Monday, September 27, 2010

And some days just suck.

Don't I look badass? Got door-ed today riding home, got this lovely cut as my cheek took the entire impact of the corner of the car door. Slightly fractured cheek bone, no stitches, and a whole lot of swelling and pain.

Like I don't get beat up enough during cyclocross. (Seriously, after this weekend I have virtually no skin on one elbow and a whole lotta scratches on my leg. Went down hard on gravel...) Though, thank god for CX, since when I got doored, rather than falling, I swayed left, pushed off a car as it was passing by me, unclipped, and got a foot down. I have no idea how I pulled that off, but if I hadn't, I may have ended up under that car that was passing by, so I'm very thankful. And as always, the RU health center was not surprised to see me bleeding and walking my bike, and took very good care of me.

On the bright side, Robbie and Adam came and hunted me down in the hospital while I waited for a CT scan, and Charlie and Pat were both ready to go beat up the kid who did the door-ing, so it just serves as a reminder as to why I love all of my friends- and of course, how much I really love my wonderful boyfriend! So there is a silver lining, I guess.

Now, I'm off to get a milkshake and watch cartoons. Because my face hurts!

Monday, September 20, 2010

charming race in the charm city

Can you tell how much fun I'm having? (Note the eyes rolling skyward wondering when the heck this lap is going to be over. Hey, when you just ran up stairs with a bike, it's a reasonable thing to wonder!)

Seriously though, I'm so stoked to be back racing with my all-time favorite teammates again! We had a full weekend in Charm City (Baltimore) at this fabulous park- Druid Hill- where I had actually been before with a great old friend of mine years ago. We played frisbee and rode our bikes then, but it was a little different this weekend. For one thing, I wore way more spandex this weekend.

We got to Baltimore super late on Friday night, but luckily we had a lovely apartment to stay at (thank you Don!!) We all passed out pretty soon after getting there, despite the fact that we all had wanted to stay up and watch Top Gun, thanks to listening to Pat's CX2010 mix on the way down, which heavily featured songs from the movie.

The next morning, David and I left before everyone else, since he raced at 9 and I raced at 11, while the other guys weren't starting until noon. We managed somehow to get our stuff set up and together, and David had a great 2nd race ever. I was getting a little nervous, since it was my first race of the season and I had no idea how it would go.

The race was heavy on cornering, had a regular set of barriers, a set of stairs, and a huge barrier made out of the wooden barrier surrounding a giant tree in the park. It was fine for the guys with long legs to jump over but us short folk needed to hop up and over:

(My right leg has a crazy intense quad muscle showing here, I think it's hilarious.)

Anyway, I didn't have an amazing start, but I had fun and didn't embarrass myself too much. I won't go into a big race report, mainly because it all happened very very fast so it's mostly a blur at this point, but I managed to pass a few people and finished 27th out of 42 or so Cat3/4 women. I'm a cat3 in road, but definitely a cat4 in cyclocross!

Here's the crazy off camber turn- it doesn't look like much but the course was so dry it was falling out from under you as you rode. I take serious pride in the fact that I didn't have to put a foot down at any point during it though!

Going into a corner, looking over at Pat, who was busy yelling at me to go faster!

Sunday was day 2, and it was a lot more fun! For one thing, my good friends from Philly were racing, so got to hang with Dan, Brendan, and Gerry (who all totally killed it in their races.)

My race started out even worse than Saturday's race, I didn't get clipped in until we hit the grass, so I was way behind. Fortunately, that just made me want to work harder to make up the ground I lost, so I started really pushing it and taking more risks than I normally would have. So it all worked out to some extent.

However, at the end it became very very clear that I am, in fact, a road racer as opposed to a cross one. The final bit was a stretch of road, and there were three girls ahead of me when I hit it. In a sprint finish, I managed to pass all of the girls, one of them literally on the line by less than a saddle length, so I finished in 22nd in a field of 45 or so.

