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Ironman Western Australia - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Busselton, Western Australia
World Triathlon Corporation
32C / 90F
Total Time = 16h 10m
Overall Rank = /1282
Age Group = F35-39
Age Group Rank = 0/45
Pre-race routine:

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. If you are easily offended, disgusted, currently eating a meal, or emphasize "private" in "private parts," step away from the computer.

As always, the best part of this journey has been YOU. All the support, love, and merriment--I am the richest and luckiest girl in the world. Forgive me for naming a few names--if I named you all with the thanks you deserve (not possible to begin with), I'd break BT's bandwidth. A most special thanks to Tina, my sister; to Andrew Spencer, who adopted me on sight in Perth Airport; to my Manatees; and to Monte Monfore, friendcoachmentormantamanbelovedswimmergift!

The numbers: 5 Ironmans I've signed up for, tried to train for, and in the 2.5 years leading up to this race, I had 20 bouts of serious illness or injury. I was last in an emergency room 8 weeks ago and had food poisoning the week before. In short: I was much better prepared for this one than any other!

I didn't pack an hour before departure--I started packing four whole hours before departure (don't die of shock). Thanks to my Hobbit Maid and child labor (the 10-year-old shown went down the street on a motorbike, steering with one hand and holding my bike frame with the other--don't ask), the bike was even packed before sundown!

Something always goes berserk at last minute; this time, giant swarms of flying termites invaded. Lights, camera, Lisa Labradog vacuuming them up.

My superawesometwinkiesis Tina came to fetch and airport me. Where do I want to eat before leaving? After four days of food poisoning, I'm not eating anything that isn't plastic and deep fried. BURGER KING!!! (And what is it with her always showing up dressed like me ... or is it vice versa?)

Got to the airport--smoothest check-in ever, thank you, Air Asia--with 2 hrs to kill before boarding. So this is not plastic and deep fried, but it still was damned good.

Most confusing toilet signs ever in Bali airport. 1) So WHICH way is the ladies'? 2) Do I go in the thin-figure ladies toilet, or the fat-figure one?

I went into the fat-ladies, figuring the stalls would have more room. I was wrong. Worth a try!

Food in, food out, what now? PIGLET MASSAGE!

Flight was good, had a whole row of seats to myself to stretch out so I caught a two-hour nap. I didn't get the third degree of person and property upon arrival in Perth like I had in Darwin last March, but I did get taken aside and questioned.

While I'm waiting in Perth Airport's one cafe for the rental car counters to open, enter the Savior, St. Piglet himself ... a dashing redhead approaches (he was attracted by the triathletes and bike boxes) and begins chattering away.

He would be the white person in the photograph. :) Andrew "St. Piglet" Spencer adopted this stray ironpuppy and for the next five days would guide me, feed me, and watch over me like the patron saint and guardian angel that he is.

After he walked me to the rental counters and Craig Toh (IronStPiglet, between me and St. Piglet) helped me put my bike box and suitcase in my motorized steed, I set off for the 200-odd km drive south to Busselton. It is definitely not good to think that you will be CYCLING that distance in a couple of days.

Hyundai i20. Great little car! Everyone makes fun of Hyundais for being tacky, cheap, Korean and ubiquitous (much like Gangnam Style) but I've had nothing but good experiences with renting and driving them.

Also, it is rainy and cold. WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot!!! I picked IM WA because it's supposed to be a barbecue!

When it's cold and damp, I get a lot of muscle tension, and the arthritis in my major joints (permanent remnants of the chikungunya illness) is quite painful. It is not a good way to go into an Ironman race.

AAAH! First sighting of a Busselton sign! It's getting real and near and fear, folks!

Coming into town was incredible. It's a real community event and you feel so special. Ironman is everywhere!

I pull into Fat Duck Cycles (if there were ever a shop named aptly for me, this is it) to drop off my bike for reassembly:

Super kudos to the staff there. They are some of the most awesome bike shop piglets on Earth. They also have *great* bathrooms. (Try not to look at the background of this picture too closely ... ) But my hand is BLUE and I'm FREEZING. This does not bode well for the race.

I stop into the Sally (Salvation Army) to get some cheap warmies ... no, I didn't bring any warm clothes! It was supposed to be well into the 30C's here! Stylish, no?

Look who I ran into on the way to rego/expo! For the (three, maybe four) people who don't know him ... Luke McKenzie is one of the top athletes in the world.

He just is.

And a dear friend too. Now I know I'm at home!

