OMG!! I did it!! I qualified to Worlds championship in Kona, Hawaii!! My tenth Ironman and a dream to one day qualify has become real!! 😄
Couple of weeks before the race I was hit by a sinus infection, I was having issues with my calfs cramping and some pain in my lower back (QL Muscle). However, I had started my tapering, and after penicillin treatment, seeing Dr Kayla, chiropractor, and dry needling I got almost 100% well.
My longtime friend Lena from Sweden had come in a week before the race and little did I know she would turn into the best sherpa ever. She gave me massage, she cooked for me, she carried my bags, she braided my hair, never did I feel she overcrowded me. I’m not used to that special treatment, especially before a race. I have my routines and they still worked well. I felt so relaxed and prepared before the race.
We went to registration midmorning Thursday, I like to do this the earlier the better. The Village was almost empty. Two years ago when I did Ironman Boulder I saw so many friends, and it was so busy. It’s sad to see Ironman Boulder ending, but I can understand why when there is not enough athletes register. This year we were only about 1500 registered.
We checked into a sweet little cottage in Boulder the day before the race. I had decided to spend the weekend in Boulder rather than driving back and forth. I feel that was a good choice.
Bike, run and bike bags was dropped off on Saturday. I was happy to see several friends at the reservoir. Many were volunteering and have raced Boulder prior years. This race did not separate AWA athletes, so we were stacked with the rest of the athletes, but I didn’t get too shabby of a bike spot. I made sure to check in and out bike and run. T1 and T2 were both at the reservoir, compared to when I did it two years ago when we had to ride into town.
We got back to the cottage early enough to relax and have an early dinner. My dinner usually consists of seafood, pasta and sallad. I went to bed at 20.00 and fell asleep pretty fast.
Morning of Race day.
I woke up at 3.30am.
Lena, my girlfriend was already preparing coffee. I had my usual brakfast which contained a bowl of greek yoghurt with “complete” vegan protein and granola, an almond toast and coffee with almond milk.
We drove and parked close to where the buses were that would take us to the reservoir. The transport went real smooth with plenty of time to walk to transition. The morning was chilly, I’m glad I wore warm clothes.
I set up all my nutrition and borrowed a pump. Said hello to some friends. I went back and checked my run and bike bags and put on my wetsuit. It was time. I was surprised how calm I felt.
The weeks prior to the race I did daily affirmations and visualization how I would win this race. I would tell myself I was strong and just as worthy winning this as anyone else of my competitor. This was my tenth ironman and back in my mind a thought kept creeping forward that if I did two more I would be a legacy.
But I refused to listen to that thought, since all I wanted was to WIN it. I felt confident that today was my day.
Swim: 1.37 hr (2.4 miles)
While standing and waiting to enter the water, Lena filmed me and asked what day it was today, and I said “it’s Jeannete’s day today!!” 🙌🏼😀
The morning was chilly, low 40’s. but I was well dressed with neoprene cap and full wetsuit. I have been worried so much about the coldness, and I don’t do well in real cold water, so I dressed warm.
We listened to the National Anthem, even thou I’m born Scandinavian every time I hear the US Anthem it fills my heart. ❤️🧡💛
It was a rolling start and it went slow but smooth. They had us enter the water one by one. Swim was much warmer than I dared to expect. Already at the start I could feel my turnovers were slow, and it felt I was swimming against a current. I figured I’ll get better, but I never got in a good groove. I heard it was choppy out there, but I’m not sure that was my problem. Although, I felt very calm and I was breathing well, never had any issues with fellow swimmers kicking or scratching. Lol!! 😅
At the swim finish, I looked at my watch; WTH???? I was 15 minutes behind my usual average swim time. What happened?? Maybe I was overdressed? Was I too hot? Something was off. I found out later I was second last out of the water.
T1 7:23 min
I ran towards the wetsuit peelers, laid down so they could take off my wetsuit, and I didn’t even notice my friend Lena was one of them. I totally ignored her, oops, sorry my friend!!
All I could think; “I screwed up, how will I ever catch up with my competitors??” Once inside the tent a tri-friend Dana helped me get ready. I took extra time to get on socks, gloves, arm warmers and a wind breaker, I did not want to get cold on my bike. It was in the low 40’s and overcast. I repeatedly told myself; “It’s my day today, nothing is going to change that. Anything can happen in an Ironman.”
