28 September 2010

Who is # 180?

The short version of chesapeakeman was a swim of 1:19, bike of 6:36 and run of 5:34. Overall time of 13:45:49, good enough for 5th overall female considering this race doesn't pull a huge elite wave and is more geared for first time ironman athletes...but whatever I was just happy with finishing under 14 hours honestly. Just a finish was a win for me.

The longer version.

We left wednesday afternoon to go to Cambridge. This is the same site where Eagleman is held in June/July. A great little town. It was Tim, the boys, my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, tim's parents and our niece. We rented a house about 6 miles from the finish of the race. I had broken down and started snorting Afrin on Tuesday so Thursday was the last day I could take it. I was still so stuffy and coughing uncontrollably Friday. It was only after warm herbal team with honey that I was able to get any good rest before the race.

Saturday morning, Tim got up with me at 4 and we headed to drop off my special needs bags and then over to the swim start. I think I had been so nervous since about 5 weeks out that I just didn't have any nerves left. From the time we got into town Wednesday and even throughout the day Saturday, I was never nervous. I was not worried, I was just ready to start. I don't get it, perhaps the one time I should have been nervous and it wasn't there. It was very surreal and just seemed like any other race day, really more like a training day.

Swim: I was actually able to touch bottom at the start, which was nice. They had warned us about jelly fish, but I didn't run into any. Aside from a few head bonks and a few elbows, the swim was uneventful. I was very conservative on the first lap just due to not knowing was kind of effort I could get away with and still have the energy for later. I guess that happens with the first try at each distance. I must have been hydrated because I used the bathroom at least 5 times during the swim. Although my left calf got a charlie horse three times and I couldn't kick for the last 500 m of the swim, I was happy with the swim. I swallowed/snorted salt water twice...so not a ton but enough to open my sinuses and keep me from coughing all day.

T1: Lots of ladies looking very scared and quiet. I used the bathroom again in T1...good hydration.

Bike: My family had gone out the night before and put messages on the bike course every 5 miles. This was a flat course...windy from all directions, so at least it wasn't a head wind the entire time. I have to say that I thought I would love the flat, and I did love the absence of big hills, but I would have like something to give my legs a little break every now and then. The messages were a great way to break the ride up. Not only that, my family drove the bike course and stopped every 10 miles or so and waited for me...yelling, clapping, dancing...it was awesome. They started cheering for others riding around me too. I tell you, that came in handy on the second lap especially when I started to hit that wall. It gave me that little extra boost. I actually used the bathroom while riding the bike...never thought I would do that...but holy crap I must have been hydrating well. Again, uneventful ride. Nothing crazy going on, just riding. Trying to push when the head winds hit and then trying to take advantage of the tail winds. The thing that was odd was the sporadic bursts of energy and then lack there of; this started happening about 85 miles in. Again, take advantage of the energy periods hoping they weren't met by the headwind and then just trying to push through the lack of energy.

T2: I was in the tent all alone with a bottle on unopened water somebody had left...so I used it to shower off before changing clothes. Loaded up on sunscreen, stretched out a little and drank some more fluids oh yeah and went to the bathroom again.

Run: This was an out and back (3 times) with not a lot of shade. I just tried to get my legs going. By the time I was starting the run it was about 96-97 degrees out, the good thing was that it was not humid. I made it to the turn around where they had tikki torches, a grill, a keg of beer and upbeat music blasting....it was nice. I wish they had that set up at all the stops. When I got back to aide station 2 my sister and mom were there to see me, I had to sit and vaseline up my feet...yucky blisters already formed on the balls of both feet and three toes. At the start of lap two, I met up with Brian from Delaware and we agreed to run the last two laps together...and we did. run every mile, stop at the stations and drink, take a few slow steps and start running again. I had to stop 3 times to use the bathroom on the run...I'm telling you, I had the nutrition down on saturday. By the time we started lap 3, the sun was setting and you couldn't see the road at all, they only had 2 rented lights on the 4.2 mile stretch of road. Tim met Brian and I out there and "ran" beside us.

The finish: Brian told me to go ahead of him at the finish because I had "saved him from a race that would have been over 15 hours". So I did....grabbed Brayden on the way in, Ryan was asleep with Nina, and everyone ran across with me. One of the most amazing feelings I ever had!

