I can console my non-PR with that I guess..
Off I went to the pizza tent and wolfed down 2 pieces of pizza, while sitting with Mark and Lorna in the dining tent, waiting for H to finish. I stood at the finish line and finally I saw his red hat with a big smile on his face!! It was so great to see him and he was soooooo excited!!

We hung around to cheer the rest of our crew in. We all finished!! It was happy times in the Ironhouse that night and the next day. MG managed to pass out in the middle of the night which gave Michi a scare, but he was just dehydrated and was fine the next day..
This is my last IM for a long long time, maybe ever. But I have the fondest memories of this one, training and racing with my Ironmate was the best! Getting good coaching at the end to do a faster swim was amazing! Staying with my people at the Ironhouse was so much fun-I would do that again in a heart beat.. Having a grand baby the night before IM-well I might try and time that one better-that was pretty nerve wracking!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I took off on the bike feeling really good. I decided to try and eat right away some solid foods, since I knew later they would not go down. MISTAKE! I know better than this, really. I cannot eat solid food in a race, no matter what. I know this but wanted to "try it" since we had been eating in training...I paid the price. Although my first loop bike split was not bad, my stomach was a swollen mess. I took some Gas-X, I tried drinking more water, then was afraid more water would make it worse. About 1000 people passed me on the problem with having a good swim..and being an average rider. I had my HR monitor on and kept my HR below 145 for the most part. Finally in lap 2, I stood and passed some wind! Ahhh, that felt so good..I knew my stomach was operational again..Managed to suck down some Carboom gels and Infinite in loop 2 & 3. By loop 3, my legs felt really tired. I was having a hard time keeping my HR up, which I knew meant I needed to take in more calories, which I did with the gels as much as I could. I had to stop at the porta potty about 4 times, which I guess was good but totally sucked because I really wanted to break 7 hours on the bike. Which I did according to my Garmin, but with all the stops, it ended up being 7:06.

Since it was a 3 loop bike, I finally saw H on the first loop and each loop after that. It was so good to see him. He had a smile on his face..that made me so happy! I saw all my Outlaw peeps on the bike except for Brian and Cody...There was an ambulance that came zooming by, which made me a bit nervous..

As I calculated my bike time, I knew I would have to pretty much rock the run course if I was going to get a PR (14:15 at IMFL 4 years ago). My secret goal was to break 14 hours. I felt ready for it, I knew I had done the training. The weather was perfect! In the 70s for most of the day, very little wind, even had the headwind going dowhill on the Beeline Highway. What better conditions to ask for? I felt like I gave it all I had on the bike. I had pushed much harder than at IMCDA and knew I may pay the price on the run but wanted to push my limits a bit on this race..

As I headed into T-2, I was still in good spirits...still thought the PR may be in grasp. The volunteers at T-2 were amazing. Not only did I get my own personal assistant that did everything for me, there was also an A.R.T. therapist there offering to stretch my legs for me. Are you kidding me? Is this a mirage? I thought..Nope, she really did stretch me after I changed all my clothes. I decided to bag the Garmin for the run. I just did not want to deal with the chest strap and extra weight and stuff.. Off I went to run. I thought sure my T-2 was 20 min but it was "only" 10 min.

IMAZ-part One..

The house was a buzzing at 4:00 AM race morning. Hartley and I have our pre-race meals down to an art really, consisting of 2 bagels with cream cheese and peanut butter and our favorite WAKE UP drink called Wired. We loaded up the car and took off in the dark, wetsuits in hand and half asleep. It was kind of strange that we were both doing this thing, I have been spoiled to have H as my sherpa for so long for these things. We were both pretty calm and all in all never really got on each other's nerves the whole week before IM..we parted ways at transition and planned our meeting spot later. After fussing with my stuff a bit more, I was ready. Here is a pic that Duane took of us and Geekgirl at the body marking:

It was pitch black and hard to believe we were about to swim. After a long wait to the porta potty, I jumped into this:
I am the one in the pink cap-ha! My goggles came apart as soon as I jumped in and I calmy put them back together.

The swim start is in the water about 200 yds from where you jump in. So I was treading water for about 15 min. I managed to head up to the front of this fray and kind of in the middle. After the National anthem, then boom! We were off! I swam faster than I normally do in the first few minutes which was the plan. Or tried to swim in this as fast as I could. Yes, this is really how it was pretty much the whole swim!

Usually things kind of thin out after about half the swim but by golly I would swear I got hit, swum over, banged around pretty much the whole swim. I could not gauge how fast I was going but I was using the new stroke Coach Eric had taught me not 5 weeks earlier and felt like I was going pretty good. I never saw the buoys until I was right on them, there were so many people. Finally I saw the last red buoy and the turn into shore and I was psyched. Yes!! I did it! I always have that feeling after an IM swim..Done, at least this part!

As I got out, the clock said 1:15, which was my swim time. PR!! Yay!! Off zipped my wetsuit by the strippers and off to the T-1 tent, which was about 500 yds from the lake exit. That kind of sucked but I was never cold, like I was at IMCDA. The water was a balmy 63 degrees and after Lake CDA in June, that was bath water to me!

T-1 was an uneventful 9+ min. I couldn't find my bike, nor could the volunteer, which momentarily pissed my off-they were suppose to hand you your bike, which is what they said in the pre-race meeting but then I thought damn I am spoiled! IM is the only race where you get your own personal assistant to help you get dressed in transition and then get your bike handed to you..So off I went on the bike..I felt great!


Where can I start? Let's see, Saturday AM about 8:30 I got the call from my son-in-law Dan (in Denver) that Becca was in labor, in the hospital and 6 cms dilated. OMG, the baby will be here by noon! I thought. As we were busy getting our stuff together to go down to the race site for drop off, I anxiously awaited word from Dan..and nothing..I managed to only text him like once an hour, trying not to be bugging the parents' to be and he reported no changes except baby was not moving down and was upside down. We headed down to Iron Village and dropped our bikes and stuff off.

There is our little Ironhouse crew, Michi, MG, me, Hartley and Mark. Lorna, Mark's girlfriend, who was the "house mother' and resident massage therapist (how did we get so lucky?) was not in the picture but was a huge part of the weekend..

Off we went back to the Ironhouse, where MG kept us wrapped tightly in his ADD pre Ironman mode. We made videos of fight scenes, danced on the living room, sang karaoke and generally acted like drunk people who were stone cold sober. I was not only suffering very badly from pre-iron nerves but was getting more nervous by the minute about Becca and the baby. I was getting calls from the rest of the family all day wanting word of Hadley's arrival, to no avail. Dan was great about keeping me informed but I was so worried about my baby, Becca, who I knew was suffering for so long (she did have an epidural for some of this time). Finally when all my Ironpeeps were fast asleep, I got the call. Baby Hadley Lee, 7 lbs, 7 oz, 20.5 inches long finally was delivered by C-section at 9:42 PM the night before Grandma and Grandpa did an Ironman:

Here she is just waking up to a whole new world:

I was so grateful she was OK, Becca was OK and poor Dan-I knew he had been a trooper the whole 28+ hrs of the whole ordeal...I finally went to sleep with a new grand baby.

Dan texted me: Run the race for Hadley. So I did...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Done, done, done..

Total Time: 14:44
The swim was very jostling but a PR.
Bike was tough but doable..
The run was brutal.
29th out of 53 in my AG.

I am hurtin' so bad today but happy! Hartley rocked it and finished..We are the Ironcouple.

Full racer report to follow..