Dun dun dun……
Ok, a few house keeping things on the agenda. If you have a spare moment I would love it it you hit the button over on the right hand side and vote for me as one of the Circle of Moms top 25 Fitness Blogs (you have to lick the little tab that says Recently Added). I have some STEEP competish but since when does that keep me down???
Rewind a bit to the bike again….
Ok. Now I realized I had forgotten to tell you all something. Remember a while back when I was worried about needing to go to the bathroom while on a 56 mile bike ride? Yeah, I remember too. I looked it up and found out you just go…you just let it go right there on the bike. So I was riding along, for 3 hours and 29 minutes (or 56 miles) and it hit me. I had to go to the bathroom. There wasn’t a single port-a-potty, hadn’t seen one, no indication of one coming up…I saw a dude ditch his bike and head for the trees. I wasn’t feeling that. 1. I didn’t want to stop and 2. I didn’t want to stop. So I did what any Awesome Half Iron Woman would do…I tried. I tried hard. I had to laugh at myself for trying and failing. So I promised to tell you all if I peed on my bike. I am proud to admit that No, I did not.
I came off the bike in not-so-good shape. I was hurting. My legs were on fire and stiff. I could tell this was going to be a looong 13.1 miles. I changed out my biking shoes for my running shoes, threw on my hat, got a drink of water and made a last minute decision to leave my Nathan Handheld water bottle behind. A decision I did not regret. I grabbed my Chomps and made my way to the Run Exit. My legs would not move but I had a cheering squad and my pride would not allow me to walk. So I ran….
You can bet your bottom dollar as soon as I was out of sight of the Hubs and friends I walked. I hung my head and walked. I couldn’t believe how my legs felt. They were so tired, sore, tight, dead. I was seeing some pretty fast people coming in to the finish and I was just starting out. They looked tired but strong. I felt awful. I was mad at my self for walking but I kept thinking I would loosen up and find my groove, “Only 13.1 miles. I can do this. I do this all the time. No biggie. At least it’s not 26.2.” I tried to convince myself but it wasn’t working my legs were simply shot.
The run took us all the way around the lake and about 200 meters from the finish line where we would turn around and run back around the lake.
We had to run on the shoulder of the road. It was about 3 to 4 feet wide at times and we had to stay between the cones on the out and back. So as you can imagine it got crowded with all the runners on the way to the finish. I felt like I needed to get out of their way, after all they were practically winning. And I was walking. I got into a run/walk rhythm and tried to run for 5 min and walk for one, but that didn’t really work out.
At Mile 1 I came up to the Port-a-Potty. I still had to go from the bike so I ran in. It was SO hot in there, it had to be over 100 degrees. I immediately got light headed and felt sick, I was already hot (it was in the 90’s by now and humid) but in there it was suffocatingly hot. I pulled my pants up and fell out the door to puke beside the Port-a-Potty. Gross. It was that or pass out. I seriously think that if I had spent even one more second in there I would have passed out or suffocated, instead I just threw up all my fluid. I walked 100 yards to the first Aid Station. There they had water, something else (I don’t remember), coke, chips, pretzels, orange slices (I took two), salt pills, and a bucket of freezing ice water with sponges. I grabbed a sponge and wiped my face, arms and neck down and shoved it in my sports bra. I started to run again and hoped to run all the way to the 2 Mile Aid Station.
Didn’t happen. When I was actually running I was holding a good pace, between 8:50 and 9:20 min miles. But there was no way I could hold it for more than a quarter of a mile at a time. My legs just would not move. Maybe, now that I think about it, maybe they were cramping. I have never experienced this feeling before. Ever. So I continued my walk/run and tried to push the run as far as I could. My walk became a super mall-walker type of walk. Embarrassing but necessary.
It was lonely and quiet. Headphones were not allowed on the course. This was a factor, believe, in my mental defeat. Actually I’m not sure this was much of a mental defeat, I was mad at myself, sure, but the pace was not due to mentality. It was sheer dead legs. In my mind I knew 13.1 miles was fine. I could do that…it was the bike that had killed me.
The rest of the run goes much the same. I think it was at the 3 Mile Aid Station where the nice girl told me to dip my hat in the bucket of ice water and put it on my head. Oh sweet heaven it felt so good! I wanted to put my whole body in that bucket. It was so hot. I drank a lot of fluid and poured a lot of it on me. I was not fueling properly. I set myself up for failure on the bike by not fueling enough. I only drank my CytoMax, no Gu no Chomps. I depleted my muscles and body of fuel. I paid for it dearly on my run.
