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I just completed my first half ironman this weekend.<br>
Swim: 1.2 miles<br>
Bike: 56 miles<br>
Run: 13.1<br><br><b>Arrived:</b> Friday night late!<br><br><b>Saturday:</b> Swim clinic with Sheldon. He ROCKED! He gave us so much good advice that helped me get through. He was honest about the course, and it prepared me mentally for a tough race the following day.<br>
We went to the expo, where I managed to spend less than $30. I bought a 70.3 magnet for my car, an XL Ironman bento box and some extra egels, cherry bomb flavor.<br>
Picked up the race packets. They gave me the wrong cap…I got the correct cap, to find out the next day that half my age group had the wrong cap, so it wouldn’t have mattered.<br>
The race shirt-glad to see a tech shirt, but this flippin’ thing has a hard time coming unwrinkled. This is the first tech shirt I’ve ever ironed.<br><br><b>Afternoon:</b> bike check in…can’t remember if we did this before or after dinner. I used Sheldon’s super secret transition advice…there was no way I was getting lost!<br>
Dinner: The GetFit-Atlanta folks went to a dive that had good pasta…thanks to coach Jim!<br><br><b>Evening:</b> Why does it take so long to get your transition stuff together? OMG…it took at least 2 hours. Dana saved my life and got me a fuel belt # holder which has 10 gel slots. I put 6 in…she helped me get my “ammo” belt together. I also taped a Ziploc to my belt and filled it with a generous handful of Hammer electrolyte/salt capsules.<br>
Went to bed sorta early…woke up at 3AM and layed in bed until 4AM when we got the wake up call.<br><br><b>RACE DAY!:</b> We dragged ourselves to body marking around 4:45 AM…lucky for us we got there b/c after we were done with transition set up, the line went down the sidewalk a long, long way. My bike was assigned the slot next to Becca’s…she was 295, I was 296. The girl next to us was VERY nice…she let me borrow her head lamp and bike pump. We helped each other set up our transition and get our bikes ready. She ended up WINNING her age group. Nice to see super good athletes be nice! Shout out to Becca who also got 10th in the AG!<br>
We went back to the hotel, suited up and headed to the beach. Some lady sang what I thought was a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner that made my eardrums fall out.<br>
I warmed up quickly in the ocean, saw my transition buddy, took my gel and got with my wave. I pee’d 2x in my wetsuit before the race.<br><br><b>Swim:</b> Gun went off! Wait…it was an airhorn! Jim told me to start to the right and to the back. I forgot to remember that my stroke is uneven and I naturally veer to the right if there is no lane line under me. OOPS! I ended up way off course and had to swim back to my red cap girls half way out on the first part of the swim. My group was well behaved and didn’t swim over each other or kick each other’s goggles off. On my way to the turn I got stung in the cheek by a jelly fish. Didn’t hurt to bad…I didn’t get a direct hit.<br>
The turn on the course where we went parallel to the shore was brutal. It was extra wavy.<br>
On the way back in the purple capped men caught us and I got swum over 2x by men and kicked by a nice guy who stopped, turned and apologized. Not long after the super fast day glo green caps caught us. I saw a guy with a speedo between his knees and his wiggly jiggly hanging out. You’d thought he’d pull up his panties…maybe he kept it there to keep his legs together to be forced to swim through a small hole.<br>
I was super excited to get back on the shelf where I could see bottom. A few seconds later thousands of jellies popped up. I kept my cool. Before I knew if I got to shore, ripped off the top half of my WS, stripped my cap and goggles off and proceeded to run to T1. I thought I was going to puke. Swim time 47 minutes.<br><br><b>T1:</b> I took my time. This was my first half iron man…I didn’t want to forget anything. I popped a gel, drank half a bottle of water, got my gear, went to the mount line and clipped in easily. T1…over 5 minutes.<br><br><b>Bike:</b> The first part of the ride was a short out and back…I saw a girl crash her obnoxious pink trek…she ran into a cone. Shortly after I lost one of my super-concentrated Nuun bottles.<br>
Around mile 10 obnoxious pink trek girl passed me…I was going 18-20 mph…that is until mile 20. All of the sudden I felt that foot pain that only plagued me during stationary riding. OMG…this can’t be happening to me. Jim passed me around mile 25. He was in great spirits. He asked how I was doing…I tried to put a good face on, but was barely able to get the word “ok” out of my mouth. Not only was my foot hurting, but the muscles inside my legs near where underwear would go was hurting. I never had pain there!<br>
