Monday, September 15, 2014

Ironman Louisville...Race Report...The Run

I saw Ken as I dismounted my bike and he got a good laugh at my fabulous tan lines!  I jogged on into transition, where a volunteer handed me my bag.  I ran into the women's changing tent and got dressed as quickly as I could.

I was so thankful to be in different clothes that were not soaked in sweat.  I threw my hair up in pigtails and was ready to roll.  I was sad that my hair was so wet that I could not get my pigtails to stand up as perky as I can at home.  Oh well...

I got another layer of sunscreen, not that it really mattered anymore and I was ready to attempt the marathon.  I saw my crew cheer me on and I stopped and gave all three of them hugs.  I knew it was such a long day out there, and the only one of them that is obligated by marriage is Ken!  All three of them were such troopers!

My exact words to Ken was that this was the easy part.  Ha, clearly you lose your perspective during an Ironman.  Someone please remind me that I called a marathon easy the next time I run one.  

Transition Time:  12:41

As soon as I started I knew it was going to be a long day.  It was hot.  By hot I mean in the 90's with a triple digit heat index.  I knew I had to take it easy if I did not want to end up in medical like so many others.  The saddest thing is that right after I left transition, I saw a man arrive on his bike and tell his wife he was just hit by a car????  He and his bike were both fine and then he told her he missed a cutoff and he started crying.  I felt bad for him, but I was also confused, because the bike cutoff was still an hour away.  

Right away I saw two guys that were dressed as cheerleaders, with boobs and everything.  I told them how hot they were and they yelled back.  They were pretty fun cheerleaders.

I made it to the first aid station and grabbed a cup of ice and tossed as much as possible in my top and added the rest to my water.  I was in no mood to eat anything, especially a GU, so I also drank some orange mango Perform.  Delicious I tell ya...

My plan was to run a few minutes and walk a few minutes.  I stuck to my plan pretty well, which usually was three minutes of running at a minimum.  I tried to stay in the shade as much as possible, but at times it was difficult to avoid the sun.  I looked forward to my second lap, which would be when the sun was down.

I saw a man that was spectating and he called out my name and asked me if I would meet him for a run the next day.  I told him, you bet and to meet me downtown at 6:30 am!  

I ended up chatting with a man named Kerry for a while.  He was from Louisville and told me that we were experiencing the hottest day of the year.  Go figure!  He as super nice and had a huge blister on his foot so he was walking.  I lost him when I started running, but saw him again later and know he finished.  

It always seems like the worst part of the run is getting to the turn around on the first lap.  After that, it seems like it gets easier for some reason.  I drank more ice water and iced Perform and dumped as much ice in my top as I could.  I ate pretzels and potato chips.  Someone offered me grapes and I about died.  I loved eating the grapes!  

Soon, I was finishing my first loop which means we turn and run right by the finish line.  It has never bothered me so much like it does others, because I know I will be back to experience it for myself!  I saw my crew at the turn and gave them a thumbs up to tell them I was feeling better.  I felt like I was finally cooling down!

You can see the layer of sweat and salt that is covering me!  I felt such relief finishing the first loop!

I skipped special needs on the run and kept moving.  I still was alternating my run/walking and was glad I was not pulled over on the side of the road like so many others.  I was tired of drinking but took water or Perform at every aid station.  I was starving too, but was still afraid something bad would happen if I had a GU.  I stuck to grapes and added oranges too.  It was pure Heaven.  I may have needed a room with my oranges the way I was molesting them.  Moving on...

For some reason the image of this man finishing an Ironman with poop running down his leg kept popping into my mind.  It had me so worried, that I stopped to do a quick "check" to make sure we were all clear.  My stomach was just not right after ingesting so much Ohio River water.  I did not want to be the girl that finished an Ironman with poop running down her leg.  Anyway, we were good, so I tried to get the image out of my mind.  

On the second lap, I tried to make my purpose to pass as many people as possible.  I would pick someone out ahead and tell myself that they were annoying or something and to pass them.  I turned it into a game and it was fun.  I did not get passed on the second lap.  

I was running longer than I was the first lap, just like in 2012.  My legs were feeling a little sore, but I stuck to my run/walk plan.  

A lady was handling out Twizzlers at one point and she became my BFF.  They were almost as good as the Payday I had on my bike.  

Soon enough, I was upon the final aid station.  I cannot even remember if I stopped or not.  I made it my mission to run all the way to the finish, knowing I would pass all the people up ahead.  I made the left turn and knew I had one block left to run before turning right to head to the finish line.  

I turned right, and knew what was ahead.  The lights were blinding.  The crowd was deafening.  A volunteer was sitting there and gave me the thumbs up to run to the finish.  I was running. I was smiling.  The crowd was so loud.  Everyone was yelling and had their hands out for high fives.  I ran down that chute with the biggest smile and slapping all of their hands.  

The next thing I knew, I was on the read carpet.  I had made it.  I was still high fiving people.  It was amazing.  One of the hands that was extended was Ken's.  I saw him and smiled the biggest smile ever.  I had made it.  I crossed the finish line and heard, "Keri Jackson - YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!"  

High fiving Ken, I have to buy this picture!  Also note, the horrible burn lines and pigtail swinging in the wind.  Best picture ever!

Run:  5:57: 25

Total time:  16:06:43

I instantly felt like I was going to vomit.  I got carried away high fiving everyone and sprinting, but I was fine.  I just needed some water.  I got my finishers hat, shirt, and medal.  My sweet volunteer told me that she wanted to make sure my cute face was visible for my picture.  I laughed at her and told her how rough I must look.  I got my picture and was free to see my crew.

I was not too tired for a little sass in my finishers picture!

Ken picked me up and gave me the biggest hug ever with tears in his eyes.  That moment, that exact moment made it all worth it.  The awful swim, the firery crotch on the bike, burning up on the run, was all worth it just to hear Ken tell me how proud he was.

With the best IronFans ever!

After hugs and pictures, we went to get a drink.  I ordered a mojito and brownie with ice cream.  I started to get a mango mojito, but decided on a normal after all the mango Perform I drank on the run.  

We went back to the finish line to cheer in the final finishers and it was hands down one of the best experiences ever.  A lady made it with two seconds to spare.  If you want to get inspired, go to the finish line of an Ironman 5 minutes before midnight.  AMAZING.

I was worried that there was no way that a second Ironman could top my first Ironman finish.  Well, I was just as proud of this finish as I was my first, maybe even more.  I felt so proud for overcoming what was not the perfect day, that I could not have been more proud or thrilled to have made it.

We walked back to the car this time, without having to take the shuttle.  It was a good year, no one was too chaffed to walk back to the car.

I had so much fun reading all of my text messages and Facebook message.  It is so overwhelming to feel so loved and to know that so many people are cheering me on.  Thank you all so much!

I wish I could say that I am never doing another one, but that would be a big fat lie.  I have no plans do complete an Ironman in 2015, but 2016 might be a different story depending on nursing school.

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