Monday, August 25, 2008
Perspective and a Race Report
Hoorah! I finished! I told Rob last night that I think this race was the hardest one to finish. I hear people talk about those "low times" in Ironman but I really haven't experienced it before now. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself so here goes the race report.
The swim start was great. Everyone around me swam so politely and worked together from the beginning. I sat in the back of a small pack of 8-10 swimmers and we were off. The water was cool but not uncomfortable. The swim went by quickly and I was out in just over an hour. I grabbed my bag and ran into the changing tent, quickly got ready to ride, and passed about 15 women in the tent. I don't know what they were doing in there for so long!
The bike went well. I love this bike course. I think the reason I keep coming back to do this race is because of the bike course. It is as beautiful as a postcard, and it has a little bit of everything. Long grinding climbs, challenging rollers, fast flats, and superfast descents. Oh, and I successfully peed on the bike! On my sixth Ironman, I finally got it!! Ok, TMI, I know.
Coming into T2, I was ready to start running. In my previous two Ironman runs, I have been getting a little bit faster, so I was excited about this one. I had just over 4 hours left before an 11:00 finish, so I made my goal to finish under 11 hours. I thought that would be easy. Silly me, nothing is easy in ironman!
Heading toward OK Falls, we had a terrible headwind. It was difficult to not get discouraged but I kept the heart rate in check and kept plugging along. Then I started experiencing some stomach troubles. I made many trips to the little blue penalty boxes every mile or so on the run course. I really had to "gut it out" from there, in more ways than one! It was so hard to keep it together and keep plugging along. I said all kinds of terrible things in my head -- I wanted walk, I wanted to quit today, I wanted to quit Ironman, I wouldn't take a Kona slot if they gave it to me on a silver platter(shame on me!)etc.
At this point I was past the turn around, and my perspective changed. I was watching all the people that were heading to the turn around, and I started thinking that they probably wanted to be where I was. So the marathon was not going as wished. Suck it up, buttercup. At least you are out here and you better give it your best. It began raining at this point, and as I came back into Penticton, the streets were still lined with spectators. They were cold and wet, but they were still watching and cheering. From their perspective, each one of the racers is amazing, and worth their time, even if it meant standing in the rain, to cheer us on. That gave me the motivation to give my best.
So I finished in 11:04. I didn't make my goal of sub 11 but it could have been a lot worse! I finished 6th in my age group. The Kona slot rolled down to the 5th place woman, who went 10:59. But, I sincerely mean this, it is totally OK. I know this woman has barely missed a Kona slot several times, and I am super happy for her. Keeping it in perspective.
Here is a picture of my three kids on the first day of school.
From their perspective they couldn't care less if I finished first, last, or anywhere inbetween. They just are happy I can tie a cute bow in their hair or help build a LEGO scene.
And here is where I am going now, world famous Tickleberry's ice cream. Oh yeah, I deserve that!