It's crazy to think that my first marathon ever was at the end of an ironman. Actually prior to race day my longest run ever was 17 miles. I never felt overwhelmed with the day or what I had to do, it never felt like a daunting task...it just felt doable. Tim's only comment was "well it didn't feel that way because you were physically prepared." And he's right, so thank you Marty Gaal...you are the reason that the only daemon I had to face Saturday was myself. I was equipped physically and nutritionally.

On that note, I whole heartedly believe that the reason I was able to conquer myself Saturday was because of my family. My day wonderful and fun and exciting only because of my family's support and willingness to share in it with me. For almost a year now, Tim and the boys have dealt with training on a daily basis, my parents have come through on countless occasions so that I could get long rides/runs in on weekends and still allow for Tim and I to have some time together and my sister been the ear that has heard it all. And on the day itself, I couldn't have asked for a better cheering section...if anyone ever needs fans, I'll rent my in-laws out...when I tell you that you can hear them calling your name a 1/4 mile away, I'm not exaggerating! And if it's loud, you'll still hear them above everyone else...and that keeps you moving.

I absolutely love triathlon, and now I know why so many people love the ironman distance. My day ended with my sister and I in the back of the truck back at the house, both crying. Her emotionally exhausted from all the support she'd been giving all day, not just to me but to everyone else. Why would that make her cry? The connection you make with these athletes trying to do something so crazy, right? And then not knowing if they made it. And that made me cry. Because somebody else got it. Maybe my friend Malinda was right, I'm a "waterhead", but that's why I love this sport...the months of sacrifice, crazy crap and then the one day pay off that lasts a life time.

Will I do another one? Absolutely. When? Not for a while, it's my family turn for the same commitment and attention that they've shown me over the last 10 months. I'll post pics of the tattoo when I get it...sister is helping design it.

Oh yeah, and guess what.....I'm an Ironman!

19 September 2010

One week out, what do you do?

Well with Brayden fighting the ick for about 3 weeks now, Tim had it for about a week and Ryan and I successfully fought until early last week. Both of us got a little cough, started with a few sniffles by the Thursday and then by Saturday we were both icky.

I took Friday off work and Tim and I loaded the boys in the car and headed to Asheville for the Blue Ridge Relay. Tim was on a 6 man team. The 209 mile relay race started in Virginia early Friday morning and went around the clock. The boys and I were in the second "team vehicle" which really was just using the extra pass so that we could meet the team at the exchange zones to see daddy and play in various country mountain settings.

So all night Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I was in a car with a 4 and 2 year old. All three of us sick. At least I got to nap Friday and Saturday and had a good nights sleep Friday night in a bed. Better than the relay team...cat naps cramped in a rented Ford passenger van. Fun fun. We did take them soup and supplies when they needed it though and the boys got to run and play quite a bit...finding fuzzy brown bugs and nicely sized rocks and sticks always make rowdie boys happy.

Saturday morning I was awaiting an early text or call with an address of where to bring a hot breakfast for everyone and instead heard this on the other end.
"hey, what room are you in?" Oh crap "119, why are you all done?" "yeah we had to pull out".

Apparently the downfall of this relay is that the course was not well marked or well staffed with volunteers during the night portion. One of their team members missed a few turns and got lost for close to 3 hours on a 5.5 mile leg. Not fun or good. Everybody else stiffened up while in the van looking for him. And honestly, when you're giving the one female team member a knife to carry on her night legs...probably not a good sign either.

So even though daddy got done about 5 or 6 hours before we expected, we made a day of it. We took the boys to a "gem mine" to find stuff...which honestly was more like somebody tossing some store bought rocks in a big bucket of sand for you to then "unearth" with their water channel...but the boys loved it. So if it makes them happy, it makes me happy. Then we went to the Mast General store and got candy (of course what else), went back for a short nap before heading to catch football and ultimately balloon animals and pizza.

The boys had fun, but were DONE with being in a car by the time we got home today. They were just going buck wild. Luckily grandma and grandpa Barnes came over and asked the boys to spend the night with them so mommy could rest in the quiet and try to kick the ick...I think just the quiet has made me feel some what better. Emergen-C and tons of water, chicken and rice soup and sleep are my friends right now. Let's just hope they make me feel better quickly.

