Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ironman Lake Tahoe Race Report

12:12:55- my slowest Ironman to date.  This was #10 for me, slowest and possibly the most difficult- mentally that is.

I want to thank everyone for all the great support and kind words.  Yes it was a hard race, yes I finished, but we all have our own goals and I fell short on Sunday.  I simply did not race to my potential and I carry disappointment with that.  I injured my back a few weeks ago but it was feeling good so I was optimistic.  The combo of my back and a botched nutrition plan was the cause for a sub par race.  I am proud I finished, I have never wanted to quit a race more so I will hold onto that.

Swim: 50:44- as much as I would love to say I swam that fast,,,no way- course had to be short.  I did work extra hard on my swim and did swam really hard- arm to arm with Heidi, it was a dog fight the entire 2nd loop. I was expecting a 53:xx- 50: xx not possible, looks good but lets be realistic.

After swimming on Friday when it was 33 degrees, the balmy 48 on race day was great. I was also dressed for it. Tri top, long sleeve shirt, long sleeve jersey, beanie, sweat pants, socks and shoes.  Plus the changing rooms were open for us to hand out in, so it was really comfortable. I did my "Micheal Phelps" move and cranked up Black Eyed Peas, put my headphones in and jammed and did my mobility.   T1 was on the sand coming out of the swim.   It was dark and I went to check on my gear and there was a table there and a guy shouting " if your bag is missing come see me. "  On the table were 30+ bags shredded. Apparently around 3am a bear hit the beach and smelled all the yummy snacks in T1 bags- luckily for me- nothing to eat.

The swim was interesting, Rolling start,  So I lined up in the front on the sand - 1:00 and under group. The lake is shallow due to the draught so there was about 100 yards of just above ankle deep water until we could swim.  The announcer said- WALK, don't run.  Cannon goes off and everyone is running.  Classic.  Its hard to run in water that deep but it was too shallow to swim. Finally did a flat dive and went for it. Water temp was 55-58- My Roka Maverick Pro kept me really warm, water sealed in.  I wore 2 regular caps- no neoprene and I was fine.  I went out hard and soon lost the feet I was on.  Swam loop 1 alone and as loop 2 started Heidi came along side.  We definitely pushed each other.  Exiting the swim we had the same shallow run to do and running along I f'ing tripped and went face down, scrambled my way up and Heidi ran past me across the mat for a.02 victory.

T1- I pulled off bathing suit- tri shorts on, aero jersey on top of wet tri top, arm warmers, vest, jacket, socks and gloves.  Hurried out and was glad to have all that on- it was 48 degrees- COLD getting on the bike.

BIKE- 6:03:xx-  I was glad I had all the layers as it was cold.  I felt great initially and keeping the power down was hard, I was loose and holding back the first loop.  I dropped my jacket and gloves at mile 17, about 45 min too soon and was really cold - but I knew it would warm up fast and it did.  The course is beautiful and I was really having fun, until mile 60 and my SI started to seize up and it got progressively worse.  I was up and down trying to stay comfortable and around that time my plan of Gatorade only went south, I was burping it up and just could not drink it any more.   I stuck with plain water and my gut started to feel better and I knew I needed calories and my only option was cliff bars.  I lost track of calories, liquid etc and was trying to keep my power up and my back happy.

T2- I hopped off the bike and was in serious pain,  It was a slow shuffle to T2 and that feeling of sitting in the chair wanting it to be over.  I had tears in my eyes, got up and headed out.

RUN: 5:08:51 -
First mile I tried to run and it was just slow, pain in my SI and piriformis.  When I saw John at mile 2, I was crying and told him I couldn't do it.  He said come on, good job, keep running.  I was wanting him to say, okay call it a day. So I kept shuffling along, it was painful to run at all.  I managed 10 or so miles at a slow pace and felt worse and worse.  John was amazing, riding along trying everything to keep me going, "think of Roo - happy puppy running" was the best.  I tried to rally and just could not.  So I took it 1 mile a time and tried to just keep moving.  At one point he suggested I sit and stretch and I finally tried and could not get up, my quads completely locked up.  Now I realize i was low on calories and sodium.  My hands and feet were so swollen I was convinced I had had too much salt... The guy from BASE Salt saw me and told me I looked terrible, he hung with me for 5 min and convinced me to take salt and drink.  I did - soon I saw John and he asked if I wanted to call it a day, which meant I was out of the running for  a slot, but by that point I was like "what, now you say I can quit?  Really I have 10 miles to go.  I'll just suck it up."  I told him he may as well go back as it was going to be a long 10.  I also remembered I had anti- inflammatory and I popped those and around 20 I could shuffle again and by 21 I was "running" .  Then it was a horse to the barn, just get it done!   I even passed a girl in my AG at mile 25.7 and ran in.

I crossed, puked and nearly passed out.  Felt like a much harder effort that it was.

I missed Mike Reilly- the announcer was very low energy and no high tempo music (although John says there was- so maybe I was just out of it)

So...there you have it
1- hardest race ever and worst performance-  that is Ironman for you
2 - I did not quit
3- I have the most amazing and supportive husband -  I love him more than anything and appreciate his commitment to me and supporting this insane sport
4- Tahoe is amazing, altitude sucks
5- took me 48 hours to figure out my next race-  NO not an Ironman
6- Returned 2 pairs of Hoka's- simply cannot tolerate the blisters- 5 blisters, will lose 2 toenails -  Need a better option
7- I still love this sport
8- 200 oz of Gatorade endurance is NOT an option for me.  I tried all liquid due to so much GI distress from solids.  Yes I practiced this in training- but training and racing are so different. I never have GI issues in training.  So back to the drawing board re: Nutrition.
9- I did all I could- went 12 days early, yes 21 would have been ideal, zero alcohol for 3 weeks, lots of beets, clean eating - no processed foods 2 weeks, proper sleep and ideal taper- but there was more that happened on race day... so be it!

Thanks again to all who followed and cheered me from afar!