…if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
$1 to anyone who can name what movie that line is from.
I’m kidding about the dollar, but kudos to anyone who knew it’s a line from basically my favorite movie of all time. (if you don’t know what it is, send me a message and I’ll share!)
Anyway, I digress.
So yea…it’s been, like, forever since I’ve posted here. I have no good excuses other that life just gets in the way sometimes.
I can hardly believe it’s been 6 weeks since Ironman. My bad for not posting my race report/recap for you all. I’m sure all 4 of you who read this blog are also friends with me in real life or on Facebook so you know the results. But for the 2 of you who read this who aren’t on social media with me, yes, I finished and yes, it was definitely difficult!
Here’s a recap for you all:
AMAZING. Loved every single moment of it. Got over my irrational and sudden on-set fear of open water swimming after trying out my new (to me thanks to me wonderful Coeur teammie Kristen) sleeveless wetsuit. That thing is a God send. The 2.4 miles in Lac Tremblant flew by and I honestly felt on top of the world. I paced myself, never felt winded, did not get kicked or really even encounter any of the 1800 other athletes which still amazes me. I got out of the water and my time was 1:05 and some change. I wanted to be closer to an hour, but I’ll take it consider how great I felt.
That swim put me in 2nd place in my age group.
If only the race had ended THERE I’d be on my way to Kona.
Oh, but I still had 138.2 miles to go.
So my claim to fame on that day was I beat one of the pro women out of the water. And that’s after starting many minutes behind her. Her bike was still in transition when I left on my bike…and then she passed me like I was standing still about 5 miles into the bike.
But hey, I’ll take it!
The crowds getting us from the swim to transition were unreal! I saw my friend Vinnie (aka Phil…don’t ask) who took this photo of me – I honestly could not stop smiling, and almost tearing up. It was a surreal experience and one I won’t forget anytime soon.
Note to self: Mont = Mountain in French. Holy bananas. So. Much. Climbing. The bike tried to eat me alive but I survived. Barely. The first 56 mile loop I held back, took it easy and really did enjoy myself. There were some nice hills as we headed out of Mont Tremblant and onto the highway we rode most of the time on. It was completely closed to traffic which was awesome. Heading back into town, I knew what was coming in the last 10 miles of the loop as Rob and I had ridden it 2 days prior. I was scared but powered through it somehow. I was going SO SLOWLY on some of the hills on Duplessis that if I had stopped pedaling, I would have fallen off the road into the ditch. It was no joke. But I made it and was ready to tackle the next loop.
Then the winds kicked up.
And it made the second loop way harder than the first. I was sucking wind (literally and figuratively) on every hill and tried so hard to save my legs on the downhills. I was so worried about having enough fuel for the rest of the hills and the run that I think I actually overdid it a bit. I wanted nothing to do with any of my nutrition by the latter part of the bike, and my stomach was very unhappy with me. Tried to just keep drinking water to settle it down as I inched closer to the end.
I almost started to cry when I realize I had to do the hills on Duplessis again but I knew I didn’t have a choice. I wasn’t going to quit, so onward I went…seeing my family and the Singers right before the worst of the hills gave me such a boost!
I was pleasantly surprised at my 6:38 bike time and was SO happy to be off my bike. Another year of telling the volunteers to keep my bike or throw it in the trash if they wanted, as I handed it to them. Everything hurt – hence, my face in this photo:
But onward I went!
So just a short 26.2 mile run to go.
Whose idea was this anyway?
And why do they always put a HILL right outside of transition? Ugh! So that was a good start – walking during the first 1/2 mile of the “run”. So annoying.
But I was trying to be smart, trying to pace myself and knowing I still had a long ways to go. And my stomach was still off from the bike so I needed to stop more often than I normally would or would like to.
It was definitely getting warm and I started to see quite a few people down on the side of the course being tended to by EMS. That always scares me and I usually slow down a bit and assess how I’m feeling. I realize I’m doing better than I thought I would and continue to run/walk the best I can. Walked through every aid station, made sure I was drinking enough and having some salt as well.
I loved the fact that I could see so many of my teammates and friends on the run course – it gave me a pep in my step when I saw Kecia, Tim, Scott, Pat, Ralph and Ed! We high fived each other, gave words of encouragement and continued on with our runs. I also met a lot of nice people along the way and chatted with them which helps pass the time.
My family and friends were just before mile 13 and I loved seeing them – what a welcome sight they all were!
It’s always a bit of a mind bender to have to go RIGHT PAST the finish line to head onto your 2nd loop on the run. Hearing the crowds and Mike Reilly announcing finishers is tough but it’s also invigorating, knowing you’re only 13.1 miles away from that.
So on I went, again walking up the hills, through the aid stations and continuing to stay hydrated and fueled.
My watch died about 16 miles into the run so I was just going by feel after that. I knew I was doing ok but not quite as well as I originally hoped. And that’s fine.
I met a man with about 3 miles to go who told me it was his first Ironman finishing in the daytime and he was ecstatic about it. That put it in perspective for me a bit – although I was disappointed I didn’t go “faster”, I also know there were people out on the course who still had many hours to go and would finish just before midnight. And in the end, we are all Ironman finishers, no matter what the time.
As I got closer to town, I could hear Mike Reilly announcing name after name. It always makes me smile and gives me chills to hear him.
I ran most of the way nearby a young lady who was doing her first Ironman. As we were about 1/4 mile from the finish and slowly “yogging” our way along at that point, I gave her a hug and congratulated her for her accomplishment. I also told her to make sure to wait and cross the finish line with no one around her. I said she deserved the spotlight and to make sure and take it.
She followed me advice.
I did not.
I’m such an idiot. I was so excited to be done and the crowds got me so fired up that I didn’t even pay attention to my finish line surroundings!
I saw my family, gave them high fives along with it felt like every other person in the crowd…and proceeded to cross the line with 2 dudes right in front of me.
Total rookie move!
So all of my finisher photos have me tucked behind these guys, and the announcer (who was Mike Reilly’s French counterpart) said my name but lumped me in with the other guys so I never got the “Erika Myers – You are an Ironman” like I was hoping.
Honestly though, it doesn’t really matter. I was so happy to be done, so happy to feel good in the process, and thrilled to have my family, friends and teammates there to support my crazy hobby.
12:50:18 was my finish time, my 2nd best Ironman finish and on one of the hardest courses around. I had a super secret goal of closer to 12 hours if not under it, but I gave it all I had and did my best! And that’s all good with me.
I grabbed some poutine, a beer, a water, got my photo taken and headed out to meet my family and friends.
What an amazing day.
I truly can’t thank everyone who supported me enough. Rob, Emily, Julia, my mother-in-law Mary, Brian, Liz, Colton, Logan…my sherpa extraordinaires for the entire weekend! Words can’t explain how amazing it was to have you all there – from the bottom of my heart, thank you just isn’t enough!! Putting up with all of those long workout days and scheduling nightmares – truly my Iron Family!
My parents, my friends, my Coeur sports teammates near and far – all of you were my support system throughout the entire year of training and it meant the world to me!
And finally to my coach Matt – you got me to my 3rd Ironman finish and pushed me harder than I thought I could be pushed. You encouraged me, you lifted me up when I needed it and I couldn’t have done it without you! THANK YOU!
One more race to go to close out the 2018 season with a bang: The Chicago Marathon in 3 days with my best friend Julie. I can’t wait to tell you all about that (and the 70.3 I did a few weeks back with Rob!) soon.
Cheers to you all!