We turned around at mile 30. Mile 32 I had to get off my bike to pee. I couldn’t pee on my bike. I unclipped…left foot off, right foot off…put left foot on the ground, put right foot on the ground…took right foot off the ground. OMG. I couldn’t put any weight on it. It hurt like it’s never hurt before. I went to the porto-john. I took a pain pill. I somehow got on my bike with a feeling of doom. I’m surprised I was able to get on the bike, nevermind riding the rest of the way back to t2. I was nearly in tears. I thought I was done. How could I do a half marathon if I couldn’t even walk? I knew I should have never bought that 70.3 magnet. Dang! Before I knew it we were back to the beach and I was terrified of unclipping. Good thing for one leg drills…my left leg worked extra hard! Took me 3:18, averaging 16.9 mph…I would have been much faster if my foot behaved…lucky to finish!<br><br><b>T2:</b> Unclipped and coasted in to the dismount line. I got off the bike and limped to the bike rack. Most bikes were back. I had a lot of trouble reracking my bike. It took a few minutes. I sat on my bucket. Took 2 more pain pills, took a gel, grabbed bottle, race belt and hat and went to the bathroom…that was my 4th stop for that. I hobbled out of t2. It took me way over 6 minutes. I was so GLAD that I even made it out of t-2.<br><br><b>Half Marathon:</b> I walked the first 100 feet…then I managed a shuffling jog. About a 3rd mile out Carole Sharpless was heading in! Go Carole go!<br>
First mile was marked way short. I trotted along and stopped at every rest stop. My favorite was stop #2, the Aloha Stop. A man dressed in a grass skirt and coconut bra made sure everything was going ok for me and all the athletes. Ice down the pants and in the hat…filled up my water bottle at each stop, took half a gel each mile and the salt tabs as needed. Those salt tabs saved my life! I never cramped once during my run! I’ve never had a distance event where I didn’t cramp. Ah! Heaven!<br>
I saw lots of people on the run…this time when Jim saw me I was looking and feeling good. Praise Dr. Steinberg and Ultram! My foot still hurt, but I was able to run through it. I saw Becca, Ron, Sheldon, Doug, Dana, and Bobby. I met some 67 year old guy named Ray who seemed to know EVERYONE in the race and walked faster than I was able to jog.<br>
I hit St. Anthony’s park, or hell as Sheldon called it. We luckily had a slight breeze, but it was still a hot 92 degrees in the air…I wonder how hot the street was. Starting in the park I went pee at every stop…a total of 7 times on the run. Rest stops took me anywhere from 3-5 minutes…I spent lots of time there like it was a SAG on a century ride. I didn’t care…my goal was to finish without ending up in the med tent.<br>
On my way out of St Anthony’s a lady with an IM FL shirt gave me a shout-out…apparently she wanted to catch me on the bike but couldn’t. That gave me a pick-me-up which lasted about 4 minutes.<br>
Starting at mile 11 or 12 I had to Gallowalk. I had been running (if you can call it that) between rest stops and walking the rest stops…or peeing).<br>
I would walk, shuffle, walk shuffle.<br>
Eventually I made it back to the strip. It was a little disheartening to see people with their medals looking all refreshed riding their bikes back to wherever they stayed.<br>
All the sudden I see Vicki and Jim cheering me on! YAY! I’m almost there…I see the finish line…I ran across it…got my ankle strap stripped, accepted my medal, posed for the camera and got some beer. I don’t like beer, but boy was it good after spending 7:42 on a half ironman. The half mari somehow took me 3:24. I blame it on my rest stopping. Who cares. I had fun. I felt GREAT at the finish…no pain at all. AMAZING! That means I had excellent nutrition. YAY!<br><br><b>Post Race Thoughts:</b> I’m a little disappointed in my slow time, but proud just to finish. Who thought someone who once weighed 348 pounds could ever do what I do now?<br>
I’m going to learn how to pee on the go. If Sheldon can pee whilst he runs, than so can I. Sheldon…did you wear socks?<br>
Going to concentrate on training and get my running better. I’ve been plagued by injury after injury, but thankfully I keep getting repaired by Dr. Nik, my sports chiro.<br>
We took x-rays. No stress fracture. Going to see Tony at ATS to see about my pedals, shoes and cleats and bike fit…it has to be that!<br>
_________________
 

