Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Where to start.....
The whole Ironman experience is amazing! It's now over a week since arriving in Madtown to begin my IMMOO 2010 (Ironman Wisconsin 2010) experience, whaaaaooo, where did the time go? I hopefully will not leave out too many important details:)
I arrived in Madison at about 2 pm after a 5 hour caravan to the great city (my parents drove in a separate car for reasons that can't be explained-okay my trizillaness isn't too fun to be around:)) Upon arrival, we went to get checked into the hotel and there in the lobby was Hillary Bisclay (a fantastic triathlete pro). She was with a friend and seemed a little ticked off but it was cool to see her anyway! We got all checked into the hotel and then quickly made our way to Morona Terrace so that I could get all checked in for this fabulous event. If you have read my previous entries, you know that the check in process is timely (about 30 minutes without any lines). You make your way from booth to booth as if you are a product on an assembly line and the last stop is the Ironman store that highly encourages you to take advantage of spending your life savings:) I just bought the new Madison Triathlon outfit and a hat and the bill came to $170!!!! Following check in my parents and I, met up with Cindy to grab some dinner and watch the Vikings game. We didn't end up staying out too long since Cindy and I both knew that we needed to rest up for the weekend events.
Friday morning started early with me picking Cindy up at 8:45 at her hotel, then grabbing Jake at his hotel so that we could get in a early morning swim and bike-at least that was the plan. Once we got up to the terrace Jake and Cindy got in line to get checked into the race. The lines were pretty lengthy already, which took a little longer than expected. By the time everyone was checked in the wind had picked up and the water was extremely choppy, so Cindy and I just ended up going for a short run instead. That night was the "Welcome Dinner," this is the event where they bring in Mike Reilly (the voice of Ironman) to get the athletes pumped up for the race and go through all the rules/safety things that need to followed by the athletes. Then to end the night, my parents and I made our way down State St. to meet up with my P2 friends and new Atlanta Tri club friends.
Saturday, again a very early start as Cindy, Jake, and I were meeting a couple other friends at the lake for a swim (A FREEZING, rainy, windy swim). We ended up only swimming a short distance, since they still hadn't set up the swim course and it was more about getting acclimated to the water temps at that point. After our swim, the three of us took the plunge again by signing up for next years race-I know! What were we thinking? I finished up the afternoon with lunch at the Great Dane with Cindy, Mark, Jake and then a couple of Jakes friends.
I got my race bags and bike dropped off at the terrace and spent the rest of late afternoon and early evening in the hotel room working on homework-I ended up spitting out three papers and one online test (all due Sunday by midnight). By the time, I was done with all the homework my head was spinning and I was so so bummed that it interrupted my Ironman experience!
That night, I met my parents, Cindy, Mark and Jake for a quick carbo loading dinner on State St. before having to head back to finish up a couple more homework items and pack my bags for the morning. After returning back to the hotel, Margarita and Michelle headed to meet me to wish me good luck and fill me in on where they would be on the course.
Sunday, came way to early!!!! I didn't end up sleeping a wink! My alarm went off at 3:45-Way to early even though, I didn't sleep! I quickly got dressed, grabbed my stuff, and my dad and I were on our out the door. My dad was walking a million miles a minute to the terrace! Once I got there, got body marked and entered the transition to pump my tires and fill my bottles with a pre-mixed carbo pro/gatorade concoction. I pumped Cindy's tires as I waited for her to get to transition. My dad left to make his way back to the hotel, I went into the Terrace to put a couple of last minute items in my transition bags and make sure that both bike shoes in my bike bag and both run shoes were in the run bag. Cindy and I hung out in the terrace along with the other 2600 athletes racing that day. I saw a few people I knew that were racing and others that were spectating, which eased the nerves a bit.
