Thursday, October 15, 2009

Drum Roll Please....

It is finally here! Long awaited....just as the ironman is this write-up. I was living on island time and the computer was far from my side....except FB ;)

(Sexy volunteer that I couldn't resist)

Morning of went fantastic except for that as I was wiping on sunscreen I practically rubbed off my entire race number so had to run back over for remarking. People get really confused that early in the morning as I was moving backward in comparison to the herds of people going through their pre-race rituals that usually start with body marking....and I had moved it to the end.

(wondering what I can do next to get ready)

I started in the same place as last year and nothing about the start was even remotely better than the previous year except for that I had my friend Hallie right next to me to exchange words with in between salt water gulps. The cannon was off and so was the chaos. I swam and swam and tried to sight and not once thought about my stroke, and being fluid and was survival and feet and whacks in the head for the entire time of my 56 min. A new ironman PR.

(Hallie and I pre-fight of 1800+ athletes)

Up onto the bike things were great, felt strong, got passed by a few girls and passed a few that led me out of the water. Realized my back waterbottle was missing by mile 15 but didn't think it would affect me much. Took some extra gatorade instead. Nutrition was the same as the past with a little extra water. The trip out to Hawi was much nicer than the year before. Little to no crosswind was super helpful. The climb up was a mental battle because the boys were passing like crazy. At the turnaround I did a quick stop for special needs and felt great on the way down. There were a few "lord help me" moments, but all in all, it was FUN. The headwind on the Queen K was enough to make me crazy, it felt like I was sitting on a bike trainer going nowhere, wondering if it would ever end, the only thing missing was "the girls next door" episode sitting smack in front of my face, oh, and the cat trying to sit on the aerobars. I came off the bike in my goal time of 5:32-5:35.

(bike exit)

By mile three on the run things decided to turn. My tri shorts felt as if I had eaten an entire Krispy Creme store. I was pulling my short away from by belly in a sense that my stomach might make them bust open at the seams...good thing there are no buttons on spandex. By the turn around all I could do was think about when I would see the cheering section. Blurred vision forced me to take the sunglasses off, and a little teary eyed I was. I kept moving forward. Mark always reassures me that he will love me and not be mad at me for anything, so long as I finish the race. That became my new goal, no more worrying about pace, and place, and goal times. Just FINISH. I got on the Queen K (by Bike those guys) and 5 big pukes in a row and this girl had nothing in her. From then on it took every bit of effort to run 10-11 min miles, but I kept moving. Orange slices and a little water for the next 14 miles was all I could take. By mile 24 I tried some coke...YIPEE...the bounce was back, a little to late in the game but I ran with many peeps can you pass in the last 2 miles was the game and I played it with passion, then coke again at 25. Yep, averaged 10:30 all day and in the last two miles 7:30.

(live stream photo finish...thanks Beth!)

That was the race in numbers. I had so much support from all across the country and that is what kept me going. By far this race was the most challenging to me, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I never want to relive it, in its entirety, but I wouldn't change it. Being in the most competitive field of athletes, having an amazing swim and bike split, and knowing that I have trained to my ability at this time. I did what my body allowed me to on the day of October 10th, 2009.

The best in the world shined (by winning, by setting PR's, by breaking records of all sorts), and too, the best in the world were also defeated. Defeated in terms of not reaching their established goals, by lowering places, by being forced to reevaluate what they were set out to do this day. I was behind athletes I never thought I would be and there were athletes behind me I never thought I would be in front of, but this, this is what the Kona Ironman is about, the unpredictable. And in the end, we all learned, and learning is winning and all of us are one step further to making this event even better for ourselves and for others. We learn, we share, we grow and then we find away to do it all over again.

It is an honor to be at Kona, a very special place, a place that you keep with you throughout the year and reminds you of the beauty of the sport. I will be back to show myself what I have learned on this journey and to inspire others. I will be ready to take on the day again, someday, someday soon.


Kim said...

amazing t! you did sooooo awesome!!! look at that swim and bike split! and you ran a marathon in a fantastic time despite not feeling so awesome. kudus friend, you are an inspiration. now put your feet up and enjoy your time off. YOU DID IT!

Charisa said...

CONGRATS!!!! I think you did awesome for sticking it out. And you will be back and next time the run will go as planned, without the puking stuff. Enjoy your recovery - you earned every bit of it!!!

Rebecca Kelley said...

You did awesome! Way to kick serious Kona ass -- Jas and I are super proud of you and are in awe of our Wonder Woman trainer. Now it's time to treat you and Mark to Mexican, Cap Hill-style. ;)

D said...

Not only will you be back, but I WILL be there for it (hopefully full of burgers and booze hehehe) :)

LaVonne said...

That was probably the best race report I have ever read. I laughed at the 7:30 min/miles for the last two miles, and loved your awesome attitude through it all. Races don't always go as planned, you learn from them and become a better athlete from it. Love ya!

Jessi said...

Teresa - what an awesome race report. Love your perspective. Congrats on your day at the big show, even if it didn't go exactly as planned.