Bike 6:05 hrs (112 miles)
I ran towards my bike and I heard cheers coming from everywhere, probably not only for me, but it gave me a boost. I saw several of my RMTC team mates cheering, and YTT team mates and other friends and strangers. I got on Khaleesi, my bike, and instantly felt a huge cramp inside my left thigh and my back spasmed, (I’m dealing with a QL muscle issue) on top of that, my visor almost fell off and was hanging on to only one side!! WTH?!!! “Stay calm, relax and start pedaling, it will release, it will release”. Did the deep tissue massage I had few days prior cause my cramp? Who knows, but after riding a few miles it started to release.
I kept pushing on my visor and hoping it would place itself correctly again, but it kept hanging there. Eventually I ignored it. It wasn’t’ until around mile 20 or so it finally decided to click back into place. Phew!!
First loop felt ok, I was determined to keep up my cadence and speed. I nailed my nutrition. I’m so glad I’ve found Maurten a liquid nutrition product. Ironically, it’s a Swedish company, which is my grown up homeland.
The second loop my legs were shaking on the climbs of St Vrains and Hygien. The climbs felt like bitches trying to break me apart, but the ascend that came after was a great reward. I remember pepping myself, pedal, pedal, I got this, I also remember thinking; “do not walk, do not walk”!! This is where my friend Melissa L and I met up, she is a power machine on the climbs. I wish I had those legs. I caught up with her on the descents. The day she gets rid of her fear descending she will be a super woman.
**Warning** pass this section if you don’t want to hear about pee issues.** 😝
Already around mile 40 I had to pee so bad, usually I don’t go to the bathroom, maybe because I sweat it out, or I don’t drink enough? But boy did I have to go this time. I tried to keep it in, I did not want to get off my bike and risk waiting at the port-a-potty. Too much valuable time to catch up. Special need was half way, on Diagonal, I got my bottles with nutrition. I filled myself up pretty good and I felt strong, but I had to pee.
It started to hurt real bad, I’ve held myself all the way up to around mile 60, or so. I just had to release myself, but I did it on the bike.😳 Before I released myself I looked behind me to see if anyone was nearby. Clear, I let go a small amount and I finally felt soo much better. It felt like I had a diaper on me thou, haha!! 😂 First time ever, but, my goodness, did it help. 😬 At the next water station I made sure to flush water on myself.
The whole ride was cold, but I am so glad I wore a wind breaker. I took it off halfway thou, and stuffed it inside my tri-suit and it kept me warm. Overall the bike ride felt good, it was sparsely with riders out there, I felt pretty alone for the most time. It was only on the out and back on Hygiene, I saw athletes I recognized and waved at them. During this whole ride, I didn’t see one person in my age group, I was thinking oh man, I’m so far behind. Little did I know I had pedaled myself to 1st place.
T2: 4:34 min
I came in and handed my bike over to a catcher. Legs felt ok, I got my run bag. My friend Erin and another “Endurance girl” helped me through a fast transition and I was on my way.
Run 5:08 (26.2 miles)
We had to run from the reservoir into town, and thank goodness it was not as hot as last year. I felt pretty good and solid on the run. I kept telling myself I can do this. Finish strong. There are some rolling hills on the reservoir road and I slowed down my pace going up and increased going down. The run was pretty decent into town, at this point I had no idea what my position was. Once we hit town after about 6-7 miles it was all concrete. The crowd also got bigger.
It wasn’t until I saw my friend Paive at the Base salt station, when she told me I was in first place with a 30 min lead. She was so cute, she yelled and ran along side with me for several yards and pepped me up. She was so excited for me, but all I could think of was: “Omg, I can’t let them catch me!” You see, I’ve been in a 30 min leads a few times before, and every time they have caught me on the run. “No way Jose, not this time”. I kept moving steadily forward, my nutrition felt right on. I had five Maurten gels and I kept taking my electrolytes even thou it was a cooler day. I had forgot to take them in Copenhagen, but that mistake was not happening again.