Not great results, but a little better than most of last year, and I'm super-focused on improvement. My major limiter is clearly my lack of ability to remount, and it costs me a lot of time. My handling can use some work as well, and I definitely need to work on starts and accelerations, but the remounting is top priority.

I'm getting serious about CX, despite my prior assertions that this was my fun season, since a trip to Nationals is potentially in the works if I actually perform well enough over the next few weeks. The bright side of that is that a full training schedule for a CX pro is under 15 hours a week, so that's pretty awesome. It just means that I'll do a couple shorter runs, and maybe one swim just for recovery purposes, but mainly focus on riding and on skills. I need the time off from a serious triathlete schedule, and this fits the bill pretty perfectly. Plus it'll get me ready to switch back to short course, since it's a lot of focus on high intensity and I've been in low for quite some time now. I'm excited about how this season is shaping up, and very nervous since I have some real goals for the season now that I may not have had before. But above all, having fun is still ranked #1!

Friday, September 17, 2010

And so it begins.

Heading to Baltimore for my first cyclocross race of the season, and I'm pretty stoked. Also actually went to cyclocross practice on Wednesday night (with my CX bike, as opposed to the week before when I ran to it and didn't ride at all). I'm sure by the end of the weekend I'll have tons of pictures, whacky stories, and of course, plenty of bruises. I'm really looking forward to seeing a lot of friends from last season again, and talking to one of the women of the ECCC about doing Ironman.

In the meantime though, it's been a long week. We finally went grocery shopping, bought the last of the furniture and stuff that we really needed, and basically finished moving into our new place. I've gotten my tutoring assignments, my field placement, and all of my class books and assignments. Starting next week, my life pretty much belongs to Rutgers (not that it already didn't, but with the addition of tutoring and fieldwork, it's going to be insane.) I'm still recovering from a combination of Ironman, the frenetic moving (and all the heavy lifting that went with it) and shopping, the classes and riding to and from them, racing this past weekend, and getting back into training. Sometimes it's hard to tell myself to back off, since I'm used to never wanting to skip a workout. I have a training plan that runs about 15-17 hours per week if I do it all, but for the next couple weeks while I finish recovering and get used to my routine, I'm trying to just do what I feel like doing, and when I feel tired, taking a rest. It's hard to do! I know it's for the best though, especially since I don't want to be burned out for racing every weekend.

My classes are pretty neat. I definitely feel like thinking critically about teaching has already started making me a better tutor, especially now with the student athletes. It's cool when I catch myself teaching and thinking about something I read about literacy. I'm also really starting to get along with people in my class, and man, we are total nerds. Seriously. We had a 25 minute argument about comic books between classes yesterday, and it was amazing. Then, during class, there was a huge thunderstorm and the lights blinked, and one kid suggested we all tell ghost stories. We cracked up. I mean, hysterical laughter. Why? Because one of our readings talks about a teacher learning to relate to her students during a storm when the power went out and she did just that. I'm also finding myself getting excited about lesson planning.

It's funny, I always assumed I wanted to teach high school English, once I made the decision to be a teacher, but more and more, I'm intrigued by the prospect of teaching 6-8th grade classes instead. I'm doing fieldwork in a high school this semester though, so I'll get a taste of that, and maybe in the Spring I'll try for a middle school so I can see what it's like. There are obvious pros and cons to both levels, but I have time to make that kind of decision, and in all honesty, though I may prefer one over the other, I wouldn't be too picky about the grade level, as long as it was sixth through twelfth.

Right now, athletics-wise, I'm trying to get through 'cross season and have a blast, totally recover and recharge, and I need to put a lot of thought into what I'm doing next summer (there might be something travel-wise happening that will impact my tri life, but we'll see), plus I need to figure out the whole college thing, since next year is student teaching and I have to figure out how I'm supposed to manage to teach full time for free and still manage to make rent and eat... I have a couple thoughts but I need to meet with an adviser about it. The long and short of my triathlon plans though, is that I'm planning on really buckling down and focusing on short course next year. I think with the right training and the right race, I can go sub 2:05 on an Olympic, and that's what I plan on attempting to do. I know it's a super-lofty goal, but gotta aim high!

