Monday, May 3, 2010

I am 2/3 Ironman

I was feeling good with my temporary tattoo ready for the longest triathlon in the circuit...the Ironman. The Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run (a marathon).

Ironman rules state that each section of the race has cut off times that must be made. If cut off times are not made, race organizers will pull athletes off the course. The St. George Ironman course was rumored by officials to be one of the toughest in the U.S. because of its gnarly hills on the bike and the run course which would make getting those cut off times tough. I felt ready.

A few nights before the race, my sister Stephanie accompanied me to the athlete meeting...

where we carbo loaded...

and I started to get a little nervous!

The next day we dropped my bike at the first transition, Sand Hollow, where the swim was to take place. As you can see, there are a lot of crazy people who had racked their bikes, ready to do this race!

Then race day arrived. The morning of the race, they announced the water was 58 degrees! My sister took this picture of the swim start and I am in this mess somewhere...probably towards the back. My toes, mouth and fingers all went numb during the chilling hour and a half swim.
IT WAS SOOO COLD!

I am lucky to have finished the swim though because hundreds of people got hypothermia and had to get pulled out of the water! During transition, it was hard change my clothes because of my frozen appendages.

Still freezing inside and out, I made it through transition and I was off for a 112 mile bike ride.

During my ride, a support crew led my sister, would calculate where I was going to be on the bike ride and then drove to that point to cheer me on! I was sooo happy to see them!


As mentioned earlier, each section of the race has time limits that must be met or an athlete cannot continue on the Ironman journey...this picture illustrates my next goal. About 17 miles from the bike finish, a race sweeper drove by in a truck and told me that I had five minutes to make the last cut off. I made the cut off and he started picking up athletes and their bikes who were behind me. I continued on my way, knowing I was cutting it close.

Because the sweeper had not talked to me again, I figured I had made the bike cut off time and was mentally preparing to run. Unfortunately, when I got to the bike transition, I was a few minutes too late and they would not let me run the marathon!!!


I WAS SOOOOOOO DISAPPOINTED! After a freezing 2.4 mile swim, and a grueling 112 miles of biking, my body was warmed up and I was feeling in good condition to run...which I feel is my strongest discipline...but they would not let me run!


Fortunately, I had a few friends who were volunteering at that transition who were there to console me...


and feed me...mouth full, pizza in hand.


So, I am officially only 2/3 Ironman...not good enough for me. I will do another one and finish.

And as if my pride was not already hurt enough, after I was done with my bike ride, they would not let me in the "Ironman Area" to get a massage, eat some food, or get my Ironman t-shirt. Lame.

One of my favorite things about racing was all the support I got from family and friends! Thanks everyone, especially Stephanie for following me around all day on no sleep! And be ready Ironman, I will finish you.



11 comments:

PMG Smith Family said...

You are amazing Marge! I'll be happy if I finally ever do a 10k. We're so proud of you! Maybe next time we'll try to join in with your support crew.

Emily said...

i'm so glad you posted about it! I was wondering and thinking about you all day saturday. i'm so proud of you.

now i know why it took you 11 minutes on your transition. i would have froze to death.

maybe i'll train with you for the next one...if its warm.:)

Fraser's and Co. said...

linked to your blog from Emily's. YOU ROCK. I'll be excited to see how you do in another ironman. I did my first 1/2 last year and have two more planned for this fall.

I went to Chicago for 4 days over spring break. What a fun city. Love your Chicago pics.

margethai said...

Fraser and Co...I am sure you will do great! If you are nailing those 1/2s you are ready for a full! Glad you enjoyed the city. I did too.

cArLa said...

congratulations! i think that is quite a feat! so happy for you!

Brenna said...

Margo! You are amazing! I have a really really good friend that did that race - and got hypothermia in the swim! She fell over after she got out of the water! Way to go on even getting to do the bike!
I am so proud of you.
Really... and I KNOW how hard it is to train for this kind of thing - and then not get to finish. You WILL do it again, and you will finish.
And you already ARE my hero!

Dang we need to talk!

Jenn @ WestSacHoney said...

GREAT JOB GIRL! That's amazing work I'm so sorry you didn't get to finish keep the head up and get them next time!

JDELL'S said...

You rock my boat! Nothin like a 2/3 race like that to pump you up for kick boxing this week huh! Stupid timers!

danielandjamaica said...

I seriously think they should consider extending the bike cut off times on this course. I had 3 out of 4 (including you) friends who got cut at the bike finish. And you probably could have freaking walked a marathon in the time left before midnight. ya know? Anyway... I was feeling for you when we got the news that we wouldn't see you down at the finish.
I HIGHLY doubt I would ever compete, but I do have to say it was an absolutely amazing experience to volunteer. So glad it was such a huge success for our community.
Do you think you'll try a differnt venue? Maybe Tempe?
Just so you know... we're proud of you! You are 2/3's more Ironman than any of us!

you can call me aunt choody said...

Wow. That is really cool. Sad that they didn't let you finish though! But, you already did more miles than I have done in my whole life in one day.

Jules said...

Marg! I found your blog! I didn't know you had one! And I'm glad you did 2/3, and I know you can finish, and I'm excited I saw you on your bike! :)