Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ironman Race Report

140.6 miles of fun...yes, now that I've had a few days to digest everything and wrap my head around the experience, I can say I had fun! Mind you, not fun like jumping on a trampoline until you pee your pants or a pizza eating contest type of fun, but as much fun as you can have while working your butt off for over 13 hours and eating only gu while doing so.

The whole event was amazing...I couldn't have asked for a better race. My mental preparation really played a big role in how I raced. I didn't get too "high" and didn't get too "low"...I stayed really even keeled and just enjoyed it as much as I could.

The day started with a 4am wake-up call (ok, more like 2am when I woke up to pound a gatorade and some food...huge help, so I didn't have a super big breakfast and thus big belly/poopy problems later in the morning...I wasn't able to sleep after that) and a 5am shuttle ride to the race start. It was CHILLY...it was high 40's low 50's and not the kind of weather that leaves the water beckoning. My family and friends were not pleased to be sitting on the cold concrete wall waiting for the swim start! I got to the start, dropped off my special needs bags and put air in my tires/prepped my bike and then was off to watch the pro's swim start. I stood there shivering (I claim it's because I was cold, mom says it was nerves and adrenaline) and eventually put my wetsuit on to stay warm. I was weirdly calm the whole morning and only had one big wave of nausea come over me. It was great to have my friends and family there to distract me and make me laugh. Making my way to the swim start I was looking for my fellow Nashvillians, Ben and Sarah, I couldn't find them, and figured it may be better to be alone and not get worked up anyway...so I stood there waiting, waiting, waiting for the gun to go off.

Swim:

The gun went off at 7am and we were off...the beginning of a very long day! I had positioned myself halfway down the beach and towards the middle/back of the crowd...don't want to get kicked in the money maker! ;) The water was cold at first, but completely forgot about it as I was wrestling people. It was super choppy (so windy!) and it was a tough swim. I kept my cool and made sure to breathe every third stroke and just got in a groove. I would have to take action every now and again and push someone off me or side slam someone to get them off my back, but it really was pretty uneventful. The first lap felt great, I had to tell myself to slow down because I was so jazzed...I hopped out of the water, jaunted over the timing mat and splashed back in for round two. Round two was a lot choppier, the wind had picked up and made the "waves" bigger...there was a lot more lake drinking this time around. I also had a little more difficulty swimming in a straight line...I'm pretty sure I logged 3 miles! I continually told myself to take it easy and apparently I took my inner voice to heart because my second lap was a good two minute slower...oops! Not to mention EVERYONE would stop and do the breath stroke around the corner buoys...so annoying...it was a complete traffic jam...at one point I yelled "swim people!"...there's my aggressive side coming out, sorry! I finished the swim in 1:18, 2 minutes faster than what I planned, so I am happy about that!

T1:

The transition was great, there were wetsuit peelers that threw you to the ground and ripped off your suit...little did I know that I would have to sprint through the transition area in my bathing suit!!! At that point I saw my dad and brother screaming for me...I looked at them exclaiming "I didn't know I'd have to run in my bathing suit, yuck!!"...they laughed that I would think about something like that during my transition. I sprinted towards the changing tent hoping no one was looking at my thighs! The volunteers in the tent were most likely sent from heaven...I was so jostled from the swim that I couldn't stand very well to put my clothes on. I ripped my suit off and stood there pretty much stark nekkid as I tried to pull spandex on my wet body...a real wrestling match! After some struggle she sat me down and literally put my socks and shoes on for me...asking me what I needed in my bag. I told her to avert her eyes as I applied body glide (she laughed) and then I was off...Orby, here I come! My whole crew was there as I got to my bike and took off...I teared up a little seeing them!

Bike:

"Go out slow, go out slow, high RPM's, high RPM's"...was my mantra during the bike. Yes, people were passing me and as they did I would say to myself, well at least I swam faster than you (whether it was true or not, it helped)...I would also envision someone I know from Nashville that is a better athlete than I when they passed...saying "oh, there goes Lynn/Kevin/Tammy/Richard...hey guys!" knowing that I would never catch those people in real life, so why would I try on race day? This kept me going at my own pace and riding my own ride. Sarah and I kept seeing each other on the course, so it made for a fun ride because we would chat for a little bit. I was on with my nutrition and drinking, so much so that I had to stop 5, yes 5, times to tinkle. Probably could have saved myself 10-12 minutes had I just let 'er rip, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I came to mile 63 where special needs was located and refueled my food stock and filled my bottle with my gatorade I had mixed (much less sweet than what they have on the course). I couldn't find anywhere to place my PB&Honey sandwich, so I stuffed it down my top (it was in a baggy, hush). A few miles later after I consumed half my sandwich, I put the rest back into my top...apparently half of it was falling out because I heard someone on the sidelines exclaim "ewww, that's gross"...I looked around thinking "what's gross? I wanna see!" and then looked down and realized she was talking about me and my boobie smashed sandwich...whoops! The ride went as planned until about mile 75ish. My IT band on my right leg started KILLING me. My left IT band would hurt during training every now and again, but never anything major and never on runs...but my right IT band, this was something new...and it's the one that has hurt me before while running. I was super nervous about it and was in a lot of pain when pedaling. There were times in the last 30 miles where I would literally grunt and groan aloud...I eventually stopped at mile 105 to put on my IT band wrap but it didn't do any good. It was difficult to hold a 15mph pace on the flats...I was pissed. I couldn't push any harder, my knee hurt so bad. By the time I got to T2, I was soooo ready to be off that god forsaken bike! Again, there were my brother and dad at the transition and my brother said he has never seen me look so angry in my life...and this is coming from the guy who used to pin me down and spit in my face! I dismounted my bike and there were mom, Meghan, Katie and MV...I ran over and gave them all a hug and then trotted to the bike/run transition bags...all the while wondering what my knee was going to do on the run. Bike was 7:05...I had planned on 7:00 back in January and secretly in my head thought I could do 6:45 after all the training I put in, but I would gladly take the 7:05 if it meant my knee would hold up on the run...(stay tuned...ok, read below).

T2:

Much better than T1...stripped my diaper shorts off and opted for my tri-shorts. I pretty much mooned everyone outside the tent I'm pretty sure. T2 was much quicker than T1...I glided up my feet, put on fresh socks, shoes, visor, stretched my IT band and was off (oh yeah, after another potty break...I was sooo hydrated!).

