Sunday, November 8, 2009

Beach2Battleship Race Report

Excuse the epic race report - so much to tell and heck, it's my blog so I can make it as long as I want!!
The race week began to go downhill when I started to run a fever on Wed. I assumed it was a sinus infection - I think I was wrong about that. I rested on Thurs. all day as best I could when getting ready for an ironman (and getting two kids ready to stay with their grandparents for the weekend!) Paul and I left of Friday am at 6am for the 6 hour drive - it's amazing with 2 kids how exciting 6 hours alone in the car can be! I was feeling good that morning so we were able to enjoy the ride and a little time together to talk. After arriving we went to packet pick up and got my shirt, bag and nifty wrist band. From there we went to drop off my bike. Being there early paid off, I got a great end spot on my rack!

As usual we went to our hotel and I hopped in bed for the rest of the day! (about 4pm on) Bedtime didn't go as smooth as I would have liked as the room above us, and the room on each side had construction crews. They weren't being unreasonably loud or anything, but at a cheapo motel the walls are thin. SO, we moved rooms. Then the air didn't work in the second room. SO, we moved rooms. Finally settled I got to sleep around 9:45, woke up at 1:30, then finally got back to sleep at 3. Not the best way to start the day but it was what it was.

Up at 5 and out the door by 5:30 - the morning was lovely. Not too cold, quickly got on the shuttle to the beach, and the sunrise was amazing - probably the best part of the day!! I got in the water to fill up the wetsuit and get my face wet and it felt great. 67 degrees was the official temp, it felt wonderful!
The swim start was a running mass beach start. Aside from the bumping and crowdedness of the swim it was simply delightful. I will say that there was a pretty strong current so my time was about 15 min. - 20 min. faster than normal IM swim time, but with the fever I had been running my motto for the day was "ZONE 2" so I just took it easy and enjoyed the water.
2.4 mile swim time: 52:38
I ran out of the water and had the wetsuit stripper unzip and pull the top down on my suit, but left the legs and booties on for warmth since there was a 400 y. run to T1. I took the time in T1 to completely change clothes so that I wouldn't be cold on the bike. I put on my Oomph! tri shorts, my Team G jersey, my Cannondale arm warmers, Paul's FAB sugoi R&R compression socks, toe covers on my shoes and a throw away ear warmer. I was on my way!!
The first 50 miles of the bike were delightful. I felt o-k, I was getting passed like I was standing still, but I was using my mantra "zone 2 will get me to the finish line" I was sipping my HEED and water and loving life. Then the fever came back. I guess the am Tylenol wore off but I just started to ache all over, my head started to hurt and it got hard to swallow. Boo! Miles 50 - 70 weren't fun but they weren't too bad.
At mile 70 the headwind started and I was just unhappy, that's where Garrett stepped in. For those that don't know about Garrett read his story here, it is worth it. I race for and with Garrett each and every race I do. A guy in a bright green jacket rode by and said "Hey, who's Garrett?" (I was wearing my Garrett's Wing's jersey) I told him and he said, "I know he is here with you today." Chills, tears and a deep breath. O-k, I can HTFU and finish this thing.

About mile 85 I went to the dark place. I was going to quit the race, I never wanted to ride that damn bike again, heck I didn't want to ever do a triathlon again. I guess my green jacket guy stopped for a pit stop because there he rode by again, while he passed me he yelled "This one is for G right?!" More tears, chills and a little more HTFU. Oh yeah, this isn't all about ME.
Got to the mile 110 marker (and a big bridge darn it!) and couldn't wait to get my sore tush off that darn bike. My butt hurt, my neck and head hurt, my hands and arms were achy from the fever and my tummy was all done with the sweet of the HEED.
My chain fell off at mile 111.5 and I had to stop and put it back on. Cursing and greasy I handed my bike to the volunteer and headed into the changing tent unsure if I was going to drop out or run.
112 mile bike time: 6:33 (plus 10:00 in T1)
I guess it was peer pressure but everyone else was changing into run stuff so I did too. Before I knew it I had on my running shoes so I decided I might as well try - you know in "zone 2." First 3 miles were fine, I was alternating a run / walk - not too fast but I finished 3 miles in 34 min. so I was starting to think I might just see 12 hours on that clock at the finish line. I was slowing down and walking more because of stomach cramping and potty stops(this is where I started to guess maybe I had a virus, not a sinus infection.) Around mile 8 I decided I was going to have to quit. I promised Paul that if I felt really bad and the fever was back I would stop. I was there.

This is where stubborn kicked in. I started to see people from the Half Ironman walking to their car with their finisher medals. Darn it, I had to have the medal in order to wear the shirt. I've never had a DNF, ever. I looked at my clock and saw that I was only at 10:30, I could walk really slow and still finish. At the turn around (13.1 miles) I saw Paul and he saw UNHAPPY Kati. He asked the question . . ."well, are you going to take it easy or do you need to stop?" I said I would finshdamnit! (all in one breath and through some tears)

That's when I found my friend Ron. Ron is a firefighter from CT who had been sick with bronchitis for 3 weeks and was forced to walk too. So we walked. That's when I started to have fun again. My motto changed from "zone 2" to "it is what it is!" We walked 14:30 miles (which at 5'4" is pretty darn fast) and talked and cheered everyone else on. I told Ron about Garrett and why I race. Ron said "well Garrett obviously sent me to you." Yes Ron, I think he did. If Ron hadn't been there I might not have made that 13 mile walk, if I did it certainly wouldn't have been a 3 hour half marathon!
Paul met me at mile 23 and walked with me for about 1.5 miles. (horribly against the rules, but he was really just walking back from the car and just *happened* to be next to me : ) He ran back to be at the finish for pictures and I caught back up with Ron. We ran the last mile in together. I finished that damn race and got the damn medal and in the end the day wasn't about zone 2, it was about perseverance and remembering what was important to me. Final finish time: 13:47 - still a PR by 17 minutes.
26.2 mile run time: (ugh!) 6:04
Special thank you's: My wonderful family, who support me in more ways than I can verbalize here! Garrett, who always gives me the wings to get where I am supposed to go. And Ron, who dragged my little legs along at a power walk to a PR!
As always I am humbled and changed by the experience . . . and of course already thinking about what's next so I can redeem myself!
(My daughter started complaining about tummy trouble on Sun. pm, by Monday am she had the same symptoms - low grade fever, stuffy head, tummy trouble . . . I guess it was a virus. At least I am feeling better today and can care for my sick little girl!!)


Diane said...

Awww... this made me cry! I'm SO proud of you and in awe (I totally would've quit and overdosed on NyQuil to drown my sorrows!). Truly, you inspire me in SO many ways. I think you came into my life when I needed you most... and I thank you for just being you!!! xo

Jenn said...

Congratulations on finishing strong! It is an amazing feat, and you are an inspiration!!

HEATHER @ runfastermommy! said...

Thanks for sharing your story! All of you crazies (I use that term admirably) have me inspired to tackle the 140.6 one day! First stop though...sprint tri !!!

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