Saturday, May 9, 2009

Iron Girl recap

I woke up around 5am. The directions said we had to park at the Montelago Hotel and walk a bit. They also said that although my swim didn't start until 7am, we had to leave transition at 6:15am and walk again to the swim start.

As I pull into Montelago, it's pretty scarce. Only one other car and I followed them then asked if we were suppose to park here. They said yes and pulled out printed directions from the IG website. So we parked and started walking... They were such nice ladies, from California. As we get closer to the race site we see a dirt parking lot... FILLED WITH CARS. WTH? Why didn't we get the friggin memo? I was just there the day before for packet pick-up, these girls were there last night.. why weren't we informed? Why weren't there signs saying "parking this way" with arrows letting us know to keep going further down the road? I thought I was following the directions and I end up getting crapped on.

We finally get to the race site and go our separate ways. My bike was fine and I was happy to see him. I ended up getting everything together pretty quickly. Having done it once now, it's really easy. Helmet, socks/shoes, glasses, water, towel, racebelt and good to go! The bike racks were different than Rage. They were wooden and had slits for the back tire with a square area next to it for your stuff. Pretty neat. I got that sweet spot on the end and had TONS of room.

Because we had to walk to the swim a pretty good distance away, if you didn't have a buddy (husband, friend, mom etc) then you had to walk barefoot since you couldn't leave your flip flops there. I get o the swim and meet another lady. She drives the Susan G Komen truck that visits all the races. She was also from California, but originally from North Dakota. Very very nice and I regret not going to check on her after the race :o(

The water was nice but still cold enough to be wetsuit legal. It didn't take my breath away like the Lake Mead water at Rage. However, the slushy.. mud?... was GROSS under your feet. I'm from the beach but this wasn't sand, it felt like you were standing in poop. So finally my wave lines up and gets ready. The MC says we're suppose to round the first buoy, then go to the next buoy. TWO BUOYS and then go under the bridge. Ready-set-AFLAC (roll eyes, so much commercialization) and off we go. This time I went more to the front of the pack. By staying in the back at Rage, I allowed myself to be last last. This time I at least wanted an advantage. It worked out well. So we round the first buoy, then go straight ahead with the pack to to get to the second one, when we start hearing the kayak volunteer yelling "stay to your right! round this buoy here" HUH? That doesn't make sense..but whatever. So a bunch of us start heading out to that buoys and as we get there we realize NO ONE else but a small group of us (like 10 or so) are rounding this buoy out here! Everyone else was going straight through and cutting it completely. Not coming anywhere near it! We're all upset and not really understanding wth is going on, but we're afraid if we cut it, we'll end up having to come back to it anyway if they send us away. So we just round it and all agree we're making a HUGE complaint! That was totally completely unfair because now the times and distances don't match and won't be correct. Our placing won't be correct. It just sucked big time. But at least I did it. I swam freestyle more than before and I noticed my speed picked up. I had more endurance and strength this time. I felt really good. It was awesome to be in a PACK. I was keeping up with other people, and when we finally did get to the THIRD buoy, we were in a huge crowd. We did an extra buoy and STILL got out faster than a lot of those other pink caps.

The walk from the swim to the bike, OMG! It was sooo long. T1 end up taking me 10 minutes. That's despicable and it isn't my fault.

Ohhhh I was so excited to get on my bike! This was all what the week's shenanigans led up to. After walking out of transition, I hopped on the bike and VROOM, I was off and fast! I changed gears correctly and efficiently. I was cruising down those hills and making it up them so quickly. Finally at one point I thought to myself "where are those massive hills that lead out of this place?" and realized as I looked up ahead that I already had done them!! I was so proud of myself and happy the "hard part" in my mind was over. The rest of the bike was smooth and uneventful. I got to pass people and kept up with people who have those cool aerobars and aerowheels. I was leapfrogging with really good bikers and it felt SO good to be apart of the competition! The correct mileage was more like 11 miles, not 10 like the website said. Not a huge deal, but worth noting.