In any event, back to the piles and piles of homework and reading I have to do... I admit, I do love college!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Last Triathlon of the Season... Check!

Sunday was my last triathlon of the season. I knew going into it that it may not go so great, since it was 2 weeks out from Ironman, and in that 2 weeks, I had been moving, starting classes, working and just starting to do light training again. Add that to the fact that it was a sprint, and I haven't gone short and fast in ages, and it was definitely pretty uncertain how the race would pan out. But, I've done this race for the past 2 years, and I wanted to keep it on my schedule because I like having yearly comparisons of the same course to look at. Plus, the Skylands Tri is literally 5 minutes from my house on roads I know and in a park I grew up in, and it's one of the first races that my dad ever did, back in his tri days. So, it's sort of an obligation, and I love it. Also, it's one of the only races I know of where the winner of each age group and the top 3 actually get cash prizes. When you spend $85 to race, it's nice to be able to potentially win $100 at the end! (And for someone who just had to put down a security deposit, pay rent, buy house stuff, buy books, and deal with IM, that's a very good thing.)

I woke up Sunday to cloudy skies and rain. It was in the low 60s, which is chilly for a race you're doing in a bikini. I hadn't really gotten my stuff together the night before, but the race started at 9, so we didn't have to leave til 8. What a welcome change from the norm! I got to sleep til 7 and still shower, eat and pack.

It was hard getting my stuff in transition- first I needed to find a bike pump, then I realized my towel was going to get soaked, then I was wondering why on earth I was racing at all. I told myself to suck it up though, and pulled on my already wet wetsuit. Not pleasant. The race started a little late, and they had 5 min between swim waves, which is sort of weird to me. The women were the third wave, and a couple of them took off like a thing that swims really fast... a fish, maybe?... either way, they were long gone. I was doing reasonably well, though my arms were killing me. I had done a weight set a few days before and I was seriously feeling the aftereffects. I didn't realize just how much I still needed to recover until then. Still, made it out of the water in 14 min, almost a minute off last year's time. Last year though, I was 4th out of the water, this time I was closer to tenth. There were some FAST swimmers out there!

Got through transition a little slow just because of the rain and everything being soaked. I opted against putting on a jersey, since I knew it would be soaked in seconds. Instead, I decided to brave the cold in just the bikini. Brrrrr!

From Cat Marlson, thank you thank you for taking awesome pictures!

The course was as it always is, but very very wet. We haven't had rain in quite some time, so it was pretty slick from all the accumulated oil. The hill that always kills everyone was particularly brutal, and the super fast downhill was more nerve-wracking than usual, despite the fact that I managed to stay in aero the entire descent. I passed a lot of men and women, so I was feeling better about how I was doing, though I knew that there were a few women ahead of me still.

Finished the bike about a minute faster than last year, which is actually pretty big, given the terrible weather. Came into transition, threw on the shoes and headed out. There was a woman right next to me and at first we were in a passing war, but after exchanging a few pleasant comments, we realized we weren't in the same age group and she asked if I wanted to work together. Yes. So, for the 5k, we each took turns in the lead, we passed a ton of guys and a couple of women, and generally had a good time. When we hit the final part- running up a long driveway and then back down it into the finishing chute, I sped up, and she didn't. Dad was yelling at me to watch my back, and I was pretty much giving it all I had to get to that finish line.
Again, thanks to Cat Marlson for posting some awesome race pics!

Crossed the line as the 5th woman overall (the first two were the 6th and 9th in the entire race. Whoa.) and had a 21:20 5k, a solid minute and a half better than last year. My final time was 1:26:05, almsot 3 minutes faster than last year, despite the longer transitions and other issues due to the rain. I won my AG, and was feeling pretty satisfied. Beating my time from last year by a pretty decent amount given the circumstances surrounding it felt pretty great, and definitely reminded me that I love a good short course race!

