I’m still in shock that I completed an Ironman on Sunday. It was an unbelievable day, and I feel incredibly fortunate to even have taken part in something like that. Since I have so much to say about the race, I thought that I would break it up into sections starting with pre-race activities. Sorry to be such a tease!!
The Tuesday before the race last week, I twisted my ankle during my speed workout on a pine cone. I freaked out, and it swelled up and hurt for a couple of days. On the Wednesday before the race, I freaked out again because I thought my husband had gotten me sick. My throat was hurting, I was exhausted, and I was starting to cough. I used my connections to nail down a Z-pack. Usually, I’m totally against taking antibiotics for “being sick,” but I was doing an Ironman this coming Sunday, and I didn’t want to take any chances. A triathlon teammate told me a horrible story of him starting an Ironman with a sinus infection and ending it with pneumonia. Yep. NOT gonna happen to me!
Fast forward to Friday and mandatory packet packet-pick up. We spotted this sign as we were leaving the expo, and it just gave me butterflies inside. I was ready for this thing.
We made it back to the hotel after that to put the bike together and go on my last bike and run before the race. The bike felt great, and my handlebars didn’t come off after my husband put my bike back together which is always a plus! haha
My ankle still hurt a little on the 15 minute easy run, but I just told myself to calm down. I still had a day and a half for it to heal up before the race. As for the cold/flu like symptoms, they had pretty much dissipated at this point except for a little runny nose.
Saturday, was the practice swim sponsored by Powerbar. I was nervous to get into the water, but my coach told me it would be a good idea to practice sighting, and make sure my goggles were working properly especially since my last open water swim was in August!! I really wanted to skip it, but my husband doesn’t let me get away with anything!! So I went.
It was beautiful out, and I met a father who was doing IMAZ with his son. Thank you, babe, for the incredibly awkward pic on the right. haha
I have no idea what I was looking at on the left down there. I was probably thinking about the water being 61 degrees and cringing.
The water was FREEZING!!!! My face, hands, and feet hurt the entire time I was in the water. At least, I figured out a sighting strategy and that my goggles were crap!!
After grabbing some breakfast and going to three different stores for supplies (i.e. you are not allowed to fly with CO2 cartridges, need new goggles, etc.), we finally made it back to Tempe Beach Park to drop off my bike and transition bags. If you think you can just show up and do one of these races, you are crazy! There is A LOT preparation that goes on. My family drove all the way from New Mexico to cheer me on for the race, and I felt bad that I couldn’t spend more time with them. They understood that this wasn’t a vacation thankfully.
Literally thousands of bikes. Beautiful!!!! And, it got me really excited to be racing the next day!!
All ready, in my spot…
For those of you who are interested, you are given 5 bags at an Ironman event:
- Morning Clothes Bag: any clothing you are wearing over your race kit in the morning. This also doubles for clean clothes to wear after the race plus flip flops!
- Bike Gear Bag: EVERYTHING you will wear for the bike — helmet, cycling shoes, fleece (It was cold on the 1st loop!), arm warmers, socks, sunglasses, garmin
- Bike Special Needs Bag: Hoo Ha Cream (Amazing if you haven’t tried it!!), tums, tylenol, any special treat that will be a reward for getting halfway through on the bike. I know a guy who put an Arby’s sandwich in there!
- Run Gear Bag: Running shoes, visor, Shot Bloks, any change in clothing
- Run Special Needs Bag: tums, tylenol, long sleeve shirt just in case it was cold. Someone I know also put Mentos in their bag.
It was incredible how many bags the volunteers had to deal with!!! There were ~3,000 people competing X 5 bags each = 15,000 bags. Holy Crap!!
After we dropped off the gear, we picked my coach up from the airport and headed to dinner with the fam. We found this great place in Tempe called Picazzo’s that made most of their menu gluten free!! Yay!! This made my stomach very happy.
Having my very young nephews at dinner also took the edge off racing the next day. Dragons and my sister’s growing pregnant belly were the topic of conversation instead of the race which was a good thing!
Next post: The Swim!!!