And that's how one week out is shaping up for me. Tim is picking on me now so I must go and kick his lilly @ss. Hehe, not really but the bed is calling.

12 September 2010

Calling all graphic designers....

I'm looking for a little help. "When" my ironman attempt is successful in two weeks, I'd like to get a tattoo. I'm pretty sure I'd like the Mdot, but I'd like to change it up a little, maybe have the name of my race on there and the date. I'm just not creative at all. I've googled some tattoos online and there are some pretty cool ones on there. I'm just not sure.

So if anyone has any ideas, do share! Also, I'm still debating on location. Seems like most people get it on the calf, it's always visible, a constant reminder and conversation piece I suppose. Then there's the shoulder or upper arm. You can see it when you race, but you can cover it up for things like formal occasions...I think I'm leaning toward the calf...I mean if I'm going to get inked, I might as well let it been seen right?

thoughts and recommendations welcome and wanted.

08 September 2010

Saying our "Thank Yous"

Lunch monday:
Ryan: Mommy we need to say our thank you's
Brayden: Uh huh...thank you's mommy
Me: Ok, but you'll have to say them so I can learn them too.
Ryan: We start by counting together mommy...say it "1-2-3", say it
Brayden: 1-2-3 GO RYAN GO!
Me: Ok, 1-2-3
Ryan: thank you for the earth and sky, thank you for the birds that fly. thank you for the strings that fwoat (float), thank you for the food we grow. thank you, thank you this we say. Thank you for all we have today.
Brayden: thank you for today.
Me: that's very nice. we need to say thank you's more often.

Ryan: mommy who do we say our thank you's to?
Me: Well we are saying them to baby Jesus.
ryan: you mean baby Jesus from Christmas. It's not his birthday yet. I miss baby Jesus, can me and Brayden go play with him. When do we get a turn to play with him?
Me: Well hopefully your turn to play with him is when you're really old.
Ryan: You mean like grandma lillian (mind you she passed away when he was 2.5 years old)
Me: Yes honey, like grandma lillian and grandpa sam.

Ryan: Well mommy, that's not fair that they get to play with him and be in his house in the sky and me and Brayden can't have a turn yet. I think I'm going to build a rocket ship and then me and Brayden can ZOOM UP in the sky and visit and take our turn. Do you think that is a good idea?
Me: I think building a rocket ship to fly in is a great idea. I think that you wanting to take turns and share playing with baby Jesus is a great idea and very nice too.
Ryan: Yeah, that's what we're going to do Brayden, alright?
Brayden: right Ryan.

If only it were that simple.

05 September 2010

With September comes change

1. College football has started. Our week now starts on Monday with analysis of the previous weekend's games and predictions for the coming week. Thursdays are spent watching the first of the weekend's games and Saturday's start early watching College Game day all morning until the first game kicks off and full anticipation until FSU plays. Lots of food and drinks and company.

2. It looks like we're going to get a fall this year. Back in April, we skipped directly from winter to summer heat and humidity. All of a sudden, we hit the month of September and the weather got very pleasant. It's chilly in the mornings and the day warms up to a tolerable heat that just makes you feel like you've just eaten a hot bowl of soup on a freezing winter day...comfortable. Unfortunately with this relief from the heat, not only is it giving us more energy...it's giving the kids more energy. We're outside more and they are wanting to go all the time. As if they weren't before, but I think you all know what I'm talking about with heat zapping energy.

3. I've noticed a huge difference in my training load and energy. My body is getting much needed rest and recovery. The load is tolerable and with the reprieve in weather, my training actually feels good. Although it's nice, this holding pattern still has me ready for race day to be here and done.

4. With my training winding down, Tim is now ramping up his training for the Kiawah Island marathon in December.

5. Ryan is now a big boy with show-n-tell and getting ready for kindergarten. He no longer goes to "pre-school" he goes to "pre-K" with the "biggest kids in school" and in the "biggest kid room".

6. Brayden has been riding the tricycle by himself for a while now. He figured out the pedaling much faster than Ryan did. He's also much farther along with potty training than Ryan was at this age as well...I think having an older brother to watch has helped. I'm hoping that he'll be trained by Christmas...or at least pretty close.

7. Maybe my house will start to stay clean and my laundry will get put away...okay okay. Maybe it's not going to change that much around here.