Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ironman Florid-ahhhhh

Yippee! An Ironman once again! This one was so totally different. Except for the swim, the course was so much easier. The bike course was about as close to pancake flat as you could get, and there were probably less than 10 turns to make. The run was also extremely flat. During the first half of my run, I thought I had a chance to set a marathon PR. Of course, that all changed at mile 19 when my walk breaks got longer, but I still was less than 20 minutes away from a PR. Pretty damn good for a marathon preceded by a 2.4-mile swim and a 112-mile bike ride! Things of particular interest during this race:

1. The ocean was much choppier race morning than it had been the 2 days beforehand. During my second loop, I was being tossed around so much that I actually laughed underwater.

2. Even though I started the swim way out to the side, somehow I ended up right in the thick of things before making the first turn. I was getting grabbed, hit, and kicked constantly. At first I was a little timid and tried to back off, but after a while I got angry and developed a "F*ck you! You kick me, I'll grab your feet!" attitude. That didn't happen at all in Wisconsin last year.

3. Because the bike was so flat, there weren't any areas to give my legs a break. I pedaled the entire time. And I was on my aerobars over 90% of the time. My quads, shoulders and neck were really happy for me to get off the bike.

4. I surprised myself on the run. I had no idea that I was going to be able to run as much as I did and especially as well as I did the first 15 miles.

5. Last year when I got about 1/2 mile away from the finish line, I got so excited that all the pain and fatigue left my legs. At mile 24 this year, I told myself, "Just suffer through the next mile and a half then it'll all get better. That great feeling will hit." It didn't. I hurt the entire time. I guess that euphoric feeling is just reserved for first-timers.

6. I cut 2 hours and 2 minutes off of last year's Ironman time. Yay me! My time was 12:40:41. My swim was 1:25, my bike was 6:20, and my run was 4:37. My first transition was something around 12 minutes and my second was 5:36.

Here are some pictures:

This is me (far right in the QR suit) and some of my friends 2 days before the race. I love how my wetsuit makes me look so skinny - except it totally flattens what little boobs I have.

I had to yell at Mike 5 times to get his attention so that he could snap this picture. I had planned on wearing my bike clothes under my wetsuit, but since it was so cold at the start of the race (in the 40s) I decided to change before getting on the bike so I could be in dry clothes. Of course, it was really tough to get out my wet bikini while shivering.

Mike and Hayden drove out on the bike course and found me. Since I'm such a slow swimmer, I played catch-up quite a bit on the bike. I should've kept count of how many people I passed because it was a lot.

This was in the first mile of the run. A friend of mine was in transition at the same time I was, so we waited on eachother to hit the port-a-potties and took off together. (I have no idea who the tall guy on my other side is.) I left him at mile 4, though, because he had to take another bathroom break. Mike took another picture of me later, but I was walking, so I won't show you that. I was actually kinda pissed he took that.

Hayden had fun waving at all of the athletes. I think he did better than we had expected him to. He and Mike weren't at the finish line because that's just too much for him to handle, but he was able to be out on the road and cheer.

I also got quite a bit of knitting done on this trip. I started a cardigan for my new niece Lucy and also a cardigan for Hayden. Hayden's is really straightforward so it was my project for the car ride home. I figured my brain might not be able to wrap itself around the more complicated pattern I'm using for Lucy's cardi. I'll post pictures tomorrow or Thursday of my progress on those as well as a finished Hourglass Pullover.

One last thing: the day after the race Hayden and I went with a friend to KFC for lunch. I had 2 pieces of fried chicken - dark meat at that - mashed potatoes, green beans, and a biscuit. Yummy!


Brena said...

Congratulations! That is such a great time!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Steph! Now do you have time to knit with us?

FaeryCrafty said...

Congrats :)

Angela said...

Awesome! There is no green beans option at our KFCs only the standard corn on the cob. So I'm glad you were able to get some kind of veggies in you!

Wendy said...

Rock on IronWoman!

That's great improvement--and you look hawt in the websuit--it doesn't make you look like you don't have breasts, it says, "hey, we look this good squished under neoprene, you should see thes lovepuppies frolic in the fresh air!" i.e. more where that came from, buster.

Congratulations on another successful Ironman!

knitncycle said...

Congrats!!! Betcha those great times made the chicken taste even better!

Jen said...

FREAKING A! 2 hours off your previous time is fantastic... and on the heels of a less than ideal training summer! You should be incredibly proud of yourself. And hey, KFC sounds good right about now. Did you treat yourself to a long massage afterwards? You totally deserve it after 12 HOURS of activity....

Coleen said...

Congrats! That is so cool. you should be so proud of yourself, it is an amazing accomplishment!

Faille said...

Wow, I'm just a lurker, but you leave me truly inspired with this accomplishment.

Next year, try to finish a sock *during* the race :)


emily said...

What a great race report! very inspirational too. I just spent almost all day today convincing myself I was not going not to run this marathon in early december... after reading your report now i'm back into the racing mood!
congrats on the race-- amazing time, you are really fast!
I don't quite understand your KFC urge, I'm more of a Taco Bell girl myself, but good you got your post-race junk food fix!

Elinor said...

Wow! That's great! I am so impressed. What an accomplishment!

Have you been training for triathlons since your son was a baby? I have a 3 month old and I am DYING to get back to regular running but we're struggling with the jogging stroller. Specifically, she screams herself hoarse in it every time. Did you have any luck with an infant in a stroller while you ran? I'm desperate for ideas!!