And if there were a teeny tiny 1% of me still a bit lost--here's Amanda, his wife, also a pro triathlete, SOAS rep (absolutely some of the best tri gear out there and truly specific, not just somewhat modified, to women):

Amanda and Lukie are tremendous inspiration, support, and encouragement to this little fat duck. For their time, insight and friendship--I can't thank them enough.

Having registered, gotten a lot poorer at the expo, fetched my bike back from Fat Duck--time to storm the castle! First there was nothing. Then it exploded. Let there be Yanti!

After the all-night redeye flight from Bali, the drive down and a busy day in Busselton, I passed out and missed dinner at the St. Piglets'. I was not going to make the same mistake again!

Escher breakfast: Chris taking a picture of me taking a picture of Donald taking a picture of the sumptuous, voluminous food.

My new pigletude family! Andrew St. Piglet made those pancakes from SCRATCH.

Breakfast was so stellar I just had to come back the next day and do it again. :) Andrew said it was just as easy to cook for 7 as it was for (long pause, looks at me thoughtfully) 10. And the most wonderful breakfast surprise: Sophie, one of the finest humans on Earth and still only four years old! We are clearly kindred spirits.

Holy cannoli--I should probably get things ready for this RACE thing itself, right? Bike and transition bags check-in starts in an hour!

Critical items for the saddle bag include Cash, Condoms, and a Razor. WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot indeed! (Answers can be found somewhere on my FB page)

The male pros' bikes in transition! Ha! I may have a crappy (surprisingly good) Indonesian Polygon bike, but I bet those pros were regretting the disk wheels in the nasty-nasty crosswinds we had on Sunday :D (as it turned out, several of the pros kept standing up on the pedals in order to keep their bikes somewhat more stable and moving forward during windy sections when they--the PROS--were averaging 16kph).

Handcycles of the challenged athletes. I've never seen these on a triathlon course, so I was duly impressed.

Red Robber, spic and span, ready to rock and roll! (Literally, as it would turn out ... )

And all of a sudden, it's RACE DAY! Ermahgerd, we've finally gotten to the bloody RACE!

Event warmup:

Well, almost. :) Obligatory I-just-woke-up-need-Pop-Tarts-do-NOT-talk-to-me picture.

I was in a particularly foul mood as the toasting Pop Tarts had set off the smoke alarm, which meant I had to clear all my race stuff off the chair to stand on it to try and reset a smoke alarm that had clearly been made in, I don't know, some country where the machines don't have any buttons.

I unscrewed the whole thing and took the batteries out.

Good thing all my hotel neighbours were also racers and were either up or really needed to get up by now, already.

Obligatory pink-sports-bra pic (at least I didn't post a dirty one this time):

Race nutrition: PowerBar Parfait (Berry, Chocolate, Vanilla). While it's as delicious as it sounds and looks, if it's cold, they freeze into one big chunk. If it's hot, they melt into one big chunk. Neither chunk will yield to fingers in full-gloves. Need to rethink this.

Start/T1 is about a km away so that's a perfect warmup, right? Wrong. It's bloody windy and freezing, and while trying to tug a wetsuit on without ripping it is one of the eight essential disciplines of triathlon (and here we all thought there were three), I'm still cold. And I'm cold as I waddle like a penguin through the Ironman arch into the BRRR CHILLY OMG THAT'S COLD water. I bob around, "warming up" and getting my face wet, breathing and blowing bubbles but OMG IT'S STILL BRRR CHILLY BANG BANG!

While waiting for the race start, random people feel the need to cuddle me (I think I looked really cold and miserable) and I feel the need to explain {MELON PRESS}. Actually, this happened all weekend long. I think I just look like a huggy person!

NB to FinisherPix: when you accept my credit cards like nearly every other online vendor does (any of the three proper or two debit-logo will do), I will agree to pay you for the pics. Deal?

The Busselton Jetty--which is so conveniently 1900m long--is the beautiful icon of this race.

  • 1h 38m
  • 3900 meters
  • 02m 31s / 100 meters

Unlike Melbourne, the kayakers were keeping people strictly between and behind the starting buoys. This is a huge race for first-timers and I think folks were hesitant to move forward, so by being smack in the front, I actually had a ton of room to swim in and a good draft for the first few hundred metres. No rugby match; no blows to the head; no wrestling; no goggle knock-offs (too bad, right? I mean, where's the fun in that?). In terms of human contact, it's been a lot worse in many wave-start sprints and Olys.

We had a nice trifecta of current, waves, and chop, and once the sun came up proper (this race starts at 5:45 and sun was blazing by 6:00) blinding light too. I loved it! Truly! However, swim times overall were about 20% slower than other years, so it was a rough swim. (Come to think of it, mine was exactly 20% slower than Melbourne).