As I was about half way, I saw my coach Yoli, she told me to stay consistent, but to pick up the pace. She did not mention my lead, but said the others were getting closer. I got nervous and started to pick up a little more. Ha, my coach knows me and knew exactly what to say to get me going. We had talked about me lingering too long at the water stations on the other races. So this time after only a table length walking, I would start running again.
The crowd was loud and cheerful. I never really paid attention who was out there among my friends, but I could hear them calling my name, and sometimes I would catch their eyes and smile, although I apologize, I can’t remember who it was. I was focusing on telling myself, “I am Number 1”!!
I passed a volunteer who yelled, 1,3,5 GOOO, 1,3, 5 GOO. It was the cadence of the odd numbers that kept repeating in my head and my feet and breathing followed the rhythm. It stuck with me for the rest of the marathon, it worked great for me. By mile 18 I saw my daughter Ashlynn and my friend Lena. They cheered me on and hi-fived me. By now I could feel my feet, my legs, my hip, my back hurting from the concrete pounding. But I would not let up. “Stay consistent and keep going”. Last I saw coach Yoli, she said “give it you all and race the last 10k, because you got this win!!”
Oh, I felt a thrill going through my spine, whether I picked up my pace, or not, I felt so happy. The last two miles coach Charlie from RMTC, told me to sprint the last part. I tried to keep my pace up, it wasn’t until the last mile I felt and knew I had this win for sure. I ran towards the chute and did the airplane to the crowd and my YTT team mates.
Total time: 13:02 Hours
Once at the finish line I raised my arms and clinched my fists and then kneeled down and kissed the ground. I heard Mike Riley yelling “Jeannete Sorensen Hickok you are an ironman”!! The best I’ve heard all day and my dream came true. I won my age group and I did it with 51 minutes ahead of second place. Best race of my life!!
Once finished my coach Yoli gave me a huge hug, and behold, my son Dustin, who had told me that he would not be there hung my medal around my neck. what a sweet surprise. I was so emotional and beyond happy!! I gave my husband Ed, my daughter Ash big hugs. 🥰
I want to thank primarily my kids and my husband for being the best support a woman, a mom can wish for!! 💞
Kona next, October 12, 2019!! Wohoo!! 🌺🌺🌺 Aloha!!
RACE report for IM Copenhagen August 19th, 2018
The morning of the race was excellent, calm ocean, no wind and in the 70’s. We took a cab to get there at 5.15am. Only a 15 min ride. You can take the metro too, but it’s a bit more than 1/2 mile walk to the beach.
My transition was set up next the Pros, second row from bike out. Pretty cool with AWA benefit.
Ed, my husband was with me, to wish me good luck, and I was waiting to see my brothers Richard and Daniel and my cousin Jacob and my friends Agnes and Riley. But I didn’t see them until after swim.
I thought it was a pretty cool swim system. Everyone had to put themselves on a preferred swim time and then we were boxed into the certain time area with different cap colors. The swim was surprising pleasant, about 22 degrees C, (71F) and it was very shallow so you could see the bottom with seaweed and some fish, and a crab, but it was not totally clear, then perhaps it was because 2,800 athletes was swimming along, ha. I started off strong, I kept my pace even. we were spaced out pretty well, I never really had any bump ins, except around the turns. It was wetsuit legal and swimming in Saltwater was a different feeling, my legs floated almost above the surface. It was one big loop, and I felt strong for most of the way until the last small turn where it became very packed and I was getting tired. My arms started getting numb, and I felt a minor cramp in my legs, but I was still swimming strong. I’m glad in this race I never bumped into any breast strokers, I had seeded myself pretty well. Swim 1.19hr. 4th place.
I got out of the water and was happily cheered on by my support Team, brothers, cousin, friends, and my sweet nephews Jacob and Alexander. What a great motivation. The bags was hanging on racks so it was easy to grab. We changed outside and it was crowded and wet everywhere, both guys and gals. However, if you had to change into nudity there was a tent. I forget how in a humid climate nothing dries as fast as in a dry climate. The wetsuit felt more soaked and heavy than ever. I tackled with the suit and finally got my bike gears on. It was a long transition run to the bike. I had no problem finding it. T1. 7 min
Bike 6 hrs 1 st place (through North Zealand)
The bike course was awesome with mostly flat and some rolling hills. I’m so happy I bought new race tires, the ones I had were very thin and these new ones are more suitable to the environment. The roads in Denmark contain flint stone and they are very sharp especially when it rains. I did not want to risk a flat.
