Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Post Ironman

I expected to be unable to roll out of bed the next day because that's happened plenty of times after a race. Or at least it should have hurt to walk downstairs (because walking downstairs is actually way worse than walking upstairs). But to my surprise I felt great!

I had worn full-leg compression tights to bed the night before, so maybe that had something to do with it. Or maybe my new running form is less painful than my old running form. Or maybe when you run a slow marathon it doesn't hurt as much. Who knows?! I am just grateful I could walk like a normal person the next day.

The only pain I had was from chafing from my wetsuit. My wetsuit is relatively new and seems to be a bit big in the arms. This results in chafing near the armpits. No biggie though.

The next day Skyler and I headed back to the race venue to purchase official Ironman finisher gear. You don't want to buy that stuff before the race because what if you don't finish. I bought stuff to wear every day of the week. Why not? I worked my butt off to complete this event and I want to have plenty to show for it.

Sadly, we had to head back home to California that morning. I would have like to have one more day to relax, but our little boy would be waiting for us when we got home. Or so we thought. My mom had taken him to Utah with her and their flight was supposed to get in at 8pm that night. Well, their flight was cancelled and I didn't get to see Des until Tuesday morning. Almost a whole week without my boy!

Our reunion was sweet and I spent the whole day just hugging and kissing him.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Elise Wallace, You Are an Ironman!


Race day: Wake up time 4:40am. Not easy, especially with one hour time zone difference, but when I was awake I was ready to get up. All of our stuff had been ready for 2 days, so there wasn't much to do in terms of getting ready besides getting dressed and eating some food. I ate two mini blueberry muffins, apple & cinnamon oatmeal, a mango coconut water, a banana, and some Honey Stinger chews.

We arrived at the race venue around 5:45am. We hit the port-o-pottys first, which was a great idea. Very productive I should add too. We got body-marked, finished dropping off all bags, and got in our wetsuits. 


We waited until about 10 minutes before race time before getting in the water. I got super emotional at this point. I knew the water was cold and the long day was about to start. I was crying. I made myself stop immediately and jumped in the water, making sure to hold onto my goggles so they didn't come off. The water was very cold, but surprisingly didn't feel as cold as the day before. Although, it was colder, but because it was cooler air temp, it didn't feel that way.


Skyler and I sat next to each other on a ledge in the water until the cannon went off. We jumped down and were on our way. Skyler said he swam next to me for 20 minutes, but I didn't know that because I only breathe to my right and he was on my left. It was a hectic start because everyone, all 3000 athletes, start at once. I got slugged in the face twice, but I survived. Maybe it didn't hurt because I was numb from the water. The sun was coming up just as the race started. I longed to feel the warmth of it on every stroke.



The half-way point approached and I was glad to be heading back towards the beginning. About this point I began to notice that my body was shaking and my teeth were chattering. I was so cold! I've swam in colder water before, but never for this long. I couldn't wait to be out of the water and moving on with my day. It's funny because the swim was the least of my worries for the race, yet it was a stark reality at the moment. About 3/4 of the way I noticed my shoulder start to get tight. I had to adjust my stroke on my left arm to make sure it didn't bother me too much.

Elise Swim 1:22:55  (Goal: 1:20:00)
Skyler Swim 1:29:05

I couldn't have been happier to get out of that cold water and surprisingly my time was pretty fast. The volunteers must have seen that something was wrong with me because they immediately pulled me up the stairs and over to the blanket station. They wrapped one around me and sent me over to the women's changing tent. They walked me over to the heater tent section to help me warm up. I was hypothermic and couldn't stop shaking. I tried putting on my bike shoes, but my legs were shaking too much. I took a few minutes to relax and warm up. I was thankful I had packed arm sleeves to warm me up. Normally my T1, swim-to-bike transition, is a few minutes long, but this time I took all the time I wanted. It may have seemed like I took a nap because I took so long. Oh well. On my way to the longest bike ride of my life.

Elise T1 13:32 (Goal: 5:00)
Skyler T1 6:06

Normally Skyler and I tell each other to "Go Fast!" before each race. This time the motto was "Go Slow." You don't want to burn out your runs with too fast/hard of a bike ride. So as excited as I was to be starting the bike portion of the race, I tried to hold back.