Uneventful... racked the bike, grabbed my headband and race number belt and took off for the run.

I honestly had no idea where the run was going to be. DH and I tried looking at the map a million times to figure it out but never had success. The run began with a big uphill to the street. Not fun after just having biked 11 miles. Then it led onto a large dirt area and we basically were running in a huge construction area of dirt hills, rocks, holes and a portion of the road that actually was a smoother dirt was slanted sideways. It was... challenging but really too much. One lady even took a fall and scraped up her face. It wasn't a turn-around loop, it went around a circle and out the way we came in. There was water at every mile and duck sponges. The water was really cold and felt great! I asked for 2 cups every time - drank one and dumped the other on my head. The IG website and the newsletters said there would be all kinds of fun surprises to keep us motivated along the run but there wasn't anything. Then we were suppose to get a playing card to use for prizes later... yet again there was no one giving them out. Finally we round it out to the street again and back HOME! There were lots of people yelling "only 200 more yards, you're almost there!" I tried with all my might to just keep pushing and get this darn thing over with! lol

It was only 9am (yup, that's right, I finished in 2 hours and with an extra swim!). We weren't allowed back into transition until 10:30. I did not like that at all. My one son's soccer game started at 10am and I would have liked to make it. They did have a breakfast area, so I headed over to see what there was to eat. I wasn't very hungry.. I get there and all I wanted to try to eat was a bagel with peanut butter... no PB in site. They had muffins, bagels, butter, flavored cream cheese spread, cereal, fruit but it was empty except for melon so I took some of that before it was gone, and egg/cheese/sausage biscuits. No bananas? No peanut butter? I thought PB was a staple for post-race food... I asked for some but was told there was none so oh well.

I have already written an email complaint to Iron Girl. I really hope they make note on the website of the swim mishap so that people realize the times aren't correct. I'm disappointed with the race. I won't do it again. I'm not sorry I did it, any experience is good experience in that I always learn something from it... and in this case I learned that IG is just not the organization for me. They are so commercialized and all about the look of everything that the small details get lost. The one lady MC even had the nerve to say "when the hand goes up the talking STOPS. That's rude." Wow... not very nice.
Official Times:
Swim- 27:08:00 (longer swim and kept about the same time!!)
T1- 5:14 (why did it say 10 minutes on the posted results at the race today?)
Bike- 44:52:00 (GREAT!!!!!! 11 miles. Rage was 12.5 and took me 1:20 hour!)
T2- 1:28
Run- 42:37:00 (still slow, but with the course, I'm ok with this time. -2 min from Rage!)
Finish Time- 2:01:19 (Amazing! I took 40 min off my time from Rage and did that long swim!)


Gail's Card Cafe' said...

I just wanted to make sure to drop you a line. I was hoping from blog to 'next blog' and came upon yours. I read a few blogs of yours and wanted to let you know that you inspire me. I've wanted to do something like this but it always seamed to be out of my league. I only wish it weren't so late right now because i just want to get out and run, it may only be a mile until I fall dead but it's a start right? LOL I've also looked on a couple of the races you've done and am stoked to have the next one a goal for me. Keep up the great work and keep racing yourself! I hope it doesn't creep you out or anything but I've added you to my followed blogs. :) I hope that's ok.

robison52 said...

The "Iron Girl" organization sounds pretty amateur, hopefully they'll learn from their mistakes, or nobody will race them again.

You keep growing by leaps and bounds! Someday I would like to try a tri...altough I'm not the best of swimmers.

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Too bad on the IronGirl race... wow, that's a lot of issues in one sprint race! Hopefully they'll listen and improve the event for future racers. Nice job in tough logisitical situation! I'm so glad you're doing well!

Ron said...

well done on all of your little successes this race. You are making the most of the experience....WELL DONE! Looking forward to hearing about other races....