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!!