Thursday, November 17, 2011


It's only 3 days until IMAZ and I'm getting nervous and excited for it. I'm pulling up my IM playlist that has been compiling for the last, oh, 10 years. Some of those songs are going to take me back to the afternoon before IMFL 08 when Nancy and I were relaxing in our room at the Ironman house in Panama City. I can vividly remember it. Some songs calmed me and some got me excited (side note: will these same songs work as "birth music"? hmmm).

I've gone over and over the packing list, worked on taping up the tubular and fitting it snugly under the seat, and tried to remember every last item that could possibly be needed. I've gone through race day in my head, and I've even dreamed about getting to the race late, as usual. This time it was Laura who we were taking to race, but luckily she didn't care that she was starting behind everyone. 

My runs have been feeling ok, but I'm having strange pains crop up, like today in my hip flexor. I'm feeling smooth while swimming, but I have been stressing over the water temperature (currently 65F, but was 62 a few days ago).

And all of this for the husband! It won't be my first time as a spectathlete, but I definitely have more invested in this race than ones from the past. Wish us luck!

Friday, November 4, 2011

10 years and 11 Ironmans

It's unbelievable to me that this weekend marks the 10 year anniversary of my first Ironman. It started in 2001 with Ironman Florida when I was just 24, and my 11th one was 2 years ago in Hawaii. To honor my big Ironiversary, I've gone back and looked at some numbers that I've compiled from these 11 races.

4 days, 21 hours, and 26 minutes I have spent racing Ironmans
26.4 miles of swimming in those races
1232 miles of cycling
288.2 miles of running (um, give or take; more on that later)
11:39 the average of those 11 times
244 approximate number of slices of Pizza Hut pan pizza that could fuel that many calories of exercise

I know a lot of people have much more impressive numbers, but I have a few other stats that may be a little more unique.

2 hours, 52 minutes the time difference between my best and worst IM marathons
30 approximate number of minutes spent lying in the grass on the side of the road in a cute Coeur d'Alene neighborhood (that makes up for some of the above stat)
22 minutes and 44 seconds how much slower my run split was than my bike split that year
10 times I have run that loop through St. Andrew's State Park (17 if you also count the Gulf Coast half)
12.52 miles per hour that I averaged in the last 22 miles of the Queen K in my first Kona, 2002. Proof here.
17:28 minutes and seconds I spent in T2 that year
17 approx number of times I was asked what the hell I was doing in there (answer: lying on a cot, eating chips, and getting my blood pressure taken)
1 the number of marathons I've run in the 4 hour range. I had seven 3's, three 5's, and one 6+.
 4 number of different bikes I have ridden in those 11 Ironmans
2 number of those bikes stolen since then (one didn't even last long enough to get me to an IM, see here for a better listing)

It's been such a fun 10 years, and I'm not done yet. I have a few race reports written here of Kona '07, IMFL '08, IMLou '09, and Kona '09. And now for some fun pictures.

IMFL 2001 My very first, and I'm all smiles. Must be first loop.

Notice the required reflective tape. I'm sure satellites could see me from space.

Sadly, I can't find pictures from my first Kona in 2002. I know they're around somewhere. They sure had plenty of time to take pictures of me.

Next was Coeur d'Alene 2003, the inaugural, infamous, 100F race (stats above). Proof that I actually ran at some point (this is before the nap). The guy next to me helped me along, even commandeering a chair from a spectator when I could no longer stand on my own two feet.
I was probably most proud of this finish. I'm even smiling. And no, this wasn't quite my worst time ever.

IMFL 2003 was 5 months later. Much better. Although it looks like this may be my worst run ever based on my shuffle, I actually had my best marathon so far. And look, it's St. Andrew's park!

I waited a whole year to race again. IMFL 2004. I was actually running hard for me, and had a 26 minute PR. Um, St. Andrew's again.

Went to Kona again in 2005 and improved a bit! It helped that Gary raced right next to me, and even waved at me, in the swim. He smoked me later.
But I did improve that year and "ran" under 5 hours.

2006 was back in Florida for a super cold year. This is when I got my "ironman jacket" from Walmart, and 2nd in my AG by 2 minutes. She passed me back in the run when I wasn't looking.

2007 I was back in Kona, and had my best race there so far. I actually ran. Truly. Even smiled on the bike!

2008 was my PR race back in Florida. We had calm winds, but the best part was the friends racing with me. Hey the sun is still up!

Apparently I'm very consistent with my run faces and postures. Check out these two from 2008 and 2004. There's the crooked hat, the arms, the frown. Ha!

IM Louisville was #10

And the final Ironman thus far was Kona in 2009. I'll just put a picture of one of the actual fun parts and just skip the rest.
And while going through pictures I noticed several that feature none other than  GaryIronman. My first one, 2 Konas, CdA, and Louisville, not to mention many other Floridas. We may be about equal in wins-losses to each other, but he's almost tripled my total number!

If only I could count the number of mistakes, hours of training, calories of Gu and Gatorade, meltdowns, blisters, tubes, salt tablets... Looking back has made me a little more nostalgic for the days of training for my old friend Ironman. I plan to get my fix through Jeremy in just two weeks (!!), again in June, and maybe next November in Florida when I go participate in Girls' Zone once again, baby in tow. My friendship with Ironman isn't over yet!