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Saturday, July 16, 2011

So Now We Have a Pair of Iron Balls ...... Brain Droppings from Ironman Muncie 70.3

The Schwag
 So last weekend Mike, Alison, and I completed the Inaugural race of Ironman Muncie 70.3 (formerly the Muncie Endurathon, one of the country's oldest triathlons), known in our house as "IronBall" because, apparently we are all 12 years old here and equate racing in Ball State University country with testicles made of iron.  Just go with it. 
Out of the swim

Lots of stuff happened here, I think I'll just randomly share them with you all.  
* For your laughter and enjoyment are my race pictures from the official site.  I'm not sure where sports photographers buy their special "Unflattering Action Lens" but I would greatly prefer  it if they switched to the "Beer Goggles Lens" next time. 
 * One of the stressy moments of the day was when the water temps were announced.  Temp at 6:30AM was 81.  They announced that since it was above 78, the race was no longer wetsuit legal, so a choice had to be made - swim with your assigned wave (my wave took off 3rd) or start last if you wanted to swim with a wetsuit and not be eligible for awards (more than an hour after the 1st wave).  Well, I wasn't going to be getting any age group award anyway, but starting later meant being way further back in the pack and right from the start and being out in the heat another hour. So the decision became much easier and I swam 1.2 miles without a wetsuit for the first time.  I get tougher all the time.  
Bike into T2

* {TMI WARNING- boys, I'd skip this one} I am ready for menopause already.  Or a hysterectomy. Not only did "Aunt Flo" appear 2 weeks early (Whiskey!Tango!Foxtrot! Seriously. ) but race morning was day 4 and I seemed to be dumping fluids pint after pint.  Choice. We got up at 530, got ready and were at the reservoir by 630.  Things had already reached EMERGENCY stage, having bypassed a disposable Diva Cup and a gigantic Tampax.  I had also soaked the pad of the bike shorts.  I was not going to make the potty line in time to salvage anything so I did what I had to do- I changed a tampon in transition as nonchalantly as I could.  We were racked by the pros who were busily reaching down their shorts to apply Chamois butter, so I guess I fit right in.  How's that for "First"??
* As I waited to go down to the start, I noticed my neighbor had a bottle of spray sunblock.  I asked her if I could use some.  She didn't answer (since she was already gone), so I took the silence as a yes and applied a few sprays to my neck chest and arms. Seriously, though, I wouldn't say no if someone asked so it was OK.
* Alison and I started in the same wave.  We found a good spot on the beach to claim for our own and we waited for the the start buzzer to sound, she leaned over and said "Have a great race, I hope you don't bleed to death."

Run out at T2
* The water at the reservoir was awesome.  Warm, clear, and not stinky or boat gas.  It was a great swim.  The lack of wetsuit was not a problem at all.  What was a problem? The swim ended at the beach, then you ran up a huge long hill, and THEN you crossed the timing mat.  Too bad the mat wasn't at the water, it would have been a much better swim time. 
* The bike was great.  Flat and fast, headwind out, tailwind back. Had a bike PR for the HIM distance.  Had a great time on the bike. Since the ladies started before all the men under 60, I got passed a LOT by fast boys on fast bikes, most of whom were nice enough to lean over and say something like "That's a purty bike" before they dropped me like a bad habit. I averaged 18.3 mph for 56 miles - very cool!
  * The bike was an out and back course in 2 directions so I saw Alison twice on the bike and she looked good.  I tried to catch her after seeing her just before the first turnaround about 10 miles, and when I saw her just before the second turnaround she had gained a bit of ground on me but not much.  I never did catch her though.  Saw Mike at about my mile 40 and and told him to hurry up and catch me.

Who's that guy yelling?

* Once I was back to the transition area, I dismounted and jogged in to rack my bike.  The heat of the day hit me when I stopped moving and the stillness set in.  I'm not sure what happened to the wind from the bike, but there was absolutely nothing moving.  I used the potty quick and got to changing shoes and hats.  I again asked my neighbor to borrow her susnscreen.  Her bike was back, but she was not around so I again took her silence as a yes and applied liberally. I also stopped at the susncreen apply-ers near Run Out for good measure, although I think the teenager applying mine just had fumes on her gloves and no actual sunscreen.
  * As I exited Run Out, I heard some guy yelling "GO JENNY!!!" I could not place him.  He yelled again.  Noticed he was wearing an older IMWI Finishers shirt. Still couldn't place him.....he looks familiar..... and then there was Kathy Fitzmaurice with an umbrella a little ways down yelling my name too.  It all came together who the guy was - Kathy's husband Adam Ball.  It really is cool to have a cheerleader you had no idea would be there.
 * The run became a shit show quick.  The temp on the road was at least 95 and there was no wind and the course was nothing but unrelenting gently rolling hills. There really was no flats to be had - we wer either headed slightly uphill or slightly downhill.  Period. Yuck. 
I gave try at running as best I could, but it was so freaking hot, my pulse would skyrocket as soon as I tried.  So i walked a lot of the 1st mile, then took water, a piece of banana, 2 icy wet sponges and a cup of ice, then gave another shot at running with a run 3/walk 2 method. It was not long before I was simply walking most of the run just to get the end. 
* I get to some dark places in my head when the run goes sour.  Disappointed in myself, I get really irritated by people who say things like "Looking great!" as they pass you.  I had a couple meltdown moments on the run, which I'll share next.
* About mile 5ish on the the course, I was patted on the back as I was walking uphill, hot, sweaty and feeling defeated.  A tall lumberjack-looking guy said "People like you inspire me!"  My immediate response was to be offended. My response went like this: People like me?  Who's that- fat people? Old ladies? Crappy runners? What?? He did not respond and kept going.......perhaps I scared the lumberjack??  Much later on the course, I got to thinking he was probably referring to the "Ironman Wisconsin" Logo that was written across the seat of my bike shorts..... (Sorry for being such a beyotch, Lumberdude, I was a little touchy about my performance when you arrived on the scene)