More from the grad school files later, but at the moment I have to head out to get tested for TB before I can start observing at schools next week. Then, 7 hours of class. And a couple of homework. And today is my easy day!

This weekend, heading to Baltimore for Charm City CX. Should be a blast!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Obligatory Grad School Post

I'm back in school.

I say back in school because last year I only took 1 class a semester. And they were easy. So it didn't count.

Now, I'm seriously in school. Fieldwork, tons of research, papers, projects, presentations, group work... It's a heavy, heavy workload. Seeing the syllabi for my classes has made me super nervous about handling all of it while juggling 3 different tutoring gigs as well as my role as Communications Organizer at the union one day a week (plus online a few hours during the week), cyclocross and training, finding time to work on writing and career stuff like that, and having a social life and getting to spend time with Robbie. It's a daunting task.

Still, I was born to plan. So my agenda is already labeled with due dates and reading assignments, my books are bought or ordered, and every single page of reading that was available online for my classes (and it was a lot) has all been printed, stapled, labeled with due dates, and filed away to be read at the appropriate time. I'm armed with a new desk, a pile of post its, packs of new highlighters and red pens, plans for tutoring each session to the best of my abilities- including a lesson plan outline for the class I tutor- so I should be feeling pretty prepared, right?

To some extent I do. Don't get me wrong. It's just that it's already way harder than I expected. I didn't expect this amount of work from all of my classes, so to be faced with it has been tough. More tough though has been the cost of books. Between Ironman, vacation, being away from tutoring and nannying for a month, paying a security deposit and a month's rent, buying furniture and a ton of household stuff, a frickin' cyclocross bike (the parts for it, anyway. but more on that later), registration for Skylands (the last sprint triathlon of the season), and then having to buy a TON of books, I'm pretty tapped out. I'm not worried, because tutoring starts this coming week and I'll be making more then, but it's still never fun to see money vanish like that, and in such a short period of time.

I'll survive.

On the bright side, my classes are actually pretty neat. For three of them, I'm with essentially the same exact people, so already we're becoming really well acquainted with each other. To the point, in fact, where when the teacher was demonstrating a point and used a picture of a cyclist, and asked what he was doing (a literacy lesson, don't ask), half of the students shouted out "Ironman" and looked at me. I just pointed out how poorly he was cornering. And then yelled at the people who said Tour De France instead of just bike race. Come on, people! There is more to cycling than the Tour! At least no one assumed it was Lance Armstrong in the picture...

Point being, I've made some friends. Including someone who watches the same cartoons like the Justice League and Batman, and can actually quote The Question ("the plastic on the end of shoelaces is called the aglet. It's true purpose is sinister") and actually doesn't think a Booster Gold action figure collection is lame. (He hasn't seen our essentially superhero themed apartment though, so he doesn't quite grasp the extent of our nerdiness.)

In the meantime, before everything gets insane, I've been recovering. I took last week totally off, though "off" is relative, since we were moving, and Robbie and Adam had work and class all day, so I was loading my truck, carrying heavy things, putting furniture together, putting stuff away, and generally getting the place together myself. Mom helped, and Robbie and Adam did a lot once they had time, but a lot of it was me solo. Then, Robbie and I went on a spending spree for furniture and living stuff- I'll post pictures of the place later, now that it finally looks like a real home. It's super nice! Only one of my bikes is living there at the moment, but we'll fix that soon enough.

This week, I rode the Skylands triathlon course. I was 4th female last year, and I'm hoping to do well this year, though who knows, since I'm still technically in recovery. Still, riding the course on my tri bike felt good, and since then I've been swimming and running a little too. Just an hour and a half to two hours a day, and today I'm off because of work and our first date night in I don't know how long! Regardless, I'm feeling good. I ran to the field where we have cyclocross practice on Wednesday to hang out, despite not having a bike just yet, and I can't wait for the season to get underway! After this weekend, it's CX until December, hooray!

