Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ironman...A year in Making.

I will start with this...Ironman wasn't difficult was mentally draining for me...not just the race but everything it took getting me there and through the race. I have had some serious personal issues and have been trying to balance the emotions of that along with the amount of training and effort an Ironman takes.

Here is how my race went....I am using the word "race" loosely! ;)
Got into Couer D'Alene around 5:15AM race morning...with my sister, Kathy (both 2 time Ironman) and Monica...her first mine. Last minute bike adjustments, water bottles, etc...put some more nutrition in my bento and also in my run bag. Dropped off special needs bags and headed into the village area to put on the wet suit and get ready to roll. AT that point I was beginning to freak out...
the pros start and NOW I am really really nervous...
Wet Suit on...we all head down to the lake. It was a little choppy...and I am a shitty swimmer anyway so I was really getting freaked out...5 mins til go time...went to the water edge and cleaned my goggles...went straight back to the back of the pack for swim entry. I knew my plan was to go outside and try to stay away from all the masses...NOT possible...BTW! The cannon boom went and everyone was off...BUT Monica and I...we counted to 20 and made our way into the water...promising to stay with each other....headed straight into the masses...and about 200 meters in panic set it....breathing got completely out of whack...I wanted to quit...people on top of me...hitting me...pushing me...I knew it was going to happen this way BUT I was FREAKED! I rolled over onto my back...stared into the sky...and prayed to God to strike me with a lightening bolt! I waited for it...and when it didn't happen I knew I had to get thru the swim...Monica and I stayed together... we needed to...or we both might have quit. The turn around was choppy as hell and I tried to site as much as I could...we made the first loop in 49 mins and I knew then that I would make the swim cut...YES...I really am that slow of a swimmer! Second loop was even more choppy and lots of swells...I knew I was going to make it and that was the only thing pulling me thru...
made it to shore with a 1:49 swim I think...AND headed to T1.

Changed into the bike clothes...sunscreen on....and ready to roll...Quinny was ready to go...I thought...HOPPED onto my bike...and headed out on my 112 mile ride. Feeling great the first 20 miles or so....and then my inner thighS started to burn....hit the Hayden Hills and more leg issues...I ride hills...I have only felt this way once before...that was when I did my century and my air was low in my tires...Uh huh....I was having some issues...I checked the tires in the morning so I knew it wasn't that...checked my brakes and for some reason my brakes were squeezing my back tire rim....FOR about 45 miles.... I have no idea what happened...I couldn't get them to loosen up...took me like 20 mins to figure it out...and then I was off again...NOW being lapped by the pro's....which was cool as hell BTW! Started feeling better on the 2nd loop of the ride...BUT I lost about 20 mins and change and was frustrated as hell and my nutrition was jacked looking back! Need to get that figured out by next year....91 miles in I threw my chain...went to get off the bike and my seat fell off...(when they put my profile design water cage on my seat they forgot to tighten my seat back up)....THANK GOD a dude on the side of the road had wrenches and fixed it for me! His party was drinking Corona's and I have to be honest...I thought about just staying there!
I was sooooooo happy to hit t2...
AND MENTALLY I was done....

So...I hit the run...I ran about a mile and pretty much said screw this...couldn't get past the bike issues...and really had nothing to prove...HERE is where Ironman got me....I could have run. I looked for every reason to walk...and when I found my friend Cheryl...who wanted to quit...I made her my reason. We stayed together...walked the entire first half and then did the galloway method the 2nd half...I drank cola and ate potato chips...because I had no idea how much I screwed up on the bike...I could have body was saying head said HELL NO!

I (we) finished Ironman...15 hours later...I am trying to not have regrets...I learned a lot about that race and that distance. I learned a lot about me...could haves exist at every distance...I could have been 3 hours faster for sure...What's exciting...I can do it again next year and RACE my own race. Get my personal drama dealt with and move on...I still have the Ironman title...NOW to go back and feel like I really deserve it...

Today...I'm sad...cry a few tears a day...I think post Ironman is like postpartum depression...
The build up is a year in making...and it's over in less then a day...
I will never trade the experience...just going to learn and build on it.

I am an Ironman. =)
Align Right


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Congrats!! Makes no difference how you got there... You did it.

  3. you are so fucking awesome. seriously

  4. What an epic day Shelly. I was tracking you and a bunch of other people all through the day.

    Congrats on making it into the ironman club! I can't wait to join you.

  5. Awesome's all mental!

  6. I am in awe of people like you who become Ironman, follow their dream. It's a dream of mine to become one and I'm giving myself 2 years of preparation. Can't wait for this day to come. It must feel so great when you cross that finish line. For your first, time doesn't matter. You deserve this title. Congratulations, and much respect.

  7. Shelly, you are an Ironman. Sounds like it was a really tough race, but you mean the challenge. You are a tough woman. Congrats again. It was exciting watching you cross the finish in Twitter (live Ironman videocast).

  8. I meant to say, "You met the challenge."

  9. Awwe Shelly, great story! congrats

  10. These endurance events are a lot like life compressed into the span of the event. There are ups and downs, and only the strong, never quit. You fight physically, mentally, or both through what the day throws at you, and you emerge at the finish line as a changed person. When you toe the line again, you will know how to handle what the course throws at you. Great job!

  11. Strong work Shelly! You are AMAZING! Can't wait to follow your race again next year!

  12. Shelly, I'm soo proud of you! I teared up reading this post! What an amazing accomplishment. No regrets. Seriously. You're an Ironman! Now, go get the tattoo!

    You're a star. I admire you -- you don't even know!

  13. Shelly is an IRONMAN!!! So inspirational. I don't know if I could ever do what you did. You are my hero, but you already knew that. *wink*

  14. Congratulations Ironman! You're not the only slow swimmer out there. One of the things I worry about is the swim if I ever take on the challenge!

  15. Very well put. I get the post race blues everytime. :(

  16. Nice report, you are doing great. Keep it up and you will get much better result I think. Thanks to your post too I learn something in it.