The bike course consists of 3 loops of approximately 38 miles each. The way out was a 1/2 flat and 1/2 slight uphill, so the way back had a slight downhill then flat for the second half. For the first loop there was a headwind, so going uphill was a bit of a challenge. Nothing I hadn't trained for. I remember getting to the turn-around at 1:15. I did a quick calculation in my head (which I did a lot of during the race since there's not much else to do) and realized that my bike split would be super long if I kept that pace. But I had totally forgotten that the way back would be faster, especially with a tailwind. I finished the second half of the first loop in 57 minutes, for a 2:12 total for the first lap. Also on the way back I stopped to use a port-o-potty. I had needed to go to the bathroom for over an hour, but it was just not happening while sitting on a bike. I timed it perfectly when I approached someone leaving a port-o-potty. No line for me!

This race had a lot of splits, which was great for our family and friends who were tracking at home. Every time I passed one of the timing mats, I thought about everyone getting to see my times. I wanted them to be proud.

The second loop was pretty uneventful. I did ride beside a woman for about 10 minutes and talked with her. It's actually illegal to ride next to someone because of the drafting rules. But we weren't drafting, we were talking. Riding for 112 miles gets quite lonely. On this lap, the wind was going the opposite way, so I got to the turn-around faster than the first time. But on the way back, the wind was blowing in my face. I stopped at mile 63, which was the bike special needs station. In my special bag, I had packed some Cliff Shot gels, a banana, a granola bar, and some Nuun tablets. I ate the banana, took the gels, and took off my arm warmers.

Back to the start and I was ready to start lap 3. My second lap was also 2:12. I forgot to mention that I saw Skyler on every half-lap. Since I had a lot of time to think, I calculated where I would see him each time, factoring in his faster speed. Turns out my math skills are excellent and we are consistent cyclists because my timing was perfect every time. Also at the turn-around that's near the race venue, John and Deby were waiting to cheer us on every time I went past. It was so, so, so awesome to have them there! Racing is very emotional for me and having family there is so important.

Lap 3 was very similar to lap 2, but my neck and shoulders were really starting to hurt. I wish I had packed advil in my special needs bag (next time). The ride back into town was very exciting. I had survived the bike, which was my worst fear, and I was ready to start running a marathon. My legs didn't feel too tired because I had ridden so conservatively.

Elise Bike 6:37:23 (Goal: 7:00:00)
Skyler Bike 5:40:41

I rode into transition and passed my bike to a volunteer (pretty cool that they take care of putting our bikes away). I grabbed my T2 bag and headed over to the restroom. Ironman is a long enough race that I didn't feel bad stopping to go to the bathroom. I went into the women's tent and again was greeted with lots of naked women. I had never considered changing into running short, but after chafing a bit during the race, that may be something I consider for my next Ironman. I sat down to put my running shoes on and my new friend Missy came in and sat next to me. She had just finished the bike too and had a flat tire. Glad she was doing well!

Elise T2 7:32 (Goal 5:00)
Skyler T2 3:50

I headed out of the tent and was on my way to running 26.2 miles. I always gets too excited when I start the run and knew I needed to hold back my speed so I didn't waste too much energy. I had decided beforehand that I was going to walk all of the aid stations. My goal was a five hour marathon, which is about 11 minute pace. The first 7 miles were great. I was eating my gels and drinking a little at most aid stations. I also tried some salt pills to make sure I wasn't losing too much salt. Around mile 7 I started getting a side stitch on my left side. I rarely got these in training and it was usually from dehydration. I made sure I drank more electrolytes, but not too much where it swished around in my stomach. I had to jog/walk off the side stitch for about 2 miles until it finally went away. It never came back.

The run course was also a 3-loop course, each loop being approximately 8.7 miles. During the first lap, I spotted Skyler across a bridge on his second lap. He was about 5 miles ahead of me. I was so happy to see him!

