Monthly Archives: July 2012

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WE DID IT. After months of training, the Rhode Island Half Ironman is behind me. A 2 k swim, a 90 k bike ride, and a 21 k run in that order. My goal was to crawl in as an  official finisher  (no later than 8 1/2 hours after starting) but my fervent hope was to do it in under eight. Jim was convinced I could. I wasnt so sure.  But 7 hours and 53 minutes after I ran into the water I staggered across the finish line. Jim was an awesome coach. He did it in 6:40 and Sabrina did it in 7.

My eyes were already wide open  when the alarm went off at 3:30 am. After quickly getting ready we drove off to the convention center downtown to catch our 4:15 shuttle to the race site. The walk to the T-zone felt surreal. High performance athletes were carrying their bikes while we carried a blanket and leftover pasta from supper the night before – like we were going on a picnic. It was still dark outside but as we walked up out of the tunnel we suddenly could hear the loadspeakers and saw the T-zone with the floodlights blazing down on all the bikes stabled there. My heart started to race.

Waiting by the water I was surprisingly calm. I had put in a lot of hours and all I could do was my best. But still, those buoys were a long way out. The gun fired and I jumped into the fray.  (Sabrina was in my wave of  “over 50 and below 29” but Jim’s wave started half an hour later). I felt ok pacing myself.  By half way through the bike I couldnt feel my feet anymore and I also knew I had oozing welts on my sit bones. (I will know for next time that I need some kind of lube oil). There were no calamities. The worst that happened was I went into a guard rail trying to avoid broken glass and my chain came off. At one point I hit 60 k an hour going down a big hill and that was terrifying. All those bikes flying down the hill. If one person went down it was going to be a train wreck. When I started the run, all I could think of was: how was I going to do 21 kilometers. It was 31 degrees outside. Thank goodness for the great nutrition and water stations every mile. I used them all. Ahhh….its over.

The Night Before

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It is the night before our half ironman, which to me is the springboard of our adventure for the next several months. I can’t believe it is actually here. Jim, Sabrina and I spent the day here in Providence, Rhode Island picking up our race kits, sorting and filling our various swim, bike, and run bags and depositing them in the transition zones, checking in our bikes, and other must do’s. It is all rather intimidating. I swear there is more money in bikes here than the Wall Street coffers. I was pretty tickled with all the free samples of gels, bars and water bottles. Hmmm.  I just realized the contrast of that. Anyway, we are off to bed. Nerves are high and 3:30 am will come soon.