First IM, first race report, here it goes:
I went into the race wondering if I could finish, how much it was going to hurt, and waaaaay in the back of my mind, could I do well at a distance I couldn’t really get my head around. Most importantly, I wanted to enjoy the entire experience and, per BD’s very timely email, be grateful to have the ability and support to even try.
End of sappy part.
Swim: Madness! people touching me the whole time, not in a good way. I panicked at the first buoy, equal part freaking out about getting pushed around and about how much work was ahead. Karen always has sage advice, and I reminded myself of her tip to break everything down. So I told myself I could definitely get to one more buoy. After that, it was buoy to buoy to shore–and then all over again. The second loop was also a thrash fest, but at that point I was used to all the love taps, and even dished out a few.
Not discussing transition.
Bike: I was very worried about nutrition and literally every single person advised me NOT to get behind on nutrition on the bike. So, I drank my entire aero bottle within 15 minutes of riding, and I started eating right away also. Within the first hour, I had finished half of another bottle. Hello nausea! Took a salt tab and alternated water with my electrolyte drink and eventually solved that problem. Then there was the bottle issue. The Professor (aka the Mayor) had a clever Ponzi scheme whereby he would start with 3 full bottles and then discard them one at a time at aid stations, then get a whole new set of bottles with preferred drink from special needs bag. With that intricate, calculated economic plan, no need to stop or even slow down at bike aid stations. Neat! So, I did what he did. PROBLEM: I am NOT clever and never really understood what was going on with the bottle drop/swap. WHICH MEANT I spent a lot of time on the bike trying to figure out what to do with my bottles. Drink? Toss? Toss my NICE bottles? Wait, why? (As I write this, I’m still not sure why I had to toss the empty bottles, I’ll take that class next semester). Overall, the course wasn’t really that difficult and I was happy to keep my effort measured. It was cold when it rained early on, but otherwise no highs no lows!
Not discussing transition.
Run: First loop= love. Second loop = start to hate, esp the downhill out of town. After mile 18 = please make it stop. There is no question they moved the turnaround on that cruel out and back section once you have crawled back into town. Special needs bags are on that stretch. HA HA. Oh, I’ve got needs. Special needs. But you think they fit into a flippin plastic bag?!
Finish line: no words, especially for a rookie. I was overwhelmed. I even choked up as I ran through town the first time because the crowds were so amazing (and because there was a second loop). The volunteers are incredible; definitely on my bucket list to volunteer for an IM.
Shoot, I meant to make this a short report. Bottom line, it was more than I ever hoped for. I might even do it again one day!