Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I meant to post this yesterday but didn't get around to it. After about 4hrs of sleep Sunday night I was up at 3am waiting for it to be 7 so I could head down and claim my slot. Finally the time rolled around and my mom went with me (my brother was still passed out in bed hehe). I get there and suddenly realize I don't have a form of ID on me- NOOOO! So I called my mom immediately and begged her to drive back to the room for my wallet. Luckily our hotel was only 3 miles away otherwise I would have been mortified. Anyway she made it back quickly and I checked off the most important task of the weekend :)
From there we came to pick up my brother and went to the awards ceremony. I loved the awards as they were outside in perfect sunny weather overlooking Town Lake.
It was amazing to hear all of the fast AG times in the older divisions. Joe Bonness is one amazing dude!!! After that was over we explored Tempe a bit, I packed up my bike that Tarp kindly agreed to drive back to Dallas so I wouldn't have to fly with it, and finished the evening in the hot tub followed by a hip-down ice bath in the hotel pool (the water was that cold and it was awesome!).
The weekend was better than I could have ever asked for. I really enjoyed visiting Arizona, although you really can't play tourist too much amidst all the race stuff. Saturday we went to the 5km run race that my little bro wanted to do and he killed it! I was so proud seeing him fly in at 17:43 getting 2nd overall :)
I woke up at the usual 3:30am, having slept soundly for 8hrs :) got my transition bag, checked it a million times, and went down to the race. I wanted to get there as soon as it opened, take care of setting everything up perfect and then just chill. I made the mistake of telling my mom and bro to meet me near special needs bags as I heard someone say that's where the swim start was- yea, but we were getting in near the ramp so I didn't see them before to give them a hug/kiss :(. Well, instead I found a little tree, laid down, feet up on it, and closed my eyes to replay the race a couple of times in my head through various scenarios.
After that it was time to get the wetsuit on and jump in! BRRRR, the water was cold hehe, but expected and it's actually nice temp for a 2.4mile swim. I found Jeanne at the swim start- how cool is that? I mean, one person out of like 2000. So she and I made our way to the front, not like we're 50-1:00 swimmers but it's a good position to draft. Before I knew it- BOOM! All I can say about that mass start is FREAKIN' COOL! The swim went by pretty smooth although I spent more time than I would have liked jumping packs and pulling my own water. The turnaround came quickly and with about 600m to go my left arm/wrsit was numb/not responding haha it was so odd. It must have been the cold. Good thing the ramp came soon after. I got out fast and had my wetsuit stripped.
T1- I sort of took a lunch break in transition haha. Time? 7ish minutes!!! Worth it? Yes because I wasn't cold for 1 second of the bike ride. I stopped to use the port-a-potty and then went into the tent to ut on all my dry clothes. Obviously the sports bra and shorts were hell to put on while damp. Then ankle to knee compression thingies, socks, arm warmers that weren't cooperating, helmet, sunglasses, shoes, and finally outta there!
Bike time :) The bike course was sweet. My plan was to be pretty conservative the first loop and build from there. I always start to feel great after 3hrs so I knew that would be the "high" to start laying it down from. I didn't know in what position I had come out of the water but definitely was not going to falter from my race plan....UNLESS...the runner girl in my AG that I had extensively researched passed me. In that case I would analyze her pace and as my coach said- you never know if they're crazy or super fit. Well she went by at about mile 25 and given that it was her first IM I chose to think she was crazy :)
We had a fairly challenging headwind on the first two loops going out but I loved tucking tight into aero and flying with the tailwind back! I yelled at my mom after the first loop that 2053 was ahead and to keep tabs on her. Lap two- port-apotty break to pee, well at least I was hydrating hehe. I started to find my comfort rythm and then pushed the tempo from there. About 10miles into the third loop I passed the girl back and thought "yes, it's go time, push a little here and gain ground for the run". So I did....after pee stop 3.
Back to T2- pee stop 4....this was good because I was worried Friday when we got here about the incredibly dry conditions. Saturday morning I had woken up light headed because I totally underestimated the amount of water you have to drink in a dessert- go figure!
Alright so this transition was less embarrasing :D And, I remembered to get sunscreen rubbed on me. Time to run!!! No more issues except from within could arise. Time to suffer haha...and suffer I did!
The first two miles came in 15min. A little fast, but I can hold that haha NOT! I actually felt very strong through the first lap. As always my salt tabs were an issue but this tme they didn't fall they just got wet. So eating them was, well, eating them vs swallowing them. eeewwww. Second lap, all was still good I banked on picking it up half way through the second one. But then- OUUUUUCCCHHH!!! Horrible, deathly, excrutiating quad pains. Not now, please not now. Oh, I forgot to mention, by this point I had seen my mom twice at the top of the bridge (about half way into each loop) and her words were "pick it up she's like a minute back!!". So at mile 14 the quads had to deal with it. just 12.2 miles and the would get their relief. I hit them, massaged them, put sponges on them, and they still hurt like hell. So it was time to deal with it on another level: On the last loop I saw my mom and she yells "just push as hard as you possibly can!". Ok, I thought, if I can pick up the pace then my legs are just being wussies. So I went for a burst (not a sprint, but a burst hehe). My body responded well to the change in tempo and the last 10km were a sufferfest of heart over mind and body. I wanted to stop so bad, I waned to jump in that lake and swim away. But, hell no! I had not covered 130 something miles already to be passed by some other girl and loose my trip back to Kona. Nor was I going to let temporary pain deprive me of the most amazing feeling of accomplishment knowing that I was able to suffer like never before.
Jeanne said before the start poitning to her head then her heart "don't let this (head) mess with this (heart)". Priceless.
One thing's for sure, if not for those incredible crowds of people that line practically the entire AZ course, my battle would have been much more hellish. With less than a mile to go I was in absolute euphoria. Taking that left toward the finish I knew it was in the bag and I started to tear up. I was also still kind of scared that my legs would sieze on me but thankfully the finish shute was in sight and I crossed.
My mom and bro were right there, I hugged my mom and said "I won, I did it, I won, I'm going back to Kona!!!" and started to bawl :)