No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

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No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby IronGoddess » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:14 pm

Sorry this has taken so long but I am having a hard time writing my race report. Its hard to put on 'paper' the emotions race day or race week brought out in me. But I will do my best.

We left for Whistler on Wednesday with 2 car loads of 'stuff', 5 bikes, 2 dogs and a ton of food. We had a fairly easy drive and ferry ride up and once we arrived in Whistler we went straight to Creekbread Pizza for my favorite pizza ever. If you are ever in Whistler and want the best pizza go there. After a stupid amount of dinner we went to the house to settle in. We were staying in Creekside which is a 5 min. drive outside of the village, this was nice because I could escape the craziness of the Village and just have quiet. Not to mention the house is huge so everyone could have their own space. My teammates arrived on Thursday afternoon they were staying in the village, so I waited to register until they arrived. So Thursday morning DD and I strolled the Expo and purchased a bunch of swag, and some full finger gloves, which came in handy on race day. Once my teammates arrived we checked in which was painless, no line ups or waiting around. We received great backpacks filled with paper junk, a beer and a can of red bull. They did some more shopping and I left to go to the house to make dinner and put my feet up. On Friday we met up and did a 10/10/10 in the pouring rain, the water temp. was great I actually swam without a wetsuit, the bike was done on the Valley Trail for safety and the run was the same, shake out done. Friday night was the opening ceremonies, which was very emotional and a few tears were shed. Our group was actually filmed for the opening video so that was neat to see. Saturday was spent filling bags, second guessing what to pack and dropping off my bike and stuff. I packed everything in Ziplock baggies inside the gear bags, this was a smart move considering how much it rained before I actually got to these bags. DD did the Ironkids 1k race and had so much fun, she ran the whole way and received an awesome shirt and huge metal. Saturday night I actually got a lot of sleep but was up before the alarm due to the rain pounding so hard of the roof. I got up and had my huge bowl of oatmeal and PB with a banana and coffee. DH got up and drove me to the shuttle pick up. I shed a few tears in the car and said I was scared and didn't want to go. He reminded me how strong I was and how this was the easy part the hard part had already happened over the last six months. So I sucked it up and went off. I met up with my mates and grabbed a shuttle to the lake. Once we arrived we all went off to get ready. I was planning on swimming in my bathing suit under my wetsuit but made a last minute decision and switched into my tri shorts and bra top, this saved me some transition time not that it mattered. I got my wetsuit on and we gathered as a group had some hugs and tears and got into the water for a warm up and to tread water until the race start.

The swim: 3800m 1:20 a little disappointing.
The mass start was interesting to say the least. Many people were worried about this. 1700 people starting at the same time could make for some scary conditions but actually it really was not that bad. You are stretched out over a wide distance so as long as you don't start up front its all good. I found open water easily and never really fought with anyone. I bounced from feet to feet and tried to draft as much as possible and before I knew it I was on my second lap and the rain had really started coming down and the wind had picked up creating some decent chop on the water. I was feeling really bad for the volunteers out there keeping us safe and while getting soaked. Coming around the last turn heading to shore the chop was horrible and I really had to work hard to keep from getting pushed down the lake. I swam until I could touch then popped up and ran to the wetsuit strippers, I dropped to the ground and they pull off your wetsuit for you, this is so funny. I then grabbed my bag and ran into the super crowded change tent. I had a volunteer come and help me right away. She helped me get organized and suggested I put all my layers on since it was raining so hard and it was so cold. So I went with my tri kit, bike jersey, socks, full gloves and my plastic cycling coat ( this saved my ass), and my clear glasses ( bad choice). I filled my jersey with my clif bars, tube and CO2. I was off. Right away I saw DH who surprised me by coming down on his bike in the rain, I told him to stay home. This was awesome and I gave him my glasses since they fogged up right away. Grabbed my bike and ran/walked for the mount line. In the process I saw some friends who surprised our group by coming up to cheer. I made the decision to walk up the hill and mount at the top of the hill rather then at the mount line on a hill.

