Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ironman 2012 - DNF

I had a great training season this year - only a few minor mishaps - falling on bike - nothing serious. I also did all the work that I thought I needed to following a plan - and biking nothing but steep tough hills to prepare for Ironman Lake Placid 2012. I tested nutrition, tested bike, ran, swam a ton - rented a very cute bungalow with my friend Cheryl (also doing Ironman) so that we could have our own food, and space and be convenient to the race location. Everything seemed to go well - my last 100 mile bike ride was probably toughest in and around Lake George with some killer hills - slow but I got it done. My running went oK - still slow, but felt I could handle the distance. Ironman LP 2012 was July 22nd - swim start at 7:00 a.m. - felt pretty good starting the swim - nervous as expected but manageable. Very crowded start - 3000 entrants - where I started wasnt too bad because i was treading water and not many around me - but all those on shore caught up to me pretty quickly. My second loop was smoother - got right on the underwater cable so very little sighting - came out of swim at 1:48:02. Great! Ran to transition - got my gear on - got my bike and off I went. Within about 15 minutes of being on the bike my intestines got crampy and I needed a bathroom. Badly. It continued for the next 40 miles and then became nausea also. I wasn't able to get food down and barely wanted to drink though I knew I needed to. Everything was making me sick. If I tried to eat anything - even banana - it made me want to throw up. I kept losing time every time I had to use a port-potty - and I'm not fast to begin with. By the time I realized I was reaching first time cut-off of bike - I was still 16 miles out on course. I knew I could not make up the time on the second loop and wasn't able to get nutrition - which weakens you. When I got back to transition for second loop of bike - I stopped. My choice at that point - or they would've pulled me from bike course later when they knew I wouldn't make the cut off. I felt horrible - disappointed, embarassed, defeated. I couldn't stop crying once I started. I picked up my bags - bike and run from the transition area and walked back to where we were staying. As I left transition I ran into two friends (spectators) and told them what happened with tears streaming down my face. Said I'd be OK when they asked to help - and I kept walking. I still have trouble talking about this - just feel like I failed. Could I have done something differently - toughed it out ?? Made up the time - I don't think so. Could I have been quicker in the Porta-potties? Not sure. LOL - it's done. I'm trying to move on - it is difficult. I've signed up for a half-ironman distance race in September and hope to do better there - but it's still not an Ironman. I know with time this will get better - and I've been reading about a lot of DNF due to similar problems and heard there was a record number for this race - but have to say - it was my signature race for the year and I am devastated. Life goes on and sh** happens - so keep going - one step at a time.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Biking in February

This has been a very mild - no snow - winter. We are happy to be able to ride outdoors and not be on trainers all winter.

Ironman Training beginning

Ironman Lake Placid 2012 training has begun. That means that 6 out of 7 days a week I am either running, swimming, or biking an on some days it is at least two disciplines. Some nights I am getting home and totally exhausted - to the point I really don't feel like cooking. I have taken to fixing a week's worth of food - big batch of whatever - mac and cheese, meatballs, etc. and eating it every night. Boring but lots less work than trying to figure out what to eat every night when you are tired.

I fully expected to be tired - and to have to work hard - and it is tough. Both mentally and physically hard to fit this amount of training in every day. Have had lots of support from fellow triathletes with coordinating longer workouts - like our basement rides on trainers. They tend to keep things light-hearted and fun.

I did a longer run this weekend and felt some twinges in my left foot - have to be very careful increasing volume - don't want any more fractures or issues.

So far, so good - I sincerely hope that I can keep up the training and get to IMLP in July.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Signing up

In order to sign up for LP Ironman 2012 you have to get in line at the crack of dawn - we were up at 3:30 I think that morning. We had worked the race - day before doing "Special Needs Bike" - hand out bags to bikers after their first loop of 56 miles - with "stuff" that they need for the second loop. We volunteer not only because we get to participate in the race, but it also gets you a guaranteed slot in the next year's race which sells out next day.

This is the pic - one of them - there is group pic somewhere - of this crazy person signing up to race an Ironman distance race!

Ironman LP 2012 in training

I was just reviewing old posts and realized that I have not mentioned the fact that I have signed up for Lake Placid Ironman race in 2012. July 22 to be exact. My training for Ironman has already begun - have a couple of plans to choose from - just trying to find the one that works best for me. It is quite an undertaking to train for Ironman. I'm excited and nervous - mostly just want to stay healthy and strong and not get any injuries that would prevent me from racing.

Here goes - I have tons of friends who also signed up for the race this year - so we will all be training together - we are the LP IMIT group!

FirmMan Race Report

F.I.R.M. Man Triathlon – 9/11/11 – Ironman distance
Race start 7:00 a.m.

Transition opens 5:00 to 6:30.