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I have been anxiously waiting for this report! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Sounds like you toughed it out even though you ran across some challenges!<br><br>
Great job! Color me impressed! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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What a feat of athleticism -- Congratulations, tithers! Great report, too.<br><br>
You overcame jellyfish, foot pain, and above 90-degree temps to do something that is no small potatoes on a perfect day!<br><br>
What about the race was the most fun for you? What was the biggest lesson you took home from the experience?<br><br>
Do you normally pee that much, or was something different your race day?
 

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Dev is so wowed by Tithers, who is a Half Iron(wo)man now! Dev can't get over how calm Tithers was with all those jellyfish around her, and with what was probably a rip tide when swimming parallel to the shore. Dev would have peed in her wetsuit at that point for sure!<br><br>
Congrats, lady! You done good. <img alt="notworthy.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/notworthy.gif">
 

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<img alt="wav.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wav.gif"><br><br>
AWESOME JOB!!!!!<br><br><span>BUT--- WHERE ARE THE PICTURES?!?!?!??!?!</span>
 

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Discussion Starter #6
LOL Dev....tithers likes your response.<br><br>
The most fun was the swim...it was my worst sport in Oct, now it's my best. I liked seeing naked guy in the ocean, and I liked catching up to the slow folks 2 waves in front of me.<br><br>
I did LOVE finishing...especially since I thought I would be forced to DNF.<br><br>
I usually love the bike, but that was the low point.<br><br>
why did I pee so much? I'm a dehydrator by nature. I made sure that wasn't going to happen ever again! I would cramp, things would go downhill fast. I'm happy I was able to pee 11 times (although annoyed...) means I was well hydrated on a day where many half marathoners looked like they were about to fall over.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<br>
Pics are not up yet...I'll post them when they come.
 

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Grizzly has problems with third person singular, but will try.<br><br>
Grizzly is very impressed. Won't ever try to do what you tried and succeeded at. Congrats!
 

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Great job Tithers! IM watch out!
 

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I am so impressed! Good job, lady! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Can't wait for pix!
 

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TITHERS!!!!!!!!!! <span style="font-family:Fixedsys;">you rock</span><br><i>CONGRATS, SISTAH!</i><br>
~from one who is able to potty-on-the-fly~
 

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That is insane...you definitely are the wo-man!<br><br>
I can't even fathom riding 50some miles...let alone doing it after that swim and before a 1/2. Absolutely insane I tell ya, but sounds like a blast. Sorry about the whole dying pain thing, but you are obviously one tough chick.<br><br>
Congratulations. I am astounded by your awesomeness. <img alt="notworthy.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/notworthy.gif"><br><br>
Alex
 

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Sounds fun - congrats - Maybe I will have to learn to swim - and buy a bike -<br><br>
But I will never be haawt like Tithers
 

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Very impressive. My legs may wobble when I get up off my ass outta this chair to leave work just from reading that. You must, and should, feel so empowered. Very nice indeed!
 
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