Run:

After a few test steps my knee felt fine, absolutely great...hallelujah! I kept my IT band strap thingy on for the first 13 miles just in case (until I realized it had rubbed me raw and I was bleeding down my leg...not pretty, and I'm sure people were exclaiming "ewww, gross" again). I am never a good judge of my pace when I first get off the bike. I felt like I was going super slow, but clocked the first mile at 9:30...30 seconds faster than my planned pace. I made myself slow down (or so I thought) and continued to hold sub 10:00's for the first 16 miles at least. I was pumped...I kept wondering "when am I going to hit the wall?"...but then would force myself to think something positive. I did exactly as I had planned and walked through each aide station...the walks did get a little longer as the miles ticked off, but I would always start running by the end of the station, no matter what (at first I would start running prior to the end of the station). I got to see my family 4 times on the run (and the bike for that matter) and they were huge motivators! By the third time I saw them I had no energy left to high five and wave, I could simply nod and smile to let them know I was acknowledging them. The second loop of the marathon proved to be tougher (obviously, right?) the rain came through and soaked us and by mile 20 I was starting to feel the pain. I made it to mile 20 without having to do any extra walking, but mile 21 was uphill and I couldn't force myself to do it. I run/walked the hill and then kept running as we turned around and went back down. It was around mile 23/24 that I found the wall. Luckily I didn't smack right into it, but it was there and I was trying my best to push that stupid wall away. I managed to run up until mile 24 where I started to do more run/walking...giving myself visuals as to where I would start running again if I started to walk (it worked). I ran a quarter mile or so with a man who asked "what mile are you on?" (some were on 24 while others on 12ish) and I said "gasp, twenty, gasp, four"...a huge smile came on his face and he said "CONGRATULATIONS!"...I thanked him and smiled, just knowing I had done this! Right at the end of mile 25 someone said "three more turns and you'll see the finish line"...I knew I was there, and I picked it up knowing the end was near. Three more quick turns and there it was...the streets were lined with people and everyone was cheering. I quickly became emotional after holding everything at bay all day long...I would choke up and do a quick sob and then I would laugh and smile, over and over all the way to the finish line...I was this weird manic/depressive for the last .2 miles. Someone yelled "keep smiling" and I did...I crossed the first timing mat and threw my hands in the air and waved and and smiled through the finishers chute. I saw my family and friends and waved and smiled at them...then 13 hours, 12 minutes and 34 seconds after my toes hit the water, I crossed the finish line. I think I said "oh my god"...but I'm not really sure. I barely heard "Tilghman Carroll, from Nashville, Tennessee, you are an IRONMAN!" because my family was screaming so loud...I cried like a baby at the finish line (and am tearing up just thinking about it). I got my finishers medal, t-shirt and hat and then saw my family waiting there. I broke down again and we all cried and hugged and cried. My dad surprised me the most with his water works...everyone was so happy I had survived and came through unscathed (relatively). My marathon was a 4:32...this was a huge shock because with the exception of my 4:04 PR 6 of my 8 marathons have been within 4 minutes of 4:30, that means I ran my average marathon time after swimming and biking all day...absolutely crazy!

I can't tell you how amazing this whole experience has been. All the training leading up to it and the event itself. I could NOT have done it without the help of my friends and family there...it was the biggest motivator knowing I would get to see them and try to make them proud. The race was fantastic and all the volunteers deserve a medal themselves...they were all so nice and accommodating. I couldn't have asked for a better day, rain, wind, cold water and all...everything went off without a hitch and I ran the race I had been envisioning for months. I am so happy I did this and know that I will probably do another one (no one ever said I was sane)...hopefully Coach will work with me again!

There are loads of pictures I want to post and can't choose just a few, so you can choose or yourself...see my pics here...

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Tilghman Carroll You Are An IRONMAN!"

I did it...I really did it. Completed the full race 18 minutes under what I wanted...13 hours and 12 minutes. A long, long, long day...but I did it!

I will post a race report once I get pictures, etc.

Thanks to everyone for their unconditional support!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's Game Time Sports Fans!!!

We are on the less than 12 hour countdown...it's officially here, it's game time.  The clown car arrived this afternoon and delivered the rest of the family and friends.  My team is 7 deep and I am so happy and grateful they are here to support me.  I have driven the bike course and run course, they look tough, but I know I can handle them.  The weather gods appear to be cooperating, or trying to, and we should have a dry bike at least, if not a dry run.  I have tested the waters and they are cold but manageable.  Everything is set and ready to go.  I have made my list and checked it twice.  

LET'S DO THIS!!!!

The swim course this evening...it looks nice and calm!
All the bikes are ready to go!!
Checking my timing chip and getting final instructions.
Going for a test swim...it was super choppy and cold, fingers crossed it will be smooth as glass tomorrow!
All the signs friends and families made for the racers along the run course.  You were only supposed to make one per participant, we made three...whoops!

Friday, June 19, 2009

She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain

...we made it over the river and through the woods...alas, we ended up in Coeur d'Alene and not grandma's house.  After a lovely drive (Washington is sooooo beautiful, I miss it) we made it to the destination where it will all go down!  

Mom, Meghan and I met up with my dad and hit the town for a little dinner (a lot of dinner for me) and then dad showed us his recon skillz of where bikes will be stashed.  You can definitely feel the buzz around town.  It kills me (with laughter) watching all the athletes wearing their latest 70.3 race shirt, or m-dot hat or compression socks to go to dinner.  I kept a low profile opting for jeans and a sweater, athlete in disguise...if they don't know you are racing they won't ask and it helps to keep the nerves at bay.  We sat outside on Lake Coeur d'Alene and had a nice meal of food...we watched multiple people fly by on their bikes in aero position, looking tough and fast...that's when things start creeping into my mind.  Should I be out there trying to look tough?...is it possible for me to look fast?...I know it says rest today, but should I be putting in one last two hour run?...argh, silly thoughts, get out of my dome!

Nashville Tilghman is back...I awoke at 5am on the dot this morning and struggled to get back to sleep.  I decided to get up, grab some coffee, and do my short ride/run before everyone else starts stirring.  I will then make them watch me suffer in the water for my short swim (not the prescribed order on my plan...but logistically it's easier)...all of this of course, after a little bloggy bloggin'! ;)  Then it's off to officially check in (pooping my pants thinking about that) and then drive the course...then sloth around.  Oh yeah, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate...

Ready to go!  Have you ever seen so much stuff for three people?
Oh crap, it's a reality!
I had to test the waters of Lake Coeur d'Alene.  It didn't seem too bad (shiver, shiver)...I guess I'll find out for sure later today.
I was trying to give hIM a little hug but it looks like I'm wringing his neck...which I may be doing in my head come Sunday towards the end of the run!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

#177

That's me, #177...I officially have an Ironman race number!  I have given this to my friends and family to track me, however, I'm always a little weary about tracking people with their chips because I followed my friend at the Chicago Marathon and two days later I received an email saying "Justin just crossed the 5k mark in 21ish minutes"...uh, Justin finished the race two days ago!  So call Katie if you want a real up to date status.

