Hey friends, sorry for the delay I have been taking a much needed break 🙂
This weekend I swam 1.2 miles in the ocean, biked 56 miles through Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano and ran 13.1 miles back to the coast. One of the most amazing and brutal experiences of my life!!!
Sunday morning my alarm was set for 4:00am, good thing I have been getting up early for weeks now that it didn’t even seem that early! I made a cup of coffee and tried to have some toast with PB, but I was so nervous I couldn’t really eat but one.
We made it the transition area at 5:30am and thankfully had not problem finding a parking spot. I love organization, so setting up my transition was a lot of fun 🙂 I had my bike stuff one one side, my running stuff on the other and left some room to dry my feet off on. Wasn’t sure how this was all going to work, but my goal was to have fun so I was not stressed about taking too much time in the transition area.
A lady came around and tagged my arm and leg with my number and my age. I felt like a real tri-athlete 🙂
I put my wet suit on and it was actually pretty easy, thanks to some great tips from the owner and friends! I slathered my legs with body glide and applied a generous layer on my neck because that is what everyone says chafes the worse. I then started mingling with the other tri-athletes and met a girl named Christy and we immediately hit it off!
We decided to take a quick dip in the water and warm up… didn’t think I would be able to do that it helped take the edge off for a sec 😉
The water was great!!!
In we went!
Then I started getting really nervous.
All the ladies were in the purple caps, which was easy to spot. We were all starting at 7:03 right after the first wave in.
Before I knew it the gun went off and we were off! I couldn’t tell you which one I was 😉
I thought that the swim was going to be my most challenging event because I have a huge fear of swimming in the ocean, but it was AMAZING!! I got right in, missed the tide and started head down and stroked away. I took long deep breaths and took my time. I didn’t want to get anxious and lose my breathing pattern so I kept my head down and swam away.
Every time I put my head up to do a site check it got loud and crazy!!! I got kicked a couple times, but nothing major and the reef scared me a few times, but I was playing cool 🙂
I took one stroke in front of the next and really felt amazing the whole swim (minus the reef that kept freaking me out).
Final Swim Time: 36:54.1 (1.2mi) WOOT! I was aiming for 40 minutes!
Before I knew it, I was running to T1!! We had to run up a hill (the theme of this whole race) for a couple of minutes (that was in the T1 count) and I didn’t have sailor legs!
I was told to leave my cap and goggles on so that I would have both hands to take my suit off while I ran! I am so glad they told me that, because I probably would have ripped them off and then wouldn’t have had a free hand to unzip my suit with.
I first took my arms out and took my suit down to my hips and took off running while many others were walking. I was ready to get on my bike!
My first transition was quick and easy. When I got to my bike, their was a stripper there so I laid flat on my back and threw my legs in the air so she could help me get mu suit off. Then IÂ threw on my helmet, then gloves, (fuel was already on my bike), glasses and lastly socks and shoes! I didn’t bother with water on my feet I just put my shoes on got on my bike!
Transition 1 time: 4:38.8
…AND I was off to the hardest bike ride I would ever ride!
Here I GO!!!
As you can see from the map the ride starts with a hill and then at mile 6 you ride up 22 more miles of hill!!! A total of 3,123 elevation gain!!! I just took it one mile at a time. It was actually a really pretty ride and everyone was so friendly to talk to, I threw all my competitivenessÂ out the window and just rode…
After mile 6: I really focused on pushing and pulling. The hill was BRUTAL!!!! I wasn’t cursing at it though, I was just doing it! I also was making sure I fueled properly, I didn’t want to cramp up or flat out. As soon as I got on the bike I drank some Heed (Hammer Product) and had a few shot blocks. I also made sure to drink every other mile and had a big bite of my Cliff Bar every hour.
At mile 28: we turned around and headed back in! I was flying, at one point I hit 35mph!! I made up for lost time and it felt great to give my legs a break. I didn’t give my legs a break that much, because I wanted them to know that they still needed to work 🙂 I wasn’t racing, this was going to be fun and I wanted to enjoy every minute of it!
At mile 50 I was jumping inside with joy, a personal record distance for me!!!! My legsÂ were not really hurting, except my BACK WAS KILLING!! I tried to do some cat cows on the bike and sat up as much as possible, but nothing was working so I decided to recognize the pain and move on! Funny thing is, my lower back has NEVER hurt on any ride or run before. It must have been the hill.
At mile 53: There was a short super steep hill!!!! There were people getting off their bikes and walking. I got up out of my saddle and just powered it up the whole way!!! Then it was down hill from there!
