Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I decided to write this race in 3 parts just as there was 3 distinct parts of my day and I did not want to miss anything.

I had a great nights sleep and my alarm went off at 330am. Wow, the night went fast. Snips was already downstairs and dressed ready to take me to the buses at the Hilton that would take the athletes to T1. We did one more double check of all my bags. It was 4:45am and we went and picked up Tri-Sharkie then to the Hilton. We were the last 2 people to catch the bus. Everyone was very chatty on the bus an it was a quick ride.

First body marking, dropping off special needs bags for the bike & run, then setting up T1. Everything was going smooth until I looked in my Swim-to-bike bag and did not see my Army Bike Jersey. Major panic. No shirt for the ride. I ran back to where I dropped off my other bags and went through everything. No Jersey. As I was trying to think of options, I called Snips back at the house. She calmed me down and sent me back to my Swim-to-bike bag because she saw me put it in there. I took a deep breath. Emptied the entire bag out on to the wet ground. I looked up to see a TV camera coming around the end of the rack. NBC was there filming a ex-Biggest Loser Contestant for a TV special. Great and there I am panicking with my crap all around me. But the good news-there was my Jersey ! First crisis is over.

I went back to setting up my T1. ShirleyPerly stopped by with a tidbit she heard on the bus. When doing the swim the best current was near the right of the channel. When you got near the WigglyMan that marked a left turn you need to get over to the left side otherwise if you were not a strong swimmer you would not make the turn. Great advice as several people last year had to DNF because of this. Mental note made and I went to drop my new beige slippers with flowers off at the swim exit.

Now it was 6:05am. Time to get my wetsuit on and catch the bus to the start. No spectators were allowed at the start. The photo above is of the beach where it starts.


The sunrise was awesome over the channel. The announcements were made followed by the national anthem. I was unusually calm. It almost made me nervous that I was not nervous. Does that make any sense? The water temperature was 67 and the air temperature was 40. The gun went off.

I left everyone run off the beach before me. The water felt great although it tasted very bad since it was salt water. I was bumping in to a few people but most were already way ahead of me. I did not actually feel the current but did notice that I swam from buoy to buoy quickly. I heard people cheering and looked to see the half Iron athletes to my right waiting for their start. A quick glance at my watch showed 00:37. Wow. I made the turn OK at the WigglyMan on the boat but found it had to sight in the channel.

I finally could spot the dock at the swim exit. I got out and was a little dizzy. Sat down and took off my wetsuits and put my slippers on. I tell you everyone was jealous of those shoes for sure. I ran toward the street and turned to T1 and there was my family and Snips cheering!!! I was so happy. Emotion overwhelmed me. I completed a 2.4 mile swim !! I was on my way to be an Ironman ! Tears ran down my face and I gave House a big hug. My swim time was 1:23:56.

I grabbed my bag and went into the changing tent. I took forever but wanted to make sure that I did not forget anything. I ran out and grabbed Sugar. I waved at my supporters and headed out for my 112 mile ride.

IronWaddling to the Bike............


Joe said...

Wow, were you smart on those fashionista beige slippers!!!! Triggered jealousy by fellow tri-folks!

Swimming for an hour and a half... who'd a thunk it?? And what a thrill to see the fam, nice and early.

Love the format of this report... a saga, slowly unfolding!!!

amybee said...

GREAT job on the swim?

Which BL Contestant?

Duane said...

Swim 1:23: 56, uh, I remember when you couldn't swim! You rock!

Vickie said...

Tear,thats all I can say, having been there, knowing how you likely felt.

Running Jayhawk said...

What a fantastic swim!!!! And I hope you got a photo or two of these bedroom slippers :)

Adrienne said...

way to go Karen! What an awesome swim....one thing always has to go wrong.....jersey, no biggy!;)

Anonymous said...

I'm picturing all this.....so cool !


Calyx Meredith said...

I was one of those on the dock cheering like crazy as y'all hit the halfway mark. It was soooo inspiring to see you all swim by us. You made it look smooth and easy.

ShirleyPerly said...

Great job on your swim!! I was hoping to see those slippers, though :-)