Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Taylorsville Half-Ironman Distance Race Report.

I know. I know. I know. This is very much long over due... however it is here! Better late than never right?
My Half Ironman experience would happen down in good ol' Taylorsville, Kentucky and was meant to be a learning experience... and that it was...

As you all know I could write volumes about my race, so if you are trully interested.. keep reading.. otherwise.. check out my pics and leave a note :) This race was by no means meant to be a race for me, but more so a trial run (right Mary?) for IMKY.. Just goal to finish, and that I did :) I will try to keep it to the basics as I was always told to take a lot of pictures, because they will speak many memories, and lots I took..

Jon and I met down in good all Florence ya'll and drove down.. The weather seemed to be pretty clear on the way down, until about half way down. Check out this pouring rain.. this is about 30 miles out from Shelbyville where we decided to pool off and get some food.. Bravo sounded good to both of us, and the carb-fun of the week continued. Choice was pasta with pesto and chicken, couple slices of bread and salad.
In finding the first hotel we came across, we saw this awesome sign for Bowling. I was laughing (all the nerves were kicking in) and I even got out to take a picture!! We decided on the Holiday Inn Express, and I tried to get settled. I laid out everything a couple times, rehearsing in my head the order I would put things on, and even thought about the time it would take to put them on. I called Ry-Bread, he wished me luck, and off to sleep I tried to go. I know I need sleep. I know I need sleep. Oh fall asleep.. oh fall asleeeeeep. tick, tick, tock... then before I knew it my alarm went off...

I remember my longest race last year was Chicago Accenture Triathlon, and I wanted to puke in the morning, but thankfully my dad was there to help me get things ready.. He is great to get up in the morning at 3:00, just make sure he gets a soft nudge from Mom as I come racing by or he might fall asleep... He makes sure my coffee pot was boiling for my oatmeal, carry my cooler..ya know.. the basics.. However this trip I forgot my oatmeal, and I couldn't have felt sicker in the morning. 200% nerves I am sure, but I couldn't even get a half a cup of cereal down I was so nervous about this race...

WOW. RAIN! Walking outside the parking lot was soaked, the rain came down harder and harder... and we were off on our way... I just kept thinking, if it stays like this.. and made into a du, we are outta here! After being drenched setting up our transition area (thank god I always bring extra garbage bags) Seeing a man with bloody knees from the after maths of the lightening.. we were told to get ready.. I took my last picture of the sky before we started!! yeah, that is a real picture from my phone! Safe to swim in a lake, no problem... Might as well do one last prayer..
now for the good stuff:
SWIM: They split us in two groups. men (n=about 125). women (n=about 10). ha. The men were all competing to get the first spot in the water, inching to get started when that gun fired. Us women are so different. We talked to each other.. Sang Kum-ba-ya, even someone mentioned holding hands to start the swim. When the mini gun fired, I started my watch and I was on my first Half Ironman!!! have I said oh-SHip yet!?! The swim was a 1.2 mile two loop box swim. After my first loop, checking my watch and saw I was around 18:08.. Pretty cool for me! If I could keep that steady pace, IF I could, I would be happy with that... Turning the last post I felt pretty good.. Not out of breath, not really tired, but comfortable. When I hit land, I hit my watch 39.08. GET OUT! I hugged the guy working, and walked.. yes walked my way up the hill to T1. There were wet suit strippers that just laughed with me to get my suit off.. offered water or heed, and I just was excited with my time. (Last year at Chicago I swam in 38 or so.. and that was .90 of a mile... winter swimming has surely helped :) )

T1: I took my ladddeee-daddaaddieee-freaking time. Made sure everything felt ok.. Bike sensor was on, Shorts Felt good, Socks felt good.. gels all set, sandwiches in back pocket, water bottles on.. okay.. looks good.. now take your time the first 10 miles.

BIKE: Coming out of T1, there was a nice pretty little climb.. I just laughed (which I did a lot of that day... in all reality.. I really did enjoy it) thinking, well this is the fun way to start these little miles. I actually pictured all the athletes coming out of T1 at the Ironman in Louisville last year.. how they were drenched in river water, and sunscreen splattered all over them, how they had this nice little hill.. Some gunned it right away.. Some smiled :) some didn't do anything. I pictured this and talked myself up this first little 10 miles. After getting into a little rhythm, I remembered to tell myself solid peanut butter sandy at the top of the hour, gel at the bottom. solid, gel. This couldn't have gone any better. I was within 5 minutes of every nutrition intake. The course.. well the course was definitely challenging (Oh SHip here ).. and one of my clients, Terry, told me before I left work Thursday, I have to have Faith... Have Faith.. I was riding along by myself (as many times we are) and I was just singing out loud.. "faith.. hope... and love.. and the greatest is love.. I WILL have faith.. I WILL have faith.. " and the older Limp Biskit song Faith.."Well, I guess it would be nice. If I could touch your body. I know not everybody. Has got a body like you..Because I gotta have faith. I gotta have faith. Because I got to have faith, faith. I gotta have faith, faith, faith"
Crazy, but if you know me, you know this much is true :)