Weather was in the 70s and breezy. Wind picked up overnight the night before the race.
Hotel I am in is within walking distance of race, but since I was checking out in the am before the race, decided to drive my car close to race – so all of my stuff was close by for after race.

Two days prior to race very upset stomach – usual nerves.
Had just watched my friends racing weekend before at Big George and the grimaces and smiles to go along with that made me nervous for my own race.

Friday – drove to Narragansett. Three hr. drive – I’m a bit of a lead foot.
Mid afternoon arrived – beautiful weather – sunny, and water is calm. Drove around a bit, checked out race site, and checked into my hotel. I then drove a bit North of race site and found a nice place to park and got the bike out for a short shakedown ride. Less than 2 miles – just checking gears, etc. Get the “niggles” out. Then got back to car and ran for a short distance on a nice soft trail – somewhat rocky – but round rocks very common in the area and some sand. The run and bike really helped calm my nerves – remind myself that I am ready to do this race. Feeling good.

For dinner went to the Coast Guard House – the place has been there forever – thru a hurricane – maybe a few – restaurant – with bar upstairs on the deck. Beautiful night so I sat upstairs at the bar. Ordered fish tacos – they repeated on me the next day. They also overcooked the fish – so I complained (which I never do) and they comped the meal and drink. Good I had all of Saturday to eliminate the remnants of burnt fish. Chatted for a bit with a group who were going to play at a private party down the road – musical group – jazz. Very nice – one woman and three guys.

Saturday was Packet pick up – got there right at opening – 10:00 – they were setting up for dinner that night – pasta - $12. decided not to sign up for that. Small crowd –
Met friends Paul and Mark, and Mike for lunch in Jamestown for lunch. We had sandwiches looking out at the water – Paul and Mark are from Salem, MA. We met last year on the Block Island Ferry. So we did a bit of catching up – had lunch and then went our separate ways. Lots of fun and laughs - good company. Again, good for my nerves.

Went back to hotel – set up my stuff – got my transition bag all ready, prepped bike, etc. Laid out my clothes for the next day and packed all that I could for the morning. Saturday night we went to Aunt Carrie’s – someplace I’ve been going since I was a kid – restaurant known for clam cakes and chowder – homemade cinnamon bread and homemade pies. We ended up getting take out and ate in my room – that was fun. More relaxing – there was a long wait for food otherwise.

Race Day – woke at 2:19, 3:30 and got up at 4:00 a.m. Packed up the room – brought everything out to the car – and then checked out. Drove to transition. I was maybe the third person setting up. Got my bike racked, my stuff set up and got body marked. Went back to the car and napped – I was tired still. I was worried about sleeping thru start of race, but no go. The sun wasn’t even up yet – so as soon as there was light in the sky I woke up.

By now 6:00 – more people started showing up and milling around. The wind had picked up overnight so you could really hear the surf – that was nerve wracking. Cheryl called me – and reminded me that I know how to swim in waves and I would be fine. “You can do this” which was my motto anyway. My own mantra. I put my wet suit on – and Mike showed up – took some pics – it is a long walk down the beach to start – so he was able to walk with me. That also helped – we laughed a lot along the way – chatting with others. While lining up I recognized a guy – Trevor – (kid) from my X-bike class back home. Turns out he has moved to Hartford, CT but came out for this race. He was a swim instructor at the Cicotti. Water temp is 70degrees. Not bad at all.

We didn’t get in the water right at 7:00 – did a little memorial moment of silence for 9/11 etc. then the first swimmers got it. The waves looked intimidating – one guy actually got into the surf and then turned around and walked out. I was in the second wave – a lot of people walked out part of the way – so I did that – which actually was good gave me a chance to get used to the water, waves and get my breathing under control. Then started to swim thru the surf. By the time I rounded the first buoy – took a right turn to swim along the shore – I had calmed down and gotten into a pretty good rhythm. At first I had trouble sighting – the buoys would disappear with every roll of the waves. A guy on a surf board told me to sight using the condos on the shore – it worked! Thanks to the volunteers. I would swim sighting on the condos and then all of a sudden a buoy would be next to me. Some of the waves were pretty good ones – you would go to take a breath and all of a sudden be almost airborne when being tossed. Weird. Once another swimmer ran into me – actually a couple of times, made me mad since it was such a small field and large swimming area – Pushed my way away from this person. As I was coming in toward the beach I started getting hit by waves coming from behind. Now getting into breaking surf. One snuck up on me and crashed down on me – and I kicked really hard to get out of it – and got a wicked cramp in my calf. It went away, but would resurface later in day on bike and over next couple of days.

At end of swim there was about a foot of seaweed to swim thru near shore. Really couldn’t swim in it so stood up and waded thru and out of it. That was uncomfortable – was worried about getting tangled but it wasn’t really that bad.