Post-Edit: Okay, I was really not exaggerating! Check out this super-cool official swim footage from Ironman:

SunSmart Ironman Western Australia Swim Highlights

The swim is gorgeous, with clear, fairly shallow water (makes it rougher on a windy day, though) and a bed of seagrass. I saw many fishies, a wriggly stingray, an eel, and a lot of delicious aquapiglets.

Unfortunately, after the first few hundred metres, when I should be getting warmed up and going, Melbourne Syndrome set in ... the ice cream headache intensified and added itself to the back of my head as well as front; I did most of this swim with one of the most painful headaches of my life (migraines I've been hospitalized for were comparable, except I wasn't puking or going blind). At the same time, I could no longer feel my feet or hands, and kept having to look at my arms every stroke to make sure I had a nice high elbow and was pulling straight back with a straight forearm/hand paddle.

Starting to get passed by lots of people. Not normal on the swim leg for me. Frustrating. I feel like the frozen Tin Man trying to swim and I'm getting really tired (also unusual). The joints are screaming painful as well.

I confess to doing a few spells of one-armed fly to get going after some particularly large swells.

I confess to flipping over and backstroking to get a different kind of pain going for a few minutes.

I confess to breaststroke-kicking while I dumped my goggles out.

I'm sorry, Nigey Pie :)

I've never been so happy to get out of the swim and onto the bike! Usually I want the swim to last longer! (I want to replicate this level of effort in Taupo ... )

Hard to see in the picture, but the tips of my fingers are, in fact, dark blue.

I saw Andrew and Fiona (a piglet wife) at the top of the exit cheering like crazy and I blew them kisses!

I also saw several people around me spewing chunks after the swim. That was considerably less delightful. I felt sorry for them--it was a tough swim--and despite all my other ailments, very glad I wasn't nauseated as well!
What would you do differently?:

Stay bundled up like a bear, drinking hot liquids, until about 5 min before race time--then waddle into the water and warm up, a lot of it face-in, until race start. Wear booties. Wear a rasher. Anything to stay as warm as possible for as long as possible. Wear as much of full-face open-water goggles as possible.
Transition 1
  • 09m 33s

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot all I did was go to to look up my transition times and this is what happened! This is a VERY dangerous sport indeed!

Might smoking crack be a less expensive addiction?

I did run, albeit slowly, and not walk both into transition and out of it. Good girl. Woof. Biscuit. However, I was too ice-cream brained and frozen fingered to be able to tell the volunteers what I needed, which resulted in the volunteer dumping my trannie bag out (standard procedure, but unfortunately I have what I need first at top, followed by what I need next underneath that, etc.) and both of us randomly hunting through the ensuing picture-puzzle mess for what I needed while I struggled out of my wetsuit myself.

"Good grief," she said, "You've got enough clothes in here ... are you getting married or something?" I mumbled "Hypothermia ... Melbourne" in reply and then she got it and started picking layers up and handing them to me. I pointed out my feet to her, which were red, white and blue (I'm talking U.S.-flag colors, not just shades), and she wanted to send me to the med tent. Instead, I grabbed the sunscreen and started spraying it on myself.

Do not, under any circumstances, EVER, use spray sunscreen during an IM. You will have chafe, you will have sores, you will have burns, and you will be spraying harsh chemicals directly onto them.

What I screamed was heard even over in the men's changing tent and laughter broke out from there AND the women's. "Next time I'm using cream!" I howled.

"HA!" said the volunteer, "You just said NEXT TIME so you ARE going to do this Ironman craziness again!"

I groaned. But she was right. It never occurred to me during this race, during tough times or not, that I would never do this again. Even at the craziest moments, I enjoyed them and was looking forward to the next time!

In the transition hubbub, though, I somehow missed putting on my weatherproof outermost shell.
What would you do differently?:

In Taupo: 1) unzip and pull down wetsuit to waist while running into trannie1; 2) ask volunteer NOT to dump bag out; 3) please help me strip my wetsuit; 4) please break and shake the heating chem packs I'll have with me at the top of the bag; 5) make sure every layer from the bag goes onto my body.

Hot thermos; full dry and change into winter-weatherproof gear.

Repeat after me: I will NOT USE SPRAY SUNSCREEN!!!
  • 8h 33m
  • 182 kms
  • 21.29 km/hr

Setting out on the bike course. Same expression as setting out in Melbourne: pained!

