Monday, October 25, 2010

Ironman Austin 70.3 Race Report: Part 3-The Thrilling Conclusion!


If you missed the re-cap of the bike leg, STOP READING RIGHT NOW and scroll down to get all the details of how I pissed all down my leg and was happy that I did. Just because I turned 40 did not mean that I developed incontinence overnight. No, this is trained incontinence.

When we last left off, I was running out of T2 and still pissing down my leg. As I ran over the timing mat I was glad to see an aid station right at the start of the run course where I could grab three sponges soaked in cold water to stuff down my tri top to keep cool and to grab a cup of PowerBar Endurance drink to get some calories and electrolytes in me. Running down the hill to the turn that took us out of the Travis County Expo complex and towards Walter E. Long park I saw a bunch of my Team in Training friends cheering me on among the crowds of people that were lining the road. They offered me a beer and I told them I would think about it when I came back by for loop #2.

Before exiting the Expo complex I ran up on a guy who was limping and grabbing his hamstring. I asked him if he needed some salt. He perked up like I had asked him if he had needed Beyonce to sing personally to him. He started running with me and I dug out two S-Caps for him to take. He was very thankful and told me good luck as I kept going. The sun was out and the temperature was hot. I had to pay attention to my salt and hydration as well. I took a cup of water at the aid station to drink and another to dump over my head.
Feeling great heading out on the run!

The road out to Walter E. Long park is hilly. I passed one or two people on a downhill and saw the fast pro racers coming back for their finish or their second loop. I just kept putting one foot in front of another. I knew at the top of the second big hill that I was going to have to control my heart rate and not let it get too high. I did not want to hit the wall on this run. We entered the park and I told myself that I would walk the aid station to get some fluids and to lower my heart rate.

As I walked the aid station I saw that 24 year-old draft queen walking from the bike course walking the aid station as well. I told myself that I could probably take her on the run. After finishing my fluids I got running again. The course went from pavement to grass. Normally I hate running on grass. I have always felt S--L--O--W running on trail and grass. I am not sure what kind of super-human transformation has taken place over the summer but once I hit the grass I felt like I sped up without too much extra effort. Now I was speeding by all of these fast looking men and I could hear a few grunts as I passed them up and they tried to hang with me. We had a downhill with wood chips, larger rocks, ruts, and roots covering the trail. I heard some guy tell me to be careful and not trip and hurt myself. I told him thanks and leaped over a rut and dashed around the corner. I knew he was not in the know that I did a bunch of trail running in Breckenridge over the summer. This trail was easy compared to some of the trails I faced at 9,000+ feet of altitude. Time for some Shot Bloks!

How....How in the world was I passing all of these people??? I did not feel like I was running that fast but I guess I was running faster than most of these guys and gals. At the next aid station I grabbed some PowerBar Endurance sports drink and took the time to walk and drink a full cup. Once I got running again, I was able to easily pass up the people who got the jump on me through the aid station. The trail took us back out to the edge of the park where we ran along the fence line and then we took a turn left and proceeded to run down a LONG downhill that a few years ago when I did this race, we ran up it. I kept my eyes on the ground to not hit a rut or a root wrong and I was able to move around a few more people. I was especially pleased to dash by an Air Force Academy Cadet who had passed me on the bike.

At the bottom of the hill I paused at the aid station to grab four cups of ice which I proceeded to dump down the top of my sports bra and to grab some water. I started to run, but the ice was jumping out of my top. I decided to walk and keep my heart rate under control. The uphill was long and I kept pumping my arms to make it a brisk hike rather than a slow walk. There was a race announcer at the top of the hill calling out people's names and encouraging people for their hard work running up the hill. And then he saw me walking. "HEY!!! TEAM IN TRAINING LADY!!! I DON'T WANT TO SEE YOU WALKING!!! COME ON, SHOW ME WHAT YOU'VE GOT!!!" I cussed him out and got running again. We had a down hill and a flat section that I would be able to regulate my heart rate on. The ice in my top was keeping me cool and rattling and clinking along.
Getting ready to exit the park on the first loop...

There was a little uphill to the next aid station and I decided that I needed to take some salt to keep my calf that cramped in the swim happy. We wove our way through the park and up a steep loop towards the last aid station before we exited the park and headed back to the Expo Center. After a cup of water and a brief walk, I got back on the road and running against a heavy flow of athletes heading to the park for their first loop. I was happy to be heading to the start of my second loop. I did great on the hills back to the Expo Center. How was I feeling this good and doing this well. The miles kept ticking off. I was approaching the turn to head to the area where all the spectators and tents were set up. My Team in Training buddies were going crazy when I came around the corner. It was great to get some love. Up the hill I got some more love from other Team in Training group from Nebraska. All of the spectators were fantastic!
Getting ready to make the turn around for loop 2...