During the second lap I spotted a new friend who was also wearing a Team Sparkle skirt. We had similar time goals for the race, so I knew we would cross paths eventually. This was her first marathon too! We ran together and talked for about 4 miles. On a downhill I got in front of her and never saw her again.

The aid stations were spread about 1-1.5 miles apart. Here's the order of stuff: Perform, water, food (oranges, bananas, gels, pretzels), coke, water, Perform. At each aid station I would stop and take whatever my body wanted. Sometimes it was coke, sometimes it was pretzels (for the salt), and sometimes it was nothing. Later in the day, they also offered chicken broth. It was delicious and I would definitely drink it again in a race.

The began the last lap and I was so excited to be near the end. Each lap started where the finish line was so I got to see a glimpse of the excitement at the finish line. I got a second wind at the beginning of my last lap. I had already run about 17 miles and I only had 9 more to go. I was running pretty fast and I kept hearing people ask why I was running so fast. My pace was probably about 9:00, which was fast considering most people were shuffling or walking. My knees were hurting a bit, but mostly only when I transitioned from walking to running.

Around mile 22 I approached an aid station which was at a park. I glanced to my left and noticed Skyler sitting on a wall, wearing a jacket. I said hi and kinda kept going. I shouted, what are you doing here? And he replied that he's see me at the finish line. I assumed he was finished and was just out on the course cheering me on. But I thought it was weird that he was at this location. So I turned around and went back, just in time to see him vomiting. Uh oh! Something was wrong. I then found out that he hadn't finished yet, but was sick again. His stupid stomach has messed up every endurance race longer than 8 hours. He told me to keep going, but I wanted to help. Since we were close to an aid station I ran over and got some water and a sponge for him. He sat on the wall for a bit and I told him that I would wait for him. He told me to keep going again, but I said it would be fun to finish together. He didn't want to let me. After a bit he managed to stand up and we walked through the aid station and kept going. He said I was allowed to walk with him up the hill and then I had to start running again. I didn't want to leave him, but I knew that's what he really wanted for me. So away I went, just a little over 3 miles left.

I don't know if it's because I was stopped for a while (about 20 minutes) or because I just was excited to finish, but all of a sudden I had so much energy and I was running fast. People kept looking at me running by and were whispering, where did she come from? I probably wasn't really going that fast, but it just seemed that way since most people were walking. I was also getting so many cheers! I bypassed every aid station that was left between me and the finish line. I was getting there as fast as I could.

Soon I was finishing my third loop and made the turn to head down to the finish chute. I had envisioned this moment almost every day since I signed up for this race. That feeling was what I wanted so bad. I knew it would be an emotional moment and it was. Tears were streaming down my face. I had done it and here was MY moment.

The last 50 meters was the finishers chute lined with thousands of spectators. I was alone and sprinting as fast as I could. I knew that my friends and family were watching live and that gave me even more energy. Then I heard the words I had been dreaming about, "Elise Wallace, you are an Ironman!" I had done it! All my hard work had paid off. I had become part of the elite club call Ironman. No one can ever take that away from me.

Elise Run 4:46:34 (Goal 5:00:00)
Skyler Run 6:31:25

Elise Total Time 13:07:56 (Goal 13:30:00)
Skyler Total Time 13:51:07


video

I was on cloud nine...for about a minute. Then I became concerned with how Skyler was doing. I had left him at about 3 miles to go. Calculating how fast you can walk 3 miles, subtracting the time since I left him, I figured he should be coming in about 15-20 minutes later. I waited and waited and waited.

My legs were tired from standing, so I sat down. But then people kept coming over to ask if I was ok. After almost 45 minutes of waiting, I saw him being pushed through the crowd. There was a medical staff person on each side of him. All I cared about at that moment was making sure he was ok. I followed the three of them over to the medical tent to assess the situation. He thought he might need an IV because he had been throwing up so much.

While I waited to see what happened I got to hang out with John and Deby, as they were waiting for us at the finish line. Thank goodness they were there to calm my nerves. Skyler was able to communicate to me that he was cold, so I went to retrieve our morning clothes, bikes, and bags. I passed near the finish line area to get where I needed to go and realized that I was missing out on all the fun. That is my one regret, that I didn't get to enjoy finishing my Ironman. Obviously Skyler is more important, but this was my first one and I didn't get my massage, post-race food, photos, or sharing stories with other athletes. Sadly, this is the only photo I have from the race (and you can't even see my skirt!).


