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Ironman Canada - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Penticton, British Columbia
Canada
Ironman North America
95F / 35C
Sunny
Total Time = 16h 23m 52s
Overall Rank = 2304/2602
Age Group = F45-49
Age Group Rank = 109/123
Pre-race routine:

Skip ahead to the bike/run parts if you want....I know my race reports tend to be a little lengthy.

I see triathlon is a means of learning more about myself, who I am, what I am made of, it all becomes even more obvious when in a tough spot during a race or even training how do I respond what does that show about my character and deep down am I bold and brave. Training for running, biking and swimming allows me to enjoy the challenge of each sport, work hard to improve each, struggle at times, becoming better triathlete and also grow as a person.

This year my quality goals were as follows:
Have no regrets in training, racing & in life
Find joy in all I do
Find peace knowing I did my best
Being at comfortable with my body, weight and body fat%
Continue to develop mental strength
Be bold & face fears

Clearly I had the goal to improve my IM finishing time but that couldn’t be the sole focus of the year as time is only one factor about race day performance much can’t be quantified by a number but more of a backdrop as the journey to get there is where I learn more about me, my sport and improve.

Saturday week before race we flew from Providence to Seattle

Sunday spent the day in Seattle

Monday drove to Penticton which was about 6.5 hour drive and some 360 miles.

Tuesday: Met up with Bill (billycanuck) to swim. Okanagan Lake was ideal for IM swim cool at about 71, clean and clear. Bill explained how the swim was laid out and how to site. I did ride of McClean Creek loop and lost my Garmin by leaving it on the hood of our mini van to synch up. After searching for awhile by car and giving up Kevin & Brian walked mile and Brian spotted it on the side of the road.

Starting Tuesday night I went to bed early between 9-10PM. All week I had been calm, felt ready to race and only nervous a bit Monday when we arrived and Tuesday. Spending time on the race course doing a very little training and driving the course helped keep me calm.

Thursday : Registered and did some expo shopping.

Evening: We had a lot of fun with our BT dinner..thanks to Kevin & Brian for doing the cooking and clean up work so I could visit with friends...Scott & Hillary (Yaqui) and Dwayne & his wife Lee Ann (Micawber) and a friend from MA Roland and his wife Sherry.

Friday: Off my feet day so glad I did most of the running around Thursday but still went to the end of the athletes dinner and meeting but I ate at home to have control of what I ate.

Saturday: Felt dizzy on and off most of the morning and evening. It was strange, and I tried to pretend it wasn't happening as what the heck was I supposed to do ignoring it was my strategy.

Saturday I cut out all fiber and ate no fruits and vegetables. By moving my sleeping earlier all week I fell asleep easily the night before the race and woke up 3:50am feeling well rested.

I made all my nutrition for bike/run with my maltodextrin bottles...I call the mix my jet fuel..food for a day over 3000 KJ.



I cleaned my chain, spot cleaned my bike, put numbers on which meant taking off my IMLP stem number. Then Kevin, Libby and I drove down to drop off my bike and T1 & T2 bag. I have primo bike spot 2nd bike from aisle. A nice volunteer helps me put my bags in the proper spot on the grass but doesn't know much. I find another volunteer that knows how things work and he explained the all the details.
Event warmup:

Race morning up at 3:45 after good nights sleep. Planned to eat my normal white rice with egg whites and brown sugar but all the rice was eaten the day before so went with plan B...2 pieces of sprouted bread 1 with PB and the other with jam. I think I had something else but forgot.

When we arrived near transition around 5:30am, athletes are funneled into the main street area and I had to say good bye to my family. They took pictures of body marking and then I went into transition and didn't see them until I was out on the bike.



It made that time more lonely and not knowing but a handful of folks doing the race, I only bumped into Roland while waiting in the port a potty line. No fiber the day before the race worked great..may go to no fiber starting mid day 2 days before.

Right before pros went off I had a Powerbar gel.

It's an Ironman no warm up needed.
Swim
  • 1h 47m 11s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 32s / 100 yards
Comments:



Lined up in back to left as the course is clockwise. I breathe right and tend to swim to the right so I was excited about the swim course layout. 95% of the swims I do in races and most all in New England are counterclockwise and harder for right breathers. Going in I was confident I would beat my swim time from last year and thought probably 5-10’. I worked hard on my swimming since last November with new swim coach again working on improving my technique and my tri coach’s workouts. My ows has improved swimming same length of pond I have been 6% faster than last year. Big plus this year I enjoyed swimming much more this year and I had no concern over making the swim cut off unlike last year.



At the start all of us in the back start walking as it gets gradually deeper slowly. I started swimming and felt comfortable and only a little contact maybe 2nd buoy I was hit in the head but the guy who apologized. I saw a fish close to the bottom not sure what type it was but looked like a bottom feeder. I was with a big group of folks and we all sort of kept together. I tried drafting some but I would end up to close to them or they were zig zag swimmers. I believe the buoys were 200 meters apart. First turn was to be around a houseboat which didn’t show up so a sailboat filled in. It was 1640 meters to turn so almost the whole way across the lake. Swam the short end and turned to headed home.

Waves have picked up and I found it harder to site as well as periodically get a mouthful of water. Folks were swimming on the right side of the buoys instead of left and soon I found myself basically alone. Shortly after making the turn, I got a cramp in my right foot which happens to me from time to time. I was able to keep swimming but it came back a few minutes later and worse. I looked around to see if a Kayak was near if I needed to stop to get rid of it but none were close and it went away for good. Maybe about a third of the way back I did get a big mouthful of water so that I had to stop and cough a bunch.

