Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ironman Canada Part 3

So the third and final leg of the race was beginning and it was hot! I saw a temperature sign and it said it was 32 degrees, which is 90 degrees Fahrenheit and this was now after 4:30 in the afternoon. I started the run and saw Team Embo again right as I left transition. I was super happy they had made it back in time...they were everywhere that day!
I decided I was going to start the race running for 4 minutes and walking for 1. It was super hot, but I felt good running for the 4 minutes. I was however running very slowly...but I thought, as long as I conserved my energy now, I would have enough to get back from the turn around at 13.1 miles.

As I ran out I caught up with Kristy and we ran and walked together for a while. It was good to be able to talk to her, but eventually we got split up due to different bathroom stop schedules. :) As I got farther out on the course I began to see my friends running back in. When I was at about mile 7.5 I saw Dave running back in. I gave him a big hug and kept going. Then I saw Liz about a mile later. Liz and Dave had a bet, that if she beat him, he was going to pay her $1200 for her entry to the race (because she had bought a community spot). I told her Dave was just a little bit ahead and she should pick up the pace. She ended up catching him at mile 24, and made him sprint the last two miles in. He ended up beating her by only 55 seconds! They finished in 12 hours and 43 minutes.....meanwhile...I was still on the run course, jogging away in the heat and sun.

At one point I realized I was wearing a visor and I had a part because Jasmine had braided my hair and I needed sunblock for my part. At this point it was probably about 5:30 or 6, so I probably didn't really need sunblock, but I think I was a bit delirious and I started to freak out. I asked spectators if they had any sunblock and they didn't. But then I remembered that my chapstick had sunblock in it, so I took it out and put chapstick all over my head. :)

At about mile 10 I started to get cramps across my stomach. I was a little sad because this hadn't started until mile 20 when I ran my first marathon last June, so I was worried I was going to not have a very pleasant last 16 miles. So I decided I would walk for 7 minutes to see if I could get rid of the cramps. See when I am running, even if I decide to walk for longer, I always have to decide ahead of time how long my walking break will be. If you don't decide before you start walking when you are going to go back to could end up walking a lot more than you need to.

So after 7 minutes I decided to switch to a 1/1. I wasn't feeling too great...the sun was still out, I hate being hot, and I was super hot. I walked 1 minute, ran 1 minute all the way to the turn around at 13.1 miles. (Except the hills...I walked the hills...I figured why waste energy).

Jim and Serg and Luis were at the turn around and it was so great to see them! They put a bounce in my step, and took the kitchen sink I had in my back pockets. I had 2 power bars, power blasts, GU, my heart rate monitor that I had to take off because it was too tight, my sunglasses, body glide, my Epipen. Basically you name it, and I had bouncing up and down in my back pockets.

I felt so much lighter after handing all that stuff off, and as I began to head back to the finish line I kept thinking: "I've done 13.1 miles before, I've done this, I got this." The sun started to go down and a volunteer on a motorcycle came by and handed me a glow in the dark necklace. I met a girl named Sarah and we began to run/walk my 1:1 together. But by mile 16 I started having to pee a lot. I hadn't peed once on the bike, and I think that scared me, so I drank a lot of water on the run, and I started having to use the port-a-potty at every water stop (about every mile). At this time I realized now that the sun was down, I felt better, and I could actually run from water stop to water stop. So I started a little routine...I'd pee at the water stop, get a cup of chicken broth and a pepsi, drink them both, then run to the next water stop: over and over again.

It was kind of cool to run at night, just watching the bobbing glow-in-the-dark necklaces strung out in front of me. As I came to the end of Skaha Lake I found Team Embo again. There were just 6 miles left and seeing them made me so happy and gave me energy!
6 miles was all I had left, and it was all flat...I thought "wow if I was running 10 minute miles I'd be done in an hour." Too bad I was running just under 15 minute miles, so I had a little less than an hour and a half left. I just kept telling myself that I had run 6 miles before when I was totally exhausted and I could do it again...and you know what, I did! I don't remember everything I was feeling running in those last 6 miles, but I know my legs were really beginning to hurt, I had to pee all the time, and I was getting pretty nauseous. But at mile 24 I decided to take my last GU since it had 2 times the caffeine. I thought it might help me with a little burst of energy. As I came in and saw the finish line my cramps came back across my stomach.

At Ironman Canada they are a little mean, so when you see the finish line you actually have to take a left, and run away from it for another mile, so I turned left and was thinking I would run in the whole last mile. Of course my cramps didn't like that idea, and I realized that it would probably be better to walk a little out in the dark away from the crowds and be able to finish strong. So I walked a little ways to the last turn around, and then looked at my watch. I had about 9 minutes to make it to the finish line to finish under 16 hours. (Funny how my goals changed during the race...but even though they changed it was always good to have a goal, to keep you going).

I came into the shoot and I wanted to do a shout out to my Iron Team (and show Phil and Tony that they were spelling at the sprint boys, I am never going to stop harassing you about that!). So I spelled: IT, but in the video online I did the I a little too soon, and you can't really see it. Oh well.
I crossed the finish line! I completed my first Ironman in 15 hours, 54 minutes, and 19 seconds.


  1. Yeah Emily! That's really awesome.

  2. I've enjoyed reading about your journey. You inspire me every day. Can't wait to see you in Idaho.