Canada is a very pretty country and Penticton is no less than beautiful. A good friend and IMCAN vet set us up at the Slumber Lodge (read code name "Slum Lodge") which although the nickname sets the tone is really not that bad. It is across the street from the swim start and the finish of the race so it really was about location, location, location. Travel was made much easier ($$$$$) due to flying directly into Penticton and sending my bike via
TriBike Transport(seriously if you have never used them before its time to start. Simply excellent) The lake was the most perfect crystal clear calmness and the first morning swimming I actually "swam" as in a swimmer! The downside to being there a couple days early was trying to take it easy. That was not so fun in 90+ temps to be laying on your bed. The good part about taking it easy was to be away from the hubbub that accompanies such festivities. But seriously, if you don't know what you are going to eat, wear, race etc., don't show up. Somehow, that is all people can talk about. I would rather have quiet.
Before we knew it, race morning arrived. The simple joys of waking up at 5am. What a treat. Amazingly enough and for as many times as I have done these things, I never sleep. Someone must have been looking out for me as I slept pretty good that night. I had spoken to my CB many times on Friday and Saturday and we had restructured my day around certain goals. This was not going to be my "A" race anyways but that didnt mean I wasn't going to try. I tend to psyche myself out if I have time goals hanging over me. I'm pretty much over (well mostly) my DNF from dehydration and the 4 IV's after but it never really leaves your mind. Did not want to go through that again so the best plan was to be smart.
Swim- I already went through my play by play with Mama about my negativity and emotions during the race. Can you believe even about 200 yards into it I was thinking about raising the white flag? I truly felt hopeless. But you know that is IM and I shifted thoughts and started swimming and started to feel good. I found a rhythm and then next thing I know I scrape the bottom and stand up. The clock said 1:19xx. I about threw up in my mouth. Was this a sign of the day to come? Count me in. (Thank you again everyone, all of your swim mojo is rubbing off. ) 4 minute PR baby. Thanks, 'eh! That of course was 4 weeks with the fishes guidance. Imagine 11 more weeks. Can I get a woot woot?
The bike course was beautiful and I dialed it back again to accomodate the heat. Heat is something here we just can't train in. It is pretty mild all year with no real seasons. I'm not complaining, just sayin. My mantra was to be smart. Enjoy the day. There is no reason to kill yourself for this race. That comes later this year. It may seem silly to do an ironman without the desire to kill myself at each one, but I am on a journey here and these are my stepping stones. Each race I learn a little more about myself and what keeps me going. They truly don't seem that long to me anymore. I will say there was one negative to the bike. The shortage of water. That was totally inexcusable and to have a 96+ degree race and no water at aid stations was NOT COOL. Ok. Nuff said.
Came back into town to start the run. My focus was to not lose sight of my form and to keep running. I had to dial it back a bit (more like a ton). I struggled. I was hot but so was everyone else. It always amazes me to hear people complaining out there. Please, we are all in this together. SHUT UP! My time goal for the run went by the wayside and I openly apologize to everyone out there. I was on a spitting frenzy. I had so much phlegm from my headcold that I was hacking and shooting all over the place. (thank you 6 years of Little League and learning how to chew!!!) Run= not pretty sometimes but got it done.
Take aways: The mental side of Ironman I feel I have a handle on. I FINALLY broke through a barrier on my swim and if we continue down this path SOMEONE is going to get a HUGE CHRISTMAS present this year.
Endurance wise, I am fit and ready for the next phase and really want to up my game. Bring on the pain, speed. Bring it all on.
Thank you to everyone who watched, waited, couldn't get updates, texted or whatever and of course for following along.
Bill- the best husband in the world who lets me do this
Barbara- the best boss in the world
Chris- who deals with me daily
Michelle- who is bada$$ in more ways than one
E21-who rocks recovery
Rob- who is a legend with bikes
Jenn who took me on a long time ago and has never given up
My sister Ingy, Monday nights would never be the same!
and last but certainly never least
. Kiet who just plain rocks. Totally okay you didnt wait dude. I was out there forever!!! But again awesome to see you and get jazzed!!! And please don't stop doing these!!!!
I'm sure I forgot someone, something, Thank you for letting me do this.
What's up next? Ironman Arizona Baby. Time to ROCK IT!