Anyhoo, we are finishing up the final race prep.  Lots of lists and such.  Mom and I did a grocery run to get the essentials that I didn't pack with me...lots o' Gatorade, PB sammich makings, bagels, newtons, potatoes, the whole she-bang.  Gassing up the Suburban and putting air in the tires...you know all the travel essentials.  I also realized that it's not as hot in the northwest as it is in the south.  Funny that I grew up here but didn't quite register this as I was packing...so we headed off to REI to buy some arm warmers for me to wear on the bike (should I need them)...apparently I somewhat remembered this phenomenon of it being colder in the mountains, because I packed my leg warmers...go figure, I'm going insane...shocking, I know.  

I am also still in the "calm before the storm" mode.  I haven't really been too jacked up about the race...it's like I've been bit by the Tsetse fly and all I care to do is sleep.  I did a 25 minute swim and a 30 minute run today and it was like I was struggling to get it done.  This is what I HATE about tapering.  I know that this is what it feels like, but I just loathe it...I feel like fatty fatterson trying to run three miles and it's hard to justify carb loading when you are sitting on your butt all day long...absolutely hate it (I have managed to watch 5 movies already).  However, I did have my best marathon after really sticking to the taper, so I know inside my head that it's right, but it's just so difficult.  I have a massage tomorrow before we hit the road...hopefully that will get me feeling good and I know that once I get to Coeur d'Alene the adrenaline will start pumpin'!  

As we hopped in the car yesterday my mom handed me these little motivational rock thingies...she saw them the other day and thought of me...exactly what I need as some sort of mantra...she jokingly said "put them in your shoe for the run!"....hahahahahaha!  
See...I am going insane...I am seeing things...Cash?!  Jokes...my parents and I have "matching" dogs! (doesn't Zach look like he's missing a leg...don't worry, it's tucked up under his belly).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Isolated Thunderstorms...

Om!
What a bullsh*t way to predict the weather...I think that's a cop out for the weather man to say, I have no idea what's going to happen.  Well, figure it out, would ya?  Looking at the weather and seeing sunny and 70 on Saturday and isolated t-storms on Sunday is not putting my mind at ease.  Luckily I have had enough rainy weather riding prep, but the thought of dodging storms all day is not cool...especially when I'm sitting in a pretzel pose trying to zen myself out imagining a smooth easy race day.  How can you reach nirvana when there are lightning bolts flashing in your mind?

My dad called from Spokane last night (he's over there for work this week) and took a quick drive over to Couer d'Alene to "check it all out."  He gave me a full report..."yup, it's still here, Coeur d'Alene is still here (it didn't blow away or anything)...waiting for you!...the water is right there and the starting line is right there...there will be a place for you to stash your bike while you swim and run...and the town is ready."  Uh, thanks dad...he cracks me up...so cute that he drove over there on a recon mission, even cuter that he thinks I don't know there's a "place to 'stash' my bike" while I swim and run!  Rookie! ;)  

I have been sleeping a SOLID 9 hours a night...I don't even rustle until 8am, totally abnormal for Nashville Tilghman, but it always happens when I come home...I immediately revert back to high school days of sleeping 'til noon.  What happened to my 5:00 automatic alarm clock?  I'm not complaining...good for the ol' body...plus the 2 hour nap yesterday didn't hurt either...zzzzzz.  Ironman?, what Ironman?...someone hit snooze!

Monday, June 15, 2009

All The King's Horses...

...and all the King's men...went and put Orby together again!

Hmmm, traveling across the country and need to bring my bike...how does this work?  Luckily Coach saved me about $500 dollars in packaging and shipping and let me borrow his bike box for the airplane.  I went to the local bike shop and had them disassemble and pack it for me.  I watched them like a hawk and had them teach me everything they were doing since I am going to have to take it apart on Monday night once back in Seattle to fly out Tuesday...yikes.  There were lots of parts being taken off and strewn around and I thought I was going to vomit at one point...please be careful with Orby!  I was having visions of wheels falling off and handles bars flying off mid race...ahhh!!  As soon as I touched down in Seattle my mom and I went to the local bike shop back home and had them put it back together...I snapped a pic of what it looked like tucked away in the box so I can hopefully simulate it!  

Poor Orby...all scrunched up...how the hell am I going to do this...I see bickering with my mom in the near future..."no, it goes there, not there!!!" ;)

Once Orby was reassembled I took her out for a spin (don't worry it was on my schedule).  It was a gorgeous day in Seattle...sunny, low 70's...not your typical June weather (gasp, no rain!)  I rode this piece of bike trail that has apparently been there for 25 years, but my parents had just discovered...what?!  It is right by our house and takes you along highway 520 to Marymoor Park.  Marymoor is where we always took our bikes as kids...you can hit the Sammamish River and Burke-Gilman trails...now, you have to have strong will power while riding these trails, because the Chateau Ste Michelle winery and Red Hook Brewery happen to be situated along the route.  Growing up we would ride our bikes to the winery and have picnic lunches with the fam...good times...and lots of reminiscing while I was riding.  

The trails were super crowded...people come out of the woodwork here when it's a sunny Saturday!

Nice view from the bike path...




Home Again, Home Again Jiggidy Jig!

Always good to be home!

I landed in Seattle on Friday and came home to find the home base Team Tilly coordinator hard at work.  Mom has been busy making signage and hatage for everyone to wear along with their super sweet t-shirts.  Now I will surely see them while out there racing.  It is always nice to be home...have breakfast made for you, clothes cleaned and no worries...perfect way to spend my pre-race week.  I had my 10 year (ahhh, 10 years!) high school reunion this past weekend and it was a blast...it was so fun to see my old friends and teachers.  My high school track and cross country coach was there and he couldn't believe I was doing an Ironman...told him he had started an obsession!  It was a great time and there were definitely a few beers...so now that it's over I have an IV of water and gatorade in my arm to keep me hydrated for this race!

Mom, hard at work making posters/signs for everyone to carry during the race.
Super cute, huh?  So creative with the m-dot in there!
Yeah, the spelling is wrong...we have learned to make it easier for others to read, thus more cheering and less Til-ga...no, Tilj-...no, Tilg-haman...!
I like how well she captured my ass in the runner! ;)  

Friday, June 12, 2009

That's What Friends Are For

I will beat anyone in a "my friends are better than your friends" contest.  My friends literally are the best you could ask for!  I was thrown a Good Luck shin-dig on Wednesday, and they all came to see me off before I left for Coeur d'Alene via Seattle.  Not only did they put together this par-tay, but they had gifts, cake and fabulous decorations...I mean, seriously, the BEST friends!  

The party started at 8:00 and I was nervous that I would fall asleep before showing up to my own event, but all this tapering has me jumping out of my skin...who needs an 8:30 bedtime?  I can swing it 'til 8:45 now! ;)  It was originally supposed to be a surprise, but they all figured I was too stubborn and would try to go to swim practice and then be too tired to meet up...they know me too well!

