I knew I was swimming well and running well but I had no idea how the old bike would go post ribs and crash. Turns out the day was comical to say the least but I learnt more about myself and my ability to push than ever before.
Here is the days recap.
Swim : 58 mins. Sounds great, was good but absolutely bloody terrifying. For the first time in a race I was scared shitless! I got the bejesus kicked out of me and I honestly thought "Oh crap I am going to drown" Some not so chiverous (spelling) gentlemen decided to pull me down and nearly drown me but I decided that this was not how the Memphis Story was going to end.
I gathered my composure, grew a pair and got going.
I ran through transition like a woman possessed. I jumped on the trusty Scott steed and bolted out of the gates. For all of about 1 mile. I could not believe that after 2 years of nothing suddenly the ass cramps were back full force. Within 2 mins I was lying on the ground screaming my lungs out in pain. My ass had locked up (stop laughing) and I could not peddle a stroke. I stretched and cursed and watched a million people go by. I prayed to someone I don't even believe in and begged that they went away. After what seemed like eternity I got back on the bike and rode off ... for another mile. Repeat above paragraph but add more expletives.
Take 3 ..... I actually got going this time and rode off gently. Positive mind positive thoughts. I hate to think how long I was groveling on the road side for.
I managed to ride the next 70kms with no problems. Siri had told me to be diligent with food and drink and take care of myself out there and the day will be mine. MMMMM easier said than done but I took this thought with me all day. "I am grateful to be here. I love my bike. I am loving this day" It actually worked as even when I stopped for the last time with cramps I kept my mind in a happy place and did not let it get to me.
Not even as I was pulling out onto the road and the peloton of riders came past did I get upset. Not even as this idiot draft marshal stopped me to hand me a penalty did I loose my cool. I did point out that if everyone was passing me as I had bearly started peddling I was clearly not the one who should get stung. I took it like a man and refrained from unleashing some seriously abusive Portuguese.
I finished the ride in 5.21. This will not be my official time as my Garmin does an auto stop thing. I shudder to think what it actually was on the clock.
Into the penalty tent for me. 5 long painful mins. My oh my. Big girl pants and positive thoughts. I was about to unleash my best run ever. Nothing was going to get me down. I was grateful to be here.
We all know my long hideous history with running. I suck lets be honest. Well I did until I changed my attitude and started to love running. I know I hear you all sniggering and thinking "Yeah right" but I actually do love running now. So I strapped on the K-Swiss's and bolted out the T2 tent.
4.50's to 5.05's all the way through lap 1 (19kms). Up and down the giant wall of a hill which I had decided I would walk prior to the race. It is freaking monstrously steep. Come race day however I said "Screw you wall of a hill" I ran the whole dang thing with the words of Siri ringing in my ears. I got to the point from last year where I blew to smithereens and charged on with a smile. I am loving IM Brazil right now.
2 small 10km laps to go. I could feel the body giving way slowly to the cramps but the mind was rock solid. 2 x 10kms just aint that far I kept saying. My calves were screaming for me to stop and stretch but I was honestly too scared to walk. One step of walking only leeds to two steps so the Big Girl Pants were pulled up and I kept on running in this weird wonky way. "Dont stop! Dont walk!" "Push harder" "Run faster." These were my mantra's. I had not worked my ass off in Kona for a month to be walking. Those days were behind me.
In the end I hobbled my way through the next 10 kms. The last 10kms were a bit of a blur as I just kept smashing myself. Clearly I was getting slower but in my head I was trying harder than ever before. I did a few 5.15 kms in the last lap but slowed due to more quad and ass cramps for the final 4 kms. My finish time was 10.37.
Officially the day was a disaster but in the past if the day was a disaster then I finish in 11 and a half hours. This goes to show that even when everything goes wrong we can always endure more than we think we can and we can salvage something from the giant mess.
I know that in spite all the cramping and mental road blocks I actually won the battle. I did not win a prize or prize money but I won the right to hold my head high. It was not the greatest day but dam it as it was not the worst. I found that I have a mental strength back that I feel like I lost a long time ago. One of my objectives of training with Siri is to regain the fighter within. Racing changed after an incident a few years back and I know that until this weekend I have been too frightened to hurt myself again. I am so fired up to get out there again. Pain is my friend again. Mental strength is not something that shows up on race day, it's something you practice in training.
I am sitting in an airport on my way to meet Luke and I feel as though I have reclaimed the fire with in. I am proud of my efforts over the weekend. I am not scared to fail any more. I want to be a better athlete. I will be. This race has shown me that the old me is back. Big Girl Pants are for fighters.