We started at the beach and dwindled into the city, across cobblestones, several turns, but it was good marked. The crowd was cheering alongside the roads. After about 20 km, (35miles) we ended up on the Strandevej, beach road, and it was so great to see the ocean, there was a slight wind, but very minor. (Not like in Cozumel where a monsoon storm started during my bike ride.) lol!!
I wore only my arm warmers and I was totally fine, it’s been a heat wave during the summer in Scandinavia and we caught the end of it.
The course was two loops around the coast and inland. The northern part was country side and rolling hills, very pretty and my mind was happy and present to keep myself not getting bored. My main mantra was for the whole day “I am number One, I’m strong and I will be number One”. I also sang “It’s a long way to Tipperary, its a long way to go”…. I have no idea where that came from but it amused me. Hehe!! I was relaxed and I was riding strong.
Halfway unfortunately, I had a crash at the water station. A girl handed a bottle to another athlete who with his reach his arm right in front of me after she had just handed me one. WTF!! Then she dropped the bottle and I had no way to avoid it. Since I was holding a bottle in my right hand, I reacted with pulling my front break with my left, which caused me crashing. The handlebar slammed deep into my tibia bone in my left quad. I could not stand up. Oh, I was mad and yelled at the girl! The volunteers helped me up and asked if I wanted to quit. Absolutely NOT!! “Is my bike ok”?? It took a lot of mental strength to try to ignore the pain. After about 10 minutes I filled my bottle and took off. My only thought was there is NO PAIN. I kept telling myself this over and over. Bike 6 hrs, 1 st place
T2 5.33 min
The transition was underground. We biked down the parking house ramp and once I got off the bike, my leg almost buckled under me. My quad was black and blue already. I got my run gears, and I could not bend my leg without deep pain. After feeling forever, I finally got my socks and shoes on. 5.33 min
Run 5:03 hrs. (Little Mermaid, Amalienborg Castle and New Harbor with Finish line Ofelia Plads)
Right at the start coming out from T2 my friend Agnes was there yelling that I was 1st on the bike and in a 20 min lead from second. The run course was four laps. We ran from Ofelia Plads up north to where the cruise ships were docked, passed the little mermaid and back south. Cheering crowd and runners everywhere. It was mostly overcast, sometimes sun and temperature in high 70’s. I felt it was perfect, if I only had not been injured.
I knew the lady who was chasing has done a 3.50hr marathon on her last Ironman. All I could do was to run and try to keep her at distance. But she kept gaining on me, and my quad kept getting weaker and I couldn’t go any stronger. I have never had anyone chasing me before, it’s always been me doing the chasing, odd feeling. When she passed me around the second lap, I lost a bit of my mojo, but thanks to my family who kept telling me to keep fighting and that I was still in second place by 10 min. I was running, shuffling, and walking at the water stations, refusing to give in. I was getting real dizzy and disoriented. Third place crept closer and closer. By the final lap the last km’s I was only 2 minutes ahead and my husband told me not to stop or walk and keep going. She passed me and again I lost my mojo. Had I only known I was still ahead even thou she passed me, I could have fought stronger for the second place, but that’s a lesson learned, Never give up!!! Run 5:04 hrs, 3rd Place
Once at the finish my legs collapsed and I almost passed out. I gave it my all. They brought me to medical and gave me drops of electrolytes. I was so dehydrated. Gosh, that felt great to be finished. 😀
Total time: 12.37 hours, Third Place
Now 10 days later I’m ready to start training for IM Arizona in November. Chasing my dream to qualify to Kona, Hawaii!! 😀🏊🚴🏃
I’m doing some great selfdiscovery about the subconcious and concious mind and I’m finding it fascinating. 😊Right now I’m reading the Power of your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy. I’m in a part of where he writes about how our mind can heal our body. How you tell yourself how good you feel and not doubting that you will be healed. it reminded me of my youngest son, Dustin, who suffered a severe TBI (traumatic brain injury) four years ago. He’s a singer and musician and he healed himself later with music. The book is about controlling your mindset towards positive outcome and erase all negative doubts and fear. With that mindset there is no limit to the prosperity, happiness and peace of mind. Anyhow, good book. The other day I had a conversation with Dustin and he had a wonderful perspective on the matter. ❤️🙌 He said:
“The brain is like a suitcase- it can only hold a certain amount of thoughts. If everything is filled with negative thoughts- What do you think will happen when you open that suitcase?