The bike: 8:32
WOW!! No amount of training can prepare for crappy weather conditions. I have trained in the rain, heat and wind but Sunday was off the charts for crappy weather. Once I was out of the water it was a chilly 7' and pouring raining. My lovely plastic cycling jacket worked like a sauna and trapped every bit of heat in which was great. But my feet and hands were left to freeze. I could not feel my toes within 5 km and they stayed that way the whole ride and my hands could hardly work my gears or open gels. I didn't want to eat I guess my body was working so hard at staying warming taking in calories felt difficult.
As soon as you leave the transition area you start to climb, just 3 small hills and then a few bumps and you head out the highway to the Callaghan Valley. This is a long climb, 13 km of up hill. On a sunny day the view is incredible but with the rain pouring down on you it is not pretty. We climb all the way to the ski lifts for the skiing jumping and cross country venues. The climb up was fine and the decent was scary. Nothing like slippery wet conditions and crazy down hills to make you question you sanity. I road the down hills with a reserved caution but I knew I needed to ride the down hills strong to build up some time. The climb back to Whistler was uneventful other then my teammates finally passing me. One of my friends was in the process of passing me when her chain crossed and she pulled off to fix it. I actually thought of stopping to help her but I couldn't, I knew every second mattered. So I rode and rode and rode at the next aid station I stopped and grabbed a Gatorade. I hear her come in and say her deraillour was not working and was mechanical around. I want to help again but I knew I couldn't help. This was a monkey on my back for the whole ride. I was so worried about her. About this time the weather started to clear and I could ride the down hills stronger and before I knew it I was in Pemberton at Special Needs eating my PB and J sandwich and grabbing my Snickers bar. I was still not following my nutrition plan but I was trying. I just didn't want to fuel. I rode another 20 k and stopped to use the bathrooms. My friend caught me here and told me she was having trouble switching out of her big ring and she was worried out the time cut off. I knew she would be ok and told her to stop worrying that we would be fine. This perked her up and she soon dropped me and was off to ride her race. I honestly never thought about not making time cut offs. I knew it would be close but I battled so may dragons in training that there was no more to fight. I was in the moment enjoying the gift that my family and body had given me. The time and ability to race an Ironman race. I never once felt 'done' I was always present and smiling. At one point I was singing Eye of The Tiger, this was one of my power songs that DD had put in my head. On the way back on the Pemberton Flats I saw the sweeper truck and said to the lady beside me " are you worried" she replied" no and neither should you. We are going to be fine." This was a nice boast and I continued along but my back was getting tighter and I was battling some heart burn but this is all part of race day. Soon I was at the 40 km long slow climb back to Whistler. I asked the tri bc official if I would make the time cut off and she said yes so I stopped and gave my plastic coat to a volunteer because the sun was out and it was heating up and 40 k of climbs is no place for a plastic coat. I had to just keep moving and I did that. Even when I saw someone clip out and walk their bike up and when I saw a girls chain break and her day finish, I kept moving and making friends. The Welcome to Whistler sign finally came into view and I knew I had the bike finish in my sights. I picked it up for the last 10 k and as I rounded the last corner to T2 there was my DS#1 with his phone recording me. I was so happy I told him I was going to cry and I think I did. Getting off that bike before the time cut off was my Ironman Victory. I knew I would be an Ironman. Unfortantly my back was done. I could hardly swing my leg over to get off my bike. I grabbed my T2 bag and ran into the tent to get naked and do a full change. The lady that was helping me was warned prior to me changing that I was going full monty and changing everything. She was fine with that. LOL!! I put on my running bra and favorite running shorts and my favorite tank. I left my sleeves figuring I could wait until 25 km special needs before needing those or my long sleeved shirt, big mistake. I peed and then ran out of T2 to the cheers of my team and my RMT who had come up to support my whole group. She knew right away my back was locked up and rode to meet up with me at 5 km.

Run: 42.2km in 5:52

Right away I knew I was in trouble. Each step was like a dagger stabbing me in the back. I hoped it would work itself out as it has done on brick workouts off the bike but it didn't. My RMT, Gwen caught me at 5 km and tried to work it out as best she could but nothing help. I just had to keep moving, running when I could, which was not often and power walking the rest of the time. I starting talking to one man who was from Winnipeg and knew Colleen. Small world. We 'ran' together for a couple kms and then he went to finish his last loop. I made friends and cheered and thanked the volunteers for the next 5 hrs. 12 kms into the run the rain came down and it got very cold. I was in a tank top and no sleeves. I couldn't stop shivering and couldn't open my gels. One volunteer found me a space blanket and tied it on me and gave me a cup of broth, this was what I needed and I started to run a bit more, the blanket was hard to run with but it warmed me up. I ditched it at the start of my second loop because I knew Special Needs was coming and I had long sleeved shirt in my bag. Once at Special Needs, I grabbed my shirt, and sleeves because you do not get these bags back and I love my sleeves, I gave those to Gwen and took my plain potato chips so yummy!! I didn't take my headlamp, big mistake. It was so dark in the trails, it was scary and dangerous. So I continued walking with purpose and power and running the odd bit. Gwen continued supporting me and my two other friends, she figured she biked about 30 km between the three of us. It was getting dark and I was having so much fun, yes fun!! The crowds and follow athletes made me so happy. Everyone was so inspiring. At one point on the way back, I had 8 km to go, one guy asked me what I was eating and could he have some. I replied we are going to be Ironmen in an hour, what more do we need. At the final turn around I sent Gwen off to the finish line because it was dark and she didn't have a light or helmet. I also wanted time to take in my thoughts and relish in each moment. Before I hit the final turns to the finish line I saw DH so I stopped for a hug and kiss, then ran a few feet more and stopped and hugged all my running family and then heard those magical words "Kendra Auringer, you are an Ironman", he even pronounced it right!!!! Right away someone grabbed me and put a blanket around me and took me over to my people for hugs. My son recorded the whole finish line thing, my sister in law and niece drove up from White Rock just to be there for the long day. I had done it!!