This has got to be one of the most stunning bike courses ever. It's raw, it's wild ... marshlands, river, seacoast, through hundreds of cheering spectators in town and the announcer screaming your name as you finish each lap, the haunting beauty and scintillating smells of the tuart forest. You will never lack for on-course nutrition because the local wildlife (i.e., the flies) will swarm right into your mouth and down your throat. Not too tickly, either!

Okay, I only ate three on the bike course.

First Lap was just trying to warm up. The thawing-out process was EXCRUCIATING. Not pins-and-needles; full-on nerve pain. I kept reminding myself that a) at least I was thawing out, b) I would much rather be doing this, joyously outdoors able-bodied, than the excruciating suffocating pain of dengue or chikungunya, and c) at least I didn't have two long, deep cuts on the bottom of my foot like I did at Oceanside 70.3.

Focused. Determined. COLD! (and probably for the first and only time in my life, fully color-coordinated)

Second Lap

One of the downsides of an open, very flat course is that you might get hellish winds. We got hellish winds. This did not bother me nearly as much as being cold, taking forever to warm up, and what was to come later ...

Must take a moment to say the volunteers are unbelievable. They sit in swarms of flies and scorching heat all day just to support the racers. It's extremely well-marshaled (flat courses often beg draft-fests) and yet very few people wind up in the sin bins (penalty boxes). The atmosphere and generosity seem to breed courtesy. I did not have to pee on any draft packs zooming by. Aid stations are plentiful and professional--very safe, tough to do on a bike course with people taking bottles and food "slowed down" but still zooming, and bikes merging in and out. Everything you could possibly need was provided.

Except for a working 5mm hex wrench.

Oh, there are plentiful on-course stationary AND roving mechanics. I saw them a lot--unfortunately, a lot of people saw them a lot and there was always at least one rider (if not a short line) for help.

The one downside of this bike course is that a lot of it is on chip-seal road ... which is not the ideal surface if you have joint problems. It will rattle your bones, the teeth out of your face, and apparently, your saddle screws loose. o_O

Yep, somewhere early in the second lap, my saddle started coming loose on the rails. I kept meaning to stop at one of the mechanics or flag one down, but as I said, they were busy busy busy. Lotta flats, lotta mechanicals. Probably for similar reasons. And I was beginning to panic about never warming up, not making the bike time cutoff, etc. so I just kept going. I started developing serious hot spots from the shifting saddle positions and (just as my feet had so painfully thawed) my entire right foot was going berserk with nerve pain, like someone was zapping electricity straight down my leg and blowing up my foot.

I screech-braked into Special Needs at the halfway point (90km) to scarf down a Red Bull and PB&J sandwich and fix my damn saddle, already. When I opened my PB&J baggie, several dozen flies (no exaggeration) settled onto the sandwich and they went right down my hatch with it. (I'm not including those in the eating count; at that point they were just an accidental side dish).

I ripped off my right bike glove so I could open the saddle bag and use the multitool to screw down my saddle, tight.

I unzipped my saddle bag and it EXPLODED. Yep ... the chip-seal consta-bump had completely undone all 18 tools in my multitool (think of a major Swiss Army knife with all the components separated) and they all went rattling, separately, all over the ground. So I was hunting for the 5mm hex wrench, among all these bits, only to find that without being attached to the multitool, there was no way to get enough torque on it to tighten the screws. (Think of a Swiss Army blade unattached to the main body/knife handle. Really not usable).

So I said, "FUGGIT" (out loud, uncensored apparently) and zip-tied the saddle down as best I could. I couldn't deal with duct tape at that point. I just needed to get back on the road. (Next time, I'm making sure all my bike screws are coated with blue grip paste!)

I did use the razor to slit my wrist--band, the IM identification bracelet, which I saw from taking my glove off had made deep cuts and gouges into my wrist. Relief! This is what my wrist looked like after the race:

And still a week later despite meticulous wound care (it turned out to be the worst fallout from the race, so while bad, it really wasn't bad):

The good news is that while I took forever in Special Needs, I was able to get my saddle more or less tied down stationary, if unfortunately not *quite* in the position I needed (and those of you who ride a lot know what just a few mm one direction or another can mean. Those of you who don't--it's like having a sharp-edged broken tooth shifting a few mm one way or another. In your crotch).

So I had serious fire crotch happening (boy, that is REALLY fun to pee on), and unfortunately my stupid right foot kept zap-nervepain-hurting the whole way through. Astonishingly enough, though, I didn't suffer muscularly, so while the position was extremely uncomfortable (to put it mildly), it didn't actually affect my cycling output. At least having the saddle somewhat still definitely kept me going.