I race without a watch so I had no idea of my time but myself awareness kicked and I thought I probably didn’t site well and fell behind the group I was with. I was happy to see the two large building get larger and larger, hear the roar of the crowd and Steve King the announcer, when I heard him say the swimmers have thirty three minutes to complete their swim, I was close to the exit, did the math and was annoyed….all that work, lessons, time in the pool for one bloody minute improvement? I was quite disappointed.




What would you do differently?:

I'm guessing that what I gained in speed I lost in poor sighting. IMLP is an easy IM swim as I just followed the cable no sighting much like a pool. This race one loop in big open water, waves, and poor sighting can make a huge difference.

Yes I was disappointed but it was temporary. I try to focus on what I can do right now to do my best and having negative or frustrating thoughts about my swim does me no good.

I happy I did improve even though it was just a minute.
Transition 1
  • 04m 26s
Comments:

I ran out of the water knowing Sherry, the Iron Sherpa of Roland who lives in Franklin not 15 minutes from me, was wetsuit stripping and being in the BOP easy to spot her. She called right out to me and I ran over she was fast and efficient and being kind encouraging me for the bike and I was being a bit disagreeable, grumbled a bit not hiding my disappointment. I snatched my wetsuit and ran off to get my T1 bag put that behind me I have a lot of miles to cover. Fewer bags, more helpers transitions are easier when not MOP.

Get a helper, dump my T1 bag only use stuff in 2 gallon ziplock, do everything quickly, run out the door carrying my sunglasses or they’d fog up, down the brick path and find my bike second from aisle…sweet spot. Trot to end of transition, over mat to mount line and get on my bike. I was surprised how many other folks were around.

25/123 on T1 FOP

What would you do differently?:

I did great in my transitions and cut almost half my time off...no changing at all make saves a lot of time. Transition is right next to Lake here as opposed to up the street in LP.
Bike
  • 8h 20m 56s
  • 112 miles
  • 13.41 mile/hr
Comments:



Right away check Power meter is on, get in my aerobars and keep watts in goal range. There is lots of crowd support and cheering and being out on the bike in my normal happy place was good. Down main street over cobbled cross walks, around the Husky station and out onto Lakeside Drive along Skaha Lake. This if fun, execute my plan, don’t push watts up on the hills, and I should set myself up to have a good run. I’m passing folks, folks are passing me, weather is nice and I’m in a good spot. Waiting 20’ until I can take in calories and I want them.



Get to the corner to make the left up McClean Creek and see my favorite Iron Sherpa and my son taking photos and as I make the corner the girls are petting a dog.




Road gets a bit rough and soon it is pretty steep. I love my 11-34 cassette, drop my cadence and get up the hill. Other racers are panting, standing, frying their legs, lots pass me but I have a plan. Top of the hill aid station, I’m all set, beautiful horse farms and terrain, then around back down the hill….it’s great with mostly closed roads and able to pick the best line and fly down and hit almost 39 mph and choppy road..I love descending.

Around through OK Fall onto 97 South heading towards the US border, huge shoulder that is swept and smooth. I dial in my power and keep it there on the small rollers I back off and lots of folks pass me but after cresting even the small hills I keep power up and pass them all back. I did this over and over with a young women wearing teal and a man in his 50s. We’d had an ongoing conversation. I’d say see you at the next hill. I was feeling good, taking in nutrition, watts felt right and I was flying. I knew this was the slightly downhill section of the course with beautiful scenery.

just before Oliver


We went through Oliver and then into Osoyoos and you can see Richter Pass on your right long before you get there.

I hit the 60K sign (37.7 miles) at a few seconds over 2 hours. I don’t ride with speed anywhere on my power meter head but power, next line cadence, and last is a list of stuff to scroll through but speed is not one of them. Riding by power eliminates the need for it and allows me to just execute my plan and be judgement free.

We make a right onto 3 and start to climb. All those I had been leap frogging with are climbing much faster than I am, but I am keeping my watts under 140 and when it gets steep I’m going in the 4.2-4.8 mph range thankful I have my 10 speed 11-34 the 34 allows me to keep power within goal range and even a tad under for most of the climb.



The cool morning has burned off and it is now hot with zero shade or clouds. From my power file it looks like it took me just over 49’ to climb the 5.449 miles. It is stair stepped so it comes and you get a little break before it comes again at you for a total of 4 or 5 times. Near the top of the 4th I see my family screaming and yelling. I briefly stop and say high and we energized from seeing them.



Just prior to the summit is an aid station, I stop to get cold water that was fabulous and use the Porta Potty which I barely went..why I waited I don’t know, I was hot/tired.



Climb last little bit and now it is time to fly. I love descending on good roads, I pass a lot of folks, normally I stand on my pedals keeping them parallel to the ground with right leg in back gently squeeze my saddle with my thighs and if I have a corner I drop the outside foot and use my weight to counter balance myself. My legs felt like crap and standing descending didn’t feel good, so I sat and descended not very much like me. I did hit just under 50 mph (or for you on metric 80 km/hour)

Next is the section most folks have said is the most challenging named the seven sisters or bitches depending who shares the story they are 7 hills that are challenging but get smaller and smaller key is to ride the descent well to have momentum to get over the next hill. This was when things went south, first bitch I climbed both my hamstrings cramped the whole climb. Wow that surprised me and came out of nowhere. At that time I was spot on for my nutrition taking 4 oz with 22 grams every 20’ as I’ve practiced for months on all my long rides. Each uphill when the steepness got to a certain level the backside of my legs would cramp thankfully it would stop as the hill leveled out or I was descending the other side. I felt so incredibly hot and soon I started vomiting as well. I could ride and vomit leaning left hitting my right forearm every time and keep on pedaling. I knew I needed hydration and nutrition but couldn’t keep it down. I didn’t know what to do and I continued to feel worse and worse.