Fill it with positive and powerful thoughts!!”
I have a such a wise kid. It made my day, I know he is on his way to a prosperous life and so am I. 😀
I have decided to start my blogg up again. My life has changed so much ever since I wrote my last blogg. Anything from my oldest moving to Seattle, WA, to work as a successful glassblower artist,
my middle child coming out to us and telling us he is now a SHE,
to my youngest (my singing TBI child) deciding to study in South Korea this fall.
My husband changing work, and to myself, who has now done two more Ironman since, and the last one was Ironman Louisville, where I placed second in my age group. (and no I did not make Kona, I have to win my age group).
And finally I believe I have found my life purpose. That is to give service, support, help and love to people who wants it. I’m a entrepreneur, and I have always been, but it’s first now I realize I can pursue my dream by focus and change my mindset to a positive lifestyle and wealth. More to come.
Hello, today is my day three with Bradley Will, the entire 30 Days of Content, to learn to blog.
I’m an Ironman athlete and I have done four ironman. My fifth will be in Sweden, in August 2016. I would like my blogg to be about healthy living and my training, my triathlon experiences, and that life is not over after 50.
However, now when I’m sitting here trying to write, I’m listening to the news, and all I can think of is the horrid terrorist attacks that’s happening around us. I’m thinking of Paris.
My homeland Sweden, where I grew up in, is in state of High terrorist alert level four out of five. Because a terrorist escaped from Paris and entered Sweden. I think of my family and friends there and suddenly all the threats and terrorist attacks become much more real. Reality is our world is changing by evil itself. We are not safe anywhere. But despite this, I want to write about my life and how fortunate and grateful am I can do what I do. That is, to race Ironman triathlons and coach other athletes, and continue to share a healthy living all over the world. Peace!
So I joined a 30 days blogchallenge; learn how to blog. I do want to learn. And my number one lesson is to “remember” to blogg. haha. 🙂
Anyhow, much has has happened since I last blogged about Ironman Frankfurt. I did a couple of shorter triathlons and the R&R half marathon. In the Boulder sunset sprint I placed 2nd in my age group. On the 1/2 marathon I missed sub 2hrs with 3min. Next timeI’ll get there. I’m still going to Physical therapy twice a week. A whole year since the car accident and I’m still struggling, ugh. In end of December I will start training for Ironman Kalmar. I need to be all healed by then.
Wow, wow, wow, what an experience. This race was the toughest IM I’ve done. Considering a year ago I was hit twice on my bike within three weeks apart. I was training for IMBoulder. The last one I was hit by a car. All last year was recovery from whiplash, concussion and hip injury. I started working out again in March after getting a stress fracture in my foot. My reason to choose Frankfurt instead for IMBoulder was just me being an adventurist. I had no idea this IM had a finish time of 15 hours instead of 17 hours. I found this out the day before.
I landed in Frankfurt on Tuesday before the race. I flew with British Airways from Denver, CO. The good part flying overseas late in the evening is you can overcome the jet lag pretty fast if you follow the time schedule of the country you’re going to. My luggage including my bike did not arrive with me thou. This made me very worried and unnecessary concerned about the delay. I did not have to worry too long, it showed up later in the evening and they dropped it off at the hotel. The overall trip with my Trek Speed concept turned out to be more expensive than I realized. $200 R/T on flight. $100 to have it packed in Denver and $100 to have it reassembled. Then flight to Sweden another $100. ugh!! The reason I had help packing and unpacking my bike was due to the D2 gears. Eventually I ended up paying another $120 when I arrived home and my bike mechanic saw that one of the cables was broken, ugh! Totally an expensive trip.
