Tuesday, November 10, 2009



After the swim, I was feeling great. The hardest part was done. Or so I thought!

The first 20 miles on the bike were a perfect ride. I had a nice groove going. I was comfortable at 16-19 mph. Which was great but only meant one thing- I had a tailwind. I remember the first aid station was around 25 miles and I was looking forward to a pit stop. It finally showed up at around mile 30. Same break and off I go. Still feeling good. Noticing a cross wind.

Somewhere along here came the "Big Chicken Crossing" . I know-What the hell? Is it alot of chickens that run across or 1 big one? It was a gigantic chicken statue by the side of the rode in a driveway. I am so glad that it did not run out in front of me! Whew.

I divided the course into 10 mile segments. It helped my mind to digest it better. Around mile 50, I knew that in 6 miles I would pass the halfway point and I was still positive. Things would change soon.

After passing mile 60, my stomach was growling. I was ready for that sanwich that was in my special needs bag. I got to the area and a volunteer looked at my number and grabbed my bag for me. I was suprised that there was around 7-8 others still there. I had warmed up alot and threw my arm warms in the bag.Feeling a few minutes of recovery, it was time to get back on the bike and finish this thing.

Now after passing mile 70, there was a right hand turn. Just ahead I saw a sign that read Wilmington 38 miles. Not bad. The other thing that I quickly noticed besides the sign was the cold head wind and gradual incline of the road. This would continue the next 40 mile back to the battleship.

At mile 80, I began having back spasms. There was no way to find a comfortable position. I stopped and leaned against a tree to stretch. My cell phone went of with my hubby's ringtone. I answered and he asked why I had stopped. I was confused. How did he know that I stopped because my tracker quit working. He replied that he was on google earth on real time and saw me pull over. Talk about Big Brother watching. I felt better and rode off again.

The next 32 miles is when every demon came out. I thought that I would be facing these on the run but low and behold here they were. My mind wanted me to quit and dbegan to think of excuses that would sound good. Spin Coach Nick popped into my head telling me to switch the channel in my brain. As much as I tried, I was in a very low spot. I told myself that if I could get off the bike maybe I could just forget the marathon. It went on and on for miles with the lowest spot being at mile 100. I was just so tired and my back hurt.

I saw the bridges ahead that cross the Cape Fear River and knew that the Battleship was nearing. At the top of the second bridge, I could see it and knew that final I would be off this damn bike. What I thought would be the best part of my day became the lowest points.

I saw Bino and Snips as I entered transition. Big hugs and into the changing tent I went. Amazingly there were still people in there. I wasn't last. Again, I took a huge amount of time but made sure I had everything before I headed out.

Bike time including T1= 8:02:43

IronWaddling into the run...


Vickie said...

Karen, I know exactly what you went through. I felt the same way a lot of times. I finally prayed and prayed and prayed and asked for a huge attitude adjustment. I don't really think I got it until Sunday though. Great job sticking with it. The payoff was great wasn't it??

SWTrigal said...

Wow and you pulled yourself through it! That is Ironman and you will remember that for the rest of your life-the just keep going part..can't wait to hear about the run!

21stCenturyMom said...

I'm so with you! I loved that 'Big Chicken Crossing' - it was such a pick me up. But the lows were so low out there. We seemed to employ the same strategy of thinking about it in 10 mile hunks.

And then - you got there! Can't wait to read about the run. I have to admit that when I didn't see you on my 2nd loop after seeing you on the 1st I was worried that you had dropped out. I was so happy when I saw that that wasn't true. I was probably just focusing on the ground under my feet when you went by.

amybee said...

way to hang in there when the bike got tough and those mental demons came out.

Joe said...

wow...8 hours in the saddle...that is a looooooong haul. No wonder your back was stiff.

smart to break this into 10 mile segments, indeed. That had to help.

Lovin' the saga...day by day!! Way to go!!

Calyx Meredith said...

You really endured and persevered! You will forever be able to say, "If I got through the lows on that bike, I can get through anything." And I had no idea that someone could see you real time on google earth! That must have been great to know you weren't alone, that your hubby was as with you as he could be. Interesting the layers of thinking and feeling and knowing that helps pull a person through, isn't it? Great job you!!

ShirleyPerly said...

My husband told me about that big chicken crossing sign and statue. I don't know how I missed seeing both!

Bummer about the back spasms. Indeed, those last 38 miles were tough in that wind. Way to tough things out!

theunicycleguy said...

do you know who may have taken a picture of the Big Chicken ?

That really lifted my spirits during the race.