It was Thursday night, my parents had already come into town and I had to pack my bag. I pulled out my special tri towel that has a checklist on it and did the usual ritual of laying out all my stuff into piles, pre race warm up gear, swim, special needs 1 & 2, bike, run, after.
All along feeling nervous and a little sick to my stomach I have no idea why nerves took over on this race I think it was a combination of several things: my dad was counting on me and it was his first Ironman, would I wipe out my 1st IM finish if I didn't finish this one?, I had a bike crash only 2 weeks before and I still couldn't sleep on that side cause it hurt, I had an inner ear infection 1 week before that had been making me dizzy and nauseous, I had so many more people that knew I was doing it and would be tracking me, I had trained much more for this one in hopes of finishing 1 hour faster than last time (last time was 16:24), etc.
Friday morning we took off in 1 car with my dad, myself, and my husband at 7 am to make it in time to Tempe for mandatory athlete check-in. My mom was waiting for my bro & SIL to get off work to drive there with them.
We made it & checked in:
interesting they didn't make us weigh ourselves in front of everyone this time like they had in 2008 we just had to write it down which I appreciated. :-)
Went to the athlete dinner and meeting.
Saturday morning we slept in a little 7am, went to the hotel breakfast then headed to the practice swim which I had not done last time but I wanted my dad to be as prepared as possible. We just got in long enough to know how much we would be dreading the cold water, gulp some gross lake water, and do a few strokes. My dad and I were both in a better mood after this I think because the cold water energized us and for just a moment we weren't nervous just excited about what was to come....
Sunday up bright and early at 4 am and one awesome thing was we had signed up for spot on the hotel shuttle so didn't have to worry about parking and road closures!!! My stomach was doing somersaults. I had a bagel with peanut butter and honey for breakfast. Once we got there checked the bikes, safety pinned our chips on, got body marked (he asked if I was a pro) cute I know he had to ask to see if I needed a P on my leg but I still had to chuckle. Put on a neoprene cap that a nice guy in the lobby the night before had given me because it hadn't fit him. I know you aren't supposed to change anything before the race but the water was so cold I was willing to risk it, they were all sold out of booties in the local tri shop. I had a sleeveless wetsuit same as last time which had been my dad's back in the day, he rented his.
Swim 1:43 As everyone was jumping into the water I got my feet wet and just walked along this ledge to get as close to the start as possible and didn't jump in to tread water until 5 minutes before race start. They did the national anthem everyone cheered, they announced you will be an Ironman today, more cheering!!! Then we were off! I just kept thinking slow and steady, slow and steady, don't look up there's no point just wastes energy an slows you down. I got kicked and punched way more this time there were about 800 more people in the race this year compared to last time but I didn't mind I new it was part of the race and at least I knew I could still feel it which meant my face and body hadn't gone completely numb or FALLEN OFF YET from the cold! :-) The water seemed a little choppy for some reason but I kept thinking I was imagining it since it's a lake.
Got out and held on to the guard rail for a while and took my steps carefully because I was determined not to fall like I had last time and I didn't, goal 1 accomplished. I survived the swim. My hubs said I looked pissed when I got out and my face was swollen, but I remember I was trying to smile and wave guess my face was just too frozen to show it. They tried to get me to into the warming tent but I refused. I just took a blanket and kept going.
8 minutes and change: Transition the volunteer did have to help me put my socks and shoes on cause my hands wouldn't function. I didn't get to take my advil though cause I couldn't get the foil open and decided to forget it same with the tri sleeves I was going to wear but it turned out to be a good decision.....
My dad finished the swim about 5-6 minutes faster than me but was slower in transition.
Next post will have to wait until after Thanksgiving festivities wear off!