First of all I have to say that I was very impressed with the organization. With so many people, the lines were never that long and things went very smoothly. If you didn’t know(I didn’t) when you do an ironman its not like any other triathlon where your stuff (running shoes, bike helmet etc.) is in transition beside your bike…When you register they give you a couple different colored bags that you have to fill up with the right stuff for each of the transitions and then drop them off the night before .
So it basically goes like this:
1-Get the bags
2-In my case, figure out why I have all those bags…do i really need to use them?
3-Go to the Pro’s meeting and feel like a beginner when have to ask about the bags!
4-Put bike shoes+helmet+oakley’s in bike transition bag: done
5-Put running shoes+running belt with my number on it+plus running cap+ gel bottle in running transition bag: done
6-Morning clothes bag: hmmmm what’s that one? Stuff that you will be wearing in the morning before the start…that will be brought back to you at transition 2 (also finish) witch is miles away from transition 1.
So when you get out of the water (T1) someone shouts your number, they give you your bag, you run to the tent and get help to get changed, sunscreen etc, then you leave everything there and the woman that was helping you put all your stuff from the swim in your numbered bag.
T2: After you’re done with the bike, it’s the same thing, they take your bike, you take your bag, you change in the tent and off you go in your running shoes.
everyone got that?
ALL my stuff came back, I didn’t lose anything and my bike still had a probar in my little bento box on the top tube:)
The morning was chilly but very calm compared to the 2 days before the race. I woke up at 3am because I needed to get on a shuttle bus from the hotel to get to a bus that would transport us to the start. Tim was very happy to have me make noise in the room at that time:) he loves getting up early. NOT. But he didn’t complain.
When I left I knew I would only see him at the finish 11hrs later…
But I left knowing that I had a lots of people following me and cheering for me from afar. Thanks!
SWIM 2.4 miles or 4.2 km
Start: Pro’s start 10 min before everyone else. For me its a good thing because I am not a pack swimmer: less is better! The water was freezing and when I got in it I couldn’t breath. I really had to calm myself. The gun when off. The best women swam with the men’s leader’s WOW! I wish…I won’t tell you my time but I felt calm and confident in the water for 3/4 of the distance, then the last part was a little hectic but I managed. At that point I had athletes from the age categories catch me…Don’t have to tell you that when I got to my bike it was the last one standing among the pro’s! But I didn’t care.
BIKE 112 miles or 180km
I got on the bike and I couldn’t feel my index finger (the broken one). The wrapping that I had was wet and with the wind it was frozen…I also couldn’t feel my left foot. I was just hoping that someone would turn the heat up a little.
I felt right at home on my Cannondale Slice and stayed focused the whole way. I never went into the red zone, I ate almost all my stuff on the bike , drank tons and felt good. I passed a couple age group men and pro women on the way back. 10 km out maybe I had a guy fly by me and he yelled: “Those shoes are awesome!!” talking about my sweet yellow Mavic shoes:) I saw him on the run a little later and shouted back: “They are Mavic shoes!!”
The wind was pretty strong and the course hard and hilly, I used a lot my small chain ring even on flatter sections because of the wind and the rough pavement that made you even slower.
T2: MARATHON 26.2mi or 42km
I started in 4th position. I was last out of the water and now I was 4th. I had no idea.
I started to run and I had a guy from the race on a mt bike in front of me….Actually I don’t think I ever really ran. My legs were like tree trunks and I could barely lift my left leg. I struggled through the first 20 km and was passed by a lot of women. They are amazing. They run so fast. I was not. I got a lots of encouragement on the run by some friends from Quebec and from the other women.
It was a hard thing to do and I’m not going to elaborate on that. I really wanted to finish but at that point it was a matter of getting injured or not, and I didn’t want that. I was bummed and I cried. The mt bike emergency patrol on the course got me a ride with a very nice man named LYN, is that funny or what:) He called Tim for me and we arranged to meet back at the medical tent. when I got dropped off my sweet husband was there with his crutches waiting for me. I could barely walk and was helped to the tent.
Tim and I sat down for a minute and chatted with a old man that was in the race, but that had been taken out by another rider in the feed zone: he had a broken collarbone. Tim and I talked to him about all of our broken collarbones! When we left he was smiling again:)
to be continued…