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Vineman Full Ironman - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Guerneville, California
United States
85F / 29C
Sunny
Total Time = 14h 58m 48s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Leading up to this race, I was under-trained, due to rib fractures in June. I also had to fly in the day before the race from a biz trip to NYC, not exactly the best thing to do going into an IM distance race.

Woke up and showered, always nice to feel fresh going into the race knowing how horribly stinky and sweaty I will be once the race starts.

This race was dedicated to my grandmother, so I wrote on my left arm "4 Gram" and on my right arm my usual Ironman motto, "Suck It". Two things for me to keep in mind all day, the love of grandmother and the ability to suck it up and keep moving forward. Kinda like playing good-cop/bad-cop.

Loaded the car and headed to the race site. Was not very hungry, just had a banana and a few bites of Pro Bar. The body marking volunteer laughed when I told her my race number was 666. Go figure :) I set up transition and headed to the water. I didn't even use the porta-potty, I was so relaxed heading into the race. Goal was just to finish.
Event warmup:

Nothing, it's an Ironman....the swim is the warm-up! I also texted Margot where my T1 spot was so she could pick up my car key and drive my car the finish for me. Thank you, girl!
Swim
  • 1h 35m 4s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 15s / 100 yards
Comments:

Floated around for a few minutes and realized I had no clue where the turn-around was for the second loop. I asked 5 other women near me and none of them knew! I guess more than a few of us didn't go to the pre-race meeting.

I relaxed in the water and told myself, "today is great day to become an Ironman!" The race started and I was in the scrum of arms and legs. I got hit in the head pretty hard, saw stars for a few minutes. I thought about my grandmother and how much I wanted to finish this race in her memory. Some people had questioned my sanity for even starting this race going in under-trained....I promised myself if it got really bad, I would pull myself off the course. (My mom and brother talked about that and he told her, "mom, this is Abbie....she is finishing that race, even if she has to crawl across the finish line!")

As I swam I thought of how lucky I am to be out there and said to myself "you can't succeed without giving yourself the opportunity to fail." My swim was smooth yet slow. I stood up at the turn-around, fun to swim in shallow water. My watch said 26 minutes and change, I'm no speedster. I got passed by a bunch of people in the waves behind me, oh well.

I made it back 4 minutes faster and just followed the feet in front of me to the second loop. Started to get really bored swimming and sang songs in my head as usual. Finally saw the swim exit and wished I was a faster swimmer, ahhh a girl can dream. It was a very slow swim, but I expected that going into the race. Looked at my watch and saw I was about 6-7 minutes slower than normal, but hell at least I was out of the water!
What would you do differently?:

Get more swim training in prior to race day.
Transition 1
  • 05m 54s
Comments:

I felt like I was in T1 forever! Since there are 2 transition spots here, you need to pack your stuff into a plastic bag for transport to the finish-line. My backpack didn't fit very well and I started cursing that my transition time was being eaten by fighting with a plastic bag! The girl next to me helped me, thank you! I couldn't fit my towel and wetsuit into the bag and hoped that the volunteers would take it to the finish line.

I used my ghetto arm-warmers....mens tube socks with the toes cut-off, easier to throw them away at an aid station. They were tough getting on, I wish there had been volunteers in T1, I could have used some help getting them on.

Got out of T1 and walked my bike up the hill out to the course.
What would you do differently?:

Put my back-pack in the plastic bag before I started the race, no idea why I didn't do that to begin with.....just a brain-fart!
Bike
  • 6h 37m 53s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.89 mile/hr
Comments:

The day started out with zero sunlight. It was a cold ride and I was thankful for my arms-socks :) I ate 3 Shot-Blocks immediately as I was really hungry toward the end of the swim. Going into this race, my nutrition strategy was just to eat and drink when I felt like it, rather than stick to a specific feed schedule, still trying to find a happy place for my tummy during racing.

My legs were cramping almost from the start due to being wet mixing with the cool air temps. I hoped the cramps would go away as the day wore on. I got passed by some guys with their disk wheels....always remind me of the sound of jets. My goal was to ride at relaxed pace and see this as a long supported training day. One of the first signs of insanity; viewing Ironman as a "training day".

On the first loop I was feeling great! I was passing people and saying "good morning" to everyone. What can I say, I'm social person and there is no way I can go an entire day and not speak to anyone, lol. I spun on the up-hill and worked the downhills.....free speed, woohoo!

