It was a beautiful day in the Panhandle for an ironman race. I finally decided to race Weds. night and that should have told me what I knew, that my body needed a break! My sister was racing; Kevin was racing as well, so it seemed like a good thing to do!
The swim was fairly uneventful two loop swim. My brother-in-law Graham was actually right there cheering as I finished the first loop. That was pretty cool. I did see way too many jelly fish for my comfort zone. Every time I saw one under me, I lifted my head out of the water so it could not sting me. I doubt that made a difference but at least I did not get stung. Only one event on the way back, I must have been swimming in someone’s way and he literally stopped me, pulled me back and told me I was in his way…huh? In a big ocean, I am in his way…go figure! We had a fairly long 100 yds. running in the water to get to the sand. I need to practice my dolphin technique as I landed mostly on my face in the surf. Wish I could look like the Kona dolphins!
The day was sunny and cool compared to Hawaii, low 70’s and a 7-10mph east wind. We spent about half the bike going east. My legs felt surprisingly good for most of the ride. It was pretty uneventful although lots and lots of fast men flew by me like I was going backwards. They would form a pack pretty quickly; it was interesting to watch that happen. I would guess they were travelling about 25+ mph and were out of sight instantly. I really needed to focus in this race as there were stretches where I did not see anyone I had my quickest bike split so I believe my plan of doing just 5 bike rides in 4 weeks worked.
The run was partially along the ocean road with the All3sports members cheering us on, into neighborhoods, and through a state park. Again, it was flat run. IM FL has great volunteers at the aid stations, and lots of people cheering us on. With a two loop run you pretty much see 2400 people so the day was never boring. I ran for a bit with my sister, she was experiencing vertigo, while I was in the bushes having G.I. distress over and over again. Luckily we both finished!
I believe every ironman is a learning experience and Saturday’s race was no different. I learned that I had fitness left in my body; I am sure from years of training. I learned again to never quit after experience something that has never happened before in an ironman race. Again, just keep moving forward always and you will find yourself at the finish line. While in the medical tent hooked up to an IV pole, the doctor said swallowing ocean water in gulps due to the chop causes GI distress, maybe that happened to me, but I knew that if I could keep running I would finish and I did, with an Ironman PR…10:27:25
I am looking forward to the off season and becoming a grandmother in February.