Oh, and chafe I'd gotten from my neoprene swim cap chin strap was now being sawed into by my helmet strap. That felt awesome with sweat pouring into it! This was the remains the day after:

Also, as in Melbourne, all I saw all day was a big black line across my eyes--the top frame of my sunglasses. Need new shades!

Third Lap This is where the slower riders (i.e., me) found out that you CAN get a stiff headwind both ways because guess what ... late in the afternoon, the ocean winds CHANGE DIRECTION. I did have to get off a few times for a minute or so just to give the foot a break. The crotch I could live with, but I did spend way more time up on the hoods (about half the 3rd lap, I'd say) than I wanted to, to try to ease the raging gila monsters that had invaded my nethers. Boy, it was fun riding the headwinds BACK IN AGAIN with a rattling saddle, fire crotch, and a horrid right foot!

Actually, it really was fun. I'm sick that way. It's a good thing I'm not posting the details of what my volunteer virtual pacers had to do to keep me going ... ROTFLM(fiery)AO.

By the way, that glove I took off at halfway/Special Needs to try to fix my bike? Yeah ... it never made it back on! I did the second 90km with one glove on. Durrr ... Ironbrain ...

I will say I had nutrition nailed--I always took a Gatorade or Cola at the aid stations and whatever food I could grab--opened gel, Powerbar piece, or (my favorite) Anzac cookie. I believe it's served me really well to be a crocodiliac garbage can during long trainer rides, because as long as I am getting steady calories in on the course, it doesn't matter what they are.

To the so, so many amazing racers who took the time to call out encouragement as they zoomed by or across the street from me--BLESS YOU. This race is truly special, among many, many races. The whole town is involved one way or another--volunteering, super-spectating--deeply humbled by the amount of support.

Speaking of which--here is Super St. Piglet Sherpa with Sophie the Mad-Cowbell Ringer! This is my very favorite pic from the whole race!

What would you do differently?:

Worn the outermost shell. Look, I know it's crazy that in that heat I was already wearing a long-sleeved BLACK shirt, a lined bike jersey over it and full gloves, but I still did not warm up until the second loop.

Tape a line of gels down my top tube. Delicious, nutritious, not so chunky. Not so aero either, but ever stylish.

Helmet that fits, check. Frameless sunnies (still needed). Ultratough, even Yanti-proof mountain-biking multitool, check. SCREW WITH BLUE GOO! Because much of the IMNZ roads are chip-seal as well, this is essential.

After the race, to my horror, I discovered multiple, multi-headed BOILS and open sores in my, um, undercarriage. So my Blazing Saddles experience was definitely not just in my mind. Hey, you were given fair warning at the outset, and be grateful I'm not posting pictures of THAT.
Transition 2
  • 12m 7s

I don't know what the hell I was doing for 12 minutes, but I suspect the fire-dance from application of even just lube to sensitive parts and once again, that F&%*[email protected] spray sunscreen took a little out of me. Stripped off all my bike gear and got into running clothes. RELIEF. Fresh rags to pee through!

I don't remember much of T2. I just remember being so deliriously happy to be off the bike that I was excited to embark on the marathon.
What would you do differently?:

Can't remember, so I don't know. But being in fresh dry clothes was awesome, and I think in Taupo it will be essential.

Nevertheless, there's no excuse for 12min.
  • 5h 37m
  • 31.5 kms
  • 10m 42s  min/km

This. Course. is. GOBSMACKING GORGEOUS. I kept thinking, running along the shoreline, watching what must have been the most beautiful sunset on the sea in history, and then seeing the shimmering stars wearing the indigo sky come out to cheer me on ... no matter what happens, I am still the luckiest, richest girl in the world.

It didn't mean I could run, but still ... this was awesome. :)

I started out on a 1:1 run walk, running as fast as I could without cramping up and walking the same. Look, everything was hurting by this point, but I kept thinking: "At least I'm off the bike!" and that made me giggle deliriously and be overjoyed to be running, finally.

I saw St. Andrew Piglet and Fiona cheering madly as I came down the first stretch! I ran off the path to go and {MELON PRESS} them, and God bless them, they actually cuddled this incredibly disgusting slimy crusty sweaty stinky peed-on soul. :)

WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot Face:

Realizing that I was running 10min/km and that was not going to get me to the finish cutoff, I switched to 2:1 run/walk. Unfortunately, that didn't make me go any faster. In fact, I slowed down. Back to 1:1. Better.

Happy Face. Ah, that's better!

