Yesterday, I tackled the Ironman 70.3 in Racine Wisconsin. Going in I was neither particularly nervous or particularly excited. I knew it was going to be a hard day. I knew that I was undertrained compared to my fellow athletes. I knew that it would test my limits. I knew that I would want to quit. I knew that I would have to “dig deep” in order to finish. I knew that I REALLY wanted to finish.
What I didn’t know was that the wind, which brought in that cool front, would be blowing hard and that Lake Michigan would be a total beast. It was the kind of day on the lake where hubby and I wouldn’t have even bothered to take out the boat. Large rolling waves which resulted in white caps up near the shore. I knew that was bad. I knew the swim would be super hard for me since it was already my weakest event. I kept wondering if it were even safe to swim out there? But they were sending out swimmers, wave after wave after wave and eventually it was my turn. I entered the water toward the back of my wave because I am a slower swimmer. We walked out, no running today because the big waves were coming in so fast that they were knocking us backward. We walked out to the point where it was inevitably “time to swim” and a few people got started. The ladies in front of me however were a bit “nervous” and just looking at one another. I yelled, “Let’s DO THIS” and that seemed to get us down and into swim position. The swim course wasn’t very technical with only two turns and long parallel to shore swim. This should have been somewhat easy.
Yet, it wasn’t easy. I can’t really say that I swam much. I would take a few strokes and then have to look up to see where the waves had pushed me. I would readjust, take a few more strokes, get swamped by more waves, then put my head up to look again. I was either floating up, or down, or to the side. My stroke was more of a flail than an actual swim stroke. Had I been a person prone to seasickness, I would have vomited. We were definitely rolling up and down with the waves.
Then when I could finally see the end, I started to kick. Hadn’t done much kicking before that point, and I almost immediately got a nasty cramp in my left calf. I had to roll over onto my back and massage it out, only to start swimming again and have it come back within minutes. I was not happy and was trying not to panic because I was SO close to the end. I just wanted to get out of the damn water. The lifeguard came to me with a surf board and let me hang on until the cramp passed. Not cool. Not normal. Not fun.
I did finally got out of the water and walked slowly to transition. I was thankful that I got out of the water on my own power. I was trying to catch my breath. Trying to recoup a bit. But my calf was very sore from the cramp and today it feels even worse. So the first, and most painful What Hurts? award definitely goes to my sore calf muscle.
The second What Hurts? award goes to my neck and shoulders. Apparently, all that flailing around in the water, keeping my head up to see where the heck I was going, and just the general roughness of the swim put the hurt on my neck and shoulders, which already suffer from limited mobility on a “normal” day. This was very noticeable as soon as I got on my bike and got down to ride in aero. OUCH. Now magnify this over 56 miles and 3.5 hours and wowzers, I can’t move my neck much at all today.
The third What Hurts? award goes to my left knee. Apparently my left calf muscle checked out after the swim portion of the race. It didn’t get the memo that I would be needing it for the entirety of the 70.3 miles. So since it withdrew from the race early, my left knee took over in the bike portion. Well, left knee started screaming at me about mile 30 and it hasn’t stopped screaming as of yet. Left Knee and Left Calf are having a major battle right now, playing the blame game and just being generally very pissy with one another.
The last What Hurts? award goes to the chafing department. What chafed? Hell if I know but I felt like I got burned while I was in the water. Both underarms are red, raw & have swollen patches. It could have been my sleeveless wetsuit, which has never previously caused a problem. It could have been my tri kit, which has never previously caused a problem. It could have been the waves beating the living shit out of me. Who knows but it hurts to wear clothes and put my arms down. No worries, I’m going to work “nakie” today and plan to hold both of my arms up in the air and pretend like I just don’t care!!! The super sexy photos are below if you care.
I’m going to take minute here to thank Mission Athletecare for protecting my skin so that I don’t have a 5th What Hurts? award. I do have a little bit of a burn on the back of my neck but I did swim 1.2++++ miles, bike 56 miles, and run 13.1 miles over the course of 6 hours & 50 minutes in addition to running thru 10+ sprinklers/hoses, getting shot by several water guns and dumping at least 24+ cups of water over my head. All that with one application of sunscreen. So I’m super pleased that I’m sunburnt too! Thanks, Mission Athletecare!
