Lately I have been feeling lazy. I watch TV, read blogs, look at Ironman-related websites, I work on the couch (Thank goodness for my fabulous work with BeginnerTriathlete.com), I have no idea the temperature outside because I can't get off the couch and I am incredibly tired all the time (a 6 hour time change is no fun!). OH-and when I can limp my way to the kitchen, I eat. In order to convince myself that completing the Ironman World Championships validates that I can't use the "lazy" excuse for not wanting to get off the couch the week after the race, I thought I would recap my race. I am feeling much better and still carrying around a bad limp but at least I can still write and I can think clearly (well-sort of)..so here it goes.
5 weeks before the race I tried to finish a workout and suffered a horrible injury (hip bursitis and groin pain) which prevented me from running until the day of the race. Not just any race, the IRONMAN! I wouldn't advise a 5 week taper of no running, minimal cycling and lots of swimming. After 2 anti-inflammatory shots, 1 cortisone shot, a handful of meds and lots of stressful days and sleepless nights, I decided to go to Kona 24 hours before my plane left on Oct 6th! I'm sure my Blog readers were in suspense the week leading up to the race! I totally enjoyed the week before the race and I was honored to be among the best in the world. While my dream of going 10:30 was out of the question (I went 11:00.47 at IMFL and won the 18-24 age group) I was just hoping to finish the race. I was excited to start the race and wasn't very nervous. I just wanted to see what was going to happen. I had a PR in the swim (1:06) by 1 minute from IMFL (my first IM) and I had a decent bike considering I had 112 miles to convince myself I could run for the first time in 35 days. I was just proud I stayed on my bike on the decent from Havi! After the bike I just started running out of T2 and didn't stop. When I saw my mom on Ali (and for the first time she was running faster than me) I told her I was going to finish this race running but I will be slow. I stuck to 10-10:30 min miles for most of the race because that pace felt comfortable. I never bonked, felt tired or ran out of steam but my quads blew up at mile 16...probably cause I didn't run for so long! It was the steep climb on Palani (which seemed like my knees would hit the ground due to the incline) to the Queen K which really brought on the severe pain. The groin/hip hurt me the entire run but I tried not to think about it. I have no idea what I think about during the 26 miles of an Ironman run but for some reason I just do it. One foot in front of the other and the goal is to finish. I dumped ice down my zoot shorts at every aid station to try to take away some throbbing pain. With only 2 ibuprofen and 1 pain pain I had nothing but amazement as I rounded the corner for the last mile on alii drive. Tears came because I couldn't believe i was doing this and I almost didn't come due to my injury. A quarter of those tears were pain tears because the only point I thought about quitting was at mile 24 when I was about to head back into town. Oh I was hurting so bad and the last two declines before Ali were just awful. I remember a guy running past me on the Queen K around mile 22 or 23 and as he ran past me he tapped my shoulder and said "good job. We are almost there." I just thought "Please don't touch me. I WILL fall over if I don't keep one foot in front of the other" Yes-i was in that much pain and I because it was so dark on the Queen K I just hoped one foot would land in front of the other on even pavement. OK, back to the finish. Sadly, I didn't really enjoy the finish line because I was so concerned about someone catching me.Because well over 1200 athletes had come in before me I had the finish line all to myself!! How selfish of me! Everyone was cheering me on and after Mike announced my name I couldn't even pick up the pace to a 12 minute mile! Because I ran the entire run, I had no gait left when I reached the finish line. You can see on my finish line video that I am signaling to the volunteers to come and catch me. The last 2 miles I just wondered if someone would be there to catch me. That was my number 1 concern when I finished the race! But after 12 hours and 26 minutes I finished the Ironman World Championships. MY finish line video doesn't do me justice! It's not what you think..I was actually in a lot more pain that I look!!!! :) Although I spent a lot of time in the medical tent icing my pains away I was bothered that I didn't have a medal to wear around my neck. Because the amazing volunteers rushed me (well-carried me as I tried to walk) to the medical tent to get me off my legs, I never received my medal. So as I am laying on a bench, with ice all over my quads and kept asking everyone for my medal. "Where's my medal..I want my medal!!" I was nice about it and everyone was laughing "don't worry-we will get you your medal. You deserve it!" "You bet I deserve it!" I said. Finally, I was super proud to wear my medal and I can't wait to do it all again. Yes-I still love the Ironman and I hope to get back for 2008 through a 70.3 event. For now, I am resting myself to hopefully get better before the 70.3 World Championships to at least swim, bike and walk if I have to. If I can only swim and bike, no worries. Home turf so I have to do the Clearwater race! I am super satisfied to live out my dream of competing in Kona but hopefully next time I will be smiling with a little more excitement when I cross the kona finish line. A big thank you to zoot for making my race so comfortable. I felt great in my clothes! Also-Hammer nutrition (gels) saved me during my bike and run and I never felt a cramp or any sign of fatigue. A big thank you to everyone who emailed me, followed my blog and thought about me during my race. I also want to thank my webmaster-ray lake- who did an amazing job with my website! He is currently working on the 2008 updated site so stayed tuned! Also, thanks to BeginnerTriathlete and Ron who has offered me lots of projects to help me pay my way to Kona.
For those who know me and for those who don't, it is obvious i love triathlons. I can't tell you what it is like to do an Ironman but if you are someone who enjoys running or triathlons just think of your most memorable race (maybe your first race, your best finish or your hardest race) and multiply that thought by a million. Then you will know half of what it is like to finish the Ironman in Kona. Thank you again.