You know I'm pretty lousy at keeping my own good news a secret so I'll tell you that once again I crushed the Shawna Block division. I was a favorite going in and I did not disappoint.
There were quite a few things different about this Ironman event. First and foremost, when I signed up for it I was painfully single. When race day came, I was engaged. I don't mean engaged in the event, I mean engaged to be married. We can all take a moment and let that sink in....If you are totally good with this concept, you should go read some of my earlier posts. Otherwise, we are all now on the same page....This race weekend I traveled with a different support crew. Stacy, my long standing sherpa, project manager, and BFF was there with me but my parents were not. My 15 year old niece, M, came with me for the weekend for her first long course event. B drove in from Indianapolis on Saturday as he refused to take my very genuine pass on this event.
How does being engaged make this event different than the other two? When I was single:
- no one else lost sleep when my alarm went off at 0430 or 0445
- no one else had their vacation plans altered by my training schedule
- no one else lost out on socializing because I was in Ironman training
- no one had dinner plans with their family delayed because I had a long run
- no one else was physically invested in my training
|Stewing in my own thoughts.|
|Those are ear plugs. I started swimming with them after my dance with Bronchitis/Ear issues last year.|
|Photo Cred: Nadya|
I was holding on until about mile 9 when the hills really started. The pain in my foot just wouldn't release. I'm not running the plan. I'm run-walking and walking more than just the aide stations. I get out of the hills and I'm having a lovely pity party in my head when I am about to cross the pedestrian bridge to start the second loop. I have my speech prepared for the next time I see Coach. And I see Coach at about mile 12. And before I can say a word, he starts talking:
Second loop is when it hurts. Second loop is when you dig deep. Everyone is out here cheering for you and pulling for you. Get it done.He never gave me a chance to reply. As I crossed on to the pedestrian bridge, I walked. I shed a few tears, and I muttered a few choice words for Coach. Then a guy comes running up to me and says, "Hey Dynamo, I didn't catch your name, but I hope you saw your cheering squad back there on the corner!" I assured him they were hard to miss and I started running again.
In special needs I pulled my gels and decided I didn't want my long sleeve shirt. It was still daylight and I've never hit special needs in broad daylight. Thankfully Laura was standing right there and I was able to give her my bag so I wouldn't have to leave my shirt behind and lose it forever. Michael and Lorilyn ended up helping me and it's always great to see them volunteering and cheering on the course.
It's very easy to get caught up walking at this point of the day. I was trying to keep my head about me and luckily landed in a group that was doing what I was doing: run - walk - run. It's much easier to keep running when everyone around you is doing it. I had no concept of time or how long I'd been on the course. I knew I would finish, I just didn't know when. Everything from my waist down hurt.
Around mile 20, M and B were at the bottom of a steep hill and they walked up it with me. B is trying to talk me up. I snap at him. Telling him how much I hurt, tearing a bit, telling him I hate him right now. He took it well. I took a gel. They left me and told me everyone else was up on the bridge waiting for me.
At the top of the hill I start running again and I see Stacy. She stays with me for a brief moment and gives me a pep talk and tells me Coach is at the end of the bridge. I cross the end of the bridge, no Coach. A few minutes later I hear him calling my name and he rides up next to me. He asked how I was doing. I gave him an honest answer: Everything hurts and I'm dying.
He asked me if I thought it would be easy. I snapped that I knew it wasn't going to be easy but that my feet have hurt since mile 70 on the bike and he asked how I was feeling. He asked when I ate last and I told him mile 20. I was at mile 21.5. He asked me what was I going to do. I told him I was going to finish it. He said of course you are, but are you going to walk it in or run? I told him I was still in it. He told me to start running again at the top of the hill and then at the next aide station to get chicken broth (nectar of the gods, I swear!), coke, and pretzels. Well, the next aide station didn't have chicken broth or pretzels so I had a handful of chips and a coke.
I finished the last five miles or so walking the hills, running the downs, and run-walking what flats were left. I crossed over the pedestrian bridge and as I came around the corner, EVERYONE was there.
I stopped and hugged Stacy, my sister-wife.
I stopped and hugged Ty, my tri-wife.
|Missing 1 to share with you my amazing bridal party!|
I high-fived other friends on the fence.
I stopped and gave B a kiss before I crossed the finish line.
|Screen shot thanks to Karen!|
Mike Reilly announced I was an Ironman!
|Grabbed a selfie when we returned for final finisher.|
Holy Hell....I went out on a 13 minute Personal Best from IM Louisville in 2015.
It was a good day. It was a tough day. That's Ironman for you. It is an emotional roller coaster from the time I wake up until I put my head down on a pillow for the night. Success for the day is managing the emotional ride. I am retiring/taking a leave of absence from full distance for now. I'm an excellent sherpa and am available for hire! I am already signed up Chat 70.3 in 2018 and we have every intention of voluncheering Kona 2018. I'm not giving up triathlon, just reallocating some of the time I spent training for the longer distance.
While triathlon is an individual sport, I would never get through it with out the support of my family, my team, and my friends. You all mean so much to me and I am ever so thankful to the sport for bringing (most of) you into my life.
|Bracelet is off, tri tats removed. Time to look to the last event of the year.|
|Naomi, my running partner for MCM 2017!|