Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Did It!

Hello, friends! Well, after a long, hot 5-months of training...the journey is over.  Saturday I crossed the finish line of my first half Ironman triathlon!

I can't believe it's over! I feel kind of lost.  I gave myself 2 days of rest but had to go on a short bike ride today.  So let's talk about the race!

I woke up around 4:30am.  I drank Gatorade and then a cup of coffee.  I ate an egg, an egg white, and Stinger waffle (full of carbs and sugar).  I met up with TNT friends at a parking lot to walk together to the race.

The Swim

Buoys created drama with the swim.  I guess the water levels rose enough the night before to impact the course.  As a result, the old, bright orange buoys were left in the water and we had to swim around big white buoys.  This was very challenging to spot in a sea of neon orange buoys. 

We walked down a long red carpet to the lake with our wave.  I kind of felt like I was on a death march with bag pipes playing.  

I got kicked a few times in the arm and had a few people touch my feet (drafting) but after 10 minutes, I got into the groove.  Featured songs in my head included "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele, "SuperWoman" by Alecia Keys, "You and I" by Lady Gaga, and shamefully, "Ho" by Ludacris.  I think I laughed in the water when that song popped in my head.

When I ran out of the water the announcer thanked the "weather lady" for the beautiful weather.  The weather was gorgeous all race day.  The morning was not too cool and the winds were light.  It did get a bit hot in the afternoon...

I was a bit out of it during transition but used my sprint tri experience to help me quickly take MJ out of the transition zone.  I hopped on the bike and started round 2!

The Bike

I didn't want to push it but decided to go on the faster side after all.  I think I averaged around 17 to 19 mph on the bike.  I paid special attention to my nutrition and hydration.  I made sure to eat 2 Stinger organic energy chews every half hour and a few swigs of water or Gatorade every 10 minutes.  I think this helped me get through the run.  

It was fun riding on Waterloo road where we first road west to Cimarron and then looped back.  I got to cheer on TNT teammates and makes sure my "Team Jo & Em" partner, Joleen, made it through the swim okay.  She did and rocked it on the bike!

The ride was long but I did not expect to have to go to the bathroom but sometimes you gotta go!  So I stopped at mile 50 in anticipation of a line at the transition port-a-potties.  I also hit up some Chamois Butt'r because my tri shorts were chaffing! Youch!  I came into transition at a quick clip, quickly took off the helmet, and cycle shoes and exchanged for running shoes, headsweats visor, and race belt!

The Run

The first part of the run felt great. And by first part I mean the first three miles or so.  After that, I began to realize the challenge ahead.  Thankfully, there was a stop every mile that provided everything! I'm talking about pretzels, salted potatoes, pickles, pb&j, salt pills, water, Gatorade, and my favorite, gummy bears!  On the second loop (each loop was about 6.5 miles) I made sure to treat myself to 2 red gummy bears.  It was kind of a motivation.  I also thoroughly took advantage of the cold wet sponges since it started getting hot around 1pm.
In pain! Still smiling!

I've heard former Ironman triathletes tell me about how you ride a roller coaster of emotion in your mind during the run.  They were right!  For the most part, I stayed positive.  I thought of "One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston to inspire me.  I also got a lot of energy out of seeing my TNT friends and random spectators clapping as I ran by.  But there were moments when I wanted to stop and walk like several people were doing around me.  My TNT friend, Taylor, was about a loop ahead of me and was so elated on the run that I asked him, "did you smoke crack at a water stop?"  This was obviously a down moment on my run. Haha.

The best water stop was one mile from the finish line.  The Oklahoma City LandRunners hosted the stop and is notorious for fun themes, drinks, etc.  This year they had a Hawaiian theme.  On my second loop they informed me I was only a mile or so from the finish.  I wanted to speed up to beat another girl in my age group but unlike a sprint distance tri, my body just couldn't do it.  I felt a bit defeated.  

Icing knees. Learned I have
flat feet & need new shoes!
I am happy that I managed to muster a sprint through the finish line as my friends, boyfriend, and boyfriend's family cheered from the sidelines.  What happened next took me by surprise.  I drank some water and suddenly felt flooded with emotion.  I started crying.  I guess the "emotional roller coaster" took its toll.  5 months of hard training and sacrifice all amounted to this one moment.  My "One Moment in Time"...crossing the finish line.  Crossing the finish line for the race against all blood cancers.  Oh, what joy!  I want to do something like this all over again just to get that feeling again.  What an accomplishment!

Place (Females): 72 
Age Group: 25-29 
From: OKC OK 
Swim: 40:22 
Transition 1: 3:22 
Bike: 3:15:02 
Transition 2: 1:32 
Run: 2:24:32 
Total Time: 6:24:47 

A Word of Gratitude

With that being said, I couldn't have done this without support.  Thank you to Team in Training for providing this opportunity and helping me make the world a better place and taking me to a mental and physical state I never know I could reach.  Thank you to my new Team in Training friends for giving me the encouragement to train in 110° heat and get up at 6am on a Saturday.
Thanks for the "baby" wines, Marika! MIZ!
Joleen, Janna, and me

Thank you to Joleen Chaney for helping create KFOR's very own "Team Jo&Em" where we successfully passed our fundraising goal of $5,000.  Thank you to all of my friends, family, and viewers for the generous donations both big and small.  They all added up to support a great cause. 
2 out of 3 TNT coaches (the other was doing the full!)

Thank you to my friends and co-workers in Oklahoma City for coming to our fundraisers and putting up for my lack of social life due to early trainings.  Thank you to my boyfriend and parents for putting up with me complaining about training, the cost of my bike, getting up early, lack of social life, etc.  Thank you to Astronaut John at Pro Bike and Steve Schlegel for helping me out with my many bike problems, namely flat tires.  And finally, thank you, reader, for staying with me on this journey.

Thanks to my best friend, Shauna, back home in Chicago!
Now what?
Sun + temporary tattoo = sweet sunburn

I don't really know, but I plan on continuing this blog and the random musings of Emily Rose Sutton.  I hope to an Olympic distance triathlon next!

1 comment:

  1. You girls made your TV followers very proud. As a fellow blogger, I'd encourage you to keep this one going. As we travel by RV around the country I find blogging a good way to keep friends and family informed about what is going on in our lives. Also, yours is only one of several I like to follow.