Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ironman Florida: Part II Run/Medical

T2 went a lot smoother and faster than T1. Going into the changing area, there was only one other woman. Kind of shocking. Where was everyone? Wow-I must be doing pretty well I thought to myself.....

I stripped off my helmet, switched out my socks, took off the compression sleeves, and then threw on my Newtons. I haven't run much in compression socks and didn't want to try it today. I took two gels with me and was off. The volunteers were far more helpful this round. I thanked them profusely as I exited. On the way out of transition, I hit up the porta-potty to pee and realized that I forgot to take out my removable-Jaggad-chamois. I HATE HATE HATE running with "junk in my trunk" or with a load in my pants. I took off the chamois and dropped it at the end of transition. Sorry to the volunteer who had to pick that up.

T2: 3:55

Departing T2, my legs were a bit wobbly but I still felt like I had something left in the tank. I happily waved to Scott and my mom on the way out.
The run course is two-out and back 13.1 mile loops. Towards the end of the loop- you circle a couple miles around a state park and then return on to the finish/start.

The first few miles went by extremely fast. The local crowd was awesome: drunk 20-somethings in various costumes (Lady Ga Ga, Leopard lady with a whip, cougars galore to name a few). I took my first gel at mile 2 and washed it down with a half cup of water. After that I drank half of a cup of water at every other aid station. With my Garmin mishaps, I had no idea where I was time-wise. I figured I was going between an 8-9 minute pace. I kept a good turn over and kept my heart rate around 155 bpm. This continued until mile 7.

At the turn around of loop 1 I continued to feel good but could feel myself slowing. At that point, I took in a second gel. On the way back I caught my first glimpse of Chloe, her friend Carla, and my training buddy Dustin. It felt so good to see some familiar faces.

As I approached the turn around I started to think "holy sh#%" I have to do this whole thing one more time. I could feel some negativity setting in. I hoped that seeing my mom and Scott would help "miss crappy pants " flee and give me some motivation for Loop 2.

Around 13.1 miles I saw my mom and yelled to see where my hubby was. She yelled back that he was volunteering at the finish line. Oh was I pissed. GRRRRRRR!!! I knew he was volunteering but I thought he would be there. For some reason it just set me off. At that point in the race, there was nothing I wanted more than to just see my family. It was all I had to hold onto. I had a small mental melt down. You can tell by make fake smile......

On the way out I grabbed two more gels and a salt pill from my special needs. Since I was drinking mostly water, I thought the salt might be a good idea. I also thought about bringing my arm warmers but really didn't want to waste the time. Big mistake...I was off for loop 2 of the marathon. Miles 13-17 were slow but steady. Mile-15 I took the salt pill, half a gel, and then some water. After that it was all down hill.

Slowly, I felt my shorts tightening up around my stomach and I literally started growing a Buddha belly. Not a good sign: my body wasn't digesting anything I was taking in.

I tried to stick to my nutrition plan but just felt sick. I attempted to drink some orange flavored Gatorade and instantly I threw up in my mouth. Gross.... After that I tried some coke. Then another coke. Nothing seemed to be working. At that point i said ffffff- it and just quit trying to take in anything. What was the point?

Despite my digestive system going hay-wire, I didn't want to walk. It seemed like every time I walked a little, the more it hurt to get my engine going again.

After mile 19 I started walking a lot. My heart rate dropped to the 120s. My body said enough is enough. I made my way around the park and turned to go back. At that point I started losing track of what mile I was on. I felt so confused. People started passing me like crazy. I knew lots of girls in my age group were flying be me. I started not to even care. It was NOT looking good.

As the sun started to set the temperatures just dropped. It was so cold. My extremities were going numb, my mind was numb, and I felt my entire body just shutting down. As I approached each aid station, I thought about trying some chicken broth but knew it wouldn't settle in my stomach. The thought of dumping the warm broth over my head sounded far more appealing. Around mile 21, some old lady said, "Oh dear are you cold?" I just mumbled back yes.... I wanted to say" No sh#$%%% I'm so f*($)$()*%(%& cold...... Throw me a sweater grandma!

The sun went down and I had a good 4-5 miles to go. Realizing that the sun had set around 6pm and that the race started at 7am, I knew that I wasn't going to break 11 hours. My energy levels dwindled even further. With 2 miles to go I could start to hear, "you are an ironman" in the distance. I knew I was getting close but just didn't have anything to give. I walk-ran the rest of it.

For the last 400 meters of the race, I made a left turn onto the final stretch and knew the pain would be over soon. I kicked it in with a full all out sprint. The crowd cheer was instantly energizing.

Heidi Austin, "You are an IRONMAN"!

Oh how sweet those words sounded.