I passed a woman who had a "50th" ribbon on her bike and asked her if it was her bday. She told me it was last week and I wished her a happy belated. Lots of people on the course had no idea how to ride single-file or took note that it was not a closed course. One chick that was in front of me by 20 yards or so decided to pass someone and as she is passing, a car flies by her towing a boat, it was inches from hitting her! She never ever looked for oncoming traffic!

Finished the first loop feeling really good, I never looked at my watch as I really did not want to focus on time for this race. Saw Nancy and Andrew as I started the next loop. I ate my Shot Blocks and drank water, popped 2-3 Enduralytes every hour or so and ate bananas at the aid stations. I took 2 pieces of Clif Bars, bad idea, tummy was not happy about that. Thankfully I had my TUMS...I never race without them :)

The second loop went well, just stayed within my race and thought about what a great day it was. My hip-flexor started to cramp right before Chalk Hill, lovely. I got worried that I might not make the climb if it seized up, but thankfully I suffered through. The bummer of the climb was a woman with a cow-bell....she was not at the top of the climb, only at the middle of it, which was a total mind-game! Evil woman!

Powered over the hill and headed the few miles back to transition. I never looked at my watch until I got of the bike and saw I had been racing for almost 8.5 hours. Got a bit bummed thinking that i were properly trained I might have a chance to PR. Quickly killed that thought by telling myself that finishing without injury was the main goal.


What would you do differently?:

Not fracture my ribs a month out from race day! Also avoid eating any Clif Bars, that was not fun.
Transition 2
  • 04m 49s
Comments:

No problem getting my bike on the rack and getting my shoes on, but I forgot to bring a towel, would have been nice to wipe them of before getting my socks on. I had left some Clif Shots there, but they were so hot from sitting in the sun I left them there. Had some armpit chafing and was bummed I did not have Vaseline. However, I noticed some on the rack 2 down from mine and I ummm...borrowed some :)

Headed out of T2 and grabbed some water and a banana.
What would you do differently?:

Bring a towel and Vaseline. I really need to read my prior race reports so I actually remember and put this into practice.
Run
  • 6h 33m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m  min/mile
Comments:

The run....a.k.a "Abbie's Suffer-Fest". Going into this race my longest run had been a Half-marathon at the end of May. Since the goal was just to finish, I thought I would wind up walking a lot of this marathon and I was right! Plus it had gotten warmer and this course did not have much shade and tons of hills!

Going out on the first loop, nothing felt good, so I decided just to walk for the first hour and see how I felt. I saw tons of people walking the course. Even the super-fit guys seemed like they were having a tough time. Luis came up and started chatting with me. I said, "you must be on your 2nd loop already, huh?" I was shocked when he told me he had a tough bike and was on the first loop. We walked and chatted and off he went.

At the turn I tried to run the downhills at least, by the time I finished I was only about 5-7 minutes faster by doing some running! I guess I'm a fast walker and a pretty crappy runner, no news shocker there! Along the way I saw Donato, Michelene and Todd, always nice to see familiar faces along the course. However, with the number 666, I was popular. Someone called me "the devil", lol.

I was really hot out on the run and grabbed some ice from an aid station and dumped it down my tri-top. No clue how but it must have melted once it touched my skin and I wound up with it all in my tri-shorts! So as I walked it made this funny, crunchy sound. Having an iced crotch has a very fast cooling effect!

During the second loop, I went to that dark place in my mind that always shows up in Ironman, the self-doubt and the voice that says, "quit". I looked at my arm and saw "4 Gram" and that made me want to cry, guess I should have looked at the "suck it" arm instead! AT this point I needed a hug, and thankfully Luis showed up on the course and we embraced in the middle of the course as runners passed us on both sides. Thank you Luis, you have no idea how much I needed that! I told him, "i just don't want to go back for the 3rd loop". He said, "just keep walking, you'll be fine sunshine."

Sometime after that, I started to go loopy mentally. At one of the aid stations the volunteer said "gatorade? water? pretzels? Cookies?" I said, "yes" He looked at me and said "well which do you want?" I said, "sorry, but give me a minute to think, I'm not sure what I want." He said, "I can understand why, just let me know what you decide and I will get it for you." I'm still not sure what I asked for at that stop.