After hanging in the medical tent for about an hour, Skyler was deemed ok and we left the area. We were both kinda hungry and grabbed some drive-thru fried chicken (Raising Cane's) and sodas. I had too much adrenaline to go to sleep, so I took an ice bath and watched tv until probably 1:00am. But sadly my appetite wasn't the best so I didn't enjoy all of my cupcakes like I wanted to. Only had one bite.


The next day everything started to sink in. I am an Ironman! We headed over to the race venue to buy more Ironman clothing. I didn't want to buy any before in case I didn't actually finish. Now I have enough to wear every day of the week.

The one thing I feared was how I would feel the day after an Ironman race. Surprisingly, not sore. I know!...it's crazy. Was it the compression tights? Could I have pushed harder? I don't know. I'm just thankful I could walk up and down stairs without being in pain.


Coming up...the aftermath.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Natural Running Class: Week #3

Running uphill and downhill. This is what I need to learn for efficient trail running. I really love trail running, but I don't get to do it enough. Mostly, just when I race. Yeah, that's how infrequently I train run.

This week in class we worked on running form for uphill and downhill running. I thought I was a good downhill runner, but it turns out that even though I am fast, I am totally burning out my quads. I've definitely noticed that after races, but just thought that was part of trail running. What I need to do is kick my butt. Yes, smaller steps with a buttkick on each stride. It feels a little weird, but my quads don't feel like they are getting a major workout (which is good).

I think I have uphill running figured out already. I knew that I need to take small, short steps when running uphill. I just need to make sure that I'm not bending at the waist when I do it. Stand tall.

We also learned some stretches, which I can't remember at the moment. Oh, one is a bridge exercise, but you pull one knee into chest so your back doesn't arch.

I got new running shoes: New Balance 870. They are bright pink and yellow. Of course way cuter than my old red & white K-Swiss. Hopefully they will work out just as great or greater.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lead Up to the Big Day

Wednesday: We dropped Desmond off at my parent's house since my mom would be flying with him to Utah in the morning. I was so sad to leave him, but excited to get this journey started.


Thursday: We dropped off kid #2, Pumpkin, at the kennel. Surprisingly she was excited to get inside. She has learned she won't be there forever. What a good girl! We were soon on the road.



It's been a long time since Skyler and I have been on a trip by ourselves. It felt so abnormal to not be getting a baby out of the car every time I got out of the car. We arrived in Tempe about 6 hours later. We checked into our hotel, which was a little ghetto. We unpacked and hopped on our bikes for a little ride around the lake. We rode the run course, which is about 8.5 miles. We met some of our friends later for dinner.


Friday: We headed over to the race venue to check-in and walk through the expo. Our hotel was just a mile away from the race venue. After we picked up our stuff we did a little jog around the lake. 2.4 looked really daunting. Nerves settling in.

We headed back to the hotel after lunch and did a whole lot of nothing. Actually I laid out by the pool for a few hours. It was such a weird feeling to have nothing going on. We couldn't do a workout, we couldn't eat yummy food, we couldn't walk around, we were forced to lay and do nothing. Very weird.


The best parts of the day were FaceTimes with Desmond. I'm glad he was familiar with the concept already, so he kinda knew what to expect. He seemed like he was having a great time away from us.


Saturday: We headed over to race venue for the practice swim. The water temperature had dropped from 68 degrees the week before to 62. I jumped in and instantly regretted it. I'd rather be shocked on race day than have a full 24 hours to think about how cold the water is. We swam around for about 15 minutes, then got out. Next on the list was dropping off our bikes, T1 bags, and T2 bags.



So many bags to pack. Made it even more nerve-racking to make sure you don't forget something and don't pack it in the wrong bag.