I've also been trying to maintain a GoodReads account, though I don't know how successful that'll be with classes and work. But if anyone has it, my account name is MollyHurford, so look me up!

I'm sure posts from now on will be focused on CX and grad school, though of course triathlon is still my #1 love. Starting to plan my season for next year out though, so stay tuned for that...

Friday, September 10, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

While I don't have much to report on my vacation, it was an awesome few days at the beach, some great time spent with Colleen, Mom and Dad, and just a lot of having fun on my taper, despite not being able to run on the beach or surf.

The Family!

It starts with just one dog...
And somehow they multiply!!

Faith, my dog, had a series of interesting encounters with the Jack Russells, Hazel, Buster, and Lucky:

(They meet)

(Faith attempts to show Lucky who's the boss.)(Touche, Lucky!)

Colleen and I, looking very freckle-y

Dad and I, post-mountain bike ride right after a rain storm.
...and back.

About to head down to the boardwalk to do some souvenir shopping!

An awesome waterslide on the beach...
And me after going down said waterslide.
(Our Aunt's beach house that we stay in is in the residential area of VA Beach, but we're only a couple of miles from the boardwalk and the crowded beaches, which are great for things like waterslides, though I prefer our nice quiet spot!)

Speaking of our nice spot, here's the dunes and the family again!

Me complaining my stomach hurt.

...and me jumping off the dune.

And my personal favorite picture, the beach right before a storm.

Ironman Louisville (Belated) Race Report

OK, I know, I know. It’s been over a week and still no race report! And I don’t even have the excuse that I was busy trying to make it perfect. But I do have the excuse that I just started grad school full time on Wednesday, and the past week has been pretty nuts between that and moving. We’re almost moved in to our nice new apartment, and I’m pretty settled into all of my classes, despite the tons of work they’ll be generating, so life is at least semi-back on track. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is entirely devoted to my IMKY race report.

Without further ado…

Pre Race

Transition opened at 5:30, so at 4:30 I was awake, trying to eat a bagel and drink a ton of fluids, and out the door. Because we had stashed everything in transition the night before, it was a pretty simple morning. Got to transition, got everything set up, and was generally feeling pretty calm. Then, a .75 mile walk down to the start of the swim. We got there and were wondering why everyone was sitting in front of the portapotties.

I got bodymarked, and dad realized that they were all people in line. Honestly, people must have been there since the night before- I kid you not, I saw an air mattress. We walked and walked and walked and about a mile alter got to the end of the line. I looked at the guys in front of me and asked if this was the line for Springsteen tickets. They laughed, but I guess that joke makes the most sense if you’re from NJ. Anyway, I chatted and ate, and was still feeling good. The guy behind me kept asking if I was nervous though, which did little to relax me.

The Swim

Once the line started moving, it moved quick. Before I really knew what was happening, I had a surge of volunteers pushing me into the swim chute yelling “keep running!” We went off the 2 docks 2 at a time 2 seconds apart, so before I really realized just what was happening, I was in the water and swimming. It was crazy. Because I started far back, it was pretty rough going. Got elbowed, kicked, and generally manhandled as I crawled my way up. The problem was that I kept getting slowed down because of all of the random people in front of me breast-stroking and popping out to sight. Seriously, there was a traffic jam at the turn buoy! I just kept telling myself to stay calm and just keep going. No crazy antics, just stay calm and KEEP SWIMMING! We swam under a couple of bridges, which was pretty neat, and then before I really realized it, the end was in sight! I got out of the water in about 1:18, which was kind of slow for me, but with the washing machine effect of having to get around so many people, I was ok with it. My only issue with the race setup was that they had so few buoys, it was almost impossible to sight sometimes. You had to assume that everyone knew where they were going and follow blindly until a buoy finally came into sight.

But… out of the swim and into bike transition! I ran into the changing tent and was shocked at how many people were totally changing! I was wearing my bike stuff so I crammed my shoes and helmet on, pulled my Rutgers jersey on over my head and booked it out of the tent, pausing to get copious amounts of lotion everywhere. Ran out, mounted, and took a deep breath… 112 miles to go.