I did learn here pick up a cold bottle of water every aid station and before each descend soak my head and torso with it add in going fast it cooled me down some and cold water tasted so much better than what was in my aerobottle.

I made it to the Cawston out and back. Road is rough, lots of false flats, temperatures had risen to 35 C or about 95 and I was miserable. Far turn around never seem to come, everyone was passing me and I was continuing to vomit now and again and my cramping had progressed to cramping at any uphill of any grade no longer just the steeper hills. Somewhere in here I took an extra Lava Salt hoping more of some would stay down long enough I’d absorb some. At special needs took my extra jet fuel bottle as I figured I’d be out there awhile. I didn’t even check or peak at my elapsed time and tried to figure out long or how fast I had gone. I did get more sunscreen applied and made a critical mistake of not taking on extra water bottle. My power tap turned off while getting sunscreen or my sn bags and I kept hitting buttons to have it turn out, finally I realized I was still at 76 miles after most of the back portion of out and back, and after some deep thinking figured out my hub battery was probably dead as the icon was gone….this normally would take me 2 minutes to figure out more like 15-20 at that time.

How long it takes to go 10 miles varies greatly if you are going 18, 12, 9, or 5 mph.

I made it back onto Route 3A the effects of not enough calories, hydration, being very hot and probably sick the trifecta of bad circumstance became worse.

Here things sort of become a blur and hard to remember the order and details. I’ve struggled trying to find the words to explain this part of my race and truth I’m not sure I can with words explain what happened.
All I wanted was cold water and to find some shade. Gone was any complex thinking of any kind. I didn’t care about finishing the race, or the bike or setting a PB, my thought process was much more basic place than that…I’m thirsty and really hot and I need water and to get out of the sun.

I wish I could say I had some magical mental tools I pulled out but no I wasn’t capable of that. If I had any strong desire to push on it was on subconscious level and I was unaware of it as all I wanted was cold water and shade. I pedaled and would stop periodically and just lay on my aerobars for a short time and start up again.

In talking with a few folks some who are physicians and nurses, I’m pretty sure I had very low blood glucose levels as I had been throwing up, not getting enough hydration or nutrition staying down, and I was hot. Our brains are fueled only by glucose in our blood so having very low levels means my ability to think was impaired. I was bonking and it was ugly.

I did have the passing thought I’m in trouble here and maybe I should ask someone if I’m harming myself but there was no one to ask. I had to get to the next aid station for water, shade and maybe some medical help.

I was excited to round a corner and see an aid station up ahead but after a little while I realized it wasn’t really there either spectators had been there and left or my mind was doing some odd things.

With the confused mental state, somehow I came up with the idea that walking with my bike would be better than repeatedly stopping. Humbling as it is to admit now with sound mind, at the time I found it to be very clever to walk as I was making forward progress and wow why didn’t I think of that sooner. I walked, ran out of all water, and only had jet fuel left which I can’t just guzzle down but I kept taking sips. My only goal was to get to the next aid station get some cold water, get out of the sun, and ask someone if I was okay. Walking was good in that I wasn’t vomiting anymore and I suspect now it was easier on my body than riding even at 3-4 mph.

After awhile I believe but can’t really recall I rode some more, than back to walking. I was parched, I wanted the shade, I was beyond miserable. The fans that line Yellow Lake climb were mostly long gone or packing up to leave. I did bump into a few and asked if they had anything to drink. One gave me her Diet Coke w/Lime which I drank and another gave me her water bottle. I’m pretty sure I was quite altered and not very kind but I’m so thankful for those drinks.

I walked some more and rode, getting my right leg over my top tube at times was hard as I’d get cramps in new and different places in my legs.
Slowly a new thought came into my head beyond water and shade, I may be I could make the bike cut off up until that time for awhile I was pretty sure I would DNF and the thought didn’t even bother me. Math skills I didn’t have, and I didn’t know exactly how far I had to go as my power meter was dead, but I did remember from my prior ride down Twin Lakes that it was about mile 96 at the top and at the time I think I had over 90’ to bike cut off but that is fuzzy. Finally around the bend is the real aid station not the one that isn’t really there. I was riding my bike. Off I got, asked for cold water, found some shade in the front of the Budget truck, sat on the ground and drank almost a full water bottle. Someone offered me pretzels and I ate 3-4. I sat maybe 2-3’ and thought I’m okay, the easy part is up ahead, I will try and make the bike cut off.

I was coming around a bit and my ability to think was slightly improved. The competitive part of me was a tiny bit alive again. If anyone had asked me about my day or what was wrong, I’m not sure what would have happened and in retrospect glad they didn’t, I needed all my energy to ride my bike no time for emotions.

Got another water bottle and pedaled off. I was so late and yellow lake has huge rock formation and for the first time all day I had shade…loved it even if it was slightly up hill. My focus changed from shade and water to I think I can make the bike cut off, make the bike cut off, make the bike cut off, I think I can make the bike cut off, how far am I from T2, ride Kathy ride.

Once I get to the place my family dropped me off a few days before, I knew it was mostly downhill, about 12 miles and on my pre-race ride over 18-19 mph in my zone 1. Down I go, I love descending, I see the 160 KM sign and now I can’t recall how much time I had to the cut off, but trying to figure out KM to miles and mph to finish time of 5:30 on a basic level thought I would make it. Zoom, wee…thankful to be going downhill flying fast, I love descending, folks say there was wind and slowed them down 10k/hour, I didn’t notice I was going to make it.

I kept repeating I am going to make the bike cut off over and over. I will make it I will make it. Prior to the race I never even considered I wouldn’t make the bike cut off; funny how that works.

