VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 17 POSTED ON: 9/9/2012
Angie’s Ironman Hawaii Race Report, 2007 Ironman Hawaii was the best thing to happen to my family in a very long time. Without the race, we never would have taken the holiday, and I can honestly say that the holiday and the race, have created so many outstanding memories for the Anderson Clan, that this journey will stay close to our hearts for a very long time. Leading up to the race many of you know I was a basket case. I didn’t want to go, and every time I talked about it I’d cry. I was tired and burnt out. Well, thanks to talks with Janice, Jaimie, Carmen, Dave and many others, I got my head out of my arse and worked towards seeing this race as a gift; an opportunity that many triathletes might not ever get. I needed to appreciate the “gift” in the words of the great Garny Baker! If Jaimie Roth hadn’t been here training for the same race, I might not have made it though. He put up with me on several rides around Horsecreek Loop. He got me on my bike, and an easy ride for him, was a quality ride for me, so I got the better end of the deal. Jaimie talked me through the race, and heightened my fears to the point I was just about to break, only to calm me down again and tell me it’s not that bad! (He enjoys seeing me squirm!) Thank you Jaimie! As I worked my head around accepting the “gift” of Ironman Hawaii, I also formulated my plan for the race. I didn’t believe that I had it in me to dig deep at another IM race this year; truth be known, I didn’t want too. IMCDA and IMC were epic days… days where I did better than I believed I was capable of…especially at IMC. IMH was going to be a different day. I was there to enjoy it. In one of my moments of despair that I had to do another Ironman, Janice McCaffrey said to me “Why do you do triathlon?” I didn’t even have to think of the answer; it came out instantly. I love being fit… that feeling that you can do what you ask your body to do on any given day. I love to swim, bike and run. I love the people in triathlon… the Ironman family. To Janice it was very simple. She said “Well, what’s different about this. Just go swim, bike and run. The rest will fall into place.” Once I accepted the simplicity of the task, I was able to move forward and be happy. My goals for this race were unlike any other race I’ve ever done. I was going to maintain “my spirit of the race” which was to smile, to be thankful, and to congratulate and support athletes and volunteers at every opportunity. Looking back, I was epically successful at meeting my goals. The race, well… as much as I said I never wanted to do this race, I am so glad I went and look forward to going back one day. (Yes Jaimie… you are right once again! I said I’d never go, you said I would, and I did. I said I’d never go back, you said I would, and I want to. Glad you know what’s going on in my head!) I can honestly say that going to Kona as a spectator and going as an athlete are 2 very different experiences. Last year, it felt like any other Ironman. This year, I got it… I felt the magic of the island that I so badly missed last year when I went to cheer and volunteer. It was surreal being there as an athlete. Chrystie from CDA and I were glued at the hips from when I arrived Tuesday night to race start Saturday morning. She was a very important part of my race experience, as was Katie Frauts, a teacher from Springbank High School. Katie was in quite a pickle when her bike didn’t arrive in Kona. She ended up hanging with Chrystie and I all day Wednesday which was a beautiful thing. We had our treasure hunt and had SO much fun! Who knew triathlon supply companies threw free stuff at you when you qualified for the World Championships! By the end of our hunt, we had a big bag of Goo stuff, a brand new fuel belt, and a bunch of Hammer nutrition product to use. We also got a free visor from Triks and I got a free Infinit visor! This was so much fun! (I didn’t have a camera with me for these few days so I don’t have pictures.) We then did the obligatory stop at the merchandise tent, and met a lady, Cathy, who was an athlete and a writer hired to do an article for Geezer magazine! When she found out we were both 40, she asked if she could interview us as that magazine was for “geezers” over 40! We had a blast with this! (Katie was bit young for this opportunity but she did get her bike on Thursday morning, so her world was falling into place too!) At dinner that night Desiree Ficker came into get Vietnamese take out. We oogled her and headed home to bed! Thursday was time to get to business. We had to go to the “Masters Lady’s Brunch” in the morning, followed by our interview with Geezer, followed by a massage. Don’t you think we weren’t working hard! We felt like we were on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”! We did sneak in a swim and a ride that day too. This is also the day that Chrystie and I were wearing our Team Tri Life jersey at Starbucks. A gal walking in asked if we were from Canada, and we ended up chatting. Turns out, she recognized the jersey from IMC, and she was a pro doing her 6th IM race. She gave a few suggestions that I think saved my