Woke up this morning having completed IRONMAN Texas 70.3. I am not going to say I “just did a half Ironman” – it was hard. Grueling. Kind of scary. But I finished in the allotted time, crossed the finish line and became an IRONMAN.
Had a really great swim – felt really comfortable in the water and got out feeling great. The water was kind of choppy so very glad I had done that last minute conroe swim Thursday night where the water was sort of the same.
Nothing previously could have prepared me for the wind I was going to have to face on the bike. Had a short practice session on the sea wall Saturday morning, but it was absolutely fierce. Just hung in there and did the best I could – rode at about 14 mph out and back around 13.5 – wind was more of a factor coming in. I was so happy to come back in and have so many Finish Strong teammates and David there cheering me in. Meeting the bike cut off (if you don’t get to a certain point by a certain time you can’t advance and get a Did Not Finish) was absolutely a goal for me here, so very very happy to have had this ride, even though comparatively it’s not impressive. I have a long way to improve here.
Got off the bike and thought I was home free. Started to run and felt terrible cramps on both sides of my stomach. I can tell you I literally have never had this happen before. So I stopped at every aid station to drink 2 gatorades and tried to stay calm. Ran the entire time the first of the three run loops. Second one I walked through the aid stations and slowed down quite a bit. But then just sheer determination kicked in to get it finished. Thinking my power on the bike was higher than it had ever been due to the wind and maybe I hadn’t taken in enough water for all the GU and gel blocks I had taken.
But I toughed it out and I really can’t even describe the feeling of crossing that finish line – PURE JOY. All the pain, the hundreds of hours of training, all the aches and scrapes and broken ankle; all of that just goes away and you know you have done something you once never even remotely considered a possibility just happened.
This happened because of excellent training. Thank you Dana Lyons for telling me what I needed to do. Thank you to my amazing teammates from Finish Strong Coaching for all their support and advice. Training partner Ivonne Vandanam; thank you for making this journey fun and I’m looking forward to the next year of training for IMTX 2018 with you!!! David Perry you are absolutely my soulmate and I love you so much for being supportive of all of this craziness.
I have 12 months and 3 weeks to prepare for the full IRONMAN TEXAS 2018. I plan to do another half before then. I know my IRONMAN journey is still a long road in front of me. I have SO MUCH MORE to learn about this sport; so much more training to do; so much more to learn about properly fueling my body. But I’ve conquered this BIG step and it was a giant leap.