No brakes, stay in aerobars and take a free ride back to town, pedal when I slow down and I’m feeling so much better not quite myself but not in the black hole any longer.

Down 3A and make the left turn onto 97 North, keep drinking when I can, I pass folks, I’m pushing my power going downhill, somehow I feel much stronger and victorious as I had conquered something hug and ugly out there on the face of Yellow Lake. I get to the North side of Skaha Lake and back into town. I throw up one more time and check to make sure no one is behind me but I will make it. Down the main street with fans lining the street for the runners and cheer for the stragglers who are making the time cut off barely.

Off my bike, stagger a bit, cross the timing mat then hand off my bike, no pee on it this time due to being dehydrated, thankfully folks in transition pointing the way to go, someone yells my number my T2 bag is handed to me, I’m not cramping, and I head for the women’s change tent.

Nutrition:
4 28 oz bottles with 7 doses in each with total of 154 grams Maltodextrin with about 10 grams of it flavoring...3 lava salts per bottle.

I consumed 2 full ones, had one in special needs I picked up and drank 3 or 4 doses of, tossed, 2 left in my last bottle so that would be

What I consumed riding:
7+7+5+4?= 23 doses at 22 grams each so 506 grams went in, how much stayed down? or 2024 calories
In 8:20 should have had 25 doses so I wasn't that far off.

FIRST BIKE SEGMENT 42.5 mi. (2:37:55) 16.15 mph
FINAL BIKE SEGMENT 69.5 mi. (5:43:00) 12.16 mph
TOTAL BIKE 112 mi. (8:20:55) 13.42 mph 2495 115

Power:
First 3 hours, NP was 126, VI 1.04 averaging 15.3 mph compare that to LP VI was 1.17 so I executed bike pacing much better when feeling okay
Once I got sick power falls off more and more as time progressed and VI increasing, speed decreases

PT hub battery died so missing end of ride power data
Entire workout (110 watts):
Duration: 5:16:56 (5:25:31)
Work: 2058 kJ
TSS: 258.9 (intensity factor 0.705)
Norm Power: 120
VI: 1.09
Pw:HR: -6.48%
Pa:HR: -3.94%
Distance: 76.643 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 491 110 watts
Heart Rate: 28 120 62 bpm
Cadence: 29 122 76 rpm
Speed: 0 47.7 14.6 mph

What would you do differently?:

Not be sick, given conditions did best I could

Change all my Power Tap batteries 2-3 weeks before A race, HR strap, head, and hub
Transition 2
  • 05m 55s
Comments:

There are lots of volunteers standing around and not to many athletes. Most of what was inside the tent packed up, 75% of the chairs are gone, my kind helper cleans the chair before I sit. She dumps my bag, I only need the basic Ziploc 2 gallon none of the what if extra stuff do I need, I remember to body glide my feet, put my socks on, she finds my list of what to remember, she reads it to me somehow I had remembered to do everything, then she reads what I wrote last smile. How stupid that sounds now after what I just dealt with, but I try and fake it. I thank her get pointed out the other door.

I walk fast, get more water at aid station hoping for cola to calm my stomach down, but none there.

37/123 in my AG in T2
Run
  • 6h 05m 27s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 57s  min/mile
Comments:



On the end of the bike I had debated if I should start the run off walking to help me recover a bit and had mentally agreed to that idea.

Out of transition I thought no I’m going to try and execute my run plan and run. I think this was a critical point and glad I made that decision. My plan was 12 m/m pace with either 19/1 run/walk or 9/1 run/walk ratio first 8 miles and see what happens I’m opting 9/1. I’m grateful now that my plan was ingrained in my head and that I just did the plan without much thinking while most everyone else was walking abandoning their plans.

I felt okay to start running with my stomach still feeling off and some cramping. My fear was that my cramping could get worse and that I would be a very bad place. All I could control is now, I knew I needed calories, fluid and electrolytes in me as quickly as I could and to cool down. I’ve read enough race reports, to know most everyone’s race gets worse on the run after issues on the bike not better.

It felt good to be off the bike and on the main streets of Penticton with fans and support as the bike course was quite lonely in the very back of the pack. I had been in my own head only for hours and hours. I tried to soak up the energy of the crowd. After the first turn onto Westminister Street I saw Scott (yaqui) and some women from his Ironhead tri team, he gave me a high 5, I mumbled something like that really sucked when I really wanted to say more about my day but I wasn’t stopping. He said something like keep moving forward which is always good advice.

First aid station, took water that was cold and they had ice that I put in my hat. Running 9’ was tolerable so I went with that. I had so been looking forward to Pepsi as it just sounded good. The second mile they had Pepsi so I took some diluted about 2/3rds with water to see if that could help settle my stomach and I like it so it made me happy. The phosphates can help but due to the type of sugar it has it takes longer to covert to useable energy in my body than my jet fuel does. I didn’t have any electrolyte pills until run special needs at the turn around. I was trying to balance getting in what my body needed with what I could tolerate. At times those first miles I felt like I may get sick again so I walked longer than the 1’ walk break. I knew lowering my HR, cooling my core down, getting in calories, sodium, and liquid was key for me to do my best even if it meant slowing down or walking. Every aid station had ice and I learned quickly ice in my hat and ice down the front of my sports bra and by next mile I’d have a little still not melted.



After about 4 miles the crowds thinned out and the excitement a little less but I was happy to be off the bike and running. I saw some folks coming in on their bike, some I had been riding with on and off during my dark times on the bike that clearly did not make the bike cut off and I was sad for them and very pleased that I wasn’t one of them. A stark reminder of the place I had been.