My run/walk continued on for the rest of the way. The spectators were great. There weren’t a ton of them but there were a lot. It was cool to see the local people cheering for us. I tried to run when I was around people but it didn’t always work out. I finally rounded a corner and was about 3/4 of a mile from the turn around point. I was keeping an eye on my Garmin and it was making my angrier and angrier at myself. My time was not where I wanted to be. I had been right on with my Swim Goal and my Bike Goal. What happened to my run? I severely underestimated how hard the run would be. I thought I had the run in the bag, I thought I didn’t need to worry about it. I. WAS. WRONG. Totally, completely wrong. There was no way I was going to hit my 13.1 goal of 2:10.
I hit the turn around point and then, at mile 7 my Garmin froze up. I have no idea why, heat and humidity maybe. It was so hot and muggy, I would stop working too if I were a piece of electronics. I was actually relieved that it was done because looking at it only made me beat myself up more and more. Now it was just me and the road, on the home stretch. 6.5 miles to go. In my mind I knew it was nothing. My legs disagreed.
Around mile 8 I realized I had to use the bathroom again but there was no way on Earth I was going into another death trap of a Port-a-Potty. No way! I held it. Every single mile I stopped to sponge off and dip my hat in the ice water. I was starving and finally dared to eat a pretzel. It was delicious. At the next mile I gave some Sun Chips a try. They were also delicious! I was not worried about my stomach becoming upset, I was starving. Literally hungry enough to eat lunch right there. I asked one of the kids at the mile 9 Aid Station if he had a sandwich back there, he looked at me funny and said, “I wish.” I stopped eating chips, downed more water and started running again. I started trying to remember what mile that was. 9? 10? Is this next one 11? I hoped so much that is would be 11 but I saw the sign: Mile 10. Ugh. So not cool…the worst let down ever to be a mile off. Three miles to go and it felt like forever far.
All I could think about was the finish line. It was merely 200 yards to the lake. I decided I would cross the line, get my medal and go sit in the lake. I wouldn’t even take my shoes off. Probably not even my Garmin since it was dead too…Ah the lake…I couldn’t wait to go jump in that crystal clear, cool water.
Around the Mile 11 Aid Station I saw the sky darkening. We had been lucky all day to miss the forecasted thunderstorms but it looked pretty ominous. And sure enough, just as I hit Mile 12 Aid Station the heavens opened up as if to say, “You have suffered enough, here is a shower of rain to cool you.” I have no complaints about the pouring rain or even the driving wind. I was so hot and this was saving me! I laughed to myself about how different this was from Portland Marathon and my most recent OKC Half where the rain was nearly the death of me. I was so hot and the temp dropped from probably 90 to 75 and the rain was just perfect. It washed the salt from my body and drenched me, head to toe. My feet were wet but I didn’t care. I felt so rejuvenated that I skipped stopping at Mile 12 Aid Station. I still needed to use the Port-a-Potty. I was drenched, no one would ever know if I just let it go. I tried. I tried really hard. I couldn’t. I have no idea how those people do it. I tried and it went against 30 years of potty training. I just couldn’t do it. So I held it….
While the rain and wind felt good I was a little worried that I might get picked up off the course. The thunder was so loud and lightening stretched across the sky. Leaves and debris were flying around. I found out after I finished that they were pulling people off the course because of a tornado warning, but I was close enough to the finish. I played it in my mind what I was going to do or say if they tried to get me into a van with less than a mile to go. It would not have been pretty. I was afraid to walk for fear the a race official would make me get in a van. So I kept running. Just a little bit further, more rain, more lightening, more thunder…I kept going! I saw the orange cones ahead and I could not wait to be done!!!
I turned to run into the shoot. The spectators were mostly gone, scared off by the storm I suppose. But I was finishing! And The Hubs and my crew were all there, at the finish!! Cheering me in!!! Much of it is a blur but I gave it my best kick and finished!
70.3 in 7 hours and 8 minutes!! I did it! I was alive. I was sore! I was wet! I didn’t need to jump in the lake after all.
As I bent over to receive my medal I said, “That was nuts.” I guess they thought that was funny because they all laughed…I still believe it was nuts.
And this one says it all….
So there you have it. My 70.3 recap. I did it. I am super proud. I am happy with my time and my effort but I feel there is room for improvement…which means…..if there is room for improvement then I need to improve.
I need to do another one.
What is wrong with me!?!?!
I’ve already been looking around for one but for now I have a sprint and an Olympic on the calendar.