This was a long day. I must say that I can normally walk away with minimal soreness and nothing really lingers. Today however is a bit different than the norm. No worries, I’ll be back at it soon enough but not today. I am resting, relaxing, hydrating and eating whatever the heck I want.
** Everything Hurts ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **
Despite all the pain, congrats on finishing! I have to give mad props to you tri folks… Not only did you run a half marathon, but you swam 1.2 miles and biked 56 miles before doing so! So insane!
I am always so inspired by reading about tri’s. My ultimate goal is a half ironman, maybe more. I still have to learn to swim, which I am sure won’t be a problem. Getting through this marathon first before I tackle swimming. Great recap. You did a fantastic job despite the challenges.
I’m sure you’ll be great when you are ready to hit the pool! Good luck & keep me posted!
Great job for toughing it out Amanda!! Love that determination and perseverance!! Great job! You are amazing! And I care to see the chafing issues. I have plenty of chafing issues myself … hate it.
Chafing sticks so badly.
Wow, Amanda! I know that you are not big with needing a medal to represent your accomplishment, but if I just did 70.3 under these swim conditions I would be wearing the medal with pride for the entire week. Or perhaps I’d get a 70.3 tattoo…on my forehead! Amazing job. Good work!
Love the tattoo idea! LOL!
You are a rock star. And ouch on the chafe
Wow, that swim sounds terrible. I do get sea sick, so I would have felt pukey all day! Way to go and get it done! I have to admit that I am a little jealous that your race is over and I still have mine this weekend! Congrats lady, super proud of you! HUGS
I know how that feels b/c I had several friends go to Muncie last week. Of course, they all had an amazing race and I was super envious they had already finished it.
Sometimes the races that don’t go our way are the ones that prove the most. You are one strong triathlete. Hope everything feels better soon – enjoy your rest 🙂
Congrats on Finishing! You are far braver than I will ever be!
You are such a star! Here’ s to the soreness subsiding soon!
Well, well done. I got the same chafing after my first marathon a couple of weeks back. Haven’t used deodorant since, just baby powder under the arms. Ouch. Brilliant time, well done. Respect.
Many thanks. Yep, no deodorant here. Hope you heal up soon.
Congrats on your finish!!!! The race is called Ironman — toughness, persistance and determination got your thru this race. You are an IRONMAN(WOMAN)!!!! Way to go!!!!
Heck yeah it did, plus a little bit of help from the Big Guy! Rough day.
Congrats on finish a tough race! Those waves sound INSANE! Gah! I hope your calf and knee decide to both give up the battle against each other and come to a truce!
Great job toughing it out and finishing. Your open water swim is scaring me as my final tri in October is in the ocean and is a mile. Way to go!
Wow, congratulations! You rock! I hope your chafing and angry legs go away very soon 🙂
You’re amazing!! I’m sorry so many things hurt though. That swim sounds brutal, I don’t know if I could’ve done that. Any plans on doing another one, or is this it? You rock!!
Holy cow girl! So proud of you!
I’m so impressed!!! You should be so proud!
Way to pull through on a tough day and finish! It sounds like you went through hell and high (rough?) water to finish, but you stuck with it and finished, which is a huge feat, especially considering everything that was going on with your calf, knee, etc. I hope you’re giving yourself an extra special treat for working through all of that. Congrats on your finish!
I’m so impressed by all of you 70.3 women I follow!! I feel like I was oblivious to Ironman until the past week. (I mean, I knew what it was but I’m suddenly putting everything together with all the bloggers I follow!) Way to go girl, now rest and bask in the glory!
You are too kind! Thanks! It’s always an adventure.
Pingback: Ironman 70.3 Racine (2013) Race Report | TooTallFritz
I was thinking of doing this race in 2014 but I heard from other triathletes at IM Wisconsin that this was one hell of a day! Nice report and congrats on earning that finisher’s medal
Timing is great on this race but the water is a wildcard. Beautiful town though!
Sent from my iPhone