This past weekend team Splish competed in the ironman relay at Silverman.
The team Splish organizer, Ira, made sure us girls got where we needed to be and took amazing care of all of us.
Saturday was super busy with arriving to LV, getting my bike from Alex, registering, and just getting all of the things done that need to be done before doing a race…
We woke up nice and early for the race Sunday. Sunny and I had a nice little breaky, got our stuff, and rumbled to the race course. We were a little late in our arrival as we took a wrong turn, however, Sunny was on it with her i-phone mapping system pointing us in the right direction. We arrived a little behind schedule for Dawn to get a decent warm-up. However, we were confident that she would “win” the swim sans wetsuit..and she did! Dawn, the head honcha of Splish, is a bad ass swimmer. And I loved the fact that all of the other bike relays thought that Dawn was “their” swimmer…haha….little did they know….:)
So off on the bike I started! This was the first time ever that I had a lead motorcycle (and probably the last time:). I reveled in the fact that I was minutes ahead of the next biker! And I guess it was about 30 minutes until the next biker caught me…and he was flying! The first 15 miles of the bike were tough! I think the first four or five miles were straight up hill. The descents were pretty hairy too. In fact, we had cross winds, not unlike Hawaii! I kept reminding myself to keep pedaling…although I was scared and I was also braking!
So during this time, I was also trying to outpace the rain clouds. The morning had started off in the mid 60s, and while I knew that the weatherman had forecast rain, we were all optimistic! My optimism faded, however, as I did the descent in the canyon where the turnaround was, with pouring rain that pelted me like stinging bees. My only protection seemed to be my pink arm warmers and Giro helmet. …which was not enough! The rain was hitting me so hard that it sounded like gun shots hitting my helmet (the helmet covers my ears).
As I arrived to the special needs tent, I just stopped. I was so cold that my speech was slurred and I couldn’t even get my bottle out of the bag. It seemed as though the temperature had dropped 10 degrees. I asked the volunteer to help me put the bottles on my bike and I was off again! This time I was climbing out of the canyon and I was stoked. I was working really hard and I was warming up! As I headed toward the 85 mile mark (I think it was 85 miles??), I started getting mixed in with the half ironman athletes. I was so happy to see people! I had been passed by only about 3 men at this point racing the ironman, and I was so lonely!
I kept pedaling, thinking wow, I feel really good…(I just love my little 49cm Scott bike!)…wow, my stomach is totally fine,…and then finally, with the “oh shit” feeling that I had only done three 4.5 hr rides to prepare for this! I only carried about 1200 calories on my bike as I was trying to stay as light as possible with my intake to help alleviate my GERD problems. I admit that I was seeing black spots at times, as I was bonking. However, the cool thing is that I can recover from black spots. I can’t recover from severe hernia related acid reflux. It was a good learning day! I think I only ate 1050 calories in 6 hrs. I was, however, fairly hungry after getting off the bike….Anyway…back to the race…..
The last 20 miles were brutal! They were brutal because it was on a little bike path (no more open roads), and we were going uphill with a head wind! It was SO HARD!!!!! I kept on reminding myself that harder conditions equal a stronger Amanda! :) My bike average went from 20.6 to 18.7! YIKES! I also kept reminding myself that everyone else had these same conditions!
As I arrived in t-2, I saw Sunny! Man was I excited to see her and to get off my bike. That was my longest ride since before Wisconsin!!!
Sunny had an amazing run considering that she only decided to race with us 4 days ago! 3:28 is not too shabby off of a handful of 90′ runs and fall time cyclocross racing!
I have to say the police officers and volunteers on the course were amazing. The course is absolutely gorgeous with very few cars! I was thoroughly impressed with how the race was organized! I loved the the schwag bags that we received from registration. I loved the post race food tent and massage. It was really well-done! However, I would say that if you are doing your first ironman, and you want to finish, I do not suggest that you pick this race, as it is F-ing HARD!!!!! People are not kidding when they say it is the world’s toughest…I believe them!
After finishing, we took hot, hot showers (separately)! I think we could all agree that we were all frozen out there…
And while we were all exhausted, we were eager to go see MADONNA in her “sticky, sweet” concert!