The Bike

The bike started FAST. I was passing people, and feeling really good. (My results are a tribute to this, my average for the first part was 19.5). I was expecting a flat course, but it was more accurately described as rolling. A lot of the time, it was kind of tough avoiding drafting, and I felt like I got slowed down a lot because of it in some segments. I had a nutrition plan in place and I was sticking to it, feeling good, despite the fact that it was getting HOT out. I was refilling my bottles at every station, drinking as much as possible between them, and generally trying to stay calm, but stay going at a steady clip. I didn’t want to be beat for the marathon (though in retrospect I might as well have been) and I was trying to conserve energy. It’s amazing how fast 112 miles goes by, and how exciting it was when we passed through LaGrange and just could hear the crowd going crazy for us. I made a few “friends” on the bike, men and women, because we had a group of about 25 of us that kept constantly passing and re-passing each other. It made it fun, knowing who had just passed you so you could head for them on the next hill. I'm glad I have this picture of me smiling, because honestly, this part was fun:

By the last 20 miles or so, I started having some “respiratory issues,” which made me aware that I was probably getting dehydrated. As I said, I had been drinking as much as I could. Everyone that reads this is all to aware of my issues with IBS, so while I know I wasn’t drinking as much as I should, I was drinking as much as I possibly could without making myself sick or cramping. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. As the miles ticked off, I knew the marathon was going to be tough, but I tried to stay focused. I definitely slowed down a bit towards the end, but still ended the bike with an average of 18.5 mph. Not too shabby, though I wish I hadn’t started losing it at the end.

The Run

… to call it the run is kind of an insult to running. I got into transition, actually changed shorts and threw on a running top with Rutgers Cyclocross written in marker on the back. Represent!! I charged out of transition, planning to eek as much actual running as I could. I made it to the first aid station, got through that walking, and started running again. For the first couple stations, I wasn’t feeling great but I was surviving. But then… my lungs started really hurting. It was like how I felt during Rev 3, but worse.

I found this online about dehydration: When the body reaches 10% fluid loss emergency help is needed IMMEDIATELY! 10% fluid loss and above is often fatal! Symptoms of severe dehydration include:

  • Muscle spasms (YES)
  • Vomiting (Dry Heaving, but still…)
  • Racing pulse
  • Shriveled skin
  • Dim vision (YES)
  • Painful urination (YES)
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty breathing (YES)
  • Seizures
  • Chest and Abdominal pain (YES)

So I was in greaaaat shape at that point. But still, Death Before DNF! (As my dad reminded me from the sidelines.)

I should clarify- if I was breathing through my nose, it wasn’t so bad. And this was around mile 5 or so. I kept going, running when I could, walking the aid stations, drinking as much as possible. The ice cold sponges definitely helped, and made me feel a lot less gross. The problem was, I couldn’t eat. It was making me super sick and the idea of eating was making me dry heave.

Around mile 10, I started dry heaving. Which is the worst. All I wanted was to actually throw up, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Still, I kept run-walking.

When we hit loop 2, I felt a little better. It is amazing how short 13 miles seems when you have 127 finished! I just kept thinking about how much I wanted to finish, and that kept me going. People were great- I talked to a lot of other racers about IM and about cyclocross, but by mile 15, my lungs were not thrilled with me and talking hurt. By mile 20, I couldn’t really drink, and I was walking way more than I was running. The problem with dehydration, I learned, is that once it starts, no amount of drinking is really going to help when you’re still racing. It was depressing, my legs felt fine but I couldn’t breathe or drink. I wanted to run but every time I did, I thought I was going to fall over. Everything hurt except my legs and I just wanted to keep running. I was watching the clock tick away past my goal times that I could have made, had I been able to take in more fluids. And that hurt. Still, kept going.

