Ironman World Championships #19 – October 10, 2009

2009 Ford Hawaii Ironman World Championships is a day for the record books. It felt like the hottest day I have ever had the opportunity to race here in Kona, coupled with an amazing head wind all the way home made for a brutal day! I am thankful and happy to come away with a strong finish! 11:03:02

When I walked out of the house a 5:15 a.m. it was already 77 degrees and I was sweating. I just thought, hmmm, going to be a day to remember ☺ I headed down to set up the bike and begin my day. I was able to get organized quickly and then go wait on the beach and chill for about 30:00 minutes. My typical MO is to have some sort of issue that freaks me out, but today it was painless.

I began the swim next to the pier and after the typical being used as some guy’s springboard forward, (let’s see how far we can push her down as I swim over her!) I settled into a group of what I thought were fast swimmers. It was one of my slowest swim finishes, so my swim group was not all that fast! It was fun, the ocean was rolling and chaotic. I talked to my mom as I swam past her ashes, and asked her to keep me safe on the day. That was pretty cool. Oh, I did get punched in the stomach, really not sure how that happens during a chaotic swim, I mean come on; my stomach is not in anyone’s way. That was a new experience for me.

The bike for me turned into a bit of a challenge. I felt pretty good, and was riding steady, but about 40 miles into the ride I began to vomit and that continued for the rest of the ride. Let’s see, covered with urine and vomit… imagine being anywhere near me ☺ The heat was the story of the day. Well that and the incredible head winds coming home which made the last 35 miles an adventure in mental toughness. I love the blowing trade winds, but today, they were absent. I would take a trade wind gust any day over a 20 + mph head wind for 35 miles! Also, I train with power and my power meter was not working so I used my heart rate and tried not to work as hard on the hills. Have to love technology…but only if it works! I did hear after the race the temperature on the course was 100 degrees. I think in 19 years, it has never been that hot and in fact I never had cloud cover until 22 miles into the marathon! I know enough about racing now to realize one needs to race their own race and as people flew by me on the bike, I knew that I may see them again during the marathon.

Once the run began I certainly was not sure how that would play out. After being sick most of the bike, I was worried that nothing was left in the tank, but all of a sudden I did feel good. Once I was on Alii Drive, I felt like I was home and actually love running that part of the course even though it was hot and even more humid. There are lots of people cheering for you and just so much energy it keeps you going. I had a bad spot about 9 miles in the run, took a Hammer gel, and slowed my pace down and was so excited because I was able to run up Palani Road. Nice steep uphill that is normally a place I love to walk. Gary my awesome massage therapist was there cheering me on and telling me it is a long day and stay in the moment! The highway was HOT, HOT, HOT! I enjoyed the run at least until after the Energy Lab, which seemed to suck all the energy out of me. It was survival mode back to the finish line. I was incredibly happy to finish strong, placing second in my age group to Donna Smyers, a great competitor of mine. I look forward to next year and a new age group. Who ever said getting old is not fun…I am very excited to age up!

I also wanted to thank everyone for their calls, text message, and facebook notes. It was inspiring and kept me going knowing you all were behind me. Thanks again to Hammer Nutrition and Steve Born. During the day I used Perpeteum, Enduralytes, and my most favorite, Energy Surge tablets. They carried me through the day. Thanks again for your continue support of me as I continue on in this sport I love so much. Without your help and knowledge in endurance sports, I would be lost.