Next, we did a whole bunch of nothing. I can't remember a day that has gone by as slow as this day did. We were both so nervous and anxious to get this party started, but the day just dragged. We spent some time lounging in our hotel pool for a while. We had lots of time to kill so we searched around for cupcakes. I wanted to make sure I had yummy treats waiting for me when I finished the race.


I knew where to look for cupcakes thanks to this girl, Missy. She is my cupcake triathlete twin. She lives in Arizona, raced her first Ironman, and loves cupcakes too. If only we lived closer..


Later that night we met our teammates for dinner at Sauce. The spaghetti and meatballs was delicious. Bedtime 10:00pm. I'm surprised I was able to sleep as well as I did. After having a baby, I've learned to sleep whenever possible. My race nights are a whole lot more productive.


Race day begins at 4:30am. Stay tuned for the book.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

1

...day until Ironman. Less than 24 hours away from racing one of the toughest races in the world. The work has been done. I am prepared. Now the fun part: the race. I finally get to see the result of all my training. I will do this. I WILL be an Ironman!

Friday, November 16, 2012

2

...days until Ironman. 2 is also the number of times Skyler has attempted this race. His first time was two years and it was also his first Ironman. This will be his second time. This is my first attempt at any Ironman. I hope I make it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

3

...days until Ironman. 3 is also the number of loops for the bike and run portions of the race. This Ironman is a great spectator event because of that. When I watched Skyler two years ago, I saw him three times on the bike and about 10 times on the run (because it loops around the same area).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Natural Running Class: Week #2

Last night was my second week of my natural running class. It's funny because it's not like I'm learning or hearing anything new, but the fact that I'm actually applying it and using it is the part I've never done before.

So we talked about 180 cadence running. I've always known this is the magic running number, but I haven't been consistent at testing it. We practiced it for a bit last night. I just need to train my brain to understand that I CAN run fast while taking smaller steps.

Sally told us that runners are notorious for having weak hips and glutes. Guilty! So she showed us some stretches to help with that. Stretches that need to be done before each run. Calf raises on ledge, calf raises while lowering one leg, and lunges. Also we did some exercises with a band: side-steps (band at knee) and threading (band at midfoot with straight leg, bend & flex foot while pulling back on band).

We also practiced leaning forward at the ankles (not hips) while running. This is difficult because my body wants to bend at the waist. She showed us the Superman run to help correct this.

I wasn't planning on applying this knowledge at Ironman this week, but I'm changing my mind. It's not like I have to commit to one way or the other. I will just try to apply what I've learned and if it becomes painful or difficult, I will abandon. I can't imagine it would hurt me in any way. I just need to concentrate on form, that will be the hardest part. So here it goes...

4

...days until Ironman. 4 is also the number of hours Skyler would like to run the marathon in. I'm hoping for a little under 5. I ran a stand-alone marathon in 3:58 last month, so I think 5 hours should be attainable. But you never know what will happen on race day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

5

...days until Ironman. 5 is also the number of days I will be away from my baby boy. I've been away from him for a night or full day here and there, but never this long. I will miss him so much! I have made my mom promise to send lots of photos and FaceTime with me every night.

Monday, November 12, 2012

6

...days until Ironman. 6 is also the number of hours it will take to drive there. Those will be 6 painful hours when we drive home. Nothing worse than tightening muscles on a long drive.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

7

...days until Ironman. One week. Just one week. The days have dragged the past week or so, probably because I'm so bored with all my newfound free time. I'm already talking about my training schedule AFTER Ironman. It never ends.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

8

...days until Ironman. 8 is also the approximate length of each run loop. There are 3 loops, each about 8.5 miles.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Natural Running Class: Week #1


My friend Jill has recently decided she wants to run a half-marathon. She is currently a casual runner, but is ready to take it to the next level. To start her off, she signed up for a Natural Running Class. Of course I was interested in joining her, even if the class takes place during the month of my Ironman.

Of course I didn't sign up without finding out what the class entailed and was assured that attending & participating wouldn't hinder my race. Post-race might be a different story though.

Anyways, Tuesday was our first class and it mostly consisted of the instructor evaluating our form. We also did a few exercises introducing us to better running form. I was nervous that learning this just two weeks before my race would screw up my brain because I don't want to incorporate something new, but I learned that this isn't some "new" kind of running, it's learning about natural running form. This will not hurt me.

