Ironwoman: By the numbers

Je suis une Ironwoman.

Part of me is still in disbelief that I’ve earned that title — Ironwoman. Friends who have done the race warned me that the day would go by quickly. I believed them, but never did 14 hours fly by so quickly. In fact, the longest part of the trip may have been the eight or so hours in the car on the ride home, as my quads were sore, my back ached, I was sleep and alternated between being hungry and feeling so full I ┬ámight explode. It was probably a longer ride for Mark who drove the whole way, was his own brand of tired and sore from a full day of spectating (which is truly a sport and art form in itself) and had the hiccups for the better part of two hours.

But back to Esprit Montreal.

Today’s entry: Esprit by the numbers. Granted, I don’t believe numbers tell the whole story, but it’s a good place to start.

Number of pre-race freak outs: 1. It occurred at the registration tent on Friday when a rumor was going around that wetsuits may NOT be allowed for the swim. I cried and hyperventilated for a good 15 or 20 minutes. A woman doing the sprint distance helped calm me down (I think her name was Nicole) and I decided to get in the water and swim just in my bathing suit. I had NEVER been in open water without my wetsuit. Never. Ever. Ever. And the funny thing was? I could still swim. Imagine that. (And for the record, wetsuits were allowed.)

Number of songs sung on the bike: 3. The tunes of the day were “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift, “That’s the Way it Is” by Celine Dion and “Heart in a Blender” by Eve 6. Why those songs? I have no idea.

Number of in-race freak out: 2. But it seems like they hardly mattered. One came on the swim, when I was concerned about cut-off times, and one came on the bike, when my knees started to ache and running 26.2 miles sounded like not so much fun. But quickly, easily and painlessly I turned my attention elsewhere. On the swim, I thought about how proud I was at my effort and turned it up a bit more when the doubt thought appeared. That quashed that problem. On the bike, I brought my attention back to the fact that I was on the bike, and not on the run yet. “Think only of the lap you’re on,” I repeated to myself.

Number of poutines consumed post-race: 2. Immediately after the race Best Boyfriend Mark and I drove directly to a 24-hour dive for poutine. The next morning, with my very large brunch plate, we had a bette quality poutine for an appetizer.

The final numbers: Because I know people want to know how I did in traditional outcome based numbers:

Overall time: 14:03:47
Swim time: 2:03:20
Transition 1: 5:18
Bike: 6:18:16
Transition 2: 8:40
Run: 5:28:16

As if finishing my first Ironman wasn’t enough, as I was falling asleep Saturday night, Mark was looking at the results posted online. He started laughing and said, “I hate you.”

“What?” I asked, already half asleep in a poutine-induced coma.

“I guess we have to go to the awards brunch tomorrow,” he said. “You finished third in your age group.”

With that I bolted up, put on my glasses and looked at the results. Yes, I placed third in my agegroup. For the record, there were five women in my age group. At the awards I actually ended up with second place since the overall winner was from age group.

Crunch the numbers all you want. Nobody can taint my joy.

Because amazing things can happen when you decide to show up.

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