Departing T2, my legs were a bit wobbly but I still felt like I had something left in the tank. I happily waved to Scott and my mom on the way out.
The run course is two-out and back 13.1 mile loops. Towards the end of the loop- you circle a couple miles around a state park and then return on to the finish/start.
The first few miles went by extremely fast. The local crowd was awesome: drunk 20-somethings in various costumes (Lady Ga Ga, Leopard lady with a whip, cougars galore to name a few). I took my first gel at mile 2 and washed it down with a half cup of water. After that I drank half of a cup of water at every other aid station. With my Garmin mishaps, I had no idea where I was time-wise. I figured I was going between an 8-9 minute pace. I kept a good turn over and kept my heart rate around 155 bpm. This continued until mile 7.
At the turn around of loop 1 I continued to feel good but could feel myself slowing. At that point, I took in a second gel. On the way back I caught my first glimpse of Chloe, her friend Carla, and my training buddy Dustin. It felt so good to see some familiar faces.
As I approached the turn around I started to think "holy sh#%" I have to do this whole thing one more time. I could feel some negativity setting in. I hoped that seeing my mom and Scott would help "miss crappy pants " flee and give me some motivation for Loop 2.
Around 13.1 miles I saw my mom and yelled to see where my hubby was. She yelled back that he was volunteering at the finish line. Oh was I pissed. GRRRRRRR!!! I knew he was volunteering but I thought he would be there. For some reason it just set me off. At that point in the race, there was nothing I wanted more than to just see my family. It was all I had to hold onto. I had a small mental melt down. You can tell by make fake smile......
On the way out I grabbed two more gels and a salt pill from my special needs. Since I was drinking mostly water, I thought the salt might be a good idea. I also thought about bringing my arm warmers but really didn't want to waste the time. Big mistake...I was off for loop 2 of the marathon. Miles 13-17 were slow but steady. Mile-15 I took the salt pill, half a gel, and then some water. After that it was all down hill.
Slowly, I felt my shorts tightening up around my stomach and I literally started growing a Buddha belly. Not a good sign: my body wasn't digesting anything I was taking in.
I tried to stick to my nutrition plan but just felt sick. I attempted to drink some orange flavored Gatorade and instantly I threw up in my mouth. Gross.... After that I tried some coke. Then another coke. Nothing seemed to be working. At that point i said ffffff- it and just quit trying to take in anything. What was the point?
Despite my digestive system going hay-wire, I didn't want to walk. It seemed like every time I walked a little, the more it hurt to get my engine going again.
After mile 19 I started walking a lot. My heart rate dropped to the 120s. My body said enough is enough. I made my way around the park and turned to go back. At that point I started losing track of what mile I was on. I felt so confused. People started passing me like crazy. I knew lots of girls in my age group were flying be me. I started not to even care. It was NOT looking good.
As the sun started to set the temperatures just dropped. It was so cold. My extremities were going numb, my mind was numb, and I felt my entire body just shutting down. As I approached each aid station, I thought about trying some chicken broth but knew it wouldn't settle in my stomach. The thought of dumping the warm broth over my head sounded far more appealing. Around mile 21, some old lady said, "Oh dear are you cold?" I just mumbled back yes.... I wanted to say" No sh#$%%% I'm so f*($)$()*%(%& cold...... Throw me a sweater grandma!
The sun went down and I had a good 4-5 miles to go. Realizing that the sun had set around 6pm and that the race started at 7am, I knew that I wasn't going to break 11 hours. My energy levels dwindled even further. With 2 miles to go I could start to hear, "you are an ironman" in the distance. I knew I was getting close but just didn't have anything to give. I walk-ran the rest of it.
For the last 400 meters of the race, I made a left turn onto the final stretch and knew the pain would be over soon. I kicked it in with a full all out sprint. The crowd cheer was instantly energizing.
Heidi Austin, "You are an IRONMAN"!
Oh how sweet those words sounded.
The run turned out like this:
A volunteer grabbed me and escorted me to get my finisher t-shirt, hat, and warming-foil. He then took me to the line to get my finisher photo taken. My mom volunteered at the finish line and was able to greet me as I crossed. The first thing I said to her was, "Where is Scott???" She looked at me cross-eyed and then laughed. "Heidi, he's holding you up."
At that point, I did not pass go and did not collect 200 dollars. I bypassed the finisher photo area and was taken directly to medical. They sat down and gave me some warm blankets. A doctor came over quickly and started asking me various questions about when I peed last, when I ate last, drank last etc. He gasped as he felt how cold my hands were. After I told him that I hadn't pee at all during the marathon he directed me over to a make-shift bed and made me lie down. He took my blood pressure and heart rate (98/60 HR 100 bpm). It was IV time. Due to severe hydration, it took the medical student a good 3 tries on my right arm and 2 on my left before they could find a vein. 5th try is a charm~ the liquid magic was in place.
As the IV did it's thing, I started to come back to life. As much as I wanted to pass out in the warm tent with the cozy blankets, I knew my mom and hubby were probably anxious to see me. Before I could leave, the doctors wanted me to drink some chicken broth. Despite severe nausea, I agreed. I sipped down 2 full cups of warm broth. Afterwards I sat up to see how it settle. I felt fine. My BP and HR were re-assessed and far more normal (112/70, 92). Yes I was free to go. I exited the tent and greeted my mom. I explained to her that I had an IV and was feeling better. Mid-sentence I stopped, turned around quickly and projectile vomited the chicken broth.
It came up again.
I took 2 steps closer to move away from the crowd and it came up one more time.
Scott ran over and yelled, "You are going back to medical!"
Heidi "No I'm not!"
Scott: "Oh yes you are!"
I walked in the medical entrance and grabbed a bottle of water and turned around and exited. I did not want to go back in there. Scott shook his head at my stubbornness. What could they have done at that point besides give me more chicken broth? I wasn't going there.
After my little medical episode, we went back to the hotel to get cleaned up. I really wanted to go back to cheer everyone in before midnight. Scott and my mom didn't think it was a good idea. After some convincing, we were back at the finish a few hours later.
We headed back to the finish line for the last hour and a half. And I'm so glad that we did. That last hour and a half is what Ironman is all about. It felt so good to cheer everyone in.
Congrats to everyone who did it and thank you to my friends, family, and especially to my hubby for putting up with me for the last 20 weeks. You have been nothing less than amazing.
Stay tuned for Part III-My summary of Ironman Newbie Lessons Learned.