* At about mile 4 I saw Alison running back in, which would be about mile 9 for her.  She was on a walk break (I have NEVER seen Alison walking) and she looked hot and had a couple ice sponges under her shoulders.  You know it's rough out there when you see Alison at anything less than a steady determined run pace..... Anyway, we both headed to the middle of the road.  I should have said Good Job or something. What I actually said was "It's hot as dicks out here, Batman!"  My daintiness filter was already gone at that point.

crying as I walked, wouldn't look up
* Just as we approached the turnaround on the run course,I was passed by Triathlon Barbie and her entourage as she was giving them all a lesson while they ran about how important it is to drink cola when it's offered on the course.  As they passed me, she turned around and said "Don't you quit, you're doing great!"  I responded snarkily "I'm not quitting, just slow." She said "Great!  Don't you quit now, keep at it!"  I wanted to poke the back of her perky head, but instead just said "This ain't my first rodeo, Barbie." and kept on my way.   

*I saw Mike again about mile 7ish as he was headed out to the turnaround.  I yelled: You better hurry if you're going to catch me, WimmDogs!  (the moment called for a little bit of  WWJBD- what would Johnny Brown Do?).  Mike passed me about mile 8, looking good.  He had made up an HOUR on me at that point. Ugh.
 * It only got worse.  My back and hips were locked up tight from holding a single position on the bike for so long and the heat was wearing on me terribly.  I was in survival mode, just getting to the finish line and getting out of the sun. I was fried to a crisp and felt like I was on fire. The course was getting hotter and hotter as the day went by and the asphalt was blazing. By the end of the day it was over 98. There was no shade.  What had been shady on the way out had shifted as the day went on and was now shady on the other side of the street.
* About 2 miles from the finish, I saw one of the photographers as I was headed up a small hill.  I started tearing up, hot, hurt, and tired.  Knowing it would be a race picture, I hung my crybaby head so my hat brim covered my face.  He kept yelling "Hey Wisconsin!" to get me to look up but I wouldn't.  So stubborn sometimes.

Can I stop now please?

* If someone had come by in one the golf carts and asked me, I'd have taken a ride back in and said screw it. I was that done, and I am never willing to give up and SAG in even when I probably should.
* At mile 12.5, there was one final F*#%king hill.  At the top was a guy who was yelling the participants up...."Come on! Sack up! You should be running this! You're almost done!"  I was at my limit.  I burst into tears and sobbed "Stop yelling at me!!"  He stopped :)
* at mile 13, I was cresting the top of a hill, sobbing my eyes out like a toddler, then I turned down the lane to the finish.  It was downhill so I was jogging it in, biting my lip to suppress the tears.  There were Mike and the Viemeisters (cool!) and Mike is yelling "It's all worth it, you get a cool hat!!!).  That cracked me up and I started laughing.  I got to the finish line and it was over.  I was hot, sweaty, crampy, tired, sunburned EVERYWHERE, including the backs of my legs and ready to get out of the sun.

End Result: Swim was the Swim, Bike PR, Run PW.  Not a PW overall. 
Review: One of the best races I have ever done from a a volunteer and organization perspective, but if it's always that hot, I don't think I'd do it again.

The aftermath: Had a nice dinner at a greasy pizza place with Alison's college roommate's husband and daughter, which was cool.  He is a professor at Ball State in exercise physiology, so dinner conversation was interesting and entertaining. 
The next day we headed home, and took a short detour through Elwood, IN where my grandparents and other family lived.  It was a nice walk down memory lane see all the local landmarks, check out Grampa's house and his paint store and to share the local stories with Mike.
Fun Times.


Jenny Davidson said...

Good job getting it done, Jenny, and thanks for this most excellent report! I did Florida 70.3 twice, similarly insanely hot sunny run, and basically IMO when it's that hot and we're back-of-pack speeds anyway, it is best to acknowledge in advance that a brisk walk is the most that can be done on the run course.

(PS Yes, let's start a petition for Beer Goggles Lens use for race photos! Actually you look pretty cure in the run ones, you were doing a good job at not showing how upset you were - in my experience, it is the swim-to-bike pics that are always so dreadful, the wet-t-shirt look and general bedragglement that comes from having had a 40-minute lake swim is really unfortunate!)

Mr Lonely said...

walking here with a smile.. have a nice day ~ =D

Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an awesome race! Thanks for the guy's TMI warning! What's your next race gonna be?

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