life. One was to take a non-drowsy anti nausea pill before the swim. I was queasy every time I swam, so I was game to give it a go. The other was to put a cinnamon flavored chicklett in my cheek to help with the salt flavor. I practiced it on Thur. and went with it on race day. On our ride after Starbucks we met a lovely fellow from Australia named Carlos. He wasn’t in the race but was hoping to qualify soon. We saw him race morning and I was on his plane leaving the island Monday morning. He got a great picture of me smiling in the showers after the swim that I’m hoping he sends me. That’s the way it is in Kona. You just meet people! Side note: At the Master’s Breakfast the keynote speaker was a swim expert named Karlyn Pipes- Neilsen. Chrystie, Cathy (the interviewer for Geezer) and I had a private 1 hour chat with her about swimming. It was fantastic! This woman and her husband fly all over the world giving swim clinics. The great news was that for the most part, her theory around swim techniques really matched mine. She gave me some outstanding drills and tactile teaching tools to use, and I bought her video. I haven’t watched it yet but look forward to once things slow down. This was another amazing experience! Swimming at Dig Me Beach early in the mornings with all the other Iron athletes was spectacular! They even had an aid station on the swim! Yup… 700m out was an aid station where you could get hot coffee, cold coffee, or water! (I stuck with water!) Gordo was on the boat handing out refreshments one morning, and it was nice place to chat with other athletes. My only issue with the aid station was that hanging on the boat made me sea sick, so I couldn’t stay as long as I might have liked too! Picture of directions to the aid station in the ocean! I stole this from slowtwitch. Thursday night was the banquet, and it was the only time I really got to spend with Jaimie Roth from Cochrane. I have to tell you, though, that this banquet didn’t have near the emotion and energy that the IMC banquet does. I don’t know if it’s because it’s so big and outdoors, but nobody clapped or stood up. It was very sedate. The best part for me was recording my greeting for Ironmanlive, and chatting with Jaimie and Myles, another Calgary athlete who I know. Ken and the girls arrived on Thursday night, so my life as a single triathlete hanging out with the best triathletes in the world came to an abrupt stop. Friday was a hard day for the girls, but once they got over their fights about the hair straightener, we managed just fine! Ken of course showed up and immediately got to work on my bike. He made sure it was built correctly and everything was in tip top shape! I decided to use my Zipp wheels as the wind forecasts weren’t that bad. I’m glad I did even though it ended up being quite a windy day. Taking our stuff into transition was surreal again. Having people lined up to watch you take your bike in, counting your “bike, seat, and wheel brands” was a bit overwhelming! It was uncanny though how I kept running into the same people. Matt, a fellow I met on the shuttle bus to get the rental car, was everywhere I was. He’s from Boston and got in on the lottery. He traveled with his wife and baby, and on race morning, I gave him a big hug and wished him well. He saw me during the race and yelled at me a few times, which was so nice. It was lonely out there, and hearing your name called by another athlete made things just a little easier. Thanks Matt! This is Tori, Ali, Ken and I going into transition on Friday. Oh, and the best part of Friday day was that my girls got their picture taken with Andy Baldwin who was “The Bachelor” last year! Chrystie spotted him and I asked about the pic. He was very gracious and Tori and Ali were pumped, once they got over being embarrassed that I asked him for the picture! Our Friday pre-race meal was sushi once again, and it was great sushi too! I have to say, though, that my “ultra relaxed” headspace made me forget things that I never forget before a race. On Friday, the day before the race, I didn’t eat well. Before IMCDA and IMC I had a huge lunch with Salmon, and brown rice and salad. I completely forgot about that. I’ll never know if it affected my day, but it wasn’t the smartest thing to do! On race morning, TV cameras where everywhere in the transition area. I’m walking thru and there’s Norman, and Macca… again, it was surreal! I was very excited to get the numbers that they stamp on you rather than write with a marker! (Stupid, but I always thought it was cool!) Chrystie and I moved our way thru our morning rituals beautifully. We took pics every opportunity we could, and supported each other thru laughter and just a real simple joy to be doing what we love… racing an Ironman. You would have been so proud of me! I was on the beach in the morning, as calm and cool as a cucumber. This was the best head space I’ve ever been in before an IM race, and I think it was because I truly believed I didn’t have anything to prove. I wanted to enjoy my day, and while I knew it was going to be hard, I wasn’t “racing” so I was hoping “hard” would be relative! As we’re standing there, choppers are flying overhead, and the Navy Seals