Ironman Canada – Heather’s Race Report

Heather rounding the first corner at IM Canada 2007

Well, my coach said that sometimes you show up and you feel like there is only 80% there. That is how I felt at IMC. Here’s a bit of a report for all you supporters who are wondering WTF??

Race morning I felt pumped and ready to go. I was concerned about my hip which had been plaguing me all summer but, nothing to loose right!?

In the swim I didn’t manage to get on any feet at the tail end of the first pack, and found myself all alone on the way to the first houseboat. Not cool. Strategic conundrum. I chose to ease off a bit to catch a draft and ended up in a little pack which made me happier, if nothing else. Well, happier until the last bit when I wanted to go harder but was boxed in. My swim volume and fitness were WAY better this year and but time was only a minute faster than my first ever IM at Coeur d’Alene last year. Poo. I guess there are advantages to being sucked along in a massive age group pack (ahem, Trevor ;).

On the bike I played leap frog with Lisa B, Sarah G and ?? for the first little while on the way down to Osoyoos, but I decided to let them go. It seemed like their attacking wasn’t sustainable and I just kept thinking “I will see you on the climbs”. I was happy to pass ?? on the rollers, Sarah Gross on the way to yellow lake, drop Andrea Fisher on the climb and catch Lisa Bentley on the decent (which was ultra sketchy with the disk and the wicked cross winds. One advantage of being bigger.. Lisa was getting tossed around even more than me).

That said, and I yelled this to Trevor as he passed me, “this is the worst I have ever felt riding!!” (funny aside: the day before we were talking about where we might see each other on the course and he said “if I pass you on the bike, you are not having a good day”. True enough!) My power was nowhere to be found. I really hoped to make up time on the rollers towards the out and back but the strong winds made me lose so much speed whenever I’d crest one of the little hills. My legs just didn’t have their usual oomph and I was so frustrated. My mental game was not where it should have been.

It was a nice motivator to have PR cheering for me at the aid station just before the turn to the out and back. The tail wind was a welcome reprieve too. Not long after the turn I got stung by 3 bees in quick succession, one on my finger, one down my shirt, one on the leg. Maybe the kick of anger and adrenaline did something b/c I felt best from that point to the finish of the ride.

On the ride I just assumed that there was sweat on my visor b/c I couldn’t see clearly, but when I took the helmet off in T2 I realized that it was my eyes, esp the right. Energy wise I felt alright. The hip wasn’t great but I didn’t expect it to be. It was great to see my parents cheering for me, and I figured I could still grunt out a run to get in under my goal of sub 10 hrs.

Lisa passed me just before the park near the lake and Sarah at the start of Skaha. I had to dive into a porta potty at mile 6 or so with diarrhea and my vision was totally cloudy. When I missed grabbing a cup at the mile 8 aid station b/c I had no depth perception and the world was opaque I figured I’d better talk to the ambulance guys. I kept on thinking “damn, am I having a stroke? Why can’t I see?”. The really bad cramping in my chest behind my ribs didn’t help my freaked-out mental state. I started hyperventilating and getting the chills, and they put me on oxygen and then an IV and my vision got worse and that was the end of it. Ambulance ride to the med-tent. Of all the bizarre things to have happen. Turns out I have some nice corneal abrasions to go with the bum hip.

Sigh. Live to fight another day… bad races happen, yada yada…

I am taking time off to give my bod some TLC and really truly get on top of re-hab for my hip. Next year I am not going to be someone who shows up on the bike radar and then drops off the map.

Thanks for all your support. Hugs. H


~ by trevorandheather on August 28, 2007.

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