At mile 54-56: It was flat and down hill, I was cruising an easy 17mph! I didn’t go any faster then that because I needed to keep my legs alive for the run! Then I started to get hungry!
There were six water stops the whole rid and I only took a couple sips of Gatorade at the last one. I ended up drinking two full water bottles that I brought and and eating a pack of shock blocks and one cliff bar through the whole ride. I should have maybe had one more 1/2 of bar.
I then saw the last tunnel and Hubby at the end of it!!! YAY!
I was delighted!
Bike time: 3:51:46.7 (56 mi) For the hill that I climbed I was proud of this time!!
I dismounted off my bike and raced as fast I could to the transition area. I tried to make my Garmin set for the run, but I couldn’t figure it out (borrowed it from a friend). I decided to forget it and threw my bike shoes off, running shoes on, running bib on, and helmet off! It was time to do what I love, RUN!
Transition 2 Time: 3:01.9—> faster then the first!
I was a little nervous about how my legs would feel after the bike, since I did only one brick workout! But surprisingly as soon as my feet hit the ground I took off!!! My Garmin wasn’t tracking right, so I have no idea how fast my first mile was but my legs felt great!!!
The running course was on a 7 mile loop that we did twice (ya that’s right it was a 14.2 mile run…oops).
My first loop I was in love with! Everyone was cursing the hills, but I am a hill runner so to me it was my comfort zone! I had my water with Heed in it, so I didn’t need to stop for water, but I did have some oranges and a few more shot blocks!
I knew that the last 2 miles would be down hill, so I powered through the rest of the run! Since we couldn’t run with music :(Â I had to keep myself occupied somehow, so you know what I did? I prayed for every person in my family, I prayed for every friend I could think of and I prayed for those that were in the race!!! It was the most amazing run of my life!!
The last 3 miles I decided to be “that” runner!!! I cheered on every person I ran by, I said every running mantra I knew, the personal trainer / bootcamp instructor came out in me!! I had one guy who was walking and decided to run, he said I was just the motivation he needed!
Then I could see the finish line, I thought I would hate that it was two loops, but I didn’t. I knew where each hill was and I knew where I had to conserve energy so when the end came I knew exactly where to PUSH IT!
I saw the finish line (which we had to run through twice) and so many thoughts went through my head, I am doing it, I am completing my first HIM, I am alive, I didn’t get eaten by a shark, I didn’t get a flat, I didn’t fall of my bike, I didn’t walk, I didn’t burn out, I didn’t stop trying, but I DID CROSS THE FINISH LINE!!!!
I sprinted so hard…
…gave it all I had…
…and rejoiced as I crossed over my last timing mat!
I am a Half IRON-WOMAN!!!
Grabbed my metal and immediately saw HUBBY!!!! I was as emotional as I thought I would be. I was even proud that my body was able to push through one of the hardest physical challenges of my life!!
Run time: 2:08 (13.1 miles)
Total time: 6:49:20.8 <â€”!!!!!!!! Under 7 hours 🙂
I quickly ran to Hubby gave him a hug and was so excited to be DONE!!!
12 weeks of intense training and many hours of sweat and tears and it was finished!
It took me a minute to gather my thoughts and then the pain set in. It wasn’t as bad as any fast marathon I have done, but my back and legs started screaming! I quickly grabbed my compression shorts and socks and threw them on as fast as possible!!
While I changed Hubby went and got me food I took two bites, but I was not hungry from GREASY pizza!
We got all my geared packed up and headed to find some REAL food as fast as possible! I was really craving Jamba Juice, but knew I needed more! So we hit up Pei Wei where I devoured a plate of Chicken Curry and Chicken Lettuce Wraps!!! I look exhausted!
The past 48 hours I have been on a runners/NOW TRI-ATHLETE HIGH!!! I can explain to you all how amazing this race was, even though it was brutal I can not wait to do another. I think I might even say that I loved it more then any marathon I have ever done (maybe 😉 ). I never hit a wall and I never wanted to quit, NEVER!!!
So what have I been doing ever since???
Brunch with friends… Getting my hair did.. Getting rid of my ugly feet… Date night with Hubby at Ikea and BJ’s… and RESTING!!!!
What’s next?? You will have to wait till my next post to find out!
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR LOVE AND ENCOURAGEMENT, YOU ALL ROCK!!!!
December 30, 2012 at 9:22 pm
Just found your recap as I was googling Ironman races 🙂 You are such a positive girl and you did such a great job!! It was really fun reading this. I’m feeling more and more inspired about trying one myself one day. Anyway, Happy New Year and hope to see you again in 2013!