I had a great day in Wisconsin but it didn't turn out the way I had planned, some things went out of the plan but that is what happens during an Ironman - you have to expect the unexpected.
We packed up the van on Friday, there were three kids and three adults and I wasn't sure if we were going to be able to get it all in there. We were pretty packed in!
We drove to the hotel in Wisconsin and my sister then took the kids and the van to my mom's house who lives a little over an hour south of Madison. I was so grateful for her to make the trip, she helped us so much with the kids and then she had her own to take care of!
It was pretty awesome to be a part of all the buzz that was going on in the city and I was very excited to race. Poor Derek got some of the brunt of my nervousness and anticipation as I had a couple of melt downs about my coffee being cold and not getting my oatmeal right - thanks Derek for putting up with me.
I knew the day was going to be a little chiller than expected and I was going back and forth on what to wear - I decided just to wear my Gear West jersey with triathlon shorts and arm warmers because I do get cold out there and I like to race in the heat!
Race day arrived and felt good to go. I got in the water at a good time and got to see fellow Minnesotan Anthony Hirschman waiting in line so that helped calm my nerves. I lined up just by the ski jump and I treaded water for about 6 mins. I didn't get beat up too bad but there were a couple of times some man hands came after me. The only time it got real physical was when we were going around or close to the buoys. I found some feet to swim on for the last section of the race and that was nice. Running up the helix was awesome - I saw Derek and my family and I knew it was going to be a fun day.
I had rode the course so I knew what to expect and absolutely loved it! I wanted to get in around 250-300 calories per hour on the bike. The best part of the bike were the climbs because of all the people waiting for you to run and cheer. At Old Sauk Pass I saw three guys in basketball outfits and thought they were hilarious - they were cheering for me and telling me I looked great. At that time I was in somewhat of a daze and just smiling at people and concentrating on the race. I remember thinking to myself on the second loop I hope those guys are there again because they were hilarious - come to find out it was my husband, his brother and friend!
I was so happy to start the run and knew I was in a good position coming in - I passed two pros on the bike and didn't think there were too many other amateurs ahead of me. As I was exiting T2 a volunteer told me I was in the top 10 and 2nd amateur female - I was happy with this and just wanted to run a solid marathon hoping to not have any issues with the hamstring. My hamstring actually felt the best it had going into the race with seeing Crystal at Spine and sport and getting massages weekly to really work it out. What was really bothering me was my back as I had a rib out of place that I do struggle with time to time and Crystal put some kinesology tape on it the night before.
Everyone came over to congratulate me and it was great to see them all - friends from college, almost my whole family as well as my in- laws. I could not had asked for more support and encouragement from them. I didn't get a chance to celebrate with them, take pictures, nothing....I went straight back to my hotel where I passed out for about a half hour after taking a bath, tried to eat 1/2 of a pizza but couldn't stomach it, went to bed where somewhere about midnight I woke up with the worst feeling in my stomach. I then spent the rest of the night by the toilet! The next morning I was still feeling horrible so we made our way to Urgent Care after talking to a couple of people about my issues and they suggested to not mess around with my symptoms. I got 2.5 bags of IV's and after 4 hours in the room was released to go home. I so wanted to be one of those who was eating dairy queen and loving every minute of it but all I got was some saltine crackers and chicken broth - yummy! My good friend Harvey told me to just let it go - literally the next time because he saw a woman at Grandma's marathon running with poo poo down the back of her shorts an someone asked her if she needed anything and her reply was "To qualify for Boston!"
Looking back I need to remember that I did have a good time with all the circumstances that happened that day, I have a great family who loves and supports me. The support that was out there that day cheering me and all of the other athletes on that day - WOW you guys are the reason why I wouldn't want to do any other Ironman just because the amount of love you receive out there is amazing. Thank you!!! Someday I hope to be back there to race but next year I am there to support my athletes and those who cheered for me last Sunday!