Along the way I chatted with 2 people who were walking together, she was having stomach issues and I offered her my TUMS. She said, "wow, you came prepared!" I replied, "I never race Ironman without them" and handed her a roll of TUMS.

Finally out on my third loop and I knew I would finish, but blisters on my right foot really started to hurt. There was a pebble in my shoe and I sat down on one of the benches with some spectators. The woman next to me said "oh, honey is this your first Ironman? This whole thing is amazing!" I told her this was my "4th" and she said "Geez 4 of these? You are nuts!" LOL!

The sun went down and it was completely dark. I was trying to run the down-hills but could not see anything! Maybe it turned out better that way, since I never saw the hills just felt them. I got my glow-stick and hoped that it would just magically transport me to the finish line, I soooo wanted to be done! But the glow stick held no magical power, damn! Toward the end of the run, the guy next to me said, "we are going to finish! At this point, we can roll and still make the cut-off!" At that moment rolling sounded preferable to being on my feet.

At the last mile I was able to run a bit more, at least it was flat! I finally came into the last few hundred yards and the sound of the crowd made the pain go away and thoughts of my grandmother filled my mind and heart. I could hear hr voice say "Abbala (Jewish grandmother speak) I knew you could do it!" I ran down the chute, heard my name announced, took a bow, crossed the line and gladly accepted my finisher's medal. I crossed the line in just under 15 hours. Not a PR by any means, but I accomplished my goal of finishing.
What would you do differently?:

Ummm, have I mentioned not being injured a month out from racing!?
Post race
Warm down:

I got my finisher's hat and t-shirt. Picked up my clothes....thankfully my wetsuit and towel made it from the first transition.....they were duct-taped to the bag, lol! Changed into flip-flop pronto an ate a piece of grilled chicken and chicken noodle soup.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training leading up to race day and maybe I pushed a bit too hard on the bike.

Event comments:

Vineman is a beautiful course, but damn that run course is a bitch! I'm glad that I finished, but I think I will stick to the 70.3 on this course. Being an Ironman distance event, it would have been great to have volunteers in transition to help.

Thank you to all of you that follow my training and continue to offer words of encouragement. My injury in June sidelined my training as well as my spirits, I am so grateful to have finished this race.

As with every race, I learn more about myself and what my body can accomplish if I put my mind to it. So many people ask me "why do you race Ironman?" My response, "there are many things you can lose in life; spouse, home, job, the list is endless as there are so many thing outside of our control. However, my Ironman finishes are something that will always be mine. It forces you to find strength when you feel you have nothing else to give."

Back to training, I'm racing Ironman again in 6 weeks :) "4-time Ironman" sounds great but "5-time Ironman" has an even sweeter ring to it.

http://www.firstgiving.com/imtriingfor3



Profile Album


Last updated: 2010-01-25 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:35:04 | 4224 yards | 02m 15s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Suit: Sleeveless
Course: 2 loops
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 05:54
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Yes
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
Biking
06:37:53 | 112 miles | 16.89 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: 2 loops and hilly
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 04:49
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
06:33:00 | 26.2 miles | 15m  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Course: 3 SUPER HILLY, HOT LOOPS!
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Evaluation
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2010-08-02 10:05 PM

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Pro
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Subject: Vineman Full Ironman


2010-08-02 10:13 PM
in reply to: #3019980

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Expert
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Las Vegas, NV
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Congratulations on an awesome race girl. You deserve a big pat on your back. Keep it up, your having an awesome season. Cheers!!
2010-08-02 11:52 PM
in reply to: #3019980

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Extreme Veteran
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Sherman Oaks, CA
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman

congratulations!  i was up at the top of chalk hill all day cheering everyone on and probably you, too!  i was sitting on or in a car trunk w a TNT tank top on.  

2010-08-03 3:37 AM
in reply to: #3019980

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Extreme Veteran
719
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San Diego, California
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Great race report!!  Congrats!!!  You had a wonderful race and didn't loose sight of the real reason you were racing.  Looking forward to racing with you again in a few weeks.
2010-08-03 6:20 AM
in reply to: #3019980

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman

As always I am awed by your iron will!!  I am sure you made your gram proud!

2010-08-03 7:13 AM
in reply to: #3019980

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Master
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Granvile, Ohio
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman

Congrats on an awesome performance Abs!  They aren't all going to be prs, but damn, how many people can say they are a 4 time ironman? 