Anyway, finally hit those last couple miles and started trying to run from cone to cone- run one cone, walk the next, run one, walk one… And after what seemed like forever, the finish line started to come into sight. Rather, you could hear it before you saw it. A dull roar that you could hear 4 blocks away. And knowing that I wanted to run across the line, and knowing that medical help was just blocks away, I gave it everything I had, ran through the cheering crowd, and finally got to hear that I was an Ironman. Final time: 13:37. Way more than I had planned, but faster than I thought I would do once I started hurting.

It was incredible. Now, I’m not one of the people that had a terrible race and decided to do it again immediately. Maybe if I wasn’t planning on trying out the whole short course “career” thing next summer, things would be different, but as it is, I want to focus on what I’m good at, not keep trying this. At least, not anytime soon. I have very high hopes and expectations for myself as a triathlete, and I realize I need to play to my strengths. But, that being said… it was a pretty great feeling.

I got this finishers picture taken- I felt like I was about to fall over but still remained goofy as hell.

I went to the medical building, met a lovely man who- while waiting for his own medical care- made sure that I got taken in and seen quickly, and got pumped full of IV fluids thanks to a whole lot of amazing volunteers. The EMTs there were fantastic, and super nice, even though they were probably sick of us by the time I got there. When I was shaking like crazy from the IV, one of them even took off my shoes and socks and tucked my feet under the blanket- now how’s that for service? I got a t-shirt they had left over from a local 5k to put on instead of my wet race shirt, and when I got home, I wrote on it in black marker “I was in the Ironman medical building and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” Everyone’s a comedian.

Dad and I finally made it out, I called mom and Robbie to update them, and then we went in search of vegetable broth, which was all I wanted to eat ever again. Nothing was open, but we finally found a grocery store open 24 hours. We went in, but obviously they didn’t have preheated veggie broth waiting for me. We did find a microwave in the coffee area and a can of soup in the soup aisle though, so I creatively decided to buy the soup, pour it into coffee cups and cook it in the microwave. 70 cent broth has never tasted so good! I drank one cup there, and then went back to the hotel, sat down in the hot shower, and drank the other cup. It was simultaneously the most awesome and pathetic I think I have ever felt.

And may I say, I highly recommend getting an IV after any race- I felt great the next day, not sore at all! (though, to be fair, like I said- my legs felt fine during the race, it was my lungs that were failing to cooperate.)

Anyway, that is Ironman in a nutshell. It was an experience. I’m glad I did it, and I’m glad I pushed through to finish. I’d like to say that next time I could do better, but honestly, so much of what happened was because of things I can’t change with my stomach, and the 98 degree heat. I would choose an IM in a cooler location, but other than that, I don’t know what more I could do. It’s been great though- more on this later, but starting school when every teacher has been doing “getting to know you” exercises in class and they ask for one thing about us, I’ve gotten to say, “Well, 4 days ago, I did an Ironman.”

“Swim 2.4 miles. Ride 112 miles. Run 26.2 miles. Then brag for the rest of your life.” -Commander John Collins, Ironman Triathlon creator

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

IMKY... Report Coming Soon!

I survived Ironman Louisville!

It started well, it ended badly, but I finished in 13:37, not too bad considering the heat and my "stomach issues." I wasn't thrilled with how it went after mile 80 on the bike, but at the same time, I know that there was nothing I could have really done to prevent dehydration- I drank as much as I possibly could hold, but my stomach just isn't cut out for drinking enough in that kind of heat.

7 hours in the car, 5 days a the beach, 13 hours in the truck, 140.6 miles of racing, one 1 liter IV, and another 13 hours drive later, it's really nice to rejoin the world. Even if it is move-in day.

Race report is forthcoming, but I got home late Monday night, packed my car up Tuesday, and am about to go move in to our new place today, then start a bunch of classes tomorrow. So, since I want to do the race justice, it'll get done as soon as possible, but I'm not rushing. For now though:

If you zoom in, read the knuckles. And yes, that's a children's bathing suit top I raced in!