the photos are all the prep for the big day! some serious business. and organization!
i owe a big thank you to the Openshaw family for opening up their home to my family. and a big thank you to my family: justin, megan, grant and my mom for being there to support me!
i made it through half an ironman. the swim, bike and 3 miles of the run. it wasnt the day i had replayed in my mind over and over again getting ready. but things happen and i knew stopping was the smartest decision to make.
i had an okay swim. that mass start is brutal. ive been in other mass starts but have never been so clobbered in my life! guys were literally swimming on top of me! i had a slight panic attack at the first buoy, did a little backstroke to re-group and then swam the entire course on the inside of the buoy line! not that smart because i did not draft at all... but i figured it was faster then getting swum on top of or hit from the side! i actually did not mind getting out of the water to re-entry to do the second loop! its nice that the swim is double the distance for us 'swimmers.' i came into T-1 with a few other girls from my age group. i passed them out of transition and caught a few other '26's' early on my ride.
the ride was awesome! coeur d alene is mostly flat. then we get near hayden lake where it is all rolling hills, awesome views and country roads. i was a bit hesitate on the first loop for 2 reasons:
1. my bike was making some horrible screeching noise i did not hear the two days prior. i thought the entire ride that my frame was cracking. i even stopped twice to check out my bike because i had no idea what the noise was. still do not know. 2. there were SO many guys passing me. ag-ro guys. the kind that bomb down hills and do not expect 'cautious colleen' to be around the next turn. i do not take descents fast nor do i corner fast. not a good combo for with the ag-ros...
the second loop i was really looking forward to for the opposite reasons. less ag-ro guys around me and i knew what to expect more on the descents, hills, etc. everything was good until about mile 70ish... my low back started feeling tight. painful tight. i sat up. i stood up. and sat up more. nothing helped! i rode for 2.5 hours with pain that was close to bringing me to tears at some points. i am sure the emotional stress of 'my ironman' was part of the tears but really it was so painful.... also frustrating to know i was sitting up (which is slower) where i normally would not have to...
i got off the bike and knew i had had a great ride. my legs felt good and i knew my nutrition was right on. everything good- a bit tired good- but my back. i saw justin right out of T-2 and i stopped to walk and told him what was up. he said to keep going and just walk if i need to. i jogged/ran the first 3 miles until i felt like i got punched in my low back. it totally seized up on me. i tried walking another 1/2 mile hoping it was a random cramp that would pass. it hurt too much and i knew it was from the same pain i had on the bike. all i could think of that would help was laying on ice. and so thats what i did. called it a day on ironman because i did not want to risk serious injury or walk 26 miles in pain.
i am bummed. i am bummed i did not finish what i set out to do. my goal was to leave idaho an ironman. looking back i cannot help thinking 'should i have kept trying to walk?' but i knew i had already been in pain for almost 3hrs. another 4, 5 or 6 did not seem worth it. i am not sure why my back gave me such problems. because it was so early on the bike, and i have never experienced the pain in training, i do not think it was being in my aero bars. i really think my lack of long swims, in a wetsuit, may have been a source for the fatigue.
moving on... i am off to a massage to work out the kinks in my back. i am also trying to plan the remainder of my season. i am working on project 'ironman round 2' so stay tuned!
to your health,