I remembered a lot of the advice I got was don’t overcook yourself on the bike. I followed this during my ½ Ironman when the heat index was 115… and it worked so I didn’t want to change anything. I also remember everyone telling me I would will feel like everyone is passing me on the first loop, but I would get them on the second. My plan was to stay in Zone 2 all day. I tried to stay in low to mid Zone 2 but found I was hovering around top Zone 2 and low zone 3 for the first 25 miles or so. I kept telling myself to stay in control… I finally settled in and stayed in mid zone 2 until the hills, which it did elevate when climbing. I had fun on those hills. So much, I was looking forward to them the second time around. You see this is where the party is! TONS of people lining the hills Tour de France style, in costumes, with funny signs, music….
- Do you believe you actually paid to do this?
- Of course it’s F’ing hard, it’s Ironman!
- Focused? (this was in front of a guys junk that was wearing only a speedo, so he looked naked!)
- Ironmen are honey badgers, Honey badger don’t give a @h!t
All of this, plus seeing my crew and coach out there helped make the second loop back to the hills fly by. On the second loop, I kept thinking, where are all these people I’m supposed to be passing? I started to get concerned that I was going too slow but stuck to my plan. My HR still wanted to climb into the Zone 3 but I held back... I kept up on the nutrition and salt like clockwork, mile 40 I ate a 1/2 cliff bar, mile 80 another 1/2 cliff bar... kept doing body checks to make sure I was aware of what my body needed. Problem #2 hit: Around mile 83 I began to feel a little full after the second half of cliff, so I put off the next GU until an hour later, and kept sipping perform. After the hills, I had a little reflux where liquid came back up but not full on throw up. I pulled the perform and liquid intake back to just water, and small sips of Perform here and there on the connector back to Madison. This actually didn’t seem like a huge problem to me at the time, I felt I had enough time to correct this before the run, but it would later become where Problem 2 caused Problem 3. I saw my crew several times on the bike. Mile 21, in Verona, where I stopped to say hi, give hugs and kisses and then again on the second loop on south beach hill (the last hill on the loops before heading back). In Verona, I remember giving John a kiss and him telling me I was kicking arse. So I thought, maybe I’m not too far behind? I stopped at the bike special needs and pulled out the icy hot back patch I put in there just in case my back was bothering me. This was HUGE, since my neck was getting worse, by staying in aero. I put the patch on my neck and got some relief, and was on my way. The second loop felt harder than it should. Yes, it should be more difficult, but my speed cut down, and the wind picked up. (even though there wasn’t supposed to be much wind at all that day- this proved to be a change in the forecast along with the heat index nearing mid 90s) By the time I got back to the hills, the party pretty much moved onto the run course. Disappointing, since I was so looking forward to it… but here is another ‘best moment’ My Mom running alongside of me up the hill. She was so cute, yelling I love you, and then cheering on the crowd, waving her arms up and down yelling come on cheer for Cheryl! I yelled back I love u Mom, and then laughed for about another mile or so… she is so cute! I saw my dear friend Denise and her two little boys who really wanted to see me again, and I heard them cheer for me as I flew by them at the top of the hill. SO cute, and a reminder on how much I missed Jack.
RUN: I saw my crew right out of the run chute. They were so excited as they thought they missed me due to traffic. Someone asked how I felt? All I could say was TIRED, but with a smile! The first 5 miles my legs felt heavy (as I expected) but then I got into my groove. Nutrition wise, I started from the first aide station with 1 water; 1 Perform. I did not want to get behind, since I pulled back on liquid the last part of the bike. I started looking at my watch thinking ok, the bike time was not what I thought it would be, but I still can make my “worst case scenario” time. By mile 6 I felt pretty darn good. A little tired, but I still had a lot of pep in the legs. I saw my brother around mile 6.5 and we hugged again and Dave said he was very proud of me, he was almost done, looked tired, and sad. I told him “Go get it!” and we were on our way. I wanted to ask him how he was doing in terms of place, but by the look on his face, I knew he thought his day was over. I said a little prayer and thanked God for my day and asked him to be with Dave… Little did Dave know, he was in 6th place, and on his way to qualifying for Kona! By mile 8 I was on my way to what would be the first of MANY bathroom stops. Not quite the same. Problem #3: I felt like I had gas and kept thinking this would pass, but the jostling of the stomach and the surplus of calories I took in on the bike proved to be a bad combination. I was pissed. I had the internal hemorrhoid procedure a few weeks prior to the race to take care of this very problem. BUT it was not the hemorrhoid issue, there wasn’t any sign of blood… so it was purely a GI issue. It had me perplexed I followed my plan, and did my body checks every half hour, and when I felt full I pulled back! I felt like screaming WTF!!!!!! Every time I had Perform, it would aggravate it more. So I pulled back on the Perform. From miles 10-13 I worried about my stomach. I walked a little on the way to the turn around to see if it would settle things. By mile 12.5 I felt a little better and picked back up running, not as fast I would have liked, but at least running. Mile 13, the turnaround is VERY cruel, since you are lead right up to the finish line, only head right back out. It was here that I had the very BEST moment of the day… as I came into the turn, I saw my crew to the left, cheering. I didn’t want them to know I was having issues, so I put on my best face and knew that just beyond them was special needs and I had an emergency stash of stomach medicine in there. I made the turn, and felt better knowing the next time I’m here would be to finish. I turned the corner and there was everyone with HUGE smiles, cheering and there was JACK! My husband arranged to have my sister, brother in law and nephew bring Jack up during my run. I cried like a little girl when I saw him, and I ran up to him and gave him kisses, and kissed John and told him I loved him (husband of the year!) It was then that I also found out my brother realized his dream of qualifying for Kona!!! How awesome… I found another level of energy to get it done- stomach issues or not! I was going to finish!!
|We are missing a bunch of people - Thank you to the ENTIRE 2011IM CREW!!!|
You guys ROCK!
Good luck to you all in wherever life takes you. Feel free to drop me a line about your journey!