The run turned out like this:

RUN SPLIT 1: 6mi6 mi. (49:58)8:19/mile
RUN SPLIT 2: 13.05mi7.05 mi. (1:10:13)9:57/mile
RUN SPLIT 3: 19.05mi6 mi. (1:06:12)11:02/mile
RUN SPLIT 4: 26.2mi7.15 mi. (1:43:49)14:31/mile

A volunteer grabbed me and escorted me to get my finisher t-shirt, hat, and warming-foil. He then took me to the line to get my finisher photo taken. My mom volunteered at the finish line and was able to greet me as I crossed. The first thing I said to her was, "Where is Scott?????" She looked at me cross-eyed and then laughed. "Heidi, he's holding you up."
At that point, I did not pass go and did not collect 200 dollars. I bypassed the finisher photo area and was taken directly to medical.
They sat down and gave me some warm blankets. A doctor came over quickly and started asking me various questions about when I peed last, when I ate last, drank last etc. He gasped as he felt how cold my hands were. After I told him that I hadn't peed at all during the marathon he directed me over to a make-shift bed and made me lie down. He took my blood pressure and heart rate (98/60 HR 100 bpm). It was IV time. Due to severe hydration, it took the medical student a good 3 tries on my right arm and 2 on my left before they could find a vein. 5th try is a charm~ the liquid magic was in place.

As the IV did it's thing, I started to come back to life. As much as I wanted to pass out in the warm tent with the cozy blankets, I knew my mom and hubby were probably anxious to see me. Before I could leave, the doctors wanted me to drink some chicken broth. Despite severe nausea, I agreed. I sipped down 2 full cups of warm broth. Afterwards I sat up to see how it settle. I felt fine. My BP and HR were re-assessed and far more normal (112/70, 92). Yes I was free to go. I exited the tent and greeted my mom. I explained to her that I had an IV and was feeling better. Mid-sentence I stopped, turned around quickly and projectile vomited the chicken broth.

It came up again.

And again.

I took 2 steps closer to move away from the crowd and it came up one more time.



That hurt.

Scott ran over and yelled, "You are going back to medical!"

Heidi "No I'm not!"

Scott: "Oh yes you are!"

I walked in the medical entrance and grabbed a bottle of water and turned around and exited. I did not want to go back in there. Scott shook his head at my stubbornness. What could they have done at that point besides give me more chicken broth? I wasn't going there.

After my little medical episode, we went back to the hotel to get cleaned up. I really wanted to go back to cheer everyone in before midnight. Scott and my mom didn't think it was a good idea. After some convincing, we were back at the finish a few hours later.

We headed back to the finish line for the last hour and a half. And I'm so glad that we did. That last hour and a half is what Ironman is all about. It felt so good to cheer everyone in.

Congrats to everyone who did it and thank you to my friends, family, and especially to my hubby for putting up with me for the last 20 weeks. You have been nothing less than amazing.

Stay tuned for Part III-My summary of Ironman Newbie Lessons Learned.


  1. Fucking medical, eh? hehe
    You and your mom look SO much alike! SUPER CUTE!

  2. Purely amazing, you are such a rock star, congrats!!!

    And you won a Pukie, its up on my blog today

  3. Wow, you are absolutely awesome!

    And you and your mom do look a lot alike, both gorgeous of course!

  4. great work. can't wait to hear your thoughts

  5. Oh I know what you went through those last miles. I totally feel your pain. BUT YOU DID IT!!! What an awesome feeling to cross that line 'eh? And I agree, going back to watch the finishers at midnight was such an awesome experience. You are most certainly an Ironman Heidi Austin! :)

  6. We need to write a book 'how to mentally be ready for the last 13.1 of an ironman' :) You had such a killer race - and I feel so lucky to have such an awesome group of people to cheer on out there!!!

  7. OH YAY! I want to hear what you learned. I hope you are recovering well and enjoying the down time.
    And As D said, you must be adopted:)! ha

  8. AWESOME AWESOME!!! Loved the story of your day! Congrats again and again! And, is that your mom, really? ...she looks AWESOME. wow. :) ENJOY the R&R and glad you had a great day!

  9. way to dig deep chica! you are a rockstar.

  10. Congratulations!! You rock and that time was pretty damn awesome!!

  11. Waiting patiently for the next installment!! Can't wait!

  12. 1st you rock. second I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at a race report. I'm very familiar with miss crappy pants and the part about the grandma asking if you were cold cracks me up.
    you did frickin amazing girl. especially given the condition you were in medically! you are tough as nails! and to still go back for the finish after all that? you rock! I so wanted to do that at CDA but I couldn't do it :( next time.
    so so proud of you girl. hope you are enjoying some downtime!

  13. Congratulations!! One day I hope to be there.