Friday, May 7, 2010

IMSG: Chapters 3, 4, 5, & 6



ok, i'm on the bike course and pretty happy. my legs feel nice and i'm cruising along. i started eating a couple clif bloks by mile 8 and part of a luna bar as i was kind of hungry. right away, i'm hovering around my target heart rate and it seems pretty manageable. i'm stoked! this is ironman and i am doing it!

Chapter 3: the long ride: mile 12- all carbed up and nowhere to go
at mile 12 i am climbing up a roller and hear that canon/firecracker sound and i know it's me. it's my rear whee. D'OH! i'm rolling up to an intersection with lots of spectators and policemen and i pull over there. everyone says they are sorry and a nice man comes to help. i assure them it's no problem, and 5 minutes in ironman is no big deal. i also am carrying plenty of tubes. i had flatted the week prior and although it took 3 girls 30 minutes to put my rear wheel back on (horizontal dropouts of something), i was glad for the practice and knew what to do. as we're taking off the tire and putting in the tube, it takes a few minutes to realize what has really happened. there is a large 2-3 inch gash- looks like a big skid out but i don't remember skidding out.

crap. i'm so very sad inside but you'd never know it. i realize how little my tire problem is in the scheme of life and things and REAL problems. i'm all, "these things happen", "it will be okay" and the policeman calls the course support and someone radios for someone and says someone is on their way. sweet. well, sweet for the first 15 minutes. then i'm getting a little antsy. i call james from a nice spectators phone. she says she has free minutes for the weekend. phew :). james is pretty surprised to hear from his wife who he thinks is doing ironman. i try to sound upbeat. at the time, i think he is more bummed than me. after a while longer, a man in a truck arrives. he is course support like a SAG wagon but not a bike tech. he has tubes, but no tire. so nothing for me. takes a few trips back to his truck to figure out that he has no tire, but nope. more waiting for hopefully someone to come. after about 40 minutes in, its clear no one else is coming and i use some bar tape to try to patch it. but its kind of hard to patch this
with a little bit of bar tape :)

Chapter 4: miles 13-19: how to ride the rim (or how not to)
i call james again and let him know my plan: patch and roll. i'll give it a shot. i patch it up nice, it looks okay and i put in a tube and it holds. i am proud. i roll away, only to realize less than a mile later that it's completely flat. i throw a little C02 in and go another mile until i'm on the rim again. rinse and repeat for the next 8 miles. i stopped a few times and called james some more from different spectator phones, trying to see if he can come and save me (thank you John Hirsch (mile 17) for letting me use your phone that was almost dead. if you ever google your name, maybe this will come up and you'll see my thanks). i was starting to realize my day might be over because i would not be able to descend on this tire. all carbed up and nowhere to go is not a good feeling. spinning along, watching the race go by.

Chapter 5: knowing someone who knows someone
at mile 20, i roll up on jake from Zoot. now, jake has taken care of me with shoes, wetsuits and awesome gear, but little did he know he'd be taking care of me during ironman! i pull over, "hey!" jake is confused and i point to the tire. no longer confused. jake tells me he knows greg (the guy who pumped my tires in the morning!) and greg is on the course and will get someone there. i don't know if i was excited or nervous. wait, now i might have to do this? would i even make the bike cutoff? jake gets greg on the line and greg calls taz (who is doing amateur support). taz says she'll be on her way shortly. i don't really get my hopes up (heard that before :) ). i know it is not the race support fault that i don't have immediate service, it's not their fault i don't have a 700cc tire. Jake and i have a quick sponsor meeting :) and take some photos.

thanks jake, you're my hero!!!



i'm still not eating or drinking because i'm already a little horrified that i have consumed so many carbs for nothing. i'm not resuming the race plan until i'm back in the race. so we chill, and Taz arrives. she ROCKS! she loans me a new tire and gets it done in a flash. i can tell she's having a tough day too- there are only 2 bike techs for all 2,000 amateurs (because 2 of them must follow the male and female pro leaders) and she has been dealing with incidents, including medicals along the way. i call james one last time and tell him i'm headed for town (james is at mile 23) and will see him in a few. the one thought i can remember passing through my head the whole time from miles 12-20 was "i wish i had my iphone in my bento box". the rest is kind of a blur.

