No, I'm not talking about that bull riding movie with Luke Perry. I'm talking about how many seconds over 11 hours it took me to complete IMKY. That eight seconds is kinda haunting me.
But let's start from the beginning...
Typical race morning: have some coffee, be sure to poo, eat some food, pump tires and check bags in transition. It all happened. Then to the swim line, where my mom, dad, and Marc all found me...as did some teammates, Val, Cathie, Charlie, Pater and Amy (who was also racing). It was great to have such support so early in the game.
I will say that I was most concerned about my swim time not meeting expectations. I told Marc to not panic if I came out at 1:10 because I was expected to go about 1:05. Just before we were sent off, there was a "medical emergency" and we were stalled on the dock for close to 10 mins. And then they let us go!
T1 was uneventful except for the fact that I had no volunteer. I just took off my swim suit, grabbed my tri suit and peed the longest biggest pee of the day :) time 5:32
And onto the bike...and that's where the trouble began. Leading into IMKY, I was feeling good on the bike. I borrowed wheels from a buddy and he told me to get new tires, particularly the back one. Well, I picked up a tire and replaced the back one. I rode it down to transition on Saturday with now problem. Out of T1, different story. The tire was rubbing my frame. Every pedal stroke was a struggle. I pulled to the side right out of transition and tried to pull it away from the frame...and got back on...but every stroke, there was one little portion of the tire rubbing and it sounded GOD AWFUL!! Some girl looked at me and said "that's really loud". No kidding?!! I saw Marc and stopped, I was beginning to panic. Some guy tried to tell me to go back and have the mechanics look at it. Another tried to help, but then said something about not helping. So he just talked me through it...pull the wheel away from the frame, lock it down tight. It's not fully in, but it's fine. After about 4 mins (and the 2 I spent prior to that), some tears, a few curse words, I was back on the bike. Marc just yelled that I didn't lose too much time and to just settle in, which is what I knew I had to do.
I felt good after that, a little worried, but just riding. Then came the first climb...and I down shifted and the rubbing started again! DAMMIT. So, I got to the top, pulled to the side, re-adjusted, again, and went on my way. All in all, I think I probably lost close to 10 mins total. But I try to keep in mind that no race is ever going to go perfectly. I just rode. And then I lost my bottle of G2 and my water was out. I was just praying for the next aid station. I had some lonely moments out there for sure. There were times I thought about the training it took to get there and I may have shed a few tears (I'm super sentimental). And there were some dark points. But just as they'd hit, I would see a teammate or Marc or someone yelling my name and I came back to life. In fact, apparently, I smiled.
I won't lie, I was glad to see that 100 mile marker. My hooha was hurting and I wanted to run. I was a little nauseas and i thought my fingers were swelling so I was trying to take in the gatorade perform. But I'd never tried it in training. Um, MISTAKE #1. Official time 5:46.51
Anyway, into T2. Amazing volunteer. I was a little out of it. But she helped so so much. I just grabbed shot bloks and my shoes, wiped my face on a towel and went out the tent. time: 5:30.
The run. Oh...the run. Eddy had told me not to go out too fast. I feeling awful, but I didn't want anyone to know. I knew they were already concerned about my times. I had talked with Eddy the day before about my goals. I have been running really strong this year and I knew a 3:45 wasn't out of the question. But he wanted me to keep even pacing and go go go if I felt string at mile 21. Let's just say my first mile was 7:38, but I felt like I was crawling. And I walked on the bridge and knew then it was going to be a long day. I couldn't even think about taking in food. My stomach was full and revolting. By the third aid station, I couldn't even walk straight. The volunteers were asking if I was ok. So, I put my sunglasses down so they couldn't see my eyes and went off running. Aid station #4, I hit the port-a-potty for a few mins. Let me just say that on a hot day, when you come out of a port-a-potty, it feels like you're walking into antarctica. OK, anyway...until mile 9, I couldn't take in anything but a swig of coke or some water. Then, finally a gel and I swear, I ressurected from the dead!! I found that taking calories every 3rd aid station would be my plan. Then that plan failed me as I made the roundabout through town and once again felt awful.
Bryan ran with me, asked how I felt, talked me through it. I told him I would come back around. I was nauseous and my back was killing me. Once I concentrated on my form, I was ok. Seeing double digit mile markers was amazing!! Particularly mile 16. Not sure why. But I knew I was on my way home. When I passed mile 18, I heard some lady going the other way say she had less than 5 miles. and I almost cried. At mile 20, I knew I only had a 10k left, so I just figured, the quicker I go, the quicker the pain is over. I had been doing this "run til the aid station and then walk through it" pattern.And I kept that up through the remainder of the race. Those last few miles HURT. With a mile and a half to go, I just went. I think I had fire in my eyes. I knew it was going to be so so so close to break 11 hours. I finished the run in 3:59.16.
Total time: 11:00.08. Eight freaking seconds.
Good enough for 6th in my age group. And there were 4 kona spots, all claimed before roll down.
Oh, well, maybe next time.