Sky Divers are floating to the water. (Ali really liked this part!) This is where I decided that my mantra for the day was “Tourist Mode”! I was going to use Janice McCaffrey’s description of the first half of a marathon, and be on “Tourist Mode” all day! I stuck to that, and had fun with it! This is me in my fancy new speed suit about 1 hour before race start. It was a spontaneous purchase to say the least, and from my swim split, you wouldn’t think it helped! On the flip side, I felt better standing on the beach with it on since almost every other athlete had one. If anyone wants to buy one of these garments, I know where you can get a used one!!!!!! I was very calm at this point. I just handed Ken the pump and gave the girls a kiss. I was happy and excited to go. The Navy Seals Sky Divers A few really cool things happened early in the day. I have never ever ever been so happy getting out of the water. I swam easy…stupid easy really, but I wasn’t sick and I hadn’t thrown up. The anti nausea pill worked wonders! The gum saved me too although I swallowed the first piece about 1/3 of the way into the swim, and I lost the 2nd piece about 2/3’s of the way thru. The last 20 minutes of that swim in salt water was tough! My mouth was so parched, but I wasn’t sick, so all was good! There are pictures of me grinning ear to ear all the way thru transition. I truly didn’t care that it was the slowest swim of my life. I guessed 1:10, but it was 1:13 in the end. I smiled my way thru T1, and was out on the bike. A picture of the swim start stolen from Slowtwitch.. It was wild doing an open water start. We had to tread water for about 15 min before the gun went off. I ended up chatting with a few gals to pass the time after I lost Chrystie. At first there was lots of room, and then people began to crowd in to the point it was hard to move your legs enough to stay afloat. I just kept moving to try to find open water. The cannon actually went off a few minutes early and surprised us all. I guess they say “go” when the swells are good, not by the clock. The swim wasn’t brutal for me. When people would hit me, I’d tell myself “we’d all have a beer and be friends if we were on the beach” and move to open water. I was staying true to my mantra for the day of celebrating, not racing. There was a current coming back, though, and from what I can tell from my watch, I was about 1:03 to the half way point, and 1:10 coming back. When I got close to the peer it felt like I wasn’t moving forward at all… others told me they felt the same way. I guess that was the waves and current. This was a mild swim from what I understand, though. Another stolen pic from Slowtwitch! Once riding I wondered why I was so happy to get out of the water, and I figured it out. Leading up to the race I knew that I could control my nutrition, my pacing, my attitude, but the one thing I could not control was getting sick in the water. If I could get out of the swim feeling good, I figured the rest of the day would fall into place!!! Mission accomplished! The bike was, well, hot and hard! There was an annoying headwind on the way out on the Queen K… but I had SO much fun! In the first 60k, I only passed 1 fellow and he was 65! He had on white shorts with a very colorful bottom on them! I commented on his shorts and he suggested we trade! I contemplated it but decided the sizing would be off! As people flew by me, I just told myself to stick with my plan. My watts were high… way too high the truth be told, but my HR was right where I wanted it to be. I was staying ahead on my nutrition, and everything was good! I said “good job” to any athlete not going by me at the speed of light who might hear my words. I didn’t get many comments back, but I kept throwing it out there. At aid stations I’d throw kisses to the volunteers and even did a little dance a few times. There was one aid station in particular that was full of kids, and really had fun with my antics! We had what I thought was a wicked cross wind to Hawa, (pronounced HAV-EE) which was to be expected. (People have told me that it can be much worse on bad wind years. This wasn’t and easy wind year though, from what I gather it was probably a typical wind year.) Surprisingly, the cross wind didn’t bother me all that much probably because of riding HW 22 all the time with strong west winds blowing me sideways. (Honestly, I was going 14k/h at times on this uphill stretch to Hawi.) I saw Joe Dixon the IMC race director half way to Hawi and I yelled at him that I was having the time of my life! It was really nice to see a familiar face at that point. People just weren’t that friendly on the course. One thing I loved about this section was watching the pros come down the hill and trying to figure out who they were. I had no idea who was in first place. I spotted McCormick, and Tom Evans thanks to his Bike Barn garb. Stadler was easy to spot too because of the onslaught of TV cameras around him. Other than that, we were guessing who each athlete was. Next time I’ll have to carry an athlete guide with me! (Kidding!) An interesting development for me as they went flying by the other way was that my HR went up! I had to make a conscious effort to