I felt like a celebrity and can't thank my besties enough!  

The gift they gave me...a picture from Gulf Coast 70.3 with well wishes written by everyone all around it...so fun!
These are the besties...don't even think about trying to steal them...I will hunt you down and kick you in the shin!  Thank you Katie, Amy and Lisa for organizing and getting everyone together!!
I mean, for the love, they got me a picture cake...these ladies rock!  I didn't want to cut it...it was so glorious!
Lisa and me...thanks for all your hard work on this Lisa, it was such a fun surprise!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Head Gear


Can anyone possibly look cool in this?  What is "this?" you ask...it's my super sweet neoprene hood that I may, if I'm lucky, get to wear in the swim.  The water has been around 61 degrees in Lake Coeur d'Alene, so a ear/head warmer may be necessary.  Not only do I get to sport this puppy, but I will also put my swim cap on over it...double the fun!  I'm thinking I may start donning my new chapeau in the winter months, or get some further use out of it during my Mt. Rainier climb...the possibilities with this are endless.  I have a feeling it could be seen in a future "Cash's Christmas Card"...he's been known to wear worse!

This almost makes me jealous of my friends doing IMKY...no hoodies will be used there!  Nah, I'll stick with the races that aren't in the 90+ degree heat/humidity!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bubble Wrap

If you haven't figured it out by now...I am so freakin' close to this race that it's frightening. My friends feel they need to wrap me in bubble wrap so that I can remain unscathed for the next 12 days. I went for a 70 mile ride (last long ride!) on Saturday and I stayed way back so I wouldn't risk crossing tires with anyone or miss seeing a pothole because I'm too busy chatting it up with my buddies. I am proceeding with caution wherever I go. During our run on Sunday a mountain biker came out of nowhere and almost ran into us...my friend Tammy yelled at him "stop!"...on our Saturday ride Patrick rode between me and the road so he would get hit by the cars, not me...after lunch today Pete drove me to my car so I wouldn't have to walk and risk wearing myself out...we are all on high alert! I have even resorted to wearing flats at work...no more three inch heels for me the next few days! I always say "safety first"...now I need to live my motto!

If you see someone resembling this walking down the street, don't worry, it's just me! It will certainly take many more ounces of fluid to stay hydrated wearing this contraption...I surely will sweat my butt off in this thing! ;)


Swim, Bike, Run.

That's all I have to do...swim...bike...run.

Breathe.

One at a time, breathe, focus on the small piece...do one loop of swim, focus on that, breathe every third stroke, stay contained...don't let others kicking and flailing freak me out, breathe, focus on form...get out of the water, run over timing mat...breathe...swim second loop, just focus on that...don't think about the run, or crossing the finish line...baby steps, one piece at a time, breathe. Get out of the water, focus on transition one...do I have everything I need for a successful ride?"...breathe...bike the first loop...focus on high cadence, going at a reasonable pace, "staying within myself,"...breathe...let the others pass me, I will catch them on the run or they are a better athlete than I am...focus on me...do the second loop of the bike, breathe...now I know what to expect...focus on high cadence, easy riding up the hills, gain ground on the downs and flats...stay strong, within my abilities, breathe...cross the timing mat into transition 2...make sure I have glided up, including feet!, take my time, breathe...do I have everything I need for a successful run?, fuel, water, clothing...head out on the run...one mile at a time...one aid station at a time...breathe...don't think about mile 20, think about mile 1...go out SLOW, keep a conservative pace...better to run slower and longer than fast and bonk...breathe...no such thing as walking, no such thing...run, run, run...pass those who went out too hard on the bike and are walking...I have done this distance before, 8 times before, I know the pain, I know I can push through it, I know I can run...RUN to the finish line...see the crowds cheering, see my family, see my friends...see the ultimate goal...see IRONMAN!...breathe!

I am a jacked up ball of nerves right now. I am constantly visualizing the race, how I want to execute the perfect race for my abilities, how I will handle any set backs and how I will have the experience of my life. I am a goal oriented person, I always have course maps of marathons, triathlons, etc. posted on my walls at work...I have had my IMCDA course maps directly over me for 7 months now...I look at them every day...come Friday I will look at them no more...I will leave to start this adventure, this adventure I truly started 7 months ago after running marathon number 8 and looking for the next challenge...or maybe it started 14 years ago when I realized I ran one lap around the track without walking and that I wanted to see if I could run two...then three and four.... I cannot believe it is so close! There are crazy dreams creeping into my head...but the main thing in these dreams is a little voice that says "you can do it"..."go out at your pace, this is your race and no one else's"..."be conservative on the bike and you will conquer the run"..."you can and will do this!"...I truly feel so ready!

These are the maps I printed off back in November that have been looming above me at work every day, reminding me of what I'm working towards and what I will be tackling on June 21st.







Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stolen Cars

Ok, you know, absolutely know, that you have gone off the deep end with your Ironman obsessing when your car gets stolen and all your worry about is how this is going to affect your training/race prep/week before you leave for Seattle.

Yes, my car got stolen this morning...you heard me, stolen.  I met four friends this morning in Centennial Park, right off busy West End Ave, for a nice 10 mile jaunt.  "Oh, good morning friends, let me just stash my key in my hiding spot and we'll be on our merry way."  Apparently some jack ass (excuse the language) saw me do this and thought it would be cool to take my car.  I yogged back into the park and did a slight double take to notice my car was no longer in it's original spot...where did it go?  I was at first annoyed "great, now I have to cancel my credit cards, call the police, get a new cell phone...don't these people know I want to go to breakfast and take my dog to the lake?"...then I was angry, no, pissed!, "argh! bastards!"...then I remembered my house keys, license, etc. were in my car and that they could go to my house and steal/hurt my dog...I broke down and started bawling!  My friends were amazing and started helping me call credit card companies, banks, police, etc.  Eventually the police came and as they were taking my report a call came into the station that an anonymous caller saw the car behind the market four blocks away...what?!  We drove over and there she was, completely unscathed...in fact, the jerks put my car key back in it's original hiding spot...what?!?!  Needless to say it was quite the morning...and not the way you want to return from a VERY hot and waterless 10 mile run!  I am now a little lighter sans wallet, ipod and phone...but joke is on them, that phone is from the Zach Morris days of cellular technology...and the idiots left my blackberry...again, what?

I realized I had a problem when I look at my friend Lynn and said "I'm going to need a ride to swim practice today."   Yeah, I was thinking about how I was going to get to OWS practice 3 minutes after realizing my car had been stolen...what?!, insane, I know.  Luckily the vehicle was found and they didn't steal my helmet and bike shoes (believe me, had a minor panic attack about that too...lord knows, you can't buy new ones!) and I was able to drive to practice to get in some swimmin'...whew! (insert someone making the "cookoo face" here).  I think someone was testing my wits...luckily, I think I passed.  