This run was transcendent. I've never been so perfectly aware of the actual, physical presence of those who were THERE--not in body, but absolutely their support and spirits made the journey. YOU WERE THERE. I saw you, I felt you, I HEARD YOU, I laughed with you, I could swear I even smelled some of you.

I just didn't stop. Not to pee (always happy to warm myself a little), not to eat or drink (walked the aid stations and gulped/chewed), not for anything. At 13 hours in, I don't recall where I was, but I knew it was going to be very, very tight to make it to the finish. So I started running straight (still only walking the aid stations), as fast as my fat little legs would go, teetering on the edge of cramps, willing them to go just a little faster. I was in a fair bit of pain by now, but it was good--I was alive, and running, in the most beautiful state of mind, in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, amongst truly the most beautiful people there as racers, spectators, volunteers, and YOU. I can't put into words what this run was like, but if you've ever had one like it, you will know. I *wanted* to keep running. In fact, there was no time during this race I ever thought of not keeping going. I was going to go until they took me away or I couldn't physically move. I did not want to trade a minute of this excruciating gloriousness. To be able to be there, to be me, to experience such a thing--again, absolutely the luckiest girl in the world, blessed far beyond imagination.

I met the most tenacious and teeth-gritting people in those final hours, who nevertheless had a kind word for me and I them.

At one point an official cycled up to me and asked how far along I was. I told him, and he said, "I think you can do it." This wondrous man, Paulie, was to be my angel companion off and on until the end of my race. He paced me on the bike and said I was picking up speed. He cycled ahead to speak with other officials since I was the LAST RUNNER allowed through onto the third lap.

He believed in me.

Nearing the 16:00 mark, an official came up alongside Paulie and I on a motorbike. He said I already hadn't made the cutoff to go onto the 4th lap. I said, "Thank you, I need to get to the end of the third lap since that's at the main area anyway." And I kept running. And Paulie kept cycling.

I knew I would have to pull out the 10K of my life to finish this race, and I was ready to do so. Nevertheless, as I pulled in to the band-collection/check-in station for the fourth lap, the official there stopped me and repeated I hadn't made the lap cut-off time. I said I understood that but would like to continue for as long as I could. Paulie vouched for me and said I was slowly speeding up and holding a very steady pace, not walking at all.

The official simply explained to me exactly what I needed to do next--go to the drop-out clerk and take care of formalities.

I stood there discussing with him, but I realized there wasn't going to be the outcome I wanted. I accepted that. He was being fair. The rules are the rules, the times are the times (even if they're not posted), and he was looking out for my safety. I appreciate all of that.

As it turned out, they kept the finish line open until 17:20. It would have been close, but I might have made that. However ... the officials were looking at it a) fairly, and b) that they would allow whoever was allowed on to the fourth lap to finish. I could not guarantee I wouldn't take even longer than that.

I'm okay with it. I'm sad, but what is a little sadness compared to the tremendousness of this race, this experience, of all that led up to it ... of YOU? My race ended at 31.5km on the run, at 16hrs 10min, and it was still the most wonderful race I've ever done.

The number of personal bests, of reaching beyond, of experiencing unthought support and encouragement ... I'm speechless.

I was in an ER 8 weeks ago with a serious infection and in tremendous pain. This day, I may not be an Ironman (yet), but I am pretty freakin' delighted.

What would you do differently?:

I don't know. I did everything I could under the circumstances and then some.
Post race
Warm down:

I hobbled over to the drop-out clerk. The three people in that tent were SO NICE to me. Heck, almost worth dropping out early just to meet them ;)

I hobbled over to the refreshments area and quickly guzzled an entire cold Gatorade and a big bowl of ice cream.

That was kind of a mistake, but I held it down anyway :) and it was damned good!

I passed out while sitting at a table (that is, fell asleep. I often do this after short distance races too. I just drop to sleep!) Piglets came and shepherded me home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

One day, I am NOT going to write "lack of training" in a race report!

I did decently, considering (who the hell does IM on 8 weeks of couch-to-Ironcram?) and again ... for all the incredible YOUS out there and getting to know you and getting to "race" with you ... joy. Nothing but pure joy.

I'm still doing Taupo in 11 weeks, though. :)

Most importantly, I did recovery perfectly. Two massages (spaced two days apart), all fresh whole foods (okay, NutriGrain too) and a vitamin supplement, lots of rest, but also plenty of light activity even the day after.

I've had plenty of achystiffsore after the race, but no pain. Stairs were fine but slow; the only real agony was getting up and down from chairs, and the toilet. Hm. I need handicapped rails!