I got to the turn around and began the second loop and picked up more cold sponges for my top and to wipe my face off. On the way back out, James, Rochelle, Laura, Kevin, Andy, and others were cheering me on and telling me I looked strong. On the way out of the Expo center I had someone run up beside me and said, "GO TEAM!" I said thanks and looked over and realized that it was my good friend Ryan. He told me he had a flat on the bike and his stomach was sloshy feeling and he was going to run with me for a while. We chatted and I could tell that what was an easy pace for Ryan was a fast pace for me. I told him to head on so I would not slow him down and that I would see him at the finish line.
Heading out on loop 2.

Now that the course was packed I had to stay to the left to be passing people on the hills out to the park. I saw TNT people and gave them a "GO TEAM!" As I was heading up the hill right before the park I thought about stopping to walk but I kept telling myself to plug along and I would be on grass soon enough. It was like a switch had been flipped when I hit the grass. I either kept my pace or I sped up but I was passing people! I forged on. My ice was now gone from my tri top and I knew I needed to get more. At the next aid station I got two cups and poured them down my sports bra and grabbed a cup of PowerBar Endurance formula sports drink and gulped it down. I got running again and played fishing to reel people in and pass them up.

After zooming down the Quadzilla hill and coming around to the uphill I told myself that I was not going to walk it and have the announcer guy call me out. I looked down so the brim of my hat hid the view of the hill from me but gave me enough of a view to see if I was running up on people's feet. I was running pitifully slow but no one passed me and I passed tons of people on the way up that hill. It was such a victory to make it to the top. I slurped some water out of my Fuel Belt and kept running. On the way the next aid station I saw my Austin buddy Carrie on her mountain bike riding along the course. I gave her a shout out and she was surprised to see me. I kept running and soon Carrie was pedaling right along side of me telling me how strong I was looking. I told her that unless I blew up in the last two miles that I had left, I was going to have a big PR. She told me to keep going and asked if I wanted to go out to dinner later. HELL YEAH!!!
Do I look like a running BAD ASS or what???

2 Miles! 2 Miles left!! Only 2 Miles to go!!! I ran up the steep little hill before exiting the park and grabbed one more cup of PowerBar Endurance Formula drink and crossed the last of the grass back to the pavement. I had been giving shout outs to TNT people as I saw them and I think on the way back in I saw more since there were a lot of people out running the course now. On the hill up to the Expo Center someone had put up another great banner and picture of Coach Allen Salinas on the side of the road. It was not there on my first loop that I could recall. I was so glad to see that someone who loved Allen and someone from the FLEET family had paid tribute to him this way.
Heading to the Finisher's Chute!

One mile left. I passed the last aid station and took a swig off of my Fuel Belt bottles. I knew that this was the time to start getting rid of sponges that I had stuffed in my tri top and to get ready for the photos at the Finish Line. I ran past my TNT buds one more time. They were awesome! I cannot thank them enough for being out there and cheering for me. I love you guys and gals!!! A quarter mile left to go. After getting big cheers up that little slope from all the spectators I entered the Finisher's chute and got more cheers. Up hill...ugh! last one..., down hill...., around the bend and into the dark entrance of the Arena with spectators cheering for us on the bridge above us. YAHOO!!!
Take 20 minutes off the clock time!
PR BABY!!!

The music was pumping and the crowds were cheering as I ran across the Finish Line. I had no idea what my finishing time was but I knew that it was a new Personal Record. Whoo Hoo!!! I got my medal and finisher's hat and went promptly back to sign up for a massage. Ryan found me and gave me a big hug and said I looked really strong at the finish. And then, like a dummy, I started bawling my eyes out. Some guy got out of his chair and made me sit down and put my head between my knees and take deep breaths. I was so happy just a second ago, why in the hell was I crying? ARHG!!! I had to pull it together and stop being a dang girl. That only lasted for about 2 minutes and then I was back to normal.....I guess. I kicked off my Newtons and noticed that I had run hard enough to put two holes in my sock on my right foot. I got a great massage from a guy that looked like he had played football at the University of Texas in the past year or two. He was a brick wall! He kept on asking me if he was working too hard on my leg muscles. I told him that I may look little, but it would take a lot to break me. After that, it was time to find some food. You know you are in Austin when there is BBQ and Black Bean patties served in the food line. The shredded BBQ beef/pork did not look that appetizing but I knew I had to eat something. I got the sandwich, slapped some pickles on it, and grabbed a bag of potato chips. Rochelle found me and gave me a foil blanket to wrap up in. As hot as it was outside I was starting to chill inside the air conditioned arena in my wet gear. I took a bite of the BBQ sandwich and it was the most delicious sandwich I could have asked for at that moment.

After finishing off the sandwich I went to go check out the preliminary times that were posted on the wall...

5:33:39!!! HOT DAMN!!! A 14+ minute PR!!!

Swim- 38:01 1:58 min/100 m. Meh, ok. Not my best but I could have done better

T1- 4:04 Zzzz....