Once arriving to Frankfurt a friend of a friend, Jürgen, who lives in Frankfurt, met me at the airport. He showed me the course and all around Frankfurt. Invaluable time. Thank you Jürgen!! 😀
I felt I was pretty prepared, and with three completed IM in my backpack I knew I should be able to finish. Little did I know I would barely finish! 😮
It was 40 degrees Celcius )104 F) and 66% humidity. Sweat was dripping down my spine. I knew I was going to be in trouble when I entered my hotel room and there was no A/C. But I convinced myself my body would get used to the heat.
My friend Jürgen took me around the whole bike course and showed me the run course. We went to swim one day and the water was so hot (25C) I was sure it would be non-wetsuit legal.
Two nights before race day, the night, of course, that is the most important night to get a good night sleep I had a lousy one. Every night had been very hot and we kept the windows open for hope of some breeze from the night air, but the outside was even warmer than the hotel room. I felt like I could not take a big enough breath, I began to hyperventilate. I had a panic attack, which I’m sure was a mixture of race anxiety and not being able to breathe. I don’t know how many showers I took and every time it felt like I was dry in two seconds. I was crying and twisting and turning. Meanwhile, my brother Richard, who had arrived a day prior was sleeping like a baby, nothing seemed to bother him. I finally passed out around 4.30am, exhausted.
The day before race day I turned in Khaleesi, my bike, along with the bike and run bags. The bus that would take us and our bikes to T1 was delayed and there was not enough busses, so we had to wait with all our packings and gears in this awful heat outside in bright sunlight. It felt like we all would get heat strokes right there. In this kind of humidity, you really don’t feel you’re thirsty, so it’s quite easy to get dehydrated.
The day ended up with waiting in long lines everywhere, but eventually I got everything dropped off. My brother and I had a bite to eat and rest of the day we just relaxed. I went to bed at 8.30 pm. No panic attack this night.
My alarm woke me up at 3.30am. Thank goodness I managed to get some hours sleep in that heat. At 4.am the hotel offered a small breakfast. Then at 4.30am I walked to the Host hotel to catch the shuttle to the swim area. It was about a half hour drive.
In the morning it was actually a little chilly, particular after my pre swim in the lake, Langener Waldsee. Since it was non-wetsuit legal, I decided to swim in my bathing suit with my sport bra under so I could quickly change into my tri-suit. I decided this since I was not sure if my tri suit was going to drag and I was worried my shorts would get air bubbles and drag as well. I felt I did a good choice. The Pros took off and then at 6.50 there were a small group of athletes who started. Someone told me if you register early you can ask to be in the early group. Wish I had known, I never knew.
7.00, the start shot sounded for the rest of us athletes, and we took off. Well almost. 2.20 minutes after start I finally reached the shore to start swimming. 3000 athletes starting, and I had stupidly enough placed myself way too far back. I was waiting next to my brother Richard and friend Jürgen, and by the time I decided to go down it was way too crowded to go further up in the front.
I have forgotten how many breaststrokers there are in IM in Europe. I ended swimming among so many, and trying to squeeze in between them was almost impossible. They spread out sideways and I got hit so many times I had bruises. This made me swim in zigzag rather than straight to the buoys. Despite this I felt great and strong. I passed many swimmers. My time does not show this, but that’s alright. Swimming without wetsuit turned out better than I thought.
Once out of the water, Richard and Jürgen was there cheering me on. It was a long transition hill to run up on, but that didn’t bother me, perhaps it was my altitude advantage, who knows. Swim time: 1.27hr
I grabbed my gear bag and rushed to the changing tent. Looking out to the other side I noticed spectators staring right into the tent. It was open to the whole world to see us change. No privacy here. I needed to change out of my bathing suit!! Well, I quickly turned into “I don’t care” mode and I changed into my tri-suit. T1 time: 8.07 min
Again I saw Richard and Jurgen cheering me on when I was heading out from T1 for the bike leg. Great course, lots of cheering crowd and pretty landscape. The course was two loops, the first obstacle was a cobblestones hill. I have never biked on cobblestones before so this would be interesting. Once on the cobble stones it felt like a hammer jack was pondering down on me. Unfortunately, the bike box opened and I dropped several items out of it. Shoot, there goes my extra nutrition bar, the tire tool, and a Co2 tube. But the climb was short and soon I was on normal pavement again. I had the same looking “devil” dress alike, like in Tour of France, running along side with me when I was climbing. Very funny. After a longer ride in smaller towns and lots of cheering crowd came the “Beast” (Bad Vilbel), an actually fun climb with lots of people cheering you on similar to Tour of France.
