10/3/17

IM Choo Race Report - Post race/awards/Kona slots



Karel and I waited for Thomas, our next athlete (of 14) to finish the race before we headed back to the parking garage to change out of our sweaty, sport drink covered, wet kits. I was moving very slow after the race and like usual, my body was not yet interested in solid food. I didn't feel dehydrated at the finish (no GI issues, nausea or anything abnormal) but I did take a few sips of water at the finish line to wash out my mouth. I went into the food tent and since the food selection was unappetizing to me at that time, I ate a few orange slices and grabbed a coke to give me some sugar and calories before heading over to bag/gear check-out. I know my body well (and Karel's body) and after an endurance event, it's amazing how quick the blood sugar can drop so sipping on some sugar (or having something with quick digesting carbs) is always good prevention to a possible post-race low energy moment. Anticipating what was coming next, my body started to tighten up and it was extremely hard to bend my quads. Stepping up and down curbs was painful. As the endorphins started to dissapear, my body wanted nothing to do with moving. It's always amazing how my body can keep moving until the finish line of an Ironman and then after a few minutes, my body completely shuts down and wants nothing to do with any movement whatsoever.

Once we grabbed our bikes/bags, we slowly made our way to the parking garage and up the elevator and to our car. Karel was moving a little quicker than me since he finished over an hour before me. After we changed into clean clothes, we made our way down the stairs (backwards for me to avoid bending my quads) and back out to the finish line area. It was so fun to turn on our phones (which had been off since 7am) and read see all of the texts and messages on social media. Thank you to all who tracked us! 


Even though Karel and I are athletes, we are also coaches and we take our coaching job very seriously. No matter how tired or exhausted we are after a race, we make sure to support our athletes and watch everyone finish. Justine and Katja were at different places on the run course so that they could keep us updated with how everyone was looking/doing. Karel was on the hill just outside of the finishing chute and I had my Ironman tracker loaded with all 14 of our athletes (thank goodness for my portable phone charger!). I secured a spot right near the exit of the finishing area so that I could watch each one of our athletes finish and then give each person a big hug. It was so special to see everyone but also neat to see their expressions at the finish line and then right after they processed what they just accomplished. 

 
I guess Justine had told everyone how I did (most of our athletes had asked her during the race) because just before I congratulated each of our athletes, they were congratulating us. What a special moment for athlete and coach. I had no idea what time of the day it was until I called my mom and realized that it was nearing 9:30pm! The day went by so quickly! I was started to get a little hungry so Karel bought me salty french fries - oh so good! I also sipped on a bottle of mineral water that I had in the car waiting for me for after the race. Karel had french fries and a chicken sandwich as he was waiting for me to finish. 


Congrats to all of our athletes - All Trimarnis started and everyone finished!!!
(And thank you to Justine and Katja for your cheers and the other Trimarni spectators/fans for your support!) 

Elizabeth Coleman - First Ironman! 13:20.29
Thomas Skelton - First Ironman! 10:50.25
Kim Crist - 14:46.21
Robb Fordham - 11:50.45
Heidi Hogan - 12:33.52
Julie Huyett - 13:01.39
JoAnn Johnson - 13:56.52
Rob Johnson - 12:36.06
Stephanie Lefkowitz - 13:32.48. 11th AG (25-29)
Bryan Milling- 12:30.07
Kathy Petri - 12:32.29. 5th AG (55-59)
Alvaro Velez -11:49.10
Lisa Klueppel - 13:06.00
Dana Spark - 13:18.14
Karel Sumbal - 9:20.55. 2nd overall amateur male. 1st AG (40-44). 3rd overall. 
Marni Sumbal - 10:28.50. 1st overall amateur female. 1st AG (35-39), 10th overall female.

Once everyone finished, it was time to get a real meal in our belly. At 10pm, our options were limited but thankfully the Blue Plate was open. It was fun to see so many athletes and spectators there and we were joined by a few of our athletes. I always crave fatty/salty food after an Ironman and even though I knew I wouldn't be able to stomach much, I ordered an egg and cheese sandwich on brioche bread. After dinner, we watched some of the final finishers until midnight (official race finish at 12:40) and then it was time to head back home as the day was finally catching up to us and we were in desperate need of a shower.