At about 6:15, I got my wetsuit on and then Cindy and I started to make our way to the start. The crowd of people was so thick, making it a REALLY slow walk to the water. As we got closer to the water the slower the crowd moved and we started getting really nervous that cannon was going to go off and we would still be on shore, so we started pushing our way through the slow moving crowd-A good we did! I was barely in the water when the cannon went off! The slow entrance into the water didn't allow for the athletes to seat themselves for the swim, creating a 2.4 mile wrestling match! I swam over people, people swam over me, I got kicked and elbowed and I did the same to others! I ended up having to stop 4 times during the swim to put my goggles back on my eyes! The swim course, seemed to be a little off-the swim course is a rectangle in which you do twice, however with the delay in the course set up the sides were curved and one side of rectangle had seven bouys evenly spaced and the other had eight very unevenly spaced bouys. After, I got out of the water, I got my wetsuit stripped and I made my way up the helix, where I saw a ton of my P2 buds cheering me on! Running up the helix is awesome! You are the big celebrity walking the red carpet at the Emmy's of Ironman!
After getting changed, I ran out to grab my bike, ran the bike to the end of the transition and then mounted my bike. My parents were waiting at the end of the transition area, where they wished good luck as I headed out on my bike for 112 miles. About 1.5 miles into the ride a man in front of me crashed-I don't really know what happened but I just thought what crappy way to finish your day. About two miles into the ride, we catch a bike path that winds us along a little creek-this is a no passing area since the path is narrow and there are bunch of sharp turns. Once off the path, we make our way through the parking lot of the Alliant center and then onto the roads. The start and finish of the bike course is called the stick which lasts for about 14 miles and the middle part is a 42 mile loop. The loop is where the hills are located. The first 10 miles of the stick were against a head wind-uuuggghhhh I was already struggling! I remember thinking to myself that, I'm only 10 miles in and struggling-I have to get my head in the game! I laid back a bit, relaxed and tried to take in some calories (tried is the key word as I had an extremely painful gas bubble in my stomach). I felt as though each time I took a drink it would sit on top of the gas bubble and everytime I got down in my aerobars, I had acid going up my throat! As I made my into Verona, my friend Brian was waiting to see me pass by (he was volunteering in the penalty tent). I then looked forward to my favorite parts of the loops-the down hills and the parts that you can fly down the windy roads. Once, I made it to the bitches (the big hills), my teammates from P2 and friends from TCMC were there to cheer me on and up those ginormous hills. Then to finish the loop, the course goes through downtown Verona where Ironman sets up a huge cheer station that brings tears to your eyes. My parents were in Verona to cheer me on and made a huge chalk sign for me across the road. Once starting the second loop I started feeling a bit behind on calories as my energy level plummeted! I hit a strong head wind again between Verona and Mount Horeb (the worse part of the course as there isn't a lot of people out there to cheer you on and it filled with rolling hills). I was struggling to keep 12 mph with the wind gusts and me still having problems with the gas bubble in my tummy:( As the ride continued, my gas bubble started to resolve itself-thank god!
Once I got back to the terrace to get changed for the run, I was feeling TIRED! This was my first Ironman experience that I felt really depleted after the bike! I started out of the transition and found myself walking within the first couple of minutes. I had planned to do 5 and 1's on the run as I have in the past, however I was already struggling to make the five minutes of running. I got a couple of miles into the run and finally stopped at at water stop, grabbed a cup of potato chips and some perform. I knew at this point that I needed calories or I wasn't going to finish! I continued to struggle on the run for about the next four or so miles, when Margarita and Michelle met me on State St and fed me some words of encouragement. I continued to plug away at completing the miles of the run. As the run went on the I started to get caught up on my nutrition even though I had to change my plan over the course of the run. As I started feeling better, the miles started to peel away with ease! The second half of the marathon went pretty smooth, except for the multiple stops to the porta-john and my last six miles were my fastest miles of the day!
I wasn't really sure where I was at as I rounded the last corner before the finish line. I was thrilled to finish feeling strong at the finish, but a little disappointed that I didn't break 13 hours-I was so close! My official finish time was 13:00.29! I truly believe that a big part of my race success that day was because I have such a great group of friends and family that were supporting me! Thank you!!!!!!