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Watched an Ironman and All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt

As mentioned, I have quite the cheering squad coming to CdA to watch me suffer, er race, on June 21st. Mom and I have always tried to find something for her to wear during my marathons so that I can easily pick her from the crowd...sometimes this works, other times not so much (see London Marathon when she wore a red hat...well, apparently the official volunteer color was red, more specifically red hats...where the hell is mom...I got nauseous trying to spot her!...and never did until the finish!) So, I have put together special t-shirts for my crew...Team Tilly! shirts, hilarious! I hope I can spot my big green team while I'm out there swimming, biking and running!...if I can't see them I know I will hear them!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

You've Been Very Knotty!

I went to get a massage yesterday to work out some of the kinks that have been building up over the past few months.  I love how IM training allows for you to "need" massages to help repair and heal your muscles...usually I'm just considered an overindulgent snob, but now it's for the benefit of my Ironman...yeah, right!  I mean it's on my training plan, right there in writing..."massage"...uh, ok, coaches orders, I have to do it!  (I have been wondering what I've been paying him for and now I figured it out...his plans include massage days!)

Well, I planned it perfectly...have the massage at 7:45, slip out of there after an hour and glide right into bed...genius!  Now I can be super relaxed and then just drift right to sleep!  Oh sweet mother of god, that was not the case.  Apparently I drew the psycho masseuse card.  I'm not talking about "oh, could you please lighten the pressure, that's a little tough"...no, she might as well have been using a meat tenderizer on me, hammering it on my back over and over again...I was like ground beef walking out of there.  I knew there was a problem when I was lounging in the quiet area reading up on the parties around town in N Focus magazine (where do these people find time to attend galas and parties...don't they know there's a long bike ride the next morning?) and I see this flash of a person fly by back and forth, hurrying and scurrying along in a very ungraceful fashion.  "Please, please, please don't let that lummox be assigned to me, please!"...card's up...she's mine!  The girl had me grimacing within the first three seconds and I think I was even more tense, fearing what she was going to do, than when I had walked in there.  She found muscles I didn't even knew existed and preyed on the ones that had been overly abused at swim practice that morning after about 1200 yards of pulling.  "Make the madness stop, please...why didn't I sign up for 30 minutes?...an hour!?!  HELP! "  Even the parts that you expect to be gentle, you know toes, head, face, were an all out beating...not ease or grace about it...I was being pummeled.  Even though I was in a constant state of fear and panic for the entire hour, I walked out of there really loose and actually felt great.  I did go home and try to see if I had bruises on my back...probably resembling a dog who hears himself fart, looking around and around at my back trying to see something.   

Alas, all the benefits were lost less than 24 hours later at swim practice when Ashley had us do 15x200, with a 600 warm up and 400 cool down...4,000...yep, my back's all jacked up again!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's June, wait, what?...IT'S JUNE!!!!!


Ok, crappy job with my photo, I know.


Oh lord, it's June! June, June, June...I flipped my calendar and there it was, staring me down, taunting me, questioning my work...June 21st. The M-Dot I drew on my calendar back in January is there, right there on June 21st...isn't there another month between May and June...Mune?, Jay?...nope, nothing...it's here, less than three weeks away, 18 days, hours, minutes, seconds.


Am I ready, yes...am I freaking out, absolutely!!!


I have come leaps and bounds from where I was in January...it's amazing how the body can adapt and grow with the stresses you put on it. You start looking forward to long rides, getting up before your alarm and feeling like poop if you only work out for an hour instead of 4. I am in a constant state of buzz...I have adrenaline and anxiety pulsing through my veins, getting huge surges when I actually let myself really think about it all. My stomach will knot up and my eyes will swell...I cannot wait to toe the line, cannot wait to finish the swim and hop on my bike, cruise for a cool 112 miles and lace up my shoes for marathon #9...CANNOT wait to cross that finish line and see my friends and family standing there...cannot wait for the hugs and and high fives and the post race foot rub down...cannot wait to be an IRONMAN!!! And sickly I cannot wait to see what's next!


Three weeks to go...tapering and taking care of my body...eating right, getting a few massages, hydrating, hydrating, hydrating. "The hay is in the barn" my coach said...I'm not going to get any stronger, faster, fitter now...it's time to trust what I have done and know that I am there, ready, willing, in the best shape of my life.


Yes, it's June...hello, I have been anxiously awaiting your arrival...

Monday, June 1, 2009

DSB's and OWS's

I am so tired I can't even type out full words and am having to abbreviate my titles...jokes...this weekend was full of Dave Scott Brick's and an Open Water Swim.  Saturday was a LONG day with the previously mentioned brick workout (for those who need reminding and just 'cause I want you to think I'm a badass, it was 20/2, 20/3, 20/4, 20/6...ride/run mileage).  We were off by 7:00am sharp and there we were quite the motley crew.  There were 7 of us to start, each person doing their own section of the workout.  Some only did one leg (20/2) others did two (20/2 and 20/3) while some did three (you get the picture) and some, ahem, ahem, me, did all four.  It was a very cool and crisp morning, but after 7+ hours of work and the sun rising to it's full potential, it was HOT!  We all rode the first 20 mile loop together in order to learn it and not get lost and ran the first piece together as well.  Needless to say, we were hauling arse!  I felt good and knew it was probably a death wish, but I went along for the ride.  The first run was a little swift as well...heck only two miles, you can push it...again, death wish.  We held 8:15's for the 2 mile run and about 8:20's for the 3 mile run and 8:30's for the 4 mile run...by the time I was on my own for the 6 mile run, I was lucky to hold 9:30's...blech!  

Ben and I were the last two standing on the final ride/run leg (other's didn't need to do as many and Sarah is recovering from a wreck) so we had a mentally tough ride/run as well as physically.  I let Ben go ahead so I wouldn't feel the need to keep up...good thing, because I started to fall apart on the bike.  Legs...so...tired...must...keep...pushing.  It was a hillier course than the last DSB workout, so I was shot come the last round.  The plan for the run was to do the 3 mile loop twice and stop at the house if we needed more water, fuel, etc.  As I was out on the run I thought..."if I stop at the house I am done, no way I will do another loop"...especially because before I even headed out on the run everyone was sitting in the garage drinking an ice cold, frosty, delicious beer...jerks.  So, I grabbed my water bottle and headed out yelling "if I'm not back in an hour, come find me!"  I decided to not go all the way back to the house and ran the loop part twice, making for a 5 mile run...not the full 6...oh well.  When I got back to the house Ben claimed he only went 3 because he couldn't force himself back out there once back...I knew it would happen...glad I didn't go back!  I also started making deals with the devil on the run..."ok, if you let me walk to that mailbox I will give you my first born child"...good..."if you let me make this walk interval 1:15 instead of the normal 1:00 then I will name my first son Lucifer"...deal...  I kept the walk one minute per mile interval pretty consistent up until the last mile, but was ready to konk out in someone's grass during the last 10 minutes.  I finally ran back to Andy's house and everyone was in the garage chanting "Tilghman, Tilghman..." it was hilarious.  I sat down, blurted out something that would make my mother proud and chugged some water in preparation for my well deserved beer!  It was a great, albeit long, day!

