First, I worked on my race report last night and FORGOT the EVIL timeout log off feature of the MMTC site. Needless to say I lost 2 hours of writing a race report. I thought I was going to cry…I will NEVER make that mistake again!
If you read my IMUK race report last year you probably remember me as:
1. The woman who had to spend a lot of time in the bathroom during the run
2. The woman married to the man who’s hand was broken during the swim
Or maybe you know me this year from my self-moniker as the “Running Pharmacy”.
Or if you don’t know me, we’ll have to change that! :)
IMLP training was a lot different for me than IMUK training because Alan and I actually trained with MMTCers and boy are we glad that we did. Century rides are so much more fun with friends and we have some AMAZING friends. We laughed, we cried (from laughing so hard), we sweat, we bonked, we somehow made it through another Ironman. Have to give some shout outs here: Alan, of course my #1 training partner and love of my life, Mike (Alan’s brother from another mother) & Heather P, Kim Sheridan, Dan & Deb, Lisa & Jim, and Mike C. We had some fun riding together. Also thanks to Heidi S for running 21 miles with us when she was only supposed to run 16 that day. You all ROCK!
Ok so here’s my race report…
Last year I had some real GI issues during the run something I was planning to avoid this year. I was armed with an pharmaceutical arsenal – Tums, Imodium, Advil, Salt Tabs – I was determined not to have any explosive episodes. I was armed and ready to do battle.
Also last year, which I consider to be a contributing factor to the explosive episodes was my body’s ability to clear out before the start of the race. I got up at 4 a.m. and ate a Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich (egg white, turkey sausage, cheddar on an English muffin). If you haven’t tried these, I highly recommend them! Got dressed and made sure I had everything I needed in my special needs bags. Went to the bathroom before I left and my body was working with me, if you know what I mean. Alan and I then headed down to the transition area. Got to see Bryan & Moe in transition. AWESOME! Headed down to the special needs drop off, bathroom & then the MMTC tent to say hi to our indisputably the best support crew in the world!
About 20 minutes before the swim start my body kicked into high gear, I was like oh Sh!t….literally I had to go! So off I run to the port-a-loos (that’s what they call them in England) and of course there is a huge line. I’ve got a lot of realizations about port-a-loos, but that’s a conversation for a later time. One thing of note though is why must non-racers be in line when you are just minutes within the start? I know when you gotta go you gotta go but when a bunch of nervous racers gotta go they REALLY have to go and its not the peeing in your wetsuit gotta go. Oh, and I’ve never peed in my wetsuit, believe it or not. Ok, back to my story so I got done with round 2 (way to go body), ran back to the MMTC tent and jumped into my wetsuit and quickly made my way to the swim start with James B, Mike P and Alan – Got to see Kim Sheridan in the swim chute area – Always a great positive person to see to pass along some good vibes, and got into the water with the mass of humanity all with different backgrounds but all with the same goal to become an IRONMAN.
A big difference between IMUK and IMLP is the amount of athletes. In the UK I think there were 1,800 total –BIG difference. I positioned myself in the middle of the pack, probably should of gotten more to the outside because I found myself closer to the left-hand middle side 30 seconds before the start, too late to change at that point. Alan kissed me and the BOOM the cannon went off and so it began.
I really thought I was there to swim but really I was competing in a MMA match and I was getting my butt kicked literally. Arms were flailing, legs were kicking this was unlike no other swim I had participated in. IMUK was tame although Alan may disagree considering someone kicked his hand so hard it broke. So I told myself to KEEP CALM & CARRY ON, which I thought was appropriate considering the London Olympics were upcoming and we were in an Olympic city. So I just kept swimming until 300 meters or so later when there seemed to be a log jam, and people were yelling so I poked my head up and someone was yelling, “STOP STOP SOMEONE IS DOWN!” What??!!! All I could think was, “PLEASE don’t let a dead body come floating by me.” I don’t know what exactly happened but I heard that a guy was unconscious and a woman had a heart attack. Hopefully neither is true but something happened.
So the swim went like this first loop a bit faster than the second, fighting with people the whole way getting kicked, hit, scratched, pushed (people would push your legs under, I mean, really, do you really have to do that). Got out to get back into the second loop and thought I’d run to get back in WRONG people were walking a trying to get around them was near impossible. Got back in for Round 2 and I had this big guy trying to beat me into submission. Wacking me in the back of the head, the back the legs, JUDAS PRIEST dude, I wanted to kick him in the face but I just started kicking as hard as I could and FINALLY got in front of him.
SWIM 2:10/100 1:24:04 – A bit slower than last year when I had hoped to be faster but considering I included 2 MMA bouts during the swim, I’ll take it.
Kathi Cover & Loretta Trumble were my T1 angels – Helping me with everything – putting on my shoes my race belt – I felt like a rockstar! Next putting on some Hoo Ha cream and running out to get my bike. I, unlike Alan didn’t high five Kathi or Loretta and I am sure they are thankful for that!