By mile 6/7, I started to feel better and my run pace was improving which was what my run plan was. I also had to pee for the first time in 7 hours so I knew I had caught up to some degree on my hydration/nutrition and that I was doing better. The temperature started to get slightly cooler and I knew by about 8 pm it would be more comfortable. People started talking about the smoke from the fires which I didn’t notice. When I race I focus on what’s ahead of me and don’t do much sightseeing.



I kept with the diluted Pepsi every second or third mile and jet fuel other times every 20’ as my stomach could handle it.

The other significant improvement I noticed was my ability to think. On the tough part of the bike, my mental skills were gone. My desire to finish was gone, it is hard to explain what an awful place I was in I just wanted to survive get out of the sun and have a cold water. Times, race plan all that stuff fell into the background, I never considered how being dehydrated and low on calories may negatively affect my brain function but I think it did. My dad a retired internist suggested that I had some level of heat stroke as I had many of the symptoms and one is mental issues similar to what I experienced. I don’t think it was heat stroke reading more about it but a true bonk made worse with the heat, vomiting and subsequent lack of calories and fluid.

May sound odd, but the ability to clearly resolve issues, make jokes or light comments with the crowd or other racers, was huge as I felt like me again not some shell of a person I was on the bike sucked dry of most of the basic everyday functions I take for granted.



I very much wanted to see my family as I knew they didn’t know what was up with me and would be concerned with my super slow second bike split. I knew they would help lift my spirits. They were working at the run aid station about mile 10.5 out and 16.5 on the way back. We had driving the run course all week as it was the way to Penticton so I knew they were up ahead.

Around the corner I spotted Shasha sprinting off as she had been on the lookout position. A surge of joy came through me, they knew I was okay and I would soon feel their love and support.



Brian walked beside me and I quickly shared what happened on the bike. All the volunteers at the aid station cheered loudly for me and it felt so good as it was for me. They had been anxiously waiting for my arrival and Kevin had been updating them but was concerned a long while since there was no bike split from 2:47 into the bike at mile 47 until I was off at 8:20. I think whole family felt relief that for a brief moment we were together and all was okay.



Another picture while running by my family



I was happy to be running and feeling like me. I walked up the big hill by the house we were staying at but ran now and again. I tried hard to follow my run/walk plan the best I could. I saw the nice neighbors that we had talked to a few times, shared about my day and off I went.

My socks were getting quite wet between all the water, ice and finally urine but I was using RRS wicking socks recommended by Chile57 that did a great job as no blisters developed.

Just beyond the street we were staying on I ran by a woman who turned out to be Sister Madonna Bruder . I asked her how her day went and how the bike course was for her. She said it was okay, but seemed distracted. She found t he notch of a tree to sit in and I assumed get away from the sun. I have seen her on TV quite a few times but not in person, what surprised me is how thin she was plus she is very tan and obviously fit. I had heard last year she hadn’t made the bike cut off and it made me look at my bike split a 79 year old nun beat me, see my mind was working more like it normally does. Didn’t dwell on it but tried to stay moment focused.

The next section had the downhill section so I just ran it all and found a big drunk party going on just at the 13 mile sign. I knew were the turnaround was and mentioned to a Canadian I was with at the time, math doesn’t add of as no way is this .1 of a mile. My Garmin had been dead on with the mileage signs whole way. At the turn around it was either 13.27 or 13.37 miles. I figured we didn’t run exactly back the same way as the finish line was different place that how we exited T2 and started onto the course but why didn’t they have the miles right on the athlete tracker? See my mind was back to normal Kathy ways.

At run special needs they had the perfect guy who would yell out your number, they’d pull your bag and had it ready for you once you go there to see what you wanted if nothing they’d sort it right then to dispose of the items as you don’t get it back. I took my long sleeve tech shirt as it was cooling down and bugs were coming out, dug out my pill holder with electrolytes, Imodium and 8 hour tynelow, my running light to clip onto my hat and had them help me swap out fuel belt bottles to full jet fuel ones. I hadn’t consumed as much as I had planned in the 2:59 to turn around due to drinking Pepsi from early on.

My math skills had returned and I thought I would finish and had a shot of beating my IMLP time. I sometimes would find someone to talk to but most of the folks were defeated and were just walking it in. One take away from last year and something I had thought about all year is I didn’t want to be defeated and just give up and walk no matter the spot I was in. I saw at Lake Placid walking was highly contagious and it spread easily. I saw it as seeing another person walking gave others permission to walk themselves. I had my plan and I wanted to execute it the best I could and avoid being a lemming but race my own race.

I ran/walked and knew my family was ahead which also meant the biggest hills were behind me. I ran up some of the hills instead of walking yah me. The cap light helped me see my Garmin and my watch with the run/walk intervals and the road in front of me but not enough to see well or know the terrain ahead. The aid station was dark and being consolidated instead of 5-6 tables long they were 1 or 2. I worried about the folks going the other way. They had a firm cut off of 9pm to make the turn around which would mean a negative split on the run for most folks which is tough to do even more so for those who had caught the highly contagious walking virus.
Ran down the hill by our house and shortly after saw my family again.

I was feeling good, had about 10 miles to go. This is the lonely dark section of the road along Skaha Lake. I was around the same group of folks for awhile most didn’t want to run at all. My plan was at mile 21 I would run hard to the finish knowing I could push my HR up to zone 5 and be okay. I wasn’t sure given the day I had if I could. I had practiced all year pacing my runs better and learned how to pick up the pace throughout the run and finishing strong.

I met a few nice folks in the section, and ended up with a woman named Elaine from a town just north of Penticton. She was hurting and decided she couldn’t run and was using me to help her. I talked she said a few things, if she got behind me she caught up. We walked from mile 19-23 and by mile 21 where I had planned to run hard all the way to the finish but given my day decided to push that back. I told her I was going to run and she didn’t want to try so she told me go when you want.