We came across the out and back, and knowing from the little fun diagram of the bike preview this was going to be like the out in back.. imagery works folks.. it does... I told myself to take my time going down because I am going to have to climb coming back up... and I did it! Beast.. Shameast.. ha.not really. it was a great climb that I even let out a "hell yah" scream and I smiled again to know I WILL and DID make it up..

Coming around the last ten miles I was feeling good.. Really good.. until.. Bah bah boooom. My left quad started that little shake..I could feel it getting really tight, and not really knowing what to do.. I tried to stand and shake it out.. when I did.. BAM!!!!! Both legs stiff as Tin Man..
I have never had muscle contractions or spasms like that before.. where my quads felt like there were up in my chest..I couldn't relax them, couldn't even mead them out.. I had to lower my bike to the road because I couldn't bend my knees to get off it.. I tried to walk and my legs would shoot back up and Tin Man again I was.. 30 mins friends.. 30 mins of sucking down 2 gels and trying to get my legs back together... I thought I was fine to try to get back on my bike. and I was.. just took it nice and easy.
T2: wow. I can't feel my feet. Wow. I can't feel my quads. Wow I just felt over trying to put on my shoes. this 13 miles is going to be fun. Grabbed my last peanut butter sandy and walked out of T2. At least I told myself I am 2 out of 3 done.

RUN: Well that first little bike hill, yeah it was our first run hill.. devil RD he is.. I saw Jon, and the tear gates opened up a little.. I couldn't bend my knees, couldn't relax my quads. I don't know what felt worse, to try to stiff leg run, or walk. I decided to try to do both. Because they were fun timers when they designed the course, our out and back 3 (yes 3) loop course was all hills.. and more hills.. My first loop, ha I laughed at myself 57.41. I thought did I really just walk backwards, with one hand, and maybe trying to bounce on that one hand to do that first lap. Second loop goal: suck down as much water as I could, and get a negative split.. Barry was right that I am competitive within my own limits. 51.14. Not bad! Saw some more familiar faces, and was slightly.. I am becoming more and more envious of the people that wore I-pods, or those that had running buddies for part of the loops... VERY Jealous! Saw other Imky folks... yeah we can do it.. right? Feeling VERY slightly better. Except for my ghost rubbery ankle syndrome! ha.
Third lap.. oh my god get me off this thing.. When you are by yourself, who am I kidding, when I am by myself, I want to walk more, talk myself out of it more.. I am so close, and I am so sick of these rolling hills and seeing boats and people leave.. I want to be done. I want to stop. Keep going.. Keep Going... and there was Jonny O. He came out on his bike right as I made the last loop's turn and he had that darn I touch.. Now I knew I could run, and I had to smile! Pictures are important! :) The last of these pictures I look like I could run for miles, but I was just glad I could talk to someone.

FINISHED: my watch 7:10.. clock time 7:14.

Overall! When I was finished it was awesome to talk to other people that were on the same path to the Ironman in Kentucky..However looking at all my stuff still laying there in the Transition area.. I had only drank about 3/4's of my first water bottle on the back one had not even been touched.. not even touched.. I know. I know I should know better.. but for whatever reason I didn't drink anything during the bike.. Looking back.. the only time I drank anything was during my solid times of food.. could this result in my muscle tightness? no clue... but at least I know I did it. and I can do it. even if it is double.. oh 14 weeks to go.. giddy up.


Keeldragger said...

Jess, congrats on the half IM finish! You beat my time for IM California 70.3. Unlike you, I didn't get cramping from not enough hydration but I did get nausea and was forced to walk a LOT. I think I actually took in too much on the early part of the run. Since then, I've been thinking a lot about my hydration and nutrition plan for IMKY. Hopefully it will get dialed in by the end of August!

Mary Sunshine said...

Whew!! Thought about you guys all day! I knew you would make it. And you learned a good lesson...Such a great day!!!

Will be thinking of you again this weekend. I wish I could go but I have to work on Saturday (and Friday!) Say Hello to Miss Acorn for me.

Hopefully we can coordinate a time to get down there and ride again before the big day!



Judi said...

way to go girlie. great RR. :)

IMKY here we come!!

p.s. join us sat if you want for a 3 hour ride on route 8 and a 30 minute t run after. 10am. call me if you want to come.

Dusty said...

Nice job Jess and great report! You rock, girl!