Ok...ok....no tears are allowed here but to say Im not disappointed would be a lie. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful race..however, it wasn't MY day...
I woke up at 345am..had my breakfast and had multiple text messages from so many well wishers. I grabbed my gear and headed to transition. Got body marked and dropped off my Special Needs Bags, got my tires pumped up by the tech guys in transition (and this will be significant later) and headed back upstairs to our condo to stay warm.
We took some awesome pictures with my support crew as I got into my wetsuit/skin and headed down to the beach. I was very nervous as Hector took me aside and gave me some last minute instructions. "Today is your day...you have prepared and you are ready..now its just a victory lap".
The gun went off and my eyes got wide as I watched 2000 people enter the water. I hit the water with determination. THIS IS going to be my day.
I did my first lap in 52 minutes, just like I had done the day before. I know this sounds slow to the rest of the world but for me, it was awesome. I ran up the sand to make the lap back in the water, stumbled a little but I was pumped. Back into the water for the second lap feeling FANTASTIC!!
Out of the water at 2:05:00. Ok...were not setting any speed records here but you must understand, my goal was to make the cut off..and I did by 15 minutes.
Out of the water and up the sand, Mike Rielly was announcing my name (holey moley..Mike Reilly knows who I am). I made it through the showers and into the changing tent. My first Ironman transition took me about 10 minutes (I can do better here).
Off to my bike where my coach, Hector, had it waiting for me in transition. All smiles and excited he sends me on my way. Little did I know that he had found a flat front tire while I was in the changing tent and had the bike tech support in transition change it before my arrival. I just jumped on and went.
On the bike, i got organized. Bottles were full, Bento box accessible and into the aero bars I went. Off Thomas Drive on to Front Beach Road and I was on my way.
I took two sips of endurance drink and felt a little funny. Hmmm...maybe Im just a little amped up from the swim. I switched to water for the next few miles. At mile 4 I tried some more endurance drink. It hit my stomach like a lead weight. Wow!! I tried a gel..and some water. Now Im queasy but ok. A few yards down on the road, another sip of endurance drink and....oh no....Im not just sick...im REALLY SICK!!
I proceeded to upchuck every 3 to 4 minutes for the next 50 miles. At the special needs stop, I decided to consult medical assistance. In my special needs bag, I had packed TUMS and Gas X (thanks to my friend's advice on BeginnerTriathlete.com) I downed 4 tums. They made the trip back up. I looked up at one of the Ironman Staff and two paramedics and I knew, I was probably done.
They brought an ambulance. I refused. All I need is a ride to the medical tent and something to settle my stomach. I got that and enter the medical tent where they found me running a slight fever and a high heart rate. There is a chance I got some food poisoning OR my formula from Infinit was not the right mixture..but whatever it was...it ended my first attempt at Ironman.
After a bag of IV fluid and several bottles of water, I was released to my husband's arms. It was only in this moment that I cried. In the grand scheme of life, this is small potatoes. Im not losing my house. I haven't been diagnosed with cancer. My life is amazing. On the 10th anniversary of my gastric bypass, I did more in a day than I would have ever dreamed of. Im still living and my quality of life is so incredible, how in the world could I be sad. We sat and talked on the beach and, with his loving and sweet support, we agreed, I would try this again.
I tell ya what I DID get to do yesterday. After getting my stomach right and a quickie nap, my dear support crew got some dinner in me and we returned to the finish line. I got to witness some amazing people accomplishing something very wonderful. To every single finisher, I am in awe and I applaud you. Congrats to all.
So, you might wonder..whats next?? Well...I don't believe in failure. I believe in making mistakes until you succeed. So, even though I have an automatic entry into any 2009 Ironman North America race, I got up at 400am and cheered on 4 of my friends who signed up for Florida 2009. I WILL DO THIS AGAIN AT FLORIDA IN 2009!!
No tears. No fear. No excuses. No BS. It wasn't yesterday but I decided what my future holds.
I will be an Ironman!!