At mile 23 with 3.2 miles left, I started to run hard. I felt good and was surprised at the pace I was running like 10:30-10:45 m/m. I was working hard and breathing loud due to effort add in smoke from forest fire and my asthma, I was loud. As I started passing folks most would turn to look to try and spot the noise before I caught them as it was the defeated folks walk quiet ly and I was different. It made me proud. As I got closer and closer to the finish area there were more and more spectators. Yes they cheer for everyone, but it was obvious I was working hard and they responded and it motivated me even more.

I heard things like nice pace and other encouraging words that rang true to me. I took short breaks of 10-20 steps walking fast but then started running fast, grabbed water at the aid stations drank a bit and dumped rest on my head. Made the turn onto Westminister Sreet and someone said something like take it easy it is a ways to the finish line my response is I can suffer for 14 more minutes and pushed on turned right onto Winnipeg.

The crowds continued to grow and pushed as hard as I could. I made the lef onto onto Lakeshore on the out and back I'm so close, I yanked my glow necklace off and tossed it on the street. A man in his IM finisher shirt was in the middle of the street high 5ed me and said something very encouraging. Ironman of all abilities recognize when you are leaving it all out there no matter if you are a AG winner, KQer or someone like me that overcame a lot just to still be on the course today, I was passing all the walkers picking them off easily never have I passed so many folks in a run portion of a tri good timing hugh?

I’d see someone make the turn towards the finish and start jogging the last ~.3 of a mile. I wasn’t going to be that person this year pretending I ran with everyone knowing I didn’t. It was my pride and my desire to beat my IMLP time at stake and maybe get some redemption for the day I had, I ran as fast as I could, I passed another few on the straight away before the finishing chute but it was empty as I ran through.

I kept pushing no high 5ing nothing but pushing to the end, waved my arms a little before crossing the tape, but finished knowing I had given it my all no arms raised, no celebration other than the ability to stop moving forward. I was done, I had beaten my Lake Placid time, beaten my Lake Placid run time by about 30 minutes, passed 51 folks those last 3.2 miles and finished over 24’ ahead of the women I left at mile 23. Most importantly I gave all I had and felt victorious that I finished strong despite what obstacles the course and day had given me that day as I had pushed myself the brink and came back to fight to the end to do the best I could.



I stumbled at the end and three finish line catchers caught me and held me up until one brought over a wheelchair. A woman lifted my legs as they didn’t have places to put my feet which was like yikes my hamstrings so I opted to lift my feet/legs myself collected my medal and my sling bag with my hat and t-shirt (right size this year) in it.





While being pushed in wheelchair, I see my family and the volunteer pushes me over by them. It was fantastic to be done and see them.



Few minutes later..the joy replaces the agony of finishing a challenging IM for when a long time it didn't seem possible



Volunteer asks if I want to go to medical no I'm okay. Then he wants to get me pizza no thanks. After only having jet fuel, and Pepsi over last 16 hours I had no appetite. Really I just wanted to go be with my family. I waddle out of the athlete area to be with them.

Me with oOur kids Emily, Brian, Shasha, and Libby who came to Canada w/us.



FIRST RUN SEGMENT 13.1 mi. (2:59:19) 13:41/mile
FINAL RUN SEGMENT 13.1 mi. (3:06:07) 14:12/mile
TOTAL RUN 26.2 mi. (6:05:26) 13:56/mile 2304 109
What would you do differently?:

Empty Garmin laps before race

Continue to work on run pacing and execution.

Given my day I'm very pleased with my run. How I was able to recover and run well after those hours suffering on the bike is still a mystery.
Post race
Warm down:

How different a race for me that I placed best in the run and worst on the bike but given the day not surprising about the bike part.

Most races I have to work hard to keep mentally strong and execute my race plan. This race was different, it all seem to come to me without much mental struggle...I just did what I was supposed to do right now.

After the race I thought that I didn’t have much fun out there which was true. It was hard most all the day and brutal other times.

The week before the race my coach Dave sent me a detailed email about lots of aspects of the race. It ended with this thought, "Why else do we do this? Do we do this because we want a totally comfortable race, just to trot on in with everything perfect, nice, and comfortable? Be honest with yourselves. This is NOT why we do these. We do these because we want to feel the suffering, and we want to accept the challenge, face our fears, and push through all of it. We do this out of the love of taking ourselves out to the edge and fighting back to complete the task before us. This is why we've trained months on end. So we have the strength to accept the challenge....and excel."

It took awhile for it to click in my head after the race, my focus this year wasn’t on training to have fun doing an IM no my goal was to feel I gave it my all and do the best I could with what I had that day. This race day I suffered, persevered, recovered then suffered some more.

Strange if you had asked me 2 weeks or 2 months ago before my IM how I’d feel if I ran a 16:23 IM at Canada, I would have guessed I’d be pissed and angry but I’m mostly not. I’m very proud of the race I ran, yes there are some improvements in execution I can make, but overall finishing the bike was huge even with walking and barely making the cut off. Run I ran pretty even first and second half and finished strong. Run was huge confidence builder for me that I can have a good IM run.

My finish time doesn’t tell the story or define me, the process of racing and digging deeper than I ever have can’t fully be explained but is something I will carry with me forever.

For me finishing Canada was an inner personal triumph one that most folks probably would miss. I won for me by being in the moment and doing the best I could right then. I’m still not quite sure how I pulled out of the black hole on the side of Yellow Lake to finish the bike and run well. The victory was conquering the many different and some difficult experiences of the day that was my second Ironman. Finishing in the conditions given to me that day is an something that will be with me for a life time.

