Thursday, June 27, 2013

Another race in the books and another medal on my rack!

My 8 Ironman medals!
Sunday June 23rd I completed my 8th Ironman in Couer d’Alene, Idaho.  We arrived Thursday to a high of 48 with rain for most of the day.  Cold weather races are not my favorite thing so this was not a good sign.  Fortunately Sundays forecast was looking a little better in the 70's
Cold and Raining we arrived hoping it would get better.

 This was my second Ironman this year and we are only halfway into the year.  Needless to say I was glad to get it over and take a much-needed break for a while.  I had done Ironman CDA in 2007 and finished in 12:25 so I was hoping to have a better time than 2007.  Since this was the second Ironman in a few months I didn’t have the same excitement that I normally do before a race. I actually told my boyfriend the night before the race that I didn’t feel like I was doing an Ironman the next day.  I did however feel really fit and confident I could do the race. My only concern was the cold water and cooler weather. I have been hypodermic on many occasions and seem to be prone to it, with cold water swims.  The water temperature was significantly warmer than the 52 degrees the previous year. It was 61 this year….wooohoooo! 

Here are Terri and Debbie at a practice swim as you can see it looks really cold and it was! We got to do a rolling swim start similar to a marathon. We seeded ourselves based upon our estimated swim finish.  I guess when someone drowns and dies in a race they take more precautions.  The previous year someone drown in the swim and now they have attempted to make the swim much more safe.  The first loop of the two-loop swim course went great. The rolling start was awesome!  My first loop was done in 32 minutes.  I took a little longer with the second loop when I ran into some congestion from other swimmers.  My swim time was 1:08, which was pretty good for me.  I took longer than I wanted to in transition because I was so cold I couldn’t move fast.  Damn the cold water! I was on to the bike and wanted to complete it in 5 hours and 50 minutes.  It is a challenging bike course with lots of hills so I knew it wouldn’t be my fastest bike time.  I was shivering for the first 20 miles on the bike and I even had on a long sleeve shirt and arm warmers.  I had recently had my bike re-fit which probably wasn’t the best thing so close to the race but that is just how it worked out. I did get a 100 mile ride on the new fit when I did I realized the new seat they put on my bike was not good for me.  I put my old seat back on my bike with the new fit.  This worked OK for a training ride the weekend before but was causing some discomfort about 80 miles into the race.  Coming out of the swim I was also experiencing some neck and shoulder pain, which continued throughout the bike and onto the run.  I finished my bike over my estimated finish time in 6:03.  I was glad to see my boyfriend on the bike right behind me – actually too close for comfort!  I saw my two clients Debbie and Terri during the bike. They all seemed to be chugging along on a really tough bike course.
I was so thankful to be off my bike and on to the run.  It took me a while to shake out some of the kinks and get running.  I carried on with the run through mile 6 holding under a 10 minute pace. I wasn’t feeling great as I continued the run and it seemed to get worse.  My head, neck and shoulders were hurting and I was very nauseated not able to take in much at each aid station.  I began walking at times trying to run as much as I could.  The walking portion kept getting longer and longer.  I continued to see everyone on the course and some were doing awesome and some were struggling like I was.  I made it to the finish line in 12:19.  It was not my best performance but not my worst. I finished the race and waited for my boyfriend.  We rushed our stuff (bikes and gear) back to the house we were staying at, showered quickly and returned to see Terri and Debbie finish.  Terri finished in 14:30 and we just missed her finish!  Michael took Terri back to the house while I waited for Debbie to finish.  I knew she would take most of the 17 hours that she had to finish.  I had never gone back to watch some of the late night finishers.  It was a lot of fun!  Finally Debbie came across the finish line with the sound of Mike Riley saying Debbie Eidelman YOU ARE AND IRONMAN!  Here is the video of her finishing and also a video of all the excitement at the finish line.  It is always a unique experience during each race. I learn so much about myself and walk away with great memories and some painful ones!  When I found Debbie the first thing she said was "That was hard!" then she said, "If I can do that ANYONE can!" You know what she's right!  Anyone can do an Ironman if you really want to do one! 

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