Swim 49:04
T1 – 3:40 - could do better in T1 – they had wet suit strippers, so really it was just that it took me time to get my food loaded into my pockets, etc. Still had a lot of seaweed on me – but that would eventually dry and fall off I hope.

Bike start was good - flat – so it was a nice way to get started and get used to gears and take in some food and water. I had mixed NUUN in my bottles with Gatorade and water – and had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – on flat bread. There was a short loop out and back on the start of the bike – then you make the short climb out of Narragansett – a steep hill – to get over Entrance to Rte 1. At the start of Route 1 they had scored the pavement – many people had flats here – very rough road. Thankfully didn’t happen to me. Smooth road after that – not a ton of volunteers at each intersection – but most had at least one person. Where there were traffic lights there were police helping – that was good. Very busy hightway. Wide shoulder. Around mile 18 – we head into hilly section of ride – 18 – maybe 30 – not sure exactly – but very hilly – smooth road and well marked – some steep climbs – but that’s all we trained on all summer so I was good to go.

Water bottle exchange at mile 22 and then again at 37. Took one bottle at first exchange – and GU. Volunteer stations on the bike were excellent – bananas, water, heed, GU – very well stocked and volunteers were great! At mile 37 actually stopped and stood up for a minute – felt good on my back. Took water and more Heed – and a packet of GU. My fueling seemed to go OK until I got into the 45-50 mile range when I just got sick of eating and actually threw away half a power bar – just couldn’t stomach anything else.

Toward end of bike was more rough road – a couple of miles of it – so I really slowed down – worried about getting a flat. Really didn’t want that to happen near end of bike. Felt good otherwise.

Felt the cramp in my right calf a little on bike – but nothing debilitating.

Bike 4:08:57
T2 – 2:48

On to the run. Weather was perfect – no humidity –
Feet and legs were a little numb getting off of the bike – started run OK though – just all of a sudden felt nauseous from eating. I think everything was just sitting in my stomach – not yet absorbed. That went on for the first mile – but thankfully kept it all down. Lots of runners are going by me opposite direction finishing. I’m definitely back of the pack, but it was OK – I felt good about what I had done so far. Again, run was very well supported with traffic control and volunteers. They had water, Gatorade, pretzels and bananas – and GU also. At first I didn’t want to eat – so just took water and Gatorade. Ran thru very pretty neighborhoods - the route was very scenic. Off of 1A – passed a lake – pretty – not too hilly, but varied terrain so it wasn’t boring. Mike found me around mile 6 – parked and ran with me the rest of the race. My back was sore from the bike and started to bother me a little more on the run – felt I was hunching over. Tried to run a little straighter and run more to middle of road – it was slightly sloped at edges.

I did eat a couple of pretzels along the way – felt like a chipmunk – I would chew a little and then run – had to wash it all down with water and Gatorade. There was a young girl (probably 25 or so) behind me for a while, and then we traded places a couple of times. It turns out she was running with her cousin – who would ask each time we passed if I was OK. Very nice. We kept cheering each other on. Then I got it in my head that I didn’t want to be passed anymore by this “kid”. LOL….so got motivated to finish strong. Mike would remind me if she got closer – start pecking off last 5 miles. “I can do this” starts in my head and Mike reminds me at each mile what is left. 4 miles – you can run that on your lunch hour. 3 miles – less than a 5K race left. 2 miles – quick walk with the dogs. Last mile – which is right where he wrote “GO SMB” on the highway – great! Passing my tree – bright yellow sun painted on it. “I can do this”. One small little incline – then downhill to the beach. I reach the beach – hit the soft sand and took my shoes off – handed them to Mike. Someone yells to me to move down where the hard pack sand is – great idea! Get to there can run – people start cheering – actually stand up and clap as I’m coming down the beach – two teenagers jumping up and down cheering – this is the best part of finishing this race! Awesome!

Run 2:47:51 – not bad – for me.

My final time is 7:52:21 –

The “kid” who was behind me comes thru – I stopped and cheered her on and we hugged at the end. It was great!

I’d like to do my next HIM faster – but am very happy with accomplishing this.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Slacking on Posting

I just realized looking at others' blogs that I have not touched mine in quite some time. I did do a Half Ironman - successfully - not fast, but I got it done and ran at the finish! I had a lot of help and support - it was a great experience. I did do a race report - will have to find it and repost it here. It was in Narragansett, RI and it was a beautiful place to be and to do the race. Very familiar to me - since vacationing there for years with my family.

I also signed up for Ironman Lake Placid 2012 - which means that as of right now I am training, training, training. I actually wrote to the Chorus last night and told them I could not devote time to singing because of Ironman. I have already gotten many positive letters of support and everyone in Chorus saying to keep in touch and let them know how I am doing with training and Ironman.

I will try to get back on soon and do some more posting and updating. So much has happened over the last year....so many changes.