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|ronman Canada Race Report - Part 6 (Final Report but just the beginning)

Run – 42.2kms – 5:11:09

The run was slow and basically went as planned. The first 3kms of the run are in and around the finish line. When I was at about the 2km mark, I could hear Jordon Rapp, the race winner giving his victory interview with Steve King. How crazy is that??!! I have 40kms to go on the run and the winner has finished. As I headed out of town and down Main Street I saw and her husband Erik cheering me on. Not more than 50 feet later I saw and her husband.

I was running slowly but had a smile on my face and felt pretty good. I was not really concerned about the distance I had to cover still. I was pretty excited that I had now finished the swim and the bike and was now on the run. It was like being in a dream how quickly the time had passed during the day.

Around 9kms into the run I started to feel the distinct tightness of my right IT Band. I had ITB 10 years ago when I first started to run marathons but this was the first time I had felt it since then. I road was slanted down toward the curb at the end of South Main and I think this contributed to the problem. I was careful to stop and stretch it out a few times throughout the run. It never became too inflamed but it was something that concerned me.

At around the 10km mark I passed by the house we had rented. There was a whole house load of people there cheering me on. The house was at the top of a hill so I it was great to see everyone out there.

After the house, it was down along Lakeshore Drive to OK Falls again. I thought about looking for my bike tools but then realized how silly that was and quickly forgot about them. Funny how crazy ideas make sense when you have been going for over 7 hours straight. I had not actually run the whole route before but I had ridden it on my bike so I knew it was hilly. I stuck to my plan of walking the aid stations. At this point I was into PowerGel overload. I didn’t have any stomach or GI issues, I was just sick of PowerGels. I started getting Gatorade every 2nd aid station alternating with water and PowerGel every other aid station. The run aid stations are amazing. Stocked with PowerBars, PowerGels, Gatorade, fruit, chicken broth, Pepsi, sponges soaked in water and ice. Because I hadn’t trained with anything other then PowerGel, PowerBar and Gatorade, I stuck with that until the last couple of aid stations where I took a few sips of Pepsi.

On my way out to OK Falls I could watch all the faster runners coming back toward town. When I was about 12km into the run I passed Then about ½ way out I ran past a fellow SAA member, Marinus. He had a disposable camera with him and I stopped and posed for a photo and continued on. I continued to run out to OK Falls with other random participants who I chatted with and played cat and mouse with as we shuffled out to the turn around. The run special needs bags were located at the turn around. When I was handed my bag, I dumped it out on the side of the road and looked at what I had packed. None of the food items in my bag looked appealing. There was such a great selection of food on the course I had everything I needed. What I did take was my Ziploc bag of band aids, 2 Tylenol, 2 Maalox tablets, and sample size of Body Glide. By this time I was chaffing under my right arm and really needed the Body Glide. I also used it as Chapstick. My lips were really dry and hurting from all the salt on my face. Not the best but it worked. I changed my socks also. I didn’t have any blisters and my feet felt good but I thought it would be a good idea to change them. I looked at my bag of chips and left them behind. A guy who was sitting with me while I changed my socks yelled at me that I had forgotten my chips. I yelled back that he could keep them if he wanted. I didn’t stick around to see if he took them or not.

Once out of the special needs area, I was very aware that I was passed the ½ way point of the run and I was on my way back to town. I also knew that the big hill I came down into OK Falls I would now have to climb back up. I think I walked most of it but I really can’t remember. From this point, my memory becomes a bit fuzzy. I ran past Colin just past the turn around and yelled at him to catch up so we could run together. He said no problem but I was about 20 minutes ahead and I never did get to run with him. I saw Fay power walking her way out to OK Falls looking strong and in great spirits. I crested the hill where our rental house was and saw a group of housemates there cheering me on. I had walked up the hill toward the house and since I was at the top, I needed to start running again.

The house marked about 10kms to go. I ran down to South Main Street then crossed over to Main Street. With about 5kms to go, I started to power walk because I was concerned about my calves and quads feeling like they may cramp up. I ran as flat footed as I could to avoid the cramping.

