Ah yes, Part 2. The part that is way less fun to recap. LOL.
Let’s start by saying that I knew that I might struggle in the run. I knew it wasn’t going to be fast, because I’m not a fast runner. But I was hoping to slog through at between 10:30 and 11 minutes a mile. My coach asked me what I was worried about on the run, and I even told her the Thursday before the race that the one thing I have not been able to run through is being nauseous. Pain, I’m ok with. Feeling like I’m going to ralf? Not so much. So what do you think happened?
But let’s back up. I came off of the bike feeling pretty darn good, but it was pretty darn hot. And while biking in the heat isn’t super bad since you have all the wind in your face (and sweat evaporating), it was hot to run. So I knew my water, fuel, and salt (I use endurolytes) intake had to be spot on. Fortunately, Ironman Maryland is essentially 2.5 loops, so you get crowd support nearly the entire way, I got to see my husband, mom, and later my coach, and it was FLAT. I know some people think doing loops is boring, but I love it–you know exactly where you are, how far you have to go, and what to expect. For a control freak that loves to know what’s coming, this run course was just perfect 🙂
I was feeling decent, but not great, until mile 6. Mile 6 thru 10 I was feeling fine, but could tell my stomach was starting to act up. I started to chew on some orange slices as they made me feel better (perhaps not so wise in hindsight)…though I hate oranges in real life and would never, ever eat one. I kept getting my endurolytes down as I had planned, and also my nutrition (Hammer Gel). I ran at just about 11min/mile to mile 12, when the wheels started to come off as everything in my stomach started to come out.
I walked (ok, shuffled) through 6 miles of vomiting. I threw up all over my sunglasses that fell off at a very inopportune moment, and some very sweet and just amazing volunteer plucked them up, washed them off, and returned them to me. I mean, that is just going above and beyond. When I say the volunteers were just amazing and incredible, they were. They would have done anything to make your day better on your way to becoming an Ironman, and it was so…just…it still makes me smile. (Note to self…return the favor! Go be a volunteer!). Around mile 18, I grabbed my Dr. Pepper from my special needs bag, and started sipping it very slowly. I realized I was feeling better, and started jogging again. In fact, I was feeling a lot better. So I ran about mile 19-26 at around 11 min a mile.
Overall I had about 6 crappy miles…really crappy miles that I think I’d like to erase from my memory forever, but I never questioned whether I would finish. I never questioned signing up for an Ironman, and I never, ever questioned that I would definitely do another 140.6 in the future! Plus, out of 140.6 miles, having 6 bad miles…in my very first Ironman…is a learning experience. Nothing more, nothing less. Still not sure why I got so sick, and wish I hadn’t because it wasn’t very much fun, but I did this first Ironman to get the experience under my belt, which I accomplished with a huge smile on my face at the end.
But all this means I also have an axe to grind with the Ironman marathon. Yep, I’ll be back! Probably not in 2018, but I’m not done with you 140.6. I can’t overstate how happy I am with my first 140.6. But I also know that I can do so.much.better. Keeps me hungry, that’s for sure.
Marathon: 5:35 ish / 12:40 ish … sigh … if you take out miles 13-19, it would have been darn close to just under an 11:00 pace.
Again, such a huge shout out to all the volunteers (including those that told me I should sit down and try to get something down before restarting…I know you were worried!) and the organizers who put on such a fantastic race in Cambridge. Cambridge is such a lovely town, and while I know some residents are not thrilled with the hosting of this event, the amount of cheering, support, and just overall kindness shown by neighbors to the venue was pretty amazing. Thank you.
Here’s to a great 2018 season.