So the two things I took away from the first night of class are: stand tall and smaller strides underneath my body. This isn't new information, but it is a kick in the pants to do it. I took my new running form out for a spin during my brick workout the next day. Four miles off the bike at an easy sub-8 pace. I think this is working. 

Hoping my form gets better so I can change to cuter running shoes.

9

...days until Ironman. 9 is the approximate time that the first woman will finish.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

11

...days until Ironman. 11 is also the number of hours Skyler is planning on finishing in this year. I know he'll be able to do it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Race Report: Orangeman

Subtitle: My First Road Bike Crash



2012 was the year of proving myself. After taking off about a whole race season, I was anxious to get back to serious racing again. I missed racing Ironman California 70.3 this year because I didn't think I'd have enough time to train for it after having Desmond. But I really wanted to do a half-Ironman distance race. The next best thing was a new race called Orangeman in Dana Point, CA.

Orangeman is the same distance as a half-Ironman, but it's not an official one. That just means the race was smaller. Skyler chose to do this race too as Ironman prep, but you won't see him in any of these pictures. I stole the show for the day.

Desmond came with us the day before to pick-up our bibs and race packets. I've never seen a boy so sad while holding a balloon. Actually, I think he was just tired.


Race day came early, since we had to drop Desmond at the babysitter's house. Ian and Ashlyn are so super awesome! They reassured us to not hurry home or worry at all. They are lifesavers!

The swim was at Doheny State Beach. The water was pretty warm, but filled with lots of kelp. You know how much fun it is to be constantly touched by kelp when you're swimming? I don't prefer it. I came out the water and was surprised to see Skyler in transition. He had started about 10 minutes before me. He just had a really bad swim day. It happens. During a race that long you just have to learn to shake it off and not let it affect the rest of your race.

Elise Swim 41:33, Elise T1 3:00
Skyler 49:43, Skyler T1 2:42

I knew the bike was going to be a killer before going into this race. Pretty much it is 28 miles up Ortega Highway, then 28 miles back down. I don't shy away from climbs, but I knew it meant I wouldn't be able to compare my time with other half-ironmans because this would be way harder. It was a tough climb. I kept thinking...where's the top?! Finally the turn-around came and I was flying down the hill. I felt great and I was gaining time on the way. 

About 3 miles from transition we entered a residential area. The left side of the street was coned off for the racers. It wasn't very wide, so when a woman was drafting off me, I moved over for her to pass me. I thought she wanted to pass, but instead she continued to draft (which is illegal in most races). Because I moved to the right, I was close to the cones, which were connected with yellow caution tape. It was a windy day and the tape blew toward me and wrapped around my handlebars. Before I knew what was happening, I was falling. My bike was jerked away by the tape and cones and I was coming down hard on my left side. Oh no! So many thoughts were going through my head such as, will I still be able to run a marathon in two weeks, and can I still do Ironman. Then I hit the ground hard. I thought I had broken my elbow for sure because of how hard I hit. 

Next I was concerned about someone running into me. The girl that kinda caused the accident saw me fall yet rode away. No one else saw anything. I picked up my bike and quickly moved onto nearby grass. A volunteer finally saw me and ran over. She asked if I needed help and I said no, actually I wasn't sure. A few minutes later some policeman showed up. They interviewed me and asked if I needed help again. I said yes I would like to be checked out.

Paramedics arrived about 10 minutes later and my elbow was throbbing. Blood was dripping down my arm, but I felt confident it wasn't broken. What I really wanted was a pain killer. The paramedics attended to me, cleaning up my wounds. I turned them down when asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I said as long as nothing was broken, then I wanted to keep racing. I had to sign a consent form. About 30-40 minutes after I first fell, I was pulling my bike off the group to get back on. I kinda feared that if I didn't get back on my bike, that I wouldn't for a while.

My elbow hurt so bad so I couldn't put any weight on it at all. Riding a triathlon bike with one hand is nearly impossible. Luckily I only had 3 miles to go. I rode back to transition and made the decision to keep racing. All I had to do was run and I didn't need my arms to do that.