I still do have some disappointment that my day didn't go better. I think part of the joy of participating in Ironman is it gets to your raw basic self with emotions of all types. I doubt I or anyone can ever be totally satisfied with their race it is the nature of the beast always striving to improve and execute better.

In past years, I focused on times, placements, paces, which made me lose sight of the journey, what I had accomplished and sucked the joy out of competition after races due to my focus on external outcome instead of the process. This past year I've worked hard to change that view and am finding joy in participating and knowing I gave my all.

A few of my friends and family asked if I was done with Ironman races after the race in Penticton I had. The simple answer is no. It is a rewarding lifestyle that I enjoy. What is needed to complete an Ironman is discipline, dedication, persistent in the training, digging deep, learning more about me, challenging myself in many ways including many unexpected, and through all this grow and stretch and see how I fair. If it was easy why bother doing it? The difficulty of the Ironman day is a big part of the attraction and a makes a 16:23 a PR and something I can be proud of.

As my year focused on IM Canada is winding down, I see a new chapter of my Ironman journey just starting out what path this one will take is the motivation to swim, bike, run and do it all with love and with the best ability I can. The next year I suspect will be an amazing experience whatever the outcome and I will continue to be persistent, in training and preparation in hopes next year’s IM will be great in it's own way no matter my time. I would like one year to have my training, and race to line up so I can execute what I’ve practiced week after week in training and have a wow everything came together race but if not I’ll keep trying.

I'd like to do this race again in the future.

Doing an Ironman takes lots of people beyond the athlete:

Kevin, my Iron Sherpa & husband, who supports and helps me all year so I can achieve the dreams I have. I'm a lucky women to have him behind me helping so many ways..what do you want to eat after your long bike? when?

race morning


My kids: Brian, Emily, Shasha and Libby who came with us to Penticton and understood the importance of what we were doing and were okay having vacation be a little odd, they encourage, support me, cheer, volunteer and tease me.

Big thanks to my coach Dave Ciaverella who prepared me for this race and helped me become the fittest I think I've been. He taught me a lot on race execution and pacing especially on the run. I'm sure his guidance that was ingrained in me while training was key to my finishing on a tough day.

My many BT friends continue to inspire and support me. I'm very grateful for the many friends I have made here and how you make training more fun.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being sick, heat, vomiting causing dehydration & lack of calories on the bike

Event comments:

The support of town, volunteers and spectators was fantastic. This is a very well run race and many of the volunteers have been helping for years.

Penticton is great venue, easy for spectators to get around as most roads stay open, wonderful beaches and my family enjoyed our time there.

The wide range in temperatures makes it harder to predict what weather might be like. The following Sunday, the week after IM high was 65.




Last updated: 2008-09-12 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:47:11 | 4224 yards | 02m 32s / 100yards
Age Group: 115/123
Overall: 2523/2602
Performance: Average
Suit: DeSoto Black Pearl
Course: see map
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Below average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 04:26
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
08:20:56 | 112 miles | 13.41 mile/hr
Age Group: 115/123
Overall: 2482/2602
Performance: Good
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: See map
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills: Below average
Race pace: Drinks: Not enough
T2
Time: 05:55
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
Running
06:05:27 | 26.2 miles | 13m 57s  min/mile
Age Group: 90/123
Overall: 1968/2602
Performance: Good
Course: Out Main, right on Westminister,right Winnipeg, left Lakeshore out and back, then back Winnipeg right on Main follow to Lakeshore down to OK Falls and back again See map
Keeping cool Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2009-09-11 12:45 PM

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Champion
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Subject: Ironman Canada


2009-09-11 1:06 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Master
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Huntsville, AL
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Awesome RR. 

Weird we had better weather in Louisville than you did in Canada.
2009-09-11 1:26 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Champion
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Williamston, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

Hey you I think I get to be first unless I was pokey reading   I hope you are feeling better and better about the day.  I can't tell you how worried I was about you on the bike after putting down a great first bike split I was so afraid you had crashed.  Even tho you had a black hole time on the bike I am glad you did not crash!!

Tucker says "PUUUUR MMEOW" Which I think means good job....Charlie says....snore...which I think means stupid human why would you want to do that. 

Its all about the journey and its your journey.  I hope it was worth it for you and regardless you did persevere and turn things around which is amazing...congratulations



Edited by Socks 2009-09-11 1:27 PM
2009-09-11 1:44 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Extreme Veteran
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Waterboro, Maine
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Great report. You are one strong woman. Your pride shines through in this race report!
2009-09-11 1:49 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Pro
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Simpsonville, SC
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Kathy, your race report was well worth the wait. So true about IM being so much more than a number on a clock. You are truly an Iron(wo)man for fighting through those really bad places on the bike and never feeling defeat. Race the race you have in you on that given day. You did an awesome job of that!

2009-09-11 4:34 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Extreme Veteran
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Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
I knew this report would be worth the wait!!! Your completed journey is a testiment to your strength and dedication to what you do. Its not about the time; its about the journey..quite honestly there are few that would have walked out of that T2 tent at all after experiancing the ride you had. You are one brave woman!! Congrats on making it through the dark place and getting to the end. Outstanding fight! Great accomplishment!!!!You rock Kathy!!!


2009-09-11 5:18 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Master
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Gulf Shores, AL
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
lets see, a bottom feeding fish, an desert mirage on the bike, then sister madonna, all te while trying to do calculus in ur head. has the makings of a great B Movie.