Bike- 2:51:20 19.6 mph average on the bike!!! YES...And I had been holding back!

T2- 3:03 Zzzz... again....

Run- 1:57:11 HOLY S--T!!! 8:57 min/mile!!! AND THAT WAS WITH WALKING BREAKS!!!

That is my second fastest half marathon EVER!!!

Here is the best part.... wait for it...

wait for it...

wait...

13th in my Age Group and the 8th fastest run in my age group out of 95 participants!!! When did I become a fast chick??!!??

I was all smiles! I went to gather up my gear bags at the Expo hall and take them back to my car. On the way to my car I saw Kathleen again and she gave me a big hug for my accomplishment. I saw my TNT buddies Lauren and Caroline who had recently finished. We had all done very well. I passed on the beer they offered me because I was holding out for a Mojito. I went on back to the arena to wait for a few more TNT people to finish up and to wait for my training buddy Greyhound. He had started in a wave that got going almost an hour after mine so I knew he would appreciate someone waiting around for him at the finish line.
With my special girl-friend Lauren who will be racing Ironman Cozumel next month.

After seeing Greyhound cross the finish line I gathered up my bike and the last of my gear and ran them to the car. Yes, I ran. I had to hurry back to see if there was a possibility of getting a roll down slot to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships next year in Las Vegas. Sadly, all the slots in my age group were snapped up. So now it was time to run to the car and get to the hotel and clean up to Carrie, Shawn, and Greyhound for a celebratory dinner in 75 minutes. I would have to move fast and use quite a bit of smoke and mirrors to look presentable for dinner.

Yes, I got that Mojito...and another...and White Chocolate Bread Pudding for dessert. I celebrated!

Well now that the season is over and I can be a slug, I am ready to get a plan from my coach. I think that racing some 5K's over the next few weeks is on the boards as well as recovering well. I want to thank all the people who have made the 2010 race season amazing for me. Thank you to Dr. Lehman for taking care of my knee issues and discovering that I had a huge Vitamin D deficientcy back in February. Thanks to my coach Anthony Humpage for putting together a training program that not only made me stronger, but made me faster. Thank you to my bike mechanic Bill Duckworth and David Cycles for dealing with all my broken wheel rims and for the use of the bike case to take my bike to Breckenridge for altitude camp. Thank you to Dr. Hasenbank for putting me back together every time I fell off my bike or slept wrong and jacked up my neck. Thanks to Kimberly for all the fantastic Raindrop Therapy sessions that kept me healthy and able to train. Thank you to my most awesome training partner Greyhound for swimming, biking, and running with me and to his family for inviting me and my kid to Chez Greyhound in Breckenridge for summer camp. Thanks to my Dad and Step mom for watching my kid while I raced. Thanks to my Team in Training friends for being my cheerleaders out there on the course. Thank you to YOU--my blog readers for all of your supportive and funny comments on my adventures over the past years and months. Last but not least, thanks to El Esposo for his support. He has not seen me race in a very long time due to his travel with work but I always get a good luck message before a race on my iPhone. I would thank sponsors, but I don't have any. If you would like to sponsor me, drop me an e-mail!

I have been enjoying my time off and recovery, but I have already started running and riding my bike a little at very low Zone 1-2 levels.

But the adventures do not stop with this. I have some exciting things that are coming together for next month so stay tuned. It involves some swimming, biking, and running!

Later Gators!

Liz

9 comments:

Bertie said...

Definitely a great race!Good job not falling off of your bike... that might have chipped away from your PR!!!
ENJOY the recovery time :)

Christi said...

Great race report! I am very happy for you and all your accomplishments! I can't wait to hear about what is on tap for next month!

Jamie said...

The wait for this final post was all worth it! I couldn't read it fast enough. It was getting my heart a-thumping.

Congrats again!

Tea said...

WOW---(took me awhile to get to your report! I saw your finish time online and didn't realize what a HUGE PR this was!)

What a fantastic effort! I am so happy for you!! (And pee'ing....made me laugh. At CDA, one of the pro's passed me and sprayed me. So ummm yea...if you can keep it to yourself, the slower people appreciate it.)

Spokane Al said...

I needed to take some time and read and digest your report and enjoyed it very much.

Congratulations on everything coming together - we know the reason was hard work and planning.

And congratulations on a terrific race and a PR. It does not get much better than that!

vibram said...

Wow! Great run..Congrats on the race..great job..keep it up..Good luck on your next race.

Regina said...

Great RR, all three parts. I also try to hide hills under the brim of my hat; if I don't see it, it isn't there (as if).

grea PR, congrats!!

I know the peeing thing too well, thank you childbirth!

Go Team!!!!

Ryan said...

PR = AWESOME!

Bike peeing is a skill but run peeing is a really tough skill to master. I am proud to day that I can run a 7:20 while peeing... only during racing though.

Kim said...

awesome PR girlfriend!!! i peed when running just once - you just gotta go with it. good girl!