Ironman Muncie has come and gone! Yesterday was a big day, lots to report, so lets start from the beginning..
Woke up at 3am. Oh wait, technically I woke up at 1:45 and then again at 2:00am for a couple middle of the night bathroom visits. TMI, but those of you in the sport understand what I’m saying (and those of you not in the sport probably have a pretty good idea). Then I fell back asleep until 3/3:15am. We were on the road by 4:15am after some breakfast and chatting with the sitter (aka Aunt Kellie). It was a chilly jeep ride up, but hubs prepared me by buying me a new hooded sweatshirt and long sleeve T, so with those on and a blanket on my legs, I was comfy. We had pre-paid $10 to park at someones yard right across the street from the bike transition, so on race morning, we were able to show our parking pass and drive right in, that was awesome. Came in very handy to be that close after the race.
I got my bike gear set up, stood in line at the port a pots, walked around, talked and just tried to control my nerves. We walked out to the water and I started feeling really anxious. The pros were getting ready to start, everyone was there and I was starting to feel nauseated. After the pros took off, I got in the water for a warm-up swim and it was about the best thing I did. I instantly relaxed, nerves were gone. I found my comfort once I got out of my head and stopped thinking about this as a race, it was just a swim. And then just a bike ride. And then just a run. I just happened to be doing them one after the other.
I was in the 7:35am wave start with the other 35-39 age ladies, which also happens to be the crowd of ladies I know, so was able to chat with them while we were standing waiting for our turn to dive in. My plan was to stay left so I would be out of traffic and I’m a right-sided breather, so I could sight the other swimmers and the buoys. I think I got a little too far left though because I was really alone and way too close to the boats. Swam through some fuel/exhaust for a bit of the swim on the way back, not cool. Two months ago, I was still panicking during OWS (open water swims). And yesterday I was able to swim 1.2 miles totally comfortable. No panic, no fear. Just the sound of Dory saying ‘just keep swimming, just keep swimming.’ I am amazed at how far God has brought me. From panic and fear to freedom and bravery. I faced a fear and with His mighty hands, crushed it. I pray the same thing before each OWS and that is for God to replace my fear/anxiety with the Holy Spirit. He casts out all fear and He prevailed BIG TIME for me on race day. I completed the swim in 42:49, which was under my goal of 45 minutes. It’s not fast by any means, but it felt comfortable and that was all I was shooting for. The race was wet suit legal, so a wet suit I wore. As you exit the water, they have wet suit strippers (which I found out later was the Muncie Central Football team – what a cool volunteer thing to do!) Those high school dudes ripped that wetsuit off my legs faster than had ever occurred before, saved me about a minute of struggling with it myself.
Then it was off for the bike!
I spent the next 56 miles (3 hours and 13 minutes) thinking about 2 main things. 1. how very badly I had to pee 2. how much my tush hurt. I should have stopped in transition or at any of the 3 aid stations to go to the port a pot, but I didn’t want to stop, I wanted to keep going. Bad decision. Next time, I will just stop because it became a bit painful. Anyway, about mile 20 my backside was more sore than what I had anticipated. I shifted in my seat often, I don’t have aero bars, so I couldn’t really change the way I was sitting. So, I started talking with God, asking Him if He would mind taking away this discomfort. He had already given me a great swim, thought I’d try my luck on the bike too. He was ever faithful and next thing I knew after a few miles of praying, I wasn’t as sore and my speed had increased. I also tried to negotiate with him about how my bladder could reabsorb the pee and it be used for additional hydration, but he did not agree with me on that physiology change. I averaged 17.41 on the bike which is acceptable. I’m sure I could do 18mph and still have had a successful run, but this was my first time out and I didn’t know how hard to go on the bike without killing myself on the run.
This picture was taken at the beginning of the run, I had just come out of transition and was heading straight for my man. It’s a bit of a downhill, so my quads were flexing which made for a great pic! I gave him a quick hug and kiss, he ran with me for a bit and told me to slow down, said I was going too fast. I think I ran the first few miles at an 8 something pace and then slowed to the 9’s around mile 3. I tried to just listen to my body and find my comfort pace. About mile 5 I was starting to feel a little low on energy, fortunately, they had cola at the mile 5 aid station. I hadn’t ever trained with cola on a run, so I only took a couple sips in case this plan backfired. It was like crack for me (or at least what I imagine crack would be like). I sped through the next 2 miles and was at the turn around before I knew what hit me. That saved me for the first part of the run and the other great save I found early in the run was pouring a cup of ice down my tri top. It did make a funny swish swish swish sound as I ran, but I heard several other ladies making the same swishing sound. The ice kept me cool(er) and I just kept this process up at every aid station. About mile 9 or 10 I started walking the aid stations. I would walk from the first cone to the last and then right back to my running. I saw several friends along the way, cheered for them, prayed for them, attempted to high-five them (Connie you know what I’m talking about:) It was hillier than I had trained and it was hard, but I managed to complete the run in 2:06 which was a 9:38 pace overall. These pics were taken by some friends at the end of the run. Hubs came running along side me, I could hear the crowd, he told me he’d meet me at the finish, now that was a GREAT feeling!
My overall finish time was 6:10:43, put me 875 overall and 42 in my age group. My goal was to do between 6 and 6.5 hours. A finish time of 6:10 put me on the faster end of my goal, so I was very pleased with the day.
I absolutely fell in love with my husband even more after this event. He helped prepare me for race day, starting 20 weeks ago when I started my training plan. He gave me tips each week (each day really), listened to me talk about my swim/bike/run, watched the kids while I was gone for 2-3 hours, gave me articles to review and videos to watch which all gave tips on triathlon. Race morning, he had the car packed, had reviewed my gear with me, he was just so prepared and it left me with nothing to stress/fret about. He was encouraging and supportive every time he saw me and when not with me, was sending texts, FB updates to friends/family. After I finished, I did ok for about 30 minutes, then my body began to reject my lack of nutrition/hydration. I was circling the drain. We started to walk to the car so I could change my clothes, made it about halfway when I laid down in the grass under a tree (for the shade). Got back up about 15 minutes later and made it to the car where I proceeded to pull a blanket from the car, lay it in the grass and lay down on my stomach for about the next 30 minutes. During this time, Jason retrieved my bike and all my stuff in transition. He repeatedly offered a variety of snacks/drinks which I mostly turned down, but did nibble on a few items. I wanted watermelon more than anything! We decided to just hit the road and head home at that point. I laid the seat back in the jeep and curled up in a ball. About halfway home, he stopped at subway for some grub. I sat up, feeling a little better, sipped some apple juice and ate a few bites of bread and next thing I knew, I was back! I started talking his ear off and telling him all about the race. Poor guy probably missed sick-Lisa, because recovered-Lisa was a chatterbox!
I learned a lot about myself, triathlons, people who do triathlons. I am SO THANKFUL for the prayers, words of encouragement and congratulations I received from friends/family. God has given me a great network of people to live this earthly life with and my cup runneth over.
So, what’s next on the agenda…. Focus will be on Jason’s Florida IM in November. I’m going to lay low, keep working out, and my goal is to see him through IM FL. After the race I said doing a full IM was ridiculous, didn’t know how anyone does it, never want to do it myself. Fast forward to the car ride to church this morning and the words coming out of my mouth, ‘yeah I think I’ll do a full one day.’ Amazing how the mind changes when the pain of yesterday is forgotten.