Elise Bike 3:51:42 (with about 40 minutes associated with crash), Elise T2 5:06
Skyler Bike 2:57:48, Skyler T2 1:37

The run consisted of a 2 mile sand portion, then you got to the loops. This part of the run was back-and-forth on a beach pace for 3 loops, so you actually ran 6 times on this same path for 1.8 miles each time. Talk about boring! I knew I would see Skyler sometime soon and I was so anxious to tell him what happened. We finally found each other and ran for a few miles together while I related my story. He had started to worry when he didn't see me on the run course. He was happy to see me, but he was almost finished so off he went to the finish line. I was jealous.

The rest of the race was pretty boring. I was able to run with my injured arm pretty easily. I guess I'm used to only using one arm to run since I train pushing a stroller most of the time. I ran for a few miles with a friend. Actually, we walked but I didn't care. It was hot and I wasn't in a hurry. After my 3 loops, it was back across the sand and through the finish line. I proudly wore that finisher's medal.

Elise Run 2:38:59, Total Time 7:20:23
Skyler Run 2:09:55, Total Time 6:01:46


Race adrenaline kept me pretty happy for the rest of the day. We enjoyed our post-race ritual of In-N-Out and Del Taco. And lucky for us Ashlyn said to take as long as we need because Desmond was being so good with them. Yay!


I would have expected the pain of my injuries to be the worst on the day they happened, but that definitely wasn't true. The photos below are from 4 days later. They may not look like much, but this was/is some serious pain. My elbow got the worst of it and I was convinced it actually was broken. A trip to urgent care confirmed that my bones were just very bruised, but not broken. I learned that road rash hurts WAY more than it looks. Last week I saw a dermatologist who said that my road rash gave me a tiny tattoo (from the asphalt). 

Fast forward to 6 weeks later and I'm finally started to heal. My knee is fine. The large hip bruise is gone. My road rash has produced fresh, white skin on my back. The only pain I have is my elbow. It's hard to believe, but it is still so sensitive. I used to cry in pain anytime anything touched it. It had been punctured to the bone, which is why it was so sensitive I'm sure. It's still pretty raw, but I can use it normally again. I wasn't able to swim for a few weeks while it heeled, but now I'm fine with that.


(Back, hip, knee, elbow)

I'm extremely lucky, I definitely know that. I could have been hurt so much more. I was able to run a marathon 2 weeks later (yippee!) and I can race Ironman in 2 weeks. I also know I don't ever want to crash again, but realistically I'm surprised it hadn't happened before. Also, Orangeman was a great race and I'd love to race it again.

12

...days until Ironman. 12 is also the number of hours Skyler completed this race in two years ago.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Here Come the Doubts

As I began last weekend's brick workout, the winds were pushing pretty strong against me. Frustration and negative thoughts formed in my head as I began to recall all the training I've done for Ironman. Actually, I should say that I began dwelling on what I should have done or how I could have pushed harder.

Doubts.

They always accompany tapering for me. I think about squeezing in one last interval run or sprints in the pool or hill repeats on the bike. But it's too late to make a difference. My training is done. There's nothing I can do to make myself faster. I just need to let it be.

Race day will come and I need to reflect on the hard work I HAVE done. I haven't been sitting on the couch for the past 6 months. I've been training like a mad woman with every free second I have. Almost every day I picture that moment when I will cross the finish line and those magic words will be said about me...

13

...days until Ironman. 13 and 1/2 hours is my goal time for the race. Of course my first goal is just to finish, but I'm hopeful to do it under 13-1/2 hours.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

14

...days until Ironman. I can't think of another comparison for 14, but our race is in 14 days!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

15

...days until Ironman. 15 is also the number of years I've been running. I started after my first boyfriend encouraged me to join him. I will be forever grateful for that.

Friday, November 2, 2012

16

...days until Ironman. 16 is also my hopeful average bike mpg. I'm hoping for a 7 hour bike or better.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

17

...days until Ironman. 17 is also the number of hours we have to finish the race.