This just goes to say I'm in a lot better shape than I thought I was going into this thing. I couldn't have pushed harder during the race (and kept my limbs uncramped and moving), but I am definitely all right for 8 weeks.

Oh, and another good layer of blubber has got to go. I can't haul all that around for another 216+10km. I also think more lean muscle mass will actually help more with thermogenesis, since I have PLENTY of blubber and plenty left for insulation.

Event comments:

Every aspect of this race was so phenomenal, and such an enormous contrast from Melbourne, that the only two criticisms I have are TINY: 1) considering SunSmart sunscreen is the title sponsor, it would be nice to have it available for purchase at the expo. 2) Tall-top narrow mouth bidons do not squeeze into an aerobottle nor into downtube holders very well.

If I were to list what is good, what is done well, what every thought and need is taken care of by race people ... this, too, would break BT's bandwidth.

Last updated: 2012-04-11 12:00 AM
01:38:00 | 3900 meters | 02m 31s / 100meters
Age Group: 38/45
Overall: 0/1282
Performance: Below average
Suit: Orca Equip
Course: Out along the jetty; back along the jetty. Easy peasy!
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 66F / 19C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:33
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
08:33:00 | 182 kms | 21.29 km/hr
Age Group: 0/45
Overall: 0/1282
Performance: Good
Wind: Cross-winds with gusts
Course: 3 loops of a roughly H-shaped course through town, Tuart Forest and along coast. Pancake. Flat.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 12:07
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:37:00 | 31.5 kms | 10m 42s  min/km
Age Group: 0/45
Overall: 0/1282
Performance: Below average
Course: 4 laps of a hairpin-oval along the coast.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-12-16 10:49 AM
in reply to: #4536338

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
Well done........all of us out in BT land were a bit worried about you.  One step closer to the finish line for you   You will make it.  I have total confidence.  I had my bike seat fall off in a race once...........not very comfortable.  Have you considered doing a WARM race?  Like Louisville?

2012-12-16 12:46 PM
in reply to: #4536338

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia

Holy crap - just think of what you could do if you were actually NOT doing the IronCram program! 

Stay healthy for the next 11 weeks, we'll be with you on your next adventure, as always. 

Loads of love to you my amazing Yantilicious, and {{{TANGEMELON PRESSES}}} for your fabulous day! 

2012-12-16 2:26 PM
in reply to: #4536338

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Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
Awesome job Yanti. 
2012-12-16 6:16 PM
in reply to: #4536338

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Payson, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
you have an awesome attitude.  We all learn to be a little better ourselves when we read your race reports.  Thanks for sharing
2012-12-16 8:11 PM
in reply to: #4536338

, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia

who the hell does IM on 8 weeks of couch-to-Ironcram?

Me!  Welcome to the club

2012-12-17 4:37 AM
in reply to: #4537256

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
spudone - 2012-12-17 10:11 AM

who the hell does IM on 8 weeks of couch-to-Ironcram?

Me!  Welcome to the club

Snerk! I forgot about that! Indeed.

Actually, Shermbelle did an IM on ZERO training, but it was his 2nd IM.

2012-12-17 6:20 AM
in reply to: #4536338

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia

Wow.  It is your appreciation and attitude of gratitude that makes you the beautiful person you are. We would all be a little better off to have some of that in us. Thank you for all you have given. Stay healthy, train smart and the next one is going to be even better!

2012-12-17 7:56 AM
in reply to: #4536338

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Extreme Veteran
Fort Worth, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia amaze me!!!

2012-12-17 8:04 AM
in reply to: #4536338

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Lafayette, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia

Congrads on an interesting day.  Not necessarily the day you wanted.  Anyone can race when everything goes well (training, mechanical, weather).  The true test is when the wheels fall off the bus.  Congrad on passing that test.

2012-12-17 10:31 AM
in reply to: #4536338

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Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia

Wow, incredible experience and an incredible race by one of the most incredible women I know.  I just love, love, love your spirit and outlook on life.  Thanks for all the wonderful pics, you are a wonderful storyteller even without visuals, but they help put me right there with you even more.  Great job, Yanti. HUGS HUGS HUGS!!!!  Proud to be a manatee and proud to know you. Oh, and if you smelled someone with a little bit of hockey funk, that was my spirit, cheering you on during and after hockey practice, which is when my leg of support fell, roughly.  Stay healthy and rock Taupo!

2012-12-17 1:46 PM
in reply to: #4536338

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Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!

Great write-up and pics per usual! I'm looking forward to the one where you get to give it the training the distance deserves. The mental toughness you have already developed is the hard part, and it appears you have that down. Now for the easy part Smile Just stay healthy!

