Adventure Stories From the Club:

Just recently I received and email from one of our club members and I enjoyed reading her adventure I asked if it was OK to share and she said yes!.  I've heard other stories from members and I'm sorry they have been lost.  Like the 10 mile races in Rossatrio Beach (and the parties).  Byron's third attempt at the Hard Rock 100 (he completed it by the way).

If you have a story you would like posted please send to: chuck@oshea.net

So here is Donna's story:

Just FYI, my RACE REPORT - IMAZ - 11/20/2016

It was a mild and overcast day.

The Swim (2.4 miles)

Tempe Town Lake was about 65 degrees and I wore my booties because I tend to get cold.  I waited for Corrina and Lisa while standing on the timing mat *:( sad so we can start the swim together.  I ended up going in after them . . . The water was murky and flying arms and legs all thrashing about out of nowhere making their furious way to the same buoy.  Every time I felt I was getting into a rhythm, I got clobbered.  Just as the swim was thinning out at the turnaround, I was feeling good knowing it’s the final stretch and then some guy kicks me hard at my right thigh.  I started screaming, and the guy stopped to ask me if I was okay.  I told him no that I just cramped up because he kicked me. He was very apologetic.  A volunteer on a kayak paddled over to me and asked me if I wanted some water.  I said no since my cramping was subsiding and I didn’t want to waste any more time. I tried to swim straight and not to get off course and just wanted to focus on finishing the swim. 

When I got out of the water I was disappointed to see 1:55.  I wanted faster time.  The wetsuit strippers took some time in getting my wetsuit off and I was getting impatient.  I have gotten faster in getting my wetsuit off by using my feet.  It seemed a long way to T1 but I did my best to hurry and get on the bike.

The Bike (112-miles)

Known for its wind on the exposed bike course, I knew this day would be a challenge. I geared down and pedaled along. The out and back course went gradually uphill, then back down after the turnaround.  It was a relief to turn around and have the wind somewhat at my back for a while.  I took advantage of it by riding in my bike gear for effortless speed but it was a short reprieve. The wind fought us again a few miles later. The first loop at the turnaround, I stopped to take off my wind breaker and fill up my water bottle.

The second loop I tried to make faster time but had to go by feel because the wrong buttons were pushed on my watch by me or the wetsuit strippers while trying to take off my wetsuit.

The third loop, I was feeling energized knowing that I will make the bike cut-off, then I dropped my chain.  I should know never to get too excited because shi#t happens and the race is not over until it’s over . . .     Near the finish, I shouted to a guy, “on your left”, while trying to pass him, I rode my bike into the gutter and swerved and thought for sure I was going down and my bike was over.  Luckily, I recovered and didn’t crush.  Near the finish chute, that same guy comes barreling past me and I tried to hold myself together so not to crush.  This experience still haunts me.

The Run (26.2 miles)

I felt good getting off the bike and handing it to a volunteer.  My husband was at the bike finish and was so thrilled to see me.  He kept shouting how much he loved me as if no one was around.  I was very touched by that and never seen him like that before.  I went into T2 to take off my bike shorts which I wore over my tri shorts and put on my running shoes, bib, and visor for the run.  I flipped my watch to run.  I was feeling too good for the run and told myself to slow down which I did.  I naturally start out slow when I run but this time, I guess I was too excited knowing that I didn’t end up crashing and now safely on my feet.  During the run, I avoided walk breaks fearing that I would cramp up and would not be able to start up again. At one point, I felt a slight cramp on my left hamstring but kept trying to ignore it.   When I got tired I would shuffle along.  I stopped at the porta potty once during the middle of the run.  I made sure to take in calories by drinking Gatorade at almost every aid station.  I would have some banana too. It got dark and hard to see my watch.  I didn’t know how long I had been out there. I had no idea how fast I was going, what time it was . . .  Somewhere around mile 23, I started to feel energized and tried to run faster then I felt a sharp cutting pain on my left foot.  I was demoralized because I felt strong and then this happens.  While I was passing a guy, he told me good job and to keep going.  I told him I have a blister and it hurts!  He told me to just keep going and I’m near the finish.  I was limping running to the finish which disappointed me.  As the lights grew closer I heard Mike Reilly (announcer) and saw my friend Iraise.  It was great to see her! She was so excited and happy to see me too.  I just wanted to keep going and finish because my blister was hurting me and told her so.   When I got to the finish chute, I didn’t even hear Mike Reilly call my name to tell me YOU ARE AN IRONMAN! but my friends and husband did.  I envisioned myself crying and bawling during the run but when I made it to the finish line it was almost anticlimactic.  I don’t know why.  I was happy to see my coach Darrell at the finish because I knew he wanted me to finish and believed that I would if some mishap didn’t happen during the race.  I know my husband was ecstatic that I finished.  This training took a toll on both of us and it ended up not being in vain and what a relief!

The final toll was two large blisters on my left foot. I have been a little sore, but not much as expected.

The Results

My finish time was 15:25. I placed in the middle of my age group.

Regrets?

I wished I didn’t let my frustration and excessive irritability get the better of me.

The Tattoo?

No. I will not be getting the “M-dot” tattoo. I am not a tattoo kind of person. I will proudly put a “140.6” sticker on the rear window of our SUV.

Next Time?  

I don’t know if I will do another Ironman.  It’s such a heavy time commitment and sacrifices.  It was a heavy strain for the family and it would be nice to be “normal” for a while.  I will continue to do more half’s.


Thanks to all of my family, friends, teammates for your support!

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