slow down as I was revving my engines a bit too much in the excitement of watching the best in the world race by on their bikes. On the climb to Hawi Chrystie and I were riding back and forth. She had passed me early in the ride, and I caught her at about 80k. It was very nice to see her and chat as we passed each other. After the turn at Hawi I didn’t see her again, but she wasn’t far behind. The descent out of Hawi was fast, but scary too because of the cross winds. It was about 8k (I think)of downhill, and then the long grind back to the Queen K started. The wind was a head and cross wind at this point, and while it was tough, I was reeling people in who had flown by me early in the race. This was rewarding, and I continued to say “good job” to almost everyone I passed or who passed me. I figured that when I turned back to Kona on the Queen K we’d have a kick ass tail wind because we had a headwind going out. OOPS! It was NASTY!!! Getting up to 30kph was a big deal. Still, I stayed positive and did my job. At 160k I did a body check and told myself that I felt better at that point than I had at 160k in CDA. Life couldn’t be that bad. My nutrition plan was working great, and I by the end of my ride I had about 1900 calories in from Infinit and 1 gel. My stomach was rock solid! The last 20k were still tough, even though there was an elevation loss, but I maintained my watts, and met a really nice gal, who was instrumental in the success of my day. A small pic of what the road looks like. This is pretty much it. Miles and miles of lava and pavement. By Hawi there is some greenery, but IMC and IMCDA have much prettier bike courses in my opinion! (Watts… I averaged 25 watts higher at Kona than I did at IMC where I was 37 min faster. How’s that for wind! I think I rode really well… the wind was just stronger than I was! The other really cool thing about my watts, was that I averaged 167 for the first 90k, and 165 for the second 90k. This meant I paced well, and I was extremely gratified by this. I guess going easy early in the day paid off… not that it seemed to help my bike split mind you☺) This is me blowing a kiss to Ken and the girls at the start of the bike. Chrystie at the start of the bike. She has arm coolers on, which she said worked really well to keep her comfy! This is Chris McCormick. Look at his running style! Beautiful! Ken really loved watching the pro race. He could not believe the speed they were going around corners on their bikes.. This is the women’s winner Chrissie Wellington. She wore black and was said to be very chatty during the marathon. In her awards banquet speech, she said she didn’t wear a hat or visor because she didn’t have a sponsor! I’m guessing that all will change! This was only her 2nd IM race, and she had won Ironman Korea 7 weeks earlier in 122 degree heat! She ran a 3:14 marathon (I think that’s the time) in that heat. Ken said it was wild watching because no one had any idea who she was! So, into T2… I walked EVERY step! I felt good, was chatty, had no stomach issues, and was happy. I just didn’t feel like running. A bit rebellious I suppose! In the tent in T2, Kayleen the gal I’d been slingshotting with on the bike, sat down beside me. She asked me how I was going to do the run, and I said slowly with lots of walk breaks. She said “me too” and asked if I wanted to do it together. Out we went. In the first 8 miles, she would run faster than me and get ahead, but I walked less and would catch her. After 8 miles, we stayed together until the last 500m when I sent her off to catch a gal who passed us coming down Palini. She was my angel… she took over Elaine Lowry’s job at CDA. Elaine held my hand and gave me energy during the run at CDA. She wasn’t racing, and she gave me all she had. In Kona, Kayleen was my “Elaine” although she was in the race this time. She would walk when I wanted to walk, but encourage me to run sooner than I would have had I been alone. I did the same for her. I allowed myself more walking in this race than I did at my other 2 IM’s this year. At times, I was just tired, but the biggest thing I lacked was that emotional attachment to a result. Without that drive, I didn’t have a desire to dig deep and suffer like I did at CDA and IMC. I had decided before race day that this race, in Hawaii, in Kona, would not be about suffering. I wanted it to be about celebrating, and Kayleen was a big part of my celebration. The run was hot; it was hard, but really, apart from a bit of the “runs” in the last 6k, nothing went wrong. I controlled my day, and achieved my goal of feeling good throughout, being thankful, and supporting others around me. This is me running up Palini about 1 mile into the run. This is the first sighting I had of my sister Nadine, who arrived race morning because of plane delays. The scarf around my neck was a lifesaver! I bought it off runningzombies.com and it has an opening for ice and a chamois inside. At the finish, I was so happy… time didn’t matter, and I’d finished the Hawaii Ironman with my family at my side and Chrystie, Katie, and Jamie on the course with me. I felt good… the best I’ve felt at the finish line all year, and there were no tears… only smiles. Some