Congrats Kathy, you pushed through a very difficult situation and then found it within to go crush your run PR (you got my run time by 43 minutes), and still PR the whole thing. I think your planning put you in a position to recover and you did it. You did amazing and I look forward to rereading this and asking u some questions.
2009-09-11 5:37 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Expert
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Highlands Ranch, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
This is quite and accompishment! I can not even imagine what it must have been like out on the bike.
Congratulations on your success!
2009-09-11 5:39 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Elite
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Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Amazing job Kathy.  You took what the day threw at you and kept on going.  You are truly a strong and spectacular person that inspires so many including me.  Great job!
2009-09-11 6:04 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Outstanding! You beat your time and crossed the line. Ya done it again!
How well I know what you're talking about with down spots. Way to work through them.
2009-09-11 6:46 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Master
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San Diego, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Wow ... you really fought through some dark times out there. I find it amazing what family and friends cheering you on can do to you out on that course. You dug deep but your kids brought out the best in you.

Ironman is hard, Congrats Kathy!


2009-09-11 7:11 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Pro
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The Land of Ice and Snow
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
www.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.wswww.bigoo.ws
Glittery texts by bigoo.ws

 




Congrats my dear friend!!

Edited by aquagirl 2009-09-11 7:12 PM
2009-09-11 7:29 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Master
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East Side of the Bay
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Great RR Kathy.  You truly were out on the precarious edge of the abyss.  Even though you don't quite know how, you pulled yourself back from that edge and had a great run.  If IM is about learning where your strengths are, you certainly learned a lot.  If IM is about pushing your limits, you learned that too.  If IM is about always living right on that edge, well ,I hope you had enough of that this year and live a little less dangerously next time!

Your journey continues to inspire us all.  Time to get working on that book draft!!
2009-09-11 7:46 PM
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Master
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NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

Amazing. Congratulations on PR'ing and being strong enough to do so.

2009-09-11 8:04 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

Wow.  What a journey.  Thanks for sharing the raw emotions and details of the day.  I felt like I was right there beside you as I read this.  Quite honestly, I don't know how you pulled through, most people wouldn't have.  You are truly an Ironman.

2009-09-11 8:27 PM
in reply to: #2401069

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Royal(PITA)
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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

You said it well in the paragraph I borrowed from the RR:

For me finishing Canada was an inner personal triumph one that most folks probably would miss. I won for me by being in the moment and doing the best I could right then. I’m still not quite sure how I pulled out of the black hole on the side of Yellow Lake to finish the bike and run well. The victory was conquering the many different and some difficult experiences of the day that was my second Ironman. Finishing in the conditions given to me that day is an something that will be with me for a life time.

You perservered through probably the darkest hole one could find in a race.  You did everything you could to keep your body functionig safely. 

Congratulations for facing the demons and coming out with a good race. Well done keeping your wits and sticking to your plans as best you could given the day.

 



2009-09-11 9:04 PM
in reply to: #2401069

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2009-09-11 9:24 PM
in reply to: #2401069

Master
1411
1000100100100100
Lexington, KY
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Impressive that you were able to overcome such a low point on the bike and still finish with a good run.  Congratulations.
2009-09-11 10:18 PM
in reply to: #2401069

Veteran
306
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Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
This race report needs to be archived in the 'legendary race reports' topic.

If a day like this one was what it took to help you move past age group rank, then it was well worth it!! I hope you get another IM where the stars line up and you have perfect weather conditions & a peak day.

Congratulations!
2009-09-11 10:22 PM
in reply to: #2401069

Extreme Veteran
555
5002525
Land of living sighs
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Great RR. It put me there all over again. I felt your deep darkness - especially at Yellow Lake and your triumphs.
You are so right. It isn't about the time, but what you learn about yourself in that time.
It was wonderful and serendipitous to meet you on Lakeshore.
If it is any consolation, this is a tough race, but some of the seasoned racers I know, including one who has the age group world champ said that this was a tough year.
Between the heat and and smoke and the wind on the ride (you may have not noticed that) and the lack of wind on the run, it was just tough.

You persevered. You went into that scary dark place that is seldom seen and came out the other side with a medal to boot!

Well Done Kathy. It is when we struggle most that we find our true selves.

Oh, and your transitions! Wow! Those were rockstar splits! Well done!
2009-09-12 7:50 PM
in reply to: #2401069

Elite
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Lacey, Washington
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Wow, reading the whole experience of that day really is incredible. I'm glad you were finally able to write all about it, and I really find it incredible the way you dealt with the whole thing. I think the perseverance shown coming off the bike and still going out and attacking the run is incredible.  It's a little scary to read about what you faced on the bike, but you bounced back, literally.  I learned a lot by reading this race report.  The different piece from last year to this year isn't just the PR, but last year it was "could you." This year, you knew you could, but had major unknowns thrown at you.  But, your training, your desire, and most importantly, the outlook in which you tackled this entire year leading up to the race set you up for success.  In the Army we say that the best laid plans don't survive first contact with the enemy, so the important thing is to be able to adapt, overcome, and persevere in order to win, and then go back out and do it again. And you didn't let this beat you on either race day or in keeping you from doing more. Kathy, you are an Ironman because of that mentality, well done friend!


2009-09-12 10:30 PM
in reply to: #2401069

Regular
174
1002525
Surrey BC Canada
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

Nice race and long RR I scanned it now and will read it over the weekend.  Its an honour for you to do our Ironman hope to see you up here in 2011 when I plan to race it. 

2009-09-12 10:45 PM
in reply to: #2401069

Pro
3730
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NorCal
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
Way to tough it out there Kathy, congrats!!!!
2009-09-13 5:38 AM
in reply to: #2401069

Uxbridge
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada
WOW!! Way to persevere and finish with some smiles on the run!!!!
2009-09-13 5:44 AM
in reply to: #2401842

Master
2468
20001001001001002525
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada

A simply amazing day.  There is nothing like the feeling of all the pain subsiding when you see the faces of the ones you love.  Congrats on a spectacular finish.

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