This was my mixology station at home the morning of DSB's.  Thirsty little fella?

A group of us also got together to do an OWS on Sunday morning.  There were about 15 of us who met at Percy Priest Lake to do the 1.4 mile route.  I wanted to do the route twice, but I felt like I deserved the rest and only did it once...leaving the longer option for this coming week!  On the way out to the buoy (turn around point) I was a little freaked out...breathing every other stroke and trying not to notice what was going on in the water around me.  On the way back in I got into a nice groove...breathing every third stroke (as I have been instructed, over and over and over again) and really feeling good.  I am so damn ready for this race!  The big dead fish on the shore did not make me happy going into the water and I was just waiting for a big mouth Bass to come and swim directly into my face...ahhhh!!!!!

Some of the crew getting ready for the swim...7:00 comes really early on a Sunday!
The marina where we do the swim...it's nice and calm.  You can see someones heading popping out...you're almost there, keep going!
I took Cash to the lake later that day so he could get in some open water practice as well...apparently fat doesn't float...his butt sinks like a rock!  I might have to use his technique on the final push of the IM!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Garbage


I had lunch with my friend Lisa yesterday and she exclaimed to me "damn, you are like a freakin' garbage disposal"...yes, anything and everything that resembles food is going directly into my mouth. All the years of hard work my mom put in teaching me manners, etiquette, non-slob-like living have been completely erased in the last few weeks. I can power through a burrito in 30 seconds before someone else even digs into the foil to unwrap theirs...and I will inevitably ask if they are going to finish theirs..."are you, chomp chomp chomp, gonna, chomp, eat that?" It's become a tricky balance of eating, drinking, working out and sleeping...it's a constant battle to stay fueled and hydrated.


I also felt like complete garbage on Tuesday/Wednesday this week. The weekend's activities had caught up to me and I crashed, hard. I came home from work on Tuesday and just couldn't do it, couldn't go for a bike ride, couldn't squeeze in a run...it hurt my eyes to stay open to swing by the dry cleaner to dump a load of clothes. I crawled in bed at 6:00 and slept for an hour, only to wake up to slam some dinner in preparation for my long run the next morning and then back to bed. My alarm went off at 5:00am and there looming before me was a 16 mile run...oh sweet baby J, how am I going to do this...well, I'm not. Checked the weather and it looked like Thursday would be just as pleasant, so Thursday it would be...back to bed for another 2.5 hours! Yes, over 10 hours of sleep that night...and still sloth like the next day. Luckily a mini trainer ride and swim practice Wednesday night did the trick and I was re-energized and ready to go again! Rocked my run this morning and am ready for this weekend...


What's happening this weekend?...you ask. We are doing another Dave Scott brick workout and it will go a little somethin' like this...20 mile ride/2 mile run, 20 mile ride/3 mile run, 20 mile ride/4 mile run, 20 mile ride/6 mile run...yep, 80 miles of ridin' and 15 miles of runnin'...then lots o' beer drinkin'...well, not really, Sunday calls for an OWS (open water swim, get down with the lingo will ya?) and a 3 hour ride...whew. Just waiting for the flip of the calendar into June where I will be able to see my sweet, sweet taper calling my name...where I'm sure I will feel like I could lift a garbage truck over my head with all my stored up energy!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Kickin' It

Sittin' back and relaxin' on Memorial Day...love that Monday is my day off from training, makes for a nice three day weekend when you have work and training off.  

I felt strong this weekend with my workouts, but my body was very ready for this day off.  After the CRAM on Saturday, I ran 10 miles and did a T60 on Sunday.  I was a little sloth like on Sunday morning so my run didn't start until noon...by the time I was finished I had to head directly to swim practice...not solid planning on my part in terms of no rest in between workouts, but I guess it's going to be that way come race day, so good practice I figure.  

Ashley, my swim coach, had a lane set up for those swimmers who are close to their IM races.  This lane was the T60 lane (all others were doing the usual T30)...so we were to swim for an hour straight, no rest.  This was a great test in mental endurance as well as physical...talk about boring!  I went out at a slow conservative pace and really felt I could have gone all day long.  I picked it up towards the end and knocked some time off my last 500 or so.  I was happy that I wasn't dog tired at the finish because now I know what I need to do on race day in order to stay fresh for the other thousands of hours of activity I will be doing.  I completed an even 3,000 in the hour (double my T30 distance, so I stayed consistent) and felt I could have gone faster...good place to be!  However, I also got smacked in the face by a foot...a dude in my lane and I came to the wall at the same time and he did a flip turn, which I was not anticipating, and his foot went square into my eye.  He knocked my goggles off and I said to myself "oh no he didn't!" so I took off after him and put a nice gap in between us in the last 600 meters or so...take that!  I'll show you for kickin' it!


I also found these pictures from the Vancouver Marathon I ran back in 2004.  This is EXACTLY what I anticipate the scene looking like after CDA.  Me straight chillin' with mom and dad hard at work rubbing my feet!  "uh, a little more to the left, no more, nope too far, there, yes, perfect!"
See, they enjoy this, I swear...look at those beaming smiles! ;)
Everyone who walked by was so jealous and throwing money at my parents to have them rub their feet.  We were literally hopping in the car and driving directly back to Seattle so we couldn't do this in the privacy of our hotel room...we are such exhibitionists! 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

CRAM

The CRAM, short for the Clarksville Rotary Annual Metric...also could be known for cramming it all in, cramming food in my face and cramming my head to the pillow.  My friends and I did the CRAM yesterday in Clarksville, a ride that offers 20, 35, 62 and 100 mile options.  Can you guess which one I did?  Heck yes, the 100 miler.  After a disastrous ride on Thursday with Coach (see having to walk my bike up a hill, hyperventilating, almost puking and averaging 15.6 mph...yeah, DISASTER..."now boarding, one way trip to Bonk Town") I was a little nervous going into a century only two days later.  I came to find out I was terribly dehydrated (see 7 liters of fluid and only one trip to the bathroom...yikes!) so I took two days to really load up on fluid, solid nutrition and focus.  Not that I haven't done so for the last 6 months, but I really need to focus on being smart and making healthy decisions...it's officially game time.  