After we arrived back home around 12:30am, I had a well-needed shower (no chaffing - yippee!) and then it was time for bed. Like I expected, I slept for about 3 hours and then I tossed and turned with restless legs until I officially got out of bed around 7am or so. Every step was painful and it was so hard to move my legs but the pain was all worth it. 



On Monday morning, we walked the 1 mile to the convention center to move some blood, even though it was so exhausting as every part of my body was aching. It was fun to spend that time talking with Elizabeth and Thomas about their first-time Ironman experience. 



The breakfast at the celebration party was delicious and it was fun to be there with so many of our athletes. 



It was special to see Karel receive his first overall age group win in an Ironman. Although Karel started the sport late in his life (36 years old in 2012), he has made so much progress since his first Ironman in 2013. His journey has required a lot of hard work and patience and despite being filled with a few obstacles and setbacks, he really enjoys the sport of triathlon. Karel was happy about his 2nd place male finish but more so, he couldn't believe that he finished 3rd overall out of everyone in the race (Karel was beat by Liz Lyles who won the race). Even though he was a little disappointed in his run after the race, the more he processed the day and looked at the results, he had the 2nd fastest male run of the day. This is why we don't like to chase times in a triathlon, especially in an Ironman. Fast is all relative to the day and for us, the challenging run course combined with the heat made for a very tough day for everyone.  



After my recent setback two weeks ago in Chattanooga, this podium (and overall win) meant so much to me. When Tom Z. finished announcing the winners in the 35-39 age group, he proceeded to tell the audience that I was the most tracked athlete per the Ironman tracker of the day. Thank you everyone for tracking - apparently my race was much more suspenseful/interesting than I thought it was when I was racing! 



After the awards, we watched the race video  and then waited until it was time for the Kona slot distribution/roll down at 11am. Although we were waiting for Karel to earn his Kona slot for 2018 IM Kona, it's always fun and exciting to see athletes receive their Kona slot (especially for a roll down). Considering that this Ironman is one of the earliest Ironman's to qualify for next year's Ironman World Championship, roll down slots are not that popular. Because I decided after IM Kona 2015 that I would take a long break from racing in Kona until I felt ready to be competitive there, I was looking forward to giving my Kona slot to another deserving athlete. Although Karel's age group had 4 slots, my age group only had 2. And because I have already registered for my two Ironman races for next year (IM Austria and IMWI), it was an easy decision to let another deserving female athlete in my age group enjoy the IM Kona experience, especially for the 40th anniversary. 



Karel has focused on IM Choo all season long as his IM Kona qualifying race. Even though he earned (and declined) a Kona spot this year in Lake Placid, he was excited to finally. accept the slot in Chattanooga. After Karel paid for his entry, it was time to head back to the house. It was not even noon and we were exhausted so it was time for a little nap. We had all intentions to do some sightseeing but after our nap, we were hungry and in need of calories. 



We went to the Terminal Brewhouse which was amazing (thanks Thomas for the recommendation). We started off with an appetizer and then dove into our entree. Heidi, Elizabeth, Karel, Justine, Karel and I enjoyed talking about the race and like usual, there were no shortage of laughs and funny moments, as well as fun stories from race day. 



With so many yummy choices, I went with The Herbivore (portobellow, button shrooms, onionsa nd feta pesto) stuffed inside cooked pizza dough. It was AHmazing. 



Karel ordered the Buffaloaf (super lean bison loaded with potatoes, mushrooms, peppers, house spices and tommed with balsamic glaze, served with whiskey baked beans and veggies).

After our meal, we slowly made our  way back to the house and sadly, it was time to start packing and cleaning up the house for our departure on Tues morning.

Chattanooga was good to us (and our athletes) and we had an incredible time making memories and doing amazing things with our bodies for 144.6 miles. Although we both don't feel ready for the triathlon season to come to an end, we will turn the page to this chapter in our life as we get ready for another exciting season of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition and a fun upcoming year of race-cations. 

Thanks for reading!