Friday, July 20, 2012
Read F4 coach/ athlete Kristi Yamasaki's Ironman CDA Report
My Race Report
Morning of: Surprisingly enough I was not that nervous when I woke up. I was ready for this race mentally and was hoping that physically my body would hold up. I ate my usual pre-race/pre-workout breakfast of cheerios and a protein drink.
Swim: The swim start was not as scary as I anticipated. I knew to expect a crazy start with 2500 of my closest friends with the potential for getting kicked, swam over, goggles pulled off, hit with hands, etc....but I was pretty fortunate that I only got an elbow which I can remember. The first loop was pretty straight forward but the second loop felt like I was in a washing machine. The wind started to pick up so the water started to get choppy. Every time my arm went up, sometimes I found water, other times I found air. And I can't tell you how much lake water I drank on Sunday morning. Once I got out of the water an hour and 35 minutes later, I was pretty relieved the swim was over - I made it through...now I can start the fun parts of the triathlon, biking and running which I have been looking forward to.
T1: It was slow and cold. All I wanted to do was get into the tent, change and get onto the bike since I knew I would warm up once riding but my fingers were so numb and teeth chattering, it was difficult to change into dry clothes. I was fortunate that I had planned for any type of weather since I had a dry top to change into. I had other women who didn't plan ahead and was asking around for a dry top.
Bike: Once out of t1, I was on the bike. I was ready to kill the 112 miles. As our coaches say, something will go wrong on race day, and it is how you respond to that event that can make or break your race. Straight out of the shoot, I couldn't clip in...I had left on my protective cleat covers on my bike shoes. You would have thought that I had learned from the Lake to Lake triathlon, but no I forgot to check the bottom of my bike shoes when I dropped off my gear in my swim to bike bag on Saturday.
If that was the worst it was going to get then no big deal. I threw them off to a volunteer - another pair gone (sorry billy, another pair bites the dust). I had my nutrition on the bike and I was getting warm, but the one thing I was not prepared for at all was that I got sea sick from the swim and I drank way too much lake water and air so that my stomach was upset/nauseous. I typically don't get sea sick and I had ear plugs, but today I did get sick. I unanticipatedly threw up directly onto my bike at mile 10. I thought this is definitely not going the way I was hoping...this is going to be a very long and challenging ride if I have nausea the entire ride. I would rather have any type of pain than nausea. The only thing I was worried about is how was I going to get enough nutrition to make up from the swim, get me through the bike and carry me on the run. I had to get in anything into my stomach. I rode on and took sips of my infinit and tried to take in a bee stinger wafer.
I stopped a few more times at the aid stations for a pit stop. I was hoping if I could vomit a couple more times, the nausea would go away...no luck. Fortunately, I was able to get down a full bottle of infinit, some water, salt tabs and a couple of gels. I knew this was not enough nutrition to carry me through the run but I was hoping the extra calories I took in the weeks prior to the race would help me through. Once the most difficult 112 miles I have ever ridden was done, I was relieved and could now focus on the run. If I could get to the first aid station and drink a coke, I was hoping this would settle my nausea.
T2: The volunteers are amazing; they took my bike and handed me my bike to run bag. I changed my shoes, grabbed my visor, got lathered up with sunscreen and then was off. My legs felt great since I never got to push it on the bike. I was hoping for a decent time for 26.2 miles.
Run: For the most part, the run went pretty well. I was able to control the nausea with coke and knowing that the end was near. I was going to be an ironman today even if I had to walk it! I had coke, sips of IM perform, water, and chicken broth. At miles 8 and 18, the chicken broth was heavenly. The salt was awesome and the warm chicken broth was warming when the temperature started dropping. I was reminded how much my IT- band hates downhill. By the time I was on my second loop of 13-miles, my IT-band was screaming at me. It forced me to slow down my pace. I was surprised that I didn't hit 'the dreaded wall' at mile 20 as in a marathon. I learned that by the time you hit mile 20 in an Ironman, you don't think about 6.2 miles left to go, but only 6.2 miles left to go out of 140.6 miles...easy:)
Summary: I think the most important parts of training and doing an Ironman is to thank family and friends for their support and patience, and to have fun!! Training for an Ironman can be a selfish sport because it does take away from work, family and friends, but it doesn't always have to be that selfish. Looking back over the past 6 months, I got to bike from Boulder to Santa Fe and ran in LA to Washington DC with great friends. I created some awesome memories which no one can take away. I also hope that through my dedication to this sport that I have inspired a few to do a triathlon, run, bike, or just be more active. My main goal was to cross the finish line. I not only achieved that goal, but was pretty happy with my time. of 14 hours, 8 minutes and 4 seconds. The feeling is indescribable of being able to show up to the starting line, the incredible support you feel from fellow triathletes, volunteers and crowd, and knowing that as you cross the finish line you are an Ironman. If there is one piece of advice I can give is to enjoy the moment, smile and have fun. Drink in the moment, take in the crowds, listen for your name and go through the chute with a smile. You only get one chance to be a first-time Ironman.