I am an Ironman. The next day I hurt everywhere and stairs were awful. This is going to sound funny but I was glad I was sore. That pain reminded me I had done something epic the day before and that I had pushed myself. Thank you to everyone on this forum for your support and words of encouragement when I was a shattered mess. I can't believe that the journey is over. Will I do another? YES YES YES!! I am truly an endurance athlete. I had decided I would do another before the race was even over. I will wait another couple years. The training took a lot out of the family and they deserve to have me back before I ask them to do another. I am currently searching for a new triathlon bike to add to the house and have decided on a couple 70.3 races for next year. Perhaps the most surprising thing to come out of this adventure is my DH went out and bought himself a road bike and is going to do a 70.3 with me next year. I am excited for this. He just needs to learn to swim.

Once again thank you to everyone for supporting me. I love you all!! BTW 16:05 was my final time. This is longer then it took me to have all three of my babies. My DH figured that one out. I just thought it was hilarious!!!
IMC 2015

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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby eme » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:38 pm

Awesome :D

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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby Jwolf » Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:54 pm

Great report Kendra! Congratulations again.

When we were following along I tried to imagine how you were feeling in the terrible weather and through all those kilometres. I remember feeling so happy that you were done with the bike. :) Of course we had no idea how much pain your were in on the run. You are one tough cookie.

I loved watching you come across the finish line in real time. So inspiring.

This is an experience you will always be able to draw from- no matter how hard things get. You have what it takes!
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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:18 pm

Congrats IronGoddess. Your report made me cry. So happy for you.
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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby purdy65 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:22 pm

Congratulations Iron Goddess! I knew you would do it! Tough day with the weather but you fought right through it!
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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby Miss*Smiles » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:28 pm

Congratulations! I'm so proud of your tenacity and you did such an incredible job! I also shed a couple tears reading that ;)
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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby drghfx » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:48 pm

Congratulations! Well done!
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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby CinC » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:51 pm

way to go Kendra - I'm happy to hear that you're not a 'one and done' - it's a fun lifestyle and I'm glad to hear you want to do another. you faced some very tough conditions out there on race day - and that's something you can't control. You handled it well and got it done - the tough conditions remind you of how tough you can be. Good on you.
Enjoy your recovery. And congrats again.
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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:20 pm

congratulations - what a huge accomplishment! so inspiring!
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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby chunkymonkeymelonhed » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:34 pm

I am in awe of you! Congratulations Kendra.
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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby marymac442 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:20 am

Congratulations, way to persevere through a gross day!
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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby RA. » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:21 am

Great report, Kendra! Congratulations!
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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby La » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:08 am

Excellent report! When you mentioned about being woken by the sound of rain on the roof I had flashbacks to my first in Lake Placid in '03. Our day wasn't as cold as yours, but it's such a bummer when you put in all that training and then get thrown a big curve ball like that. Way to tough it out and not let it dampen your spirits.

Congrats, Ironman! Wear your title with pride. You earned it. :D
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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby n_fraser » Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:33 pm

This made me cry. What a day you had!!! You are absolutely amazing.

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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby Tori » Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:06 pm

Congrats!!!! You did amazing.

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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby trixiee » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:20 pm

Way to go Kendra!
I have to admit your report drew some tears from me too!
Thank you for taking the time to write such an awesome report! :D

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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby carm » Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:03 am

Congratulations on tackling one of the toughest IMs out there. A couple of my friends (multi-IMs) raced as well and mentioned that their race day was very tough compared to previous IMs. Relish that accomplishment!
Last edited by carm on Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby da » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:07 am

Congratulations Ironman!!!! I've heard it was a very tough day and you did great with everything it threw at you!

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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby Habs4ever » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:07 am

Kendra= perseverance, patience, inspiration, tenacity, purposeful, steadfastness, determination.

Congratulations! You did great. :D :D
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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby HCcD » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:09 am

Congratulations, IronGoddess
Race Results: ... unner=HCiD

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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby Robinandamelia » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:16 pm

Just seeing this now! Wow, congratulations to you. You are an Ironman and that's amazing. You pushed through in what sounds like very tough conditions and finished!! Nicely done!

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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby Stampie » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:51 pm

Though I've already congratulated you on FB, I feel obliged to say CONGRATS here as well!

It was amazing to watch and track you online the whole day and to see you cross the finish and hear those words "You are an IRONMAN!" was truly spectacular. You showed such great tenacity and perseverance give the day that was thrown at you. That is truly inspiring! Be proud Kendra, you earned it!
PB’s (official race results)
5K – 26:20; 8K – 41:28; 10K – 52:13; 15K - 1:22:43; 21.1K – 1:54:16; 30K – 2:51:34; 42.2K – 4:24:14

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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby IronGoddess » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:09 pm

Thanks Bryan. I miss you on here.

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IMC 2015

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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby Ken B » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:12 pm

Just catching up now! That is a fabulous achievement under very difficult conditions. Great report! Congratulations!!! :)

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Re: No One Said it Would be Easy: Ironman 2015

Postby jonovision_man » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:43 pm

Congrats! Hard enough without the weather kicking you around, sounds like you really persevered. All the more impressive.

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