chapter 6: If you can't beat 'em, join em & good one-liners for the crowd
holy crap. i'm back on the bike and not sure what to do. so i pedal and figure i'll figure it all out while i have a nice ride and explore the course. no expectations. just ride. try to enjoy it. make the best of a botched day. i realized long ago around mile 12 that i will not win today and i tell myself, "so, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em". over the next two miles, i realize that there are plenty of people still out here and i can make today a 5-month early dress rehersal for Kona. i can try all my nutrition, see how my heart rate holds up or drifts, and just learn about ironman. today is not my day. but i can still have a good time. and all these people around me might not be moving as fast as the folks at the front, but they're out they're having their day and am i going to tell myself i'm too good for the back of the pack and just quit? hells no. i FINALLY get to james at mile 23, at least 90 minutes later than anticipated (but i am in a time warp and have no concept of how long its been becuase it feels much longer). i know how bad james feels for me so i want to make him feel better. i roll by and ask,
"Hey babe! Am I winning?"
and he snapped the photo. i think that one is my favorite.

19 comments:

Stephanie said...

After reading this and texting with him before/during/after the tire incident, I can tell you without a doubt that he was more bummed. Again - great job!!

Taiwan-Teacher said...

Girl- you are awesome. I don't know if you edited out any freak-outs, but to be so kind and encouraging to spectators and techs is a special thing. You deserve all your success!

beth said...

Taiwan-Teacher- HAHA! nope, no edits. only INSIDE my head. i felt like i owed it to the nice people who opened their town and those that were just doing their job to not be the typical type A A-hole you hear about on the side of the road.especially after a guy flatter near me (after i had been waiting near 30 m inutes) and he was cursing and dropping f-bombs and was back on his way in 5 minutes. he looked like such a d-bag. not sure i'm nice per se, i think i am maybe too hyper aware of how i come off to others and i'm sensitive about "triathletes" in general and want to do my best to show the good side of our kind :)

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

This is a great story....there is a pile of books by my bed that are never going to get read. You might becoming the Carrie Bradshaw of triathlon :)

kerrie said...

that kind of patience and ability to just roll with it will take you far! i promise! i probably would have burst in to tears and thrown my bike.....
did you ever figure out what did that to the tire? some people were saying the roads were a little rough..

Terrish B said...

I'm so proud of you!!!! I love you to, you are so strong and wonderful and you make me laugh!!

Beth said...

AHHH! Such patience you have! I'm pretty sure I would have tried to find a hole somewhere, climb in and cried myself to sleep. ;) Awesome, awesome! "All carbed up and nowhere to go"...but oh did you go once you got going!! :) Can't wait for the next installment!

Tawnee said...

I love Taz! She saved me (well, my bike) from disaster before Clearwater last year.

Great story so far, I can see how you're a good school psychologist!

X-Country2 said...

What a dissappointment, but you handled it amazingly well. I'd have cried. :o)

Wassdoc said...

What a story! I'm sure I passed by you during your struggles, but couldn't have helped, I have tubular tires. I was wondering, did you keep eating and drinking during your waiting time? So many people struggled from the hypothermic swim and excessive energy expenditures they probably weren't even aware of (myself included), that I hope that your "down time" allowed you to replenish your carbohydrate stores. That said, I'm sure you burned some nervous energy with the waiting. Every race is an experience, from the depths of dispair to the second fastest marathon split! That is remarkable. Can't wait to keep reading the next chapters.

Christi said...

Great attitude during a tough time!

SSB said...

Uh whoa. That's a hole in the tire. Love your commentary.

Teresa said...

Your attitude is that of a true athlete and ironman...your appreciation for others in a tough time shows amazing character. And you finished up with a stellar run too, when most would have thrown in the towel. May others learn from your experience!

tn

runningyankee said...

thanks for posting this. i flatted this weekend at a big race and it was tough to deal with, but seeing your great attitude has really shown me that its all part of the sport! cheers.

Jill Costantino said...

Way to go on just "rolling" with it. Such grace and class and AWESOMENESS!

Kim said...

man what a friggin bummer about your tire, but you kept a positive attitude and kept with it!! kudus!

i read John Hirsch's blog!
http://johnhirsch.org/

淑娟 said...

nice job! waiting for your new artical. ........................................

Sherry said...

OMG, that gash in your tire. You really held it together mentally. Very, very impressive!

Kat~ said...

I've been reading your blog for a couple months now. Your a "rock star"! Thanks for all the great story's...... it's not easy overcoming issues in any race. That takes huge Character!!! Cant wait to read about Kona.

PS...love that pink/white watch...what brand is it. Never see those in Chicago.