2012-12-17 11:23 PM
in reply to: #4536338

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Liverpool, New York
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia

as always - you ROCK!


2012-12-18 8:36 AM
in reply to: #4536338

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Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
Amazing race - awesome report.
2012-12-18 8:49 AM
in reply to: #4536338

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
Great Race Report as Always Yanti! I love all the pictures you put into the report to personalize it. Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration to so many on BT. Your positive attitude is contagious. Good luck at your next race, we will all be cheering you to the finish line!
2012-12-18 11:33 AM
in reply to: #4536338

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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
Amazing job Yanti!  Congratulations!!
2012-12-18 11:56 AM
in reply to: #4536338

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Extreme Veteran
Fort Worth, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia

The number of personal bests, of reaching beyond, of experiencing unthought support and encouragement ... I'm speechless. ...


Too cool....hmmm, now can i do this wo being a swimmer????  Sprint tris are one thing...OlYs and 70.3s are something else...Don't ya think???


2012-12-18 11:56 AM
in reply to: #4536338

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Extreme Veteran
Fort Worth, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia

The number of personal bests, of reaching beyond, of experiencing unthought support and encouragement ... I'm speechless. ...


Too cool....hmmm, now can i do this wo being a swimmer????  Sprint tris are one thing...OlYs and 70.3s are something else...Don't ya think???


2012-12-18 11:42 PM
in reply to: #4536338

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Vista, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
Good going, girl. You always continue to persevere, amaze and inspire. No disappointments there. You're all heart (and melons and smiles). Love ya, Yanti. Recover well and enjoy your family this week. {{{}}} Mwahhhhh!!
2012-12-19 5:22 PM
in reply to: #4536338

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Boise, ID
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia


Awesome job! Your perseverance is inspiring. Stay healthy and rock it at the next one!

2012-12-19 5:42 PM
in reply to: #4536338

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Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia

What a fantastic report.   If anyone again (and they will) ask why anyone would want to put themselves through an IM, i'd refer them to this paragraph


I just didn't stop. Not to pee (always happy to warm myself a little), not to eat or drink (walked the aid stations and gulped/chewed), not for anything. At 13 hours in, I don't recall where I was, but I knew it was going to be very, very tight to make it to the finish. So I started running straight (still only walking the aid stations), as fast as my fat little legs would go, teetering on the edge of cramps, willing them to go just a little faster. I was in a fair bit of pain by now, but it was good--I was alive, and running, in the most beautiful state of mind, in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, amongst truly the most beautiful people there as racers, spectators, volunteers, and YOU. I can't put into words what this run was like, but if you've ever had one like it, you will know. I *wanted* to keep running. In fact, there was no time during this race I ever thought of not keeping going. I was going to go until they took me away or I couldn't physically move. I did not want to trade a minute of this excruciating gloriousness. To be able to be there, to be me, to experience such a thing--again, absolutely the luckiest girl in the world, blessed far beyond imagination.

Proud of you

2012-12-19 9:15 PM
in reply to: #4536338

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
Great job out there! Each time you do an IM, you get closer to the finish line! The next one is YOURS! I just know it.

PS- If you ever want a warm IM where you aren't freezing in the water, on the bike or run... come to Texas!

2012-12-20 11:32 AM
in reply to: #4536338

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Extreme Veteran
Glendora, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
yanti as always you are my inspiration. in the not to distant fuutre you will hear those immortal words "yanti you are an ironman!!!!" awesome race report and thank you.
2012-12-20 5:20 PM
in reply to: #4536338

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Williamsburg, VA
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
What an amazing race report. Every time i get discouraged in whatever I do; all I need to do is think of how tough you are and I can get through. YOu are the most amazing positive person I know!!! You will here them say that you are an Ironman for sure!!!
2012-12-21 10:43 AM
in reply to: #4543501

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
Thanks for the amazing race report!
2012-12-22 8:59 AM
in reply to: #4536376

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Ironman Western Australia
Iowaman - 2012-12-16 4:19 AM

You're the best. Great race report. Worth the wait. Nobody can give a race report like Yanti. Epic.

P.S. I've seen people come out of bar fights with less injuries than you got from that race. You are an Ironman.

I'VE come out of bar fights with fewer injuries than that!

Then again, they didn't last for 16 hours, either.

Here's the wrist, two weeks post-IM:

(044.WristChafe2Week (Small).jpg)

044.WristChafe2Week (Small).jpg (31KB - 43 downloads)
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