Sunday, November 10, 2013

IMFL RACE DAY - Run - Finish (Part 4 Race Report)

Continued from Part 3...

I yelled my number again to the volunteers for my T2 bag, and they directed me to an isle to 'go find it' myself.  I'm not sure why they weren't handing them out but it was easy.   I ran into the 'ballroom' for a quick change.    The woman in T2 was wonderful, dumped out my stuff and was handing me things.  Very nice!

I changed my shirt to a sleeveless, changed my socks and shoes. I wear foot compression socks to hold my arch in place, and I lubed my feet with aquaphor to prevent blisters (which didn't work).  I left my peanut butter pretzels behind because even though I had been eating them for ALL of my training, I just couldn't on race day.  They were too dry!  Weird!  I grabbed my 2nd Garmin and stuffed it in my pocket in case my battery wore out on the first.

I headed out of transition only to see the REST Of my family up on the hill.  Too bad they had to watch me head into a portopotty!  

It was hot (although people in Florida think that was cold).  I felt a little nausea and wanted to 'rest' a bit. This was my first real mistake of the day. I ignored my 2 min run 3 min walk buzzer on the Garmin and decided I would just "walk" until I found my stomach or cooled down. I had a banana from the first aid station, which usually eases my stomach.  38 min into my marathon, I decided I better pick it up and I continued with my run/walk plan.  

I have to say the run went pretty fast, I did start to get a blister on the bottom of my foot by mile 10. Apparently EVERYONE had this same blister!  I had even lubed my feet and still had it.. grrrr.  BUT, I'm happy to report that was my biggest physical issue on the run!  My hip hurt but that is normal, and my arch stayed where it belonged!   I was close to the park and saw Val, in her Tutu- she came running across the road in her socks, gave me a huge hug and it gave me a little boost.

definitely was so distracted on the run, I wasn't paying that much attention to my Garmin. Normally I'm glued to the pace.  It seemed like there were aid stations every mile, which was super nice!  As soon as the sun started to set, the stations had chicken broth.  That stuff is like heaven.  I stopped at one aid station to sit and lube my feet again, but by this point it was a lost cause.  I saw so many people throwing up, I was really glad it wasn't me. I felt so bad for the ones who were outright shivering.  At this point I felt pretty good, stomach was ok, I was hydrated and my legs were moving.

It seemed that in no time I had finished the half marathon and was at  special needs.  A volunteer grabbed my bag and I sat down to change my socks and re-lube my feet AGAIN.  I rounded the bend and saw my family!  I gave my sun glasses and chiropractic activator to John because I didn't need it (WOOHOO).  Less weight to carry!  




I got to slap my mom and cousin Tanya 5's!  and I was off for round 2!


As I was headed back out, someone yelled out of their car window "it's her.. "GO FAT GIRL".. I know that people were horrified at that, but it was awesome!  It pays to wear a pretty distinctive outfit!

Somewhere along that route I ran into John's roommate from 20 years ago.  His daughter Zoe wouldn't let them leave, she wanted to see me finish. Zoe you are awesome, I can't wait to come watch you do an Ironman someday!

It was just one foot in front of the other, and I entered the park in the pitch black.  The sky was beautiful, amazing stars! HOWEVER, I don't recommend looking up at them. After 15 hours of working out... I almost fell over.  

I saw Patty in the park, she's a great speed walker, I so wish I could walk that pace!  I think she finished 30 min ahead of me!  Then I saw Kellie and her cape!  She's another speed walker.   From there the 'crowd' of runners was getting thinner.  It was more what I was used to in any given race!

About 5 miles out I ran into Marie from Team Bazinga and her husband Andy.  Andy pushed us to run 2 min/45 sec rest. He was great. I'm not sure I would have made it in time if he hadn't pushed me.  We plowed through the rest of the aid stations (including the 2nd to the last one that was CLOSED UP).  I am glad I took the 20 seconds to hit a portopotty again though, because I probably would have peed my pants on that sprint to the finish.

About 2 miles out Marie's coaches found her and were going to run her in.  They were super sweet, she ran faster than me so dropped me pretty quickly (btw Marie can be found in the finisher video too, just before me, blowing kisses). Her one coach kept coming back to me making sure I was ok and encouraging me to 'keep my pace.'   I think at this point I knew it was 30 min out.

Words of wisdom to those that might be near the cutoff, find out what your watch time vs the race clock, it will save you lots of anxiety!  "is my watch right?"

I came aorund the corner near the Campers Inn (where our RV was) I knew it was about .4 miles from there.  A volunteer came running up to me and said "You have 4 minutes"-- WHAT ? 4 minutes? Sh!t. I joked that if I had to run a 6 min mile those last 2 miles, I would do it... however I didn't think I would ACTUALLY HAVE TO!

This volunteer "Glenn" (if you know him please send him to me), said "I'm running you in, you have this."  He was super encouraging, and kept telling me to keep moving and I would make it. Then this other volunteer yells "you have ONE MINUTE." SH!T!  ok Vince, (Chi Running).. LEAN.. LEAN.. and GO.. Glenn says "oh you DO have more in you?" -

I literally sprinted down the chute, it was the loudest thing, there were 10 people deep and hands, arms all hanging out and banging on the sides. I could hear my name "oh it's Laura Backus from Webster MA" and then this insane irruption of cheers.  I could see the lights and all I wanted to see was that damn clock, would I make it? ok one more gear, faster!  .. then I see the clock. I had 20 seconds. seriously 20 seconds?


I wish I had 5 seconds to take it all in, but I just HAD to get to that line.  I get there and realize I have to do my kick .. If I hadn't just SPRINTED the last .2 miles, I would have had a better one, but hey I'll take it.  Annette was there waiting to give me my medal!



Disappointing as it was, the pros were all gone. They were gone because Ironman can't count. They ran out of medals at 11:30, seriously, we paid $700 and no medal? unacceptable!   They also didn't say 'Laura Backus, you are an Ironman" - What he did say to me and the woman  2 seconds behind me "2 more in the box"-- ok new slogan for me, I guess I'm "IN THE BOX" :).


I turned and saw Joe Stone and crew. What a guy, I am not sure I could have come back out there but he did, what an athlete. I can't wait to come back and watch him make history!


I looked to the side and saw my whole crew. I felt pretty good, although Annette said I was wobbling.  Good thing about how broken down the finish line was, is my family got to have a picture with the Ironman background.

It was pretty great to show my family what this whole "Ironman" thing was all about. NO one really knows unless they're a triathlete or have been to a finish line. You can't explain it. It is an experience of a lifetime.



I even made the official Ironman Florida video!


Click to go to part 5



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