There was Jürgen and Richard again, such uplifting feeling to see them. Richard ran along side and cheered me on. After this we rode into downtown and then it was time for the second loop.
At this time it was 39-40 degrees Celsius (104F) and a humidity of 66%. I remember one time I almost fell asleep on the bike. I understand afterwards that it was probably the heat that got me. They had started to pour water using water hoses and handed out sponges that I used and stuck into my clothing. Water on my helmet and head helped a ton. By the time I came around to the “Beast” for the second time there were hardly any people left cheering. This time it felt heavy to climb and now I had started to get pain in my left hip. Bike time: 6.57hrs
I came in and saw Jürgen and Richard once again, all I could say was “Fan” repeatedly in Swedish which I’m sure my english speaking friends would easily understand what I said. I handed my bike to the volunteer, grabbed my T2 bag, and wobbled into the tent. I sat down and proceeded to change to my running shoes. Surprisingly, a guy sat next to me and took of his bike short, standing in all his nudity right in front of me. Oy, first now, I realized it was a mixed gender tent, or maybe I went into the wrong tent? Who knows. Ha,ha, it took me off guard for a second. The only volunteer I saw was a guy who I asked to help me with some sun screen. I must say there were very few volunteers around T1 and T2. Not like other IM I’ve been to. Then off I went. T2 time: 6.13 min
The run was a flat course of four loops of 10 k each with connection of two bridges.
I started out on the first loop and it went actually pretty ok, I walked through the aid stations. Second loop I could barely run due to the pain in my hip. I proceeded to run/ walk. I stopped at the med tent and laid down. I asked for ice to put on my hip. I could easily fall asleep there, I was so nauseated and sleepy. They told me I could quit if I liked, and I instantly jumped up and said no, I’ll never quit, I may not make the time cutoff but I wont quit.
Third loop I had totally lost hope to make it under 15hrs. I walked most of the lap. Every lap Richard, Jurgen and Ines (Jurgens wife) was there to cheer me on and encourage me. It was hot and my hip wouldn’t carry me, it was so painful. By the end of the third loop a young cute Italian came jogging up to me and proceeded to talk and encourage me. He was on his last lap and this was his first Ironman. We talked for a little bit and then he asked me if I was married. Omg, this cracked me up and I started laughing. I’m totally sweaty and look like crap, and he could probably be my son, lol!! Regardless, he got me started to run/walk again. We stayed together until he went off to the finish and I had one more loop left. Jürgen saw me and started running next to me and yelled I could make it, that I could do 15hrs if I only kept running. I first told him I needed to run/walk since my hip hurt, but he said: “no, only running”. I stubbornly argued that my hip hurt. And he let me walk 20 steps and run again. By the end I ran the whole way ignoring the pain and there, finally was the finish chute!! What an incredible feeling of relief, happiness, and excitement it was running up the chute. My adrenaline was so high, and all I could see was the finish line. I barely noticed the car they had parked in the middle of the finish chute to cut off athletes. I wanted to make it so bad. All the cameras was on me, I was on German television. I’ve never had this much attention in my life. So many people congratulated me at the finish. Sometimes it pays off to come in last! But I came in 15.01 hrs, that’s 1 minute after count down. The best part was however, I did get my medal and they did not DNF (Did not finish) me. I’m so happy for that.
This was the toughest race I’ve ever done. It’s a fast course overall. I’m a bit disappointed of my result, but it was all due to the hip issues and the heat. At the same time, that’s what an Ironman is all about. You can never predict the circumstances and that’s what makes us still want to do another one, and another….
I learned much from this race, and for next ironman I will again work on my weaknesses. One of them is my mental mindset, never give up!!
It has been a hard comeback and I have far to go to ever be able to qualify for Kona. But, I will not give up, one day I believe it will happen! Thank you to my husband for all your support and standing by me in all my crazy journeys. To my boys for believing in me, and to you, all my friends and fellow tri-peeps ,who cheer me on and make me believe that I can do this!! **Never too old. **
Photo credit: Jürgen Hertrich, Finisher Pix