John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." NIV

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ironman Lake Placid - Hold Back


start of bike
For the bike portion of the Ironman, I asked people to pray for me to hold back. Cycing has always been my weakest link, but I had gained noticeable improvements by the end of the training. I was nervous that I may push to hard and then have no legs for the run.

Immediately there were two things that I knew that I needed to do when I started the bike. The first was to drink. I was incredibly thirsty and knew hills where approaching. Second was to eat. Fueling had never been my strong point during training but I knew I needed it. I ate a whole cliff bar before the first hill.

Suddenly, I realized that my bike computer had shut off. I fiddled with it some and gave up. I had no idea my cadence, speed, or distance. I immediately switched my garmin so I could see distance.

I had taken the first several miles too fast (based on time) and finally settled in. I was happily surprised by the camaraderie of my fellow athletes. People talked to me during the entire 112 miles. Encouragement and warnings the whole time. I got tons of comments, all positive about my Tough Chik jersey and spectators cheered for my rainbow colored arm warmers.

bottom of major downhill - view was stunning
My tri-mates had previously ridden the course and warned me about the 3 mile down hill where pros reach 40 mph. The warning was not to get in aero. At first I was very nervous and the hill was littered with tons of bottles, fuel, tubes, and other trash. This was more dangerous than the downhill. Athletes in front of my pointed out the hazards just like you would do on a training ride and I did the same for the riders behind me. After the first mile, I decided it wasn't too bad and went aero. Boy was it FUN!

By the time I got to the bottom, I really had to pee. There was no rest stop in sight. You guessed it, I peed on the bike. First time for everything, right? It wasn't as easy to do as I had thought it would be. Initially starting proved to be difficult, but once the flow began there was no stopping it. Gross part was that it sort of pooled in my shoes. GROSS.

I took water at every stop even if I didn't need it. The volunteers were awesome. They seemed trained to run along to get me the bottle without me slowing down too much. It was fun. As the ride continued, I took bananas and pretzels at some of the stops. On the second loop, my fuel was not sitting well on my tummy and I had hoped the bananas would settled it down.

It was around mile 30 on when my tri-mate passed me on the bike. I had expected him to catch me earlier and was a little happy that it took him that long (swim is his worst leg). Also on an out and back that I saw some of my tri-mates that were ahead of me. It was AWESOME energy to get shout outs. I did not see any of the chicks so I assumed I was in front of them. Finally, I saw one of them and guessed I was about 6 miles in front.

Around mile 45 my left leg was hurting around my timing chip. Like stinging and sharp. I tried to reach down and move my time chip, but nothing was working. I decided to push through it.
 
Heading back into town, the three bears (three hills that increase in size) definitely hurt. The amazing DCTri Club was there in full blast and it felt great to get shout outs here too. It helped me to pedal hard up the hills (probably too hard). Once back into town, I saw a few more people and heard my name. I LOVED it. And knew that I was half way done on the bike.

My second loop was not filled with as much joy. The thrill of seeing everything for the first time had dissipated and now it was just about getting done. I was super focused. Everything was like a science. When I ate, when I drank, when I pushed it and when I glided. I took the hill downhill the next time in aero. WOW... it was awesome and way fun.

bottom of major downhill  - 2nd loop
I had peed 3 more times by the finish line. By mile 95, I was beat. I wanted to get off of the bike. My left leg near the time chip hurt really bad. My shoes were soaked (with pee), my back was starting to ache and mentally, I was DONE. The three bears were vacant on the second round. Signs littered the sides of the road but no spectators. It was tough mentally. I tried to focus on what I was doing. Just get OFF the bike. This was my mantra.

Heading back into town was all I could do to keep going. I wanted off. I got to the bike dismount and an incredible feeling overwhelmed me. I was DONE with the bike. I never had to ride that THING again. I started to cry, hyperventilate cry - I was so happy to hand my bike over to the volunteer.

(Note: my twin sister later would ask: "Were you crying off the bike? I was watching you on the live feed and saw you.")

Bike Finish time: 7:19:35 (goal: under 8)

I started to jog into transition. I had planned to completely change my clothes and I was happy that I had planned for that considering the fact that I was urine soaked. The volunteers were awesome. I had one dedicated just for me. It did get awkward when I was standing there full monty and she wanted to help me get my run skirt on, but I declined that help. Before putting on my compression socks, I examined my leg where the pain was... and nothing. No cut, no blood, but it hurt. I took my timing chip off and put it on top of my compression sock hoping it would help. As I was lacing my shoes, a tri-mate entered and since she was not changing, we exited T2 at the same time.

T2 time (due to a complete wardrobe change): 10:30

It felt wonderful to start the run with a friend! Only 26 miles left!

2 comments:

coach dion said...

Did I miss it? What time did you do the bike in and what was your goal time?

I've done 2 IRONMANs and have never peed, far to scarey to pee on the bike!

Eva Siegel said...

When you train hard your muscles need proper recovery. Just taking some rest may not be enough. According to nutrition scientists BCAA is one of the key nutritional compounds to help your muscles recover properly. This and lots of other nutritional tips are available at http://bit.ly/Qh9G8S