The excitement really kicked in the evening before, dancing whilst packing my tri gear to Michael Jackson’s Thriller! (haters gonna hate) The joy didn’t stop there, I got to carb load on a full pizza following my brothers advice (triple full distance Ironman fuelled on pizza and wagon wheel sandwiches ) So sleep alluded me…nerves, excitement, pizza overload who knows but it irked me to not get my 8 hours in.
Arrived keenly early and parked down at the hospital so I had to cycle up to transition, the first of the extra work outs of the day! I was spurred on though by Gabriel’s (awesome human) reassuring comment the day before, “think of it as a warm up” thanks Gabriel.
I latched on to Shannon (awesome human) and following her every move I set up my transition area paying special attention to the fabulous transition towel that Deanna (another awesome human) gave me for volunteering at the time trial, thanks Deanna this was literally the highlight of transition On to the second extra work out of the day, the walk down to Collins beach, lovely walk with Sally and Nina (more awesome humans) despite the cold. At the beach I followed Sally’s footsteps literally placing my new neon go faster runners right next to hers, well placed next to a rock for sitting (she’s done this before) but not out of reach of the bleedin bush Chuck! Ok here we go…swim start, following Sally like a puppy, she looked at my head and said “your doing the long course” shiiit I had a pink hat on what have I done? I dutifully stepped aside and watched them all take off into the deep Pacific Ocean. Ok now it’s my swim start 54321 go…heart racing, fumbling my Garmin I entered the water and face planted into sand…my heart was going so fast I could not get on top of my breathing and one by one everyone overtook me, with renewed spirit I latched on to the feet of someone then remembered we are not allowed to draft, I wondered if this meant swimming too but whilst I pondered the swimmer took off like a dolphin. I Finally found my rhythm and it was over, just when I was starting to enjoy it.
On to the next extra workout of the day…the uphill run to transition! I’m sorry but I’m my book this bloody counts and the long course is therefore a 10km run in total. Yay transition, ooh look my lovely towel, it feels so soft on my feet, stop it Jen, focus, get on the bloody bike! Out of transition and off we go, lost in the excitement of salted boiled potatoes and trail mix I lost track of my laps! I’m sure I did an extra one but we will never know. What I do know is those 7 (or8) laps were very cautious, wishing I had a mountain bike…bunny hopping the speed bumps is just not the same on a road bike! One particular bump was a real tooth breaker, nearly chocked on my potato! Back to transition, nearly done Jen, only 2 laps running the track to go. Final leg, the run…my main concern was making it to the finish line with no injuries. Playing over and over in my head was Deanna’s advice to enjoy it and run my own race, so I did, I took in the scenery and paced to not get injured and soon enough the finish was in sight.
What a rockstar finish it was, the pain of the UPHILL finish evaporated with the cheers and claps of the Warringah Tri club as I made it across the finish line, overwhelmed to be part of this awesome club.
I felt amazing, yes I came last in the results but for my first Triathlon I think that’s a great place to start, it was indeed a real thriller.
Well my first Ironman could not have gone more off plan and how I wanted but I got pushed to the brink and got to understand how much pain I can handle. Turns out quite a bit.
The day started well enough and I actually had the fastest swim time overall including the pro’s which included the world number 1 and 3 seed. The storm off the Florida coast churned up the ocean and the 25 knot winds caused havoc with over 400 ppl having to be rescued out of the water or just couldn’t complete the swim.
Onto the bike and things started well enough but after the first turn around I missed a turn and biked an extra 9km.. I was pretty devo’d when a cop rode up to me on his bike and told me I was off course. Even more upsetting to follow him for km after km before getting back to the turn. I then got off the bike and sat on the side for 10 min thinking race was done and that maybe I should just go do Ironman Cozumel 3 weeks later, but I eventually decided to push on (with the encouragement of a race Marshall). All up losing about 30 min. Despite this I was still off the bike 3rd in my age group.
The real issue however occured 18km into the run when the pain in my ankle reduced me to a walk and then the race really became about finishing. My grandfather who recently passed was ever present and the thought of him ensured I didn’t quit no matter how painful.
@bigmetztri who suffered a day of attrition himself summarised this race beautifully when he said about this sport that he gets to wake up every day and gets to see what he’s made of and that he hopes his resiliency to get back up and finish shows what he’s made of. - it does
In the end I now have an opportunity to take some time off and try get this injury resolved without trying to train through it and hopefully with discipline I can, because I want to have the opportunity to race injury free and nail my race execution. In the meantime I’m hobbling around NYC and enjoying time with the family.