The plan was for Coach, Ben, Sarah, Andy and me to ride together and average a solid 20mph for the full 100 miles.  Gulp!  20mph?!  Are you kidding me?  Luckily it was a nice flat course and we all took turns drafting and pulling, making for a really fun ride.  Riding in a big group really makes the time pass quickly and definitely makes for some good laughs.  We rode strong the whole way and came in under 5 hours with a 20.7mph avg...yee haw!  I even felt strong enough at the end to pull in Coach and Andy for the last few miles.  I hung with the boys again (granted, they could still go way faster and kick my butt any day of the week) and it was a big confidence booster after my major meltdown on Thursday.  Coach even exclaimed during the ride "you are going to kick ass in Coeur d'Alene"...whether he meant it or not (maybe he was just trying to get me to pick up the pace right then!) it was a huge motivator and really helped to solidify the fact that I just know that I am ready for this, know that I can complete it and know I can do it with strength and confidence!  

Even more crazy sightings on this ride...yes, there was the obligatory dead deer/cow/possum/bird on the side of the road (100 miles is a long way, with lots of opportunity to see dead sh*t).  However, we were in northern Tennessee/Kentucky in the Minenite country...so we ran into a few horse drawn carriages, plows powered by hefty steed, kids running around barefoot, and a woman with a wheelbarrow rolling down the road bringing her harvest home (to which the guys said, "see Tilghman, that's an example of a good wife right there...emulate that when you are married"...ha...ha).  We were a little perplexed when there was a horse and carriage coming towards us...what do you say to that "buggy back?"..."carriage up?"...I wonder what they thought of us flying by them with thousands of dollars worth of bikes and gear?  Have to sell a lot of churned butter to buy my next bike, I guess. 

"Borrowed" this picture from a friend...this was the beginning of the ride...can you see me?, I'm in black...ok, I can't really either.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Clarification on Urination

So, just to clarify, I do not tee tee in the pool, I can't, it's impossible for me to relax in such a way around 80 of my closest friends! Therefore, if I can't pee in the pool it's pretty much unimaginable that I would be able to do so on my bike, or in transition, or even on the run...mad props to people that can do such things...they put the port-a-potties out for the novices like me. All you hard core athletes that try to teach me, your time is wasted...I'm just not going to be able to do it...and for me it will make the difference between a 14:00 hour race and a 14:02 race, not going to win because I stayed on the bike.

Next time I get out of the pool, look and you will see that I have a pee-baby in my belly...I drink so much water before and during my workouts that I'm about to explode at the end, just not in the pool. I think I still have that fear burned in my brain from summer camp back in third grade that if you peed in the pool the water would turn red, remember that urban myth? Well, maybe, just maybe, it's still true! However, if you are wondering who is peeing in the pool come find me...I have learned way too much about people! :)

Stole this from Excel's blog...too funny!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lessons Learned

Whoa, I am a month, yes a month, away from race weekend. This time next month I will be standing on the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene trying not to vomit...imagining what will be in store for me the next day. I will be surrounded by my family and friends and probably be highly distracted with the upcoming events and high on excitement of making it to this day...probably wishing I were just "high" on some substance so I could just forget my worries!

I have become, simply put, IronObsessed. It has been on the front of my mind for months (obvi) but now it's totally, completely, all consuming. If someone asks "how's your day?" I simply respond "I'm training for an Ironman!" Like a special kid, it's all I can say or talk about. "Tilghman, we need that report ASAP!"..."uh, did I tell you I'm training for an Ironman?" I'm like a kid with her first crush, scribbling out her new last name on anything resembling paper and drawing hearts in her mashed potatoes in the cafeteria.

There have been some lessons learned through all this and I've learned a lot about myself. A taste of some of my treasures gained from this experience:

  • I can get 5 hours of sleep and still function (never thought this was possible). Starbucks is necessary, but I can still function.
  • If I get more than two consecutive nights in a row of said sleep time, I become highly susceptible to such illnesses as "swine flu" and "smokers cough"
  • If I get said amount of sleep, I am still functional but highly sensitive and can switch into b*tch mode at an extremely rapid pace
  • A dog's love is truly unconditional...he may give me the "you look like a pork chop and I'm going to kill you in your sleep" glare every now and again, but he still loves me regardless
  • I can get ready for work in 15 minutes and still look the same as if I'd taken an hour
  • My toenails will take on the look of my fathers if I am not careful, I have apparently inherited his feet...pedicures are necessary
  • The pedicure place does not give an 8 toenail discount, you still have to pay for the full 10 because they paint the skin of anything lost
  • Peeing in the pool was considered social suicide as a kid, but highly acceptable as an adult, even encouraged by your coach
  • It's completely ok to talk about GI issues at the dinner table as long as you are with your tri friends
  • I have somehow forgotten the art of making my bed and cleaning my house...thankfully you can pay someone to do these things for you
  • There is nothing better than a cold beer after a long workout...however, more than two and I may pass out at the table
  • I have learned to appreciate the simple things in life...like an afternoon off lounging in the park with a good book and your dog...or a hot shower after a soggy 7 hour bike ride.
  • The grocery store does stay open past 6:00 and I can get things done when it's dark out
  • I can still carry on a conversation about things other than triathlon training, but currently much prefer to discuss mile splits, avg mph and T30 times
  • I really can do pretty much anything I put my mind to and heart in!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Officially Unofficial

Today was yet another race day, I know, I know...I really shouldn't have done it, but I did...Coach was not necessarily happy about my decision but the money was paid and I was determined to do at least one race with my group of friends this year.  We all piled in our cars on Saturday afternoon and headed to the wonderful city that is Memphis, TN (okay, technically Millington, ahhh Millington, lovely, lovely, Millington!) for the Memphis in May Olympic distance triathlon.  For those that don't know this equates to a .9 mile swim, 25 mile bike and a 6.2 mile run (a quarter IM!...not technically, but close!).  

Since this is "hell month" there was no rest or tapering for this event and since I think I contracted the swine flu after Gulf Coast it made the week even more difficult trying to get over being sick, recovering from a half IM and still pushing it for the last phase of IM training.  The day before Memphis in May I had a long ride scheduled...luckily there was an organized ride (the Tour de Nash) so I had something to motivate me to ride 60 miles (again, in the rain...damn the rain, damn it!).  It was a fun ride and I tried to ride like I wasn't racing the next day...so I "pushed" it for my standards!  I finished the ride and literally hopped in the car with my friend and drove to Memphis.  Once in Memphis we checked in, got our numbers, ate dinner, went to bed and woke up at 5am to race...no rest for the weary I tell ya!  