of our spectators. Chrystie’s kids and husband and my daughter Ali and sister Nadine. It was a hot long day for them, and I was so thankful they were there. Having Terry Baker volunteering at an aid station on the run course was so fun too! She had the whole aid station cheering for me as I ran by. Spectators missing from this pic are Carolyn, Terry, Ken, Tori, Dani and the Benny’s. Everyone of them gave me energy throughout the day. I think doing an Ironman is easier than watching one! THANK YOU! This is Kayleen and I just after the finish line. We walked to get our medals and finisher shirts together, and I met her Dad! Kayleen and I with our medals. I Chrystie and I at the finish. I am so glad I got to share this experience with her. Ali is beside me and Chrystie’s daughter Danika is beside her. Tori, Ali and I at the finish line. This race was a way for me to give back to my kids and husband who have supported me so much through all these crazy years of training and racing. After IMC I asked Ali if she was proud of me. Her response was a sarcastic “sure!” Then I asked her what she was thinking while I was racing. True to Ali’s form, she said “That I wanted you to go faster so we could go to Hawaii!” Mission Accomplished Ali! Now on to the holiday! In the end, the biggest thing about the race for me was meeting people in the days leading up to the race, and seeing them on race day. I love the Ironman community, and it didn’t let me down in Kona. I exchanged emails with several people that I met by chance, and hope to stay in contact with them. I did the run with an amazing teacher from Montana, and got to share the pre-race days and race morning with my good friend Chrystie from CDA. Standing with Chrystie on the beach at the start is a memory I will cherish for many years. We were relaxed and enjoying watching triathletes from all over the world! (Joanna Zieger had some pretty funky pink lipstick on… that was a good distracter too!) Walking to the beach a fellow asked me where I was from. I told him a town by Calgary in Alberta and he asked which one. Well, I’ll be darned! I can’t remember where he was from in the States, but his roommate had lived in Cochrane for a bit. He said “Cochrane… that’s the Boulder Colorado of Canada”! I was so thrilled that he knew of our little community! Oh… I’ve often joked that is was my biggest IM goal to make the post race video. Well, not only did I make it on the IMC broadcast… OK, so you can’t see my face and I’m running away from the camera, but I know it’s me… but I also made the IMH video!!! Yup… right there, in the dark, running with the moon at my back with 3 others up out of the energy lab. Again, you can’t tell it’s me, but I know, so I can know knock “make the video” off my goal list!!!! We didn’t get a copy of the video but you can watch it here http://vnews.ironmanlive.com/events/ironman/worldchampionship/?show=avlinks&y=2 007 Go to awards banquet part 2, and the post race video is pretty close to the start of that segment. Monday after the race we flew to Kauai and had the most amazing holiday at a house that truly is beyond my comprehension of living. A wonderful fellow named Robert told me once that if I ever qualified for Kona to let him know and we could use his house in Kauai. I never believed I’d do the race, so my odds of seeing his house were slim. That all changed when I qualified, and Robert allowed us the opportunity of a lifetime with a stay in his mansion in Kauai. It was a 5 min drive from the most amazing beach, and had a pool and tons of room. We are still overwhelmed by his incredible generosity, and again, I am so thankful to be a part of the Ironman Family. On the holiday my sister Nadine, my Mom, my 2 nephews, and my family had a week that surpassed all expectations. The island was beautiful and we relaxed taking in as much as we could in 6 days. Ali and I at the Luau. My Mom, sister Nadine, and Tori at the Luau. Tori and Ali on a zodiac boat tour of the Napali Coast. No dolphin sighting today, but it was a spectacular trip! Ken, the girls and I at a big canyon that starts with a “W”! I don’t want to try to spell it! We thought we were lost going to this beach. We had to drive on “road” through a sugar cane field where our avg. speed was about 5kph. It was bumpy, single road, and we had no idea if we were going anywhere! Out of the blue popped this amazing beach, with only about 20 people on it. It’s 15km long and part of the Napali Coast. There was a bunch of surfers riding the waves, and one woman was schooling all the others on how to surf! The locals said these waves were small, but to us they were HUGE! Tori… maybe there’s a triathlete hiding in there somewhere! This is me finishing a great ride in on the boogie board! The waves at this beach could be wild! We loved it here and spend several hours playing in the surf! This is Tori and Ali and their cousins Bryce and Reed at Breneckies Beach. (Sp?) T That’s all the pictures I have access too. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for looking in on our Kona experience, 2007. We hope to make it back one day… I guess I better get training! Aloha!
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