The IMLP bike course is a good one; equal parts hills & flats and beautiful scenery. The first loop went really well, I probably went out too hard. Having watch the Coach Troy Spinerval preview of the course I tried not to hammer it on the flats but looking down at my Garmin I caught myself going 24 mph on the flat at one point so I made myself slow up but I’m not one to constantly look at my Garmin I try to go on feel. I also stopped wearing my heart rate strap because of this and that it always seems to rub me raw during the run creating an unwanted third nipple.
There is nothing like riding your bike. Wind in your face, the beauty of the scenery around you, the sound of your wheels, I love everything about it. Coming through that first loop and the roar of the crowd, the MMTC folks cheering like crazy and taking totally EPIC photos! And Susie Montoya, girl you have some pipes on you!
The second loop was definitely harder because you are no longer fresh (this goes for how you smell as well) and the wind had kicked up. The first time up the Bears, I owned them, the second time Papa Bear packed a punch, I was a bit winded but I knew the bike was about to end.
So a couple of things of note about the bike – Alan and I decided to switch to Infinite after going to the expo. I know that is a NO NO but it was a gamble that paid off. Love that stuff but I do think I need to add more salt. I’m a massive salty sweater. When it is hot out I don’t even have to be doing any physical activity and my body starts sweating, it’s kind of annoying as you don’t know how many white shirts I have ruined and I can’t seem to find the right hydration balance as I came off the bike feeling a bit dehydrated. I also supplemented with bananas and honey stinger chews and 1 bonk bar at about mile 90. The other thing is a got the WORST cramp on the side of my right foot. Not sure if it was cleat or loose shoe issue but it started around mile 70ish and never went away plaguing me on the run.
BIKE: 6:31:01 17.19 mph – Faster over my IMUK time by over 20 minutes
T2: 9:34 – Slow but not as slow as last year but here is why. My feet are blister prone and I wanted to ward them off as much as possible so I loaded my fresh pair of socks with baby powder, band- aided my known hot spots, and lubed up my feet with Aquaphor. I also had to figure out where to put my pharmaceutical arsenal, which I decided to put inside the front of my tri top. (You can kind of see it through my top in some of my pictures as I had some bandage tape that stood out like some kind of weird tumor on my stomach.) Stopped at the port-a-loo and off I went.
The best part of the run was that I didn’t have the crazy GI issue I had at IMUK from overloading on CarboPro. I wasn’t 100% though, but is anybody? My foot was killing me and I was trying to rehydrate and refuel as I was running a bit on empty. I decided to run / walk even though I didn’t train that way. I figured however I did it, I would be faster than last year and that’s all that mattered. I kind of knew I wasn’t going to meet my stretch goal but was hoping to be within the 13 hour zone. It was great seeing so many of my friends out there on the course. I event got to see Suzy on her second lap and got to see Alan a couple times getting a kiss while he was running up a hill and I was running down. The run was much hillier than I anticipated even though people told me it was hilly I was thinking Half Full hilly…No, it’s hillier than that especially coming into town…kind of sadistic if you ask me, but who’s asking? ☺ So other than trying to keep cool, drinking massive amount of chicken broth since nothing else was setting well in my stomach that was tired of bananas, sports drinks, energy chews and when I tried to eat pretzels they just turned into a doughy clump in my mouth so I spit them out. Somehow I got through on the chicken broth. Of course coming into town is great, getting to see the MMTCers at the tent gets you reenergized to go out on the second loop but once you leave town its kind of lonely. You see lots of walking and Ironman shuffling and it’s not the LMFAO kind of shuffling either, it’s do everything you can to keep your feet moving without falling over shuffling.
The last 3 miles seems to take forever, probably because 2 miles of it seem to be uphill, sadistic, I’m telling you. But once you get to that last mile you know you are about to become an Ironman so you just go. Once in the oval I was trying to take everything in the roar of the crowd, the flashing cameras, the electric energy, the smell of victory or is that the smell of your own sweaty body? You see the finish line the clock time and you kick it in like you were running a 5K or for some like they are running a 100 meter dash. As you reach the finish line you hear Mike Riley say the words you’ve been waiting for all day and in my case, “Rachel Wiederhold, YOU. ARE. AN. IRONMAN!!!” Why yes, yes I am and I’m damn proud of it!
Run: 5:14:34 12:00/mile
Overall: 13:26:40 – A PR by 1:11 – Not too shabby!
The key difference in this Ironman was having the MMTC family as our training partners, personal sherpas, cheerleaders, cooks, and companions the entire weekend. Thanks to everyone who watched our stuff in the MMTC tent, cooked us food, provided encouragement and FRIENDSHIP, handed off water bottles, cheered, high fived (don’t do that with Alan you might get an un-welcomed surprise), held my pharmaceutical bag & sunglasses, rounded up Advil & Coke (the liquid variety not the white powdery stuff), got food, took bikes & T1 & T2 bags to our room, picked up morning clothes, and served as human crutches! If I tried to mentioned everyone I know I would miss someone - You know who you are and I LOVE you!