With about 3kms to go I took off the reflective arm bands I was wearing because I knew I was going to finish just around the time it got dark. If you are expecting to finish after dark, you must wear reflective gear to be seen. With 2kms to go, I arrived at the finish line.

The best and worst part of Ironman Canada is the out and back run along Lakeshore Road along the beach at the beginning and end of the run. It is worst because you are SO close to the finish and it is the best because the spectators, cowbell and cheers make the whole event worth the pain. I power walked the out part of Lakeshore because I really wanted to run across the finish and I was thinking I might not be able to run the whole 2kms to the end.

At the 1km to go mark I saw Tim, Brenda and Jamieson. Tim gave me a BIG hug and kiss (we have that on video somewhere). Ron and Christine were there. Stephen and Susan were there. Ben was there. Jeremy was there. Hopefully I mentioned everyone who was there. The moment was such a blur. Jamieson ran with me for about 100m. I can’t remember exactly what he said but he ended with “I love you Mom” and peeled off to watch me finish.

As I came down the finishing shoot, it was lined with people on each side. I gave a few people high 5’s then focused on the breaking the tape. There was no one behind me but there was a guy finishing in front of me. As I came across the finish line I grabbed the tape and tried to hold it over my head to get a good fishing picture. The volunteers who were holding the tape held on to it tight and it came free from my hands which made for a funny picture. Luckily I had my wits me to quickly recover and put both of my hands up and get a good photo.

I was an Ironman! I have no idea what song was playing when I finished and I had no idea what Steve King said when I finished. I was done. My body was done and I was done mentally. As I started to cry, I was caught by Mike and Michelle who are my club mates. I could not believe how lucky I was to have great friends be there at the end.

As I had run by Tim, he said that he would meet me outside the Massage tent. This was great because I was pretty happy to get a massage. Once Mike and Michelle had me settled in the massage line, they said good-bye and went on to catch more people. As I sat in the massage line, I had a few chips and a few sips of Pepsi. I felt pretty good but did’t think I was going to be able to stand up when it was my turn. A few minutes later, I was called and was surprised I could stand and waddle my way over to the bed.

Once I lay down on the massage table though, I was almost 100% sure I would not be able to get up. The volunteer who gave me my massage was very chatty and I loved it. Once she finished, I told her that I was pretty cold and tired and wouldn’t be able to get up. She called over a nurse who assessed me. I was not dehydrated, my pulse was fine and I was able to answer skill testing questions like “What day is it?” and “What is your race number”.

As I slowly sat up then stood up, a wave of nausea hit me and I was looking for a garbage can. Because my stomach had nothing in it except Pepsi and a few chips, that is all the came out. My stomach continued to heave even though there was nothing left. I guess once you puke, you get to go to the Medical tent because that is where I was taken. I was moved to the ‘walking wounded’. Racers who are sick but not sick enough to get a bed. Once there I was feeling better and drank some of the chicken soup they provided. Not more than a few minutes later I threw that up also. I was moved to a bed where I rested and was asked more complicated questions. I was SO TIRED but I was pretty sure I would puke again if I got up. At this point the kind doctor offered me a Gravol shot. Gravol and anti nausea drug (like Dramamine in the US). I gladly lifted my sweatshirt off my arm and took the shot. About 20 minutes later I was feeling good enough to get up and be discharged. I don’t recall the doctor’s name but my nurse’s name was Sheila. She was GREAT! My family and Brenda were waiting outside the tent for me. Marinus was also there (very sweet of him to stay since he finished over an hour ahead of me. It was now 11:30pm. I had been up since 4:30am but I was WIRED. I thought about staying until the last finisher came in but it was a fleeting thought. I wanted to get back to the house.

Final Time – 13:23:56

I AM AN IRONMAN! I could not have done this without the support of my family, friends and my coach. When it comes down to it though, it is a very personal accomplishment that I believe everyone should experience in their lifetime. This race report is not particularly well written and was well over 5000 words but hopefully I have given you a glimpse of the Ironman experience.