I told myself this would be just a training race, but since I won Athena last weekend I was feeling the expectations to do it again...and again I did!!  Yay Athena!!!  Well, unofficially...I left the race sight and the results said I had won, however, they weren't the official race results (we had to leave in order to get back to Nashville for beers so there was no time to wait around)...so we will have to wait until tomorrow for official results.  I am starting to get this competitive bug that I didn't really know I had.  My age group started DEAD LAST in the race so I wanted to pass as man people as I could.  I was kicking and elbowing people in the water and pushing past as many people as I could on the bike.  I hit the ground running and pushed an 8:26 pace for the first 5 of the 6 miles (still not sure what measuring stick they used on mile 5...it seemed LONG!)...crossed the finish line in 2:40...25ish minutes faster than my last Olympic distance race...so I felt great!  It was a fun, fun race and I'm so glad I did it.  

Lisa came to cheer Katie and me on!  It was super cold in the morning (a chilly 57 degrees...cold after you get used to the heat)...Lisa was our official photog.  (who killed Kenny?!)

The whole crew carbo loading the night before (table for 13 please...you figure out the bill)
Katie and me the morning of the race.  This was Katie's FIRST tri...and an Olympic none the less!!!  She rocked it and I am so proud of her for making it her bee-atch!
Heading into the duck poop, algae filled lake...it was so gross, but such a nice reprieve from the ocean swim the weekend before!  Is there such a thing as duck flu?...a gross hybrid of the swine flu I seem to have already contracted?
Swim is done...took a good 5 minutes off my previous .9 mile swim times!  Thank you wetsuit...again, I LOVE IT!  Lisa was slow on the uptake for the rest of the shots...so it appears that I didn't bike or run, but I promise I did!  Lisa still gets mad props for this photo...so great!
All in all a super fun race and was so happy to have all my buddies there!  I will do Memphis in May again in a heartbeat!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gulf Coast 70.3 Race Report

Don't really know what to write about since I think I blacked out in the first 2 minutes of the race and can't really remember anything! That's the only reason why I do these things...I can never remember them, thus never remember the pain!...ok, not really...but I can only imagine it's like child birth, you forget the bad and only remember the good!

The morning started with a 4:30 wake-up call. Transition opened at 4:30 for body marking to begin and I was a hop, skip and jump away from transition, so I "slept in." I made my way down, set everything up...sprayed myself with sunscreen which immediately washed my number off...oops! And headed towards the beach!

Swim: I was getting ready to poop myself at the start line. I was so nervous about the swim...just get me to the bike, was all I could think about. The gun went off at 6:35 and we were in the water. I dove under the first few waves and then started my swim. I did "tarzan" style for about 50 yards and realized if I kept it up I would exhaust myself, so I dug down and just went for it. It was almost a zen like experience...I just got in a zone (doing exactly the opposite of everything I have learned and practiced at swim class) and went for it. I swam pretty straight and had no major issues with sighting or masses of people or anything. I did get kicked in the face once, but that's par for the course and my hopes to be a teen model are long gone. My watch said 37:00ish when I got out of the water, but I crossed the mat in about 39 minutes.
Hung out with Ben and Sarah at the starting line getting ready for the big race. I accidentally zipped by Gu in my wetsuit...oops!, Sarah had to undo me so I could reach in and get it.
Again with blogger technology...a mini version I can't seem to get rid of! I've tried 4 times, to hell with it!Bike: What a great bike! SO FLAT! I wanted to "just go!" so bad, but I knew I would kill myself if I pushed the bike to hard. I kept watch of my cadence and kept it high (above 90rpm's) and took a mental check of breathing/heart rate every now and again to make sure I wasn't being crazy. The wind wasn't too bad...at least better than I had anticipated. I felt like the miles were just melting away (maybe they were, it was effen hot!) I felt like all I was doing was eating and drinking while riding. It's like there weren't enough minutes in the hour to suck down all the gatorade I had planned and eat the gels/blocks I had prepared. I never wanted to see gatorade again after that bike! At mile 35ish I started singing myself a song about how I was kicking butt and that I would win Athena (positive thinking people) and I just knew I was going to do well on the run. I was shocked when I passed the halfway point and saw that if I kept pace I would be well under 3 hours. "Barring any flats I will kick this bikes ass!" I thought...well, negative thinking has it's effect too! At mile 51-52 I heard this psssssst. Sh*t, that can't be me can it? Maybe there's a snake in the bushes...damn, it was me. I kept going for another mile and thinking, should I stop to change it? I figured it would take way to long with my un-skillz so I just took a CO2 cartridge to see if I could fill it and have it hold for a little bit...so dumb, I tell ya. Flat as a pancake within .5 seconds. So, I rode in the last 4 miles on a flat...still cruising at about 19mph! I didn't want to lost my sub 3 ride! I came in at 2:54ish...also got a 4 minute drafting penalty...the dude yelled at me, so I looked over and he took my number off my helmet...damn. If I'd have ignored him maybe he wouldn't have determined my number since it was all washed away from sunscreen/water/sweat. Race official: "What's your number?", me turning and looking at who's causing such commotion: "huh?!", official: "never mind, thanks!" Grrr!Run: HOT!!!!! Oh my lord it was HOT! I planned on walking through every other water stop, so every two miles, every 18 minutes or so. Well, as soon as I saw that first stop at mile 1 my strategy quickly changed. There were angels flying around it and choirs singing, with sweet little children handing out ice-water soaked sponges...it would just be too mean not to take them up on their offer! Those stops were what got me through the run. After many strategy sessions with coach, I knew that I could only walk as I got to the stop (not 20 yards before it) and start running again as soon as I went through and got what I needed...I did just that and it worked well. I was holding a pretty consistent 9:30 pace (slower than I had wanted...wanted 9:00's...but given the heat I was fine with it and as long as I was running, even better!). The dreaded park wasn't nearly as hot as everyone claimed it to be and by mile 10 I knew I had sub 6:00 in the bag...just keep chugging along! As I was running in the last .2 miles I looked to my left and saw a fellow blogger/blog follower Chloe and yelled at her...thanking her in my head for her nifty piece of advice to put ice in your sports bra...genius! So fun! I finished strong and saw Coach and his wife cheering me in for the last few yards...I had to pump my fists with joy, what a great race!!! Finished the run in 2:08...
Finish line: I immediately went to the medical tent to get some IV's of fluid...apparently all the cool kids are doing it and it makes for a much easier night of drinking...where do I sign?! I was on such a high and was so pumped about my race. My confidence about the Ironman was soaring! I had a sweet British nurse who couldn't find a vein to save her life. Apparently my man hands with bulging blue veins weren't enough for her... I squirmed and squealed like a little sissy. She asked "didn't you just run a half IM?"...yeah, yeah, lady...find the vein already!
Victory party!: Nashville had a strong showing and Team Tater rocked it! We were all so excited and were happy to be cleaned up and drinking! Got my award and then got a cheeseburger...well played, Athena, well played!