Way to go girl!!!! You ROCKED!



2010-08-03 7:25 AM
in reply to: #3019980

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
You are awesome !!!!
2010-08-03 9:04 AM
in reply to: #3019980

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Master
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Mt Pleasant, SC
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Abbie

Motivating race report.  Funny race report with the iced crotch comment.

Good job.

I am hoping that my 1/2 IM AquaBike in at the Half Max championship with lead to me doing a full 1/2 IM next spring.

Kevin
2010-08-03 9:16 AM
in reply to: #3019980

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Master
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Robbinsville NJ
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Amazing as always and x 2 on the iced crotch when it's hot.
2010-08-03 9:37 AM
in reply to: #3019980

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Master
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Huntsville, AL
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Great Race!  Did you sing any Van Halen while on the run?
2010-08-03 11:03 AM
in reply to: #3019980

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Royal(PITA)
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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Girl, between the broken ribs and the job travel I am totally in awe of you pulling this one off!

Your Abbala would be proud


2010-08-03 11:38 AM
in reply to: #3019980

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Regular
84
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Wesley Chapel, FL (Tampa Bay Area)
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
What an awesome and vivid race report! I'm happy you accomplished your goal, dedicated it someone as special as your grandmother! You are an amazing inspiration to many, so what is number five going to be? Stay healthy and God's Speed!
2010-08-03 12:23 PM
in reply to: #3019980

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Veteran
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Congrats on adding another IM to your tally! You are one tough lady!
2010-08-03 12:47 PM
in reply to: #3019980

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Elite
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Phoenix, AZ
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Great race report, Abbie. I really understand why we need reasons to do these ultras. You put a good perspective on this distance. I'm proud of you.
2010-08-03 1:16 PM
in reply to: #3019980

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Extreme Veteran
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500100
San Francisco CA
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Yay Abbie! Congrats on being a 4x Ironman finisher, you made your grandma proud. Smile Sorry I missed you out on the course but I was happy I was able to help out with moving your car. Congrats again!
2010-08-03 1:25 PM
in reply to: #3019980

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Expert
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Colorado
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Loved the race report.  TUMS....I have to get some. 


2010-08-03 3:20 PM
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Champion
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Alabama
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
As always, great race report!

~Mike
2010-08-03 3:24 PM
in reply to: #3021552

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Champion
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the colony texas
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Great job #666..
2010-08-03 5:53 PM
in reply to: #3019980

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Expert
1258
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Marin County, California
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Hey, your 'ghetto' sock arm warmer idea saved my back side on the half 2 weeks ago...I wanted something to keep my arms warm, but knew it would likely get hot on the bike and remembered this Worked brilliantly!!

Congrats on #4!
2010-08-03 5:54 PM
in reply to: #3019980

User image

Expert
1258
10001001002525
Marin County, California
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Hey, your 'ghetto' sock arm warmer idea saved my back side on the half 2 weeks ago...I wanted something to keep my arms warm, but knew it would likely get hot on the bike and remembered this Worked brilliantly!!

Congrats on #4!
2010-08-03 5:54 PM
in reply to: #3019980

User image

Expert
1258
10001001002525
Marin County, California
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Hey, your 'ghetto' sock arm warmer idea saved my back side on the half 2 weeks ago...I wanted something to keep my arms warm, but knew it would likely get hot on the bike and remembered this Worked brilliantly!!

Congrats on #4!


2010-08-03 9:31 PM
in reply to: #3019980

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Expert
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Silver member
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman

You have once more awed me and inspired me.

Fabulous effort, completing this IronMan with your injuries and travel schedule.  Unbelievable. 
You are truely an IronMan.

2010-08-04 2:00 AM
in reply to: #3019980

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Veteran
245
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Nevada City with my BABY!
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman

I TOTALLY sing in the water too! and the Ghetto Arm Warmers….ME TOO! LOVE THEM! CONGRATS IRONGIRL!!! YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION!!   So sorry I missed it….

2010-08-04 6:34 AM
in reply to: #3021806

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Master
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Suwanee, Ga.
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
You are my HERO....I mean it.



2010-08-05 12:52 PM
in reply to: #3019980

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Expert
1083
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The Woodlands, TX
Subject: RE: Vineman Full Ironman
Congrats girl - you absolutely amazing and an inspiration to so many! Keep up the great work
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