If only 1 person reads this and decides to sign up for an Ironman, I would consider this post a success. I also would love to answer any questions that you have that I may not have covered about Ironman Canada. Although I was not tempted to sign up for IMC 2010, I do plan to volunteer at the race to get priority entrance to IMC journey continues.


Kelownagurl said…
Congrats Erin, it was a great to watch you through this entire journey since we first "met" and I interviewed you, last Jan/Feb? Listening to your podcast has made me realize I probably don't ever want to commit to the intense training that is involved in an Ironman, but I guess never say never.

Anyway, I'm so proud of you - you done good, girl! You raced an awesome race, and had a great time for a first timer. Imagine what you'll be able to do in 2011!!
Lybbe said…
I won't be that one person that signs up to train for Ironman, but I will be one of many who think you are absolutely awesome for training for it and seeing it through to the end. I'm proud to say I 'know' you.
Stplatt said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iain said…
Well done you.
Cracking race and a cracking report. Made me tired just reading it. Just 48 days to go for me and I'm looking forward to my IM retirement party. If my day goes as well as yours (minus the puncture) I'll be very happy.
Stplatt said…
Don't know that I will ever run an IM, I'll leave that to the professionals. After watching you, Brandon, and next year, Dawne, I MIGHT be persuaded to try a sprint at some point.
Megan said…
Congratulations on your excellent IMC finish. I enjoy your podcast, and appreciate the inside look of what it's like for a wife and mother to train for Ironman. Hopefully someday (a long time from now!) I'll be able to claim the Ironman title as well!
Megan said…
Congratulations on your excellent IMC finish. I enjoy your podcast, and appreciate the inside look of what it's like for a wife and mother to train for Ironman. Hopefully someday (a long time from now!) I'll be able to claim the Ironman title as well!
Melanie J Watts said…
Erin I 've enjoyed reading your awesome race report and I feel insanely happy for you and your great accomplishment. I can't believe you are going back for more in 2011.
Colin Hayes said…
Congrats on your awesome journey, and on being an Ironman! Great report! Very inspiring!
Congrats!!! One of the best RR I have ever read, thanks for sharing
Penney said…
Yay, Erin. Thanks for sharing your experience. You were awesome out there!
Unknown said…
Truly inspiring and thanks for sharing! Congratulations!
Runner Leana said…
Congratulations Erin! It sounds like you had a great day out there despite the flat. So glad you were able to get it fixed fairly quickly.

Nicely done. Makes me excited for next year!
Thanks for coming by my site. I always enjoy reading race reports. It is a great way to get pumped up for an upcoming race.

Congratulations on finishing one of the tougher North American IMs!!

liferunner said…
Erin - Big Congratulations - You are a Ironman. Thanks so much for sharing your journey and the detailed report of the day. It has inspired me to get back into triathlon again. Showing how you managed this and your family life has been very motivating.
Aunt Ashy said…
Way to go Erin! You truely are very inspiring. If I ever make it to an IM, it will have to be attributed to the fact that you inspired me and made me see that it is physically possible for the average person like me. 1.5 yrs ago I never would have thought that I would ever run down the street, let alone a marathon (which I will accomplish 2 weeks from today in Chicago on 10-11-09)... This past April I accomplished my very first sprint triathlon (which Kelownagurl inspired me to do)... So maybe someday (and I sooo hope this comes true) an IM. Thanks for the great race report, and thanks for the awesome podcast!
Stuart said…
So late to the party, but hey I came!

I read every word with a smile, having listend to your podcast I know how passionate you were/are about this and how much you poured into it! I can somewhat empathize on the long distances although Ironman is a world apart from what I do!

Congrats on a great job and I am looking forward to the next one!
joyRuN said…
I'm way late, but I've enjoyed reading every word of your IMC race report - incredibly inspiring!
Chris said…
I just finished listening to your long-awaited podcast report - and will make my way through your 5000 words. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I'm fence-sitting on whether to try the whole 140.6 next year or "just" a 70.3. Your experience inspires me! Thanks again.
Sandy said…
I am that one person! :-)

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