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.