Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ironman Wisconsin

Dad & I. Picking up race packet
 I survived! Almost 2 weeks ago (already!), I completed Ironman Wisconsin, in Madison. When I crossed the finish line, I was overwhelmed by exhaustion, happiness, relief...I was finally done! The lead up to the race & my training had been exhausting, both mentally and physically. I'm not sure why training for this race was harder than my last one. One theory is that I had a training buddy for my last race, where I didn't this one. I did a lot of long bike rides and runs by myself. And, where sometimes, it's nice to go out by myself, I think I didn't realize how much I looked forward to training with my friend and how much I depended on her, and honestly, enjoyed training with her. I'd heard from many people that this race course (bike) was beautiful and the race in general was top notch. So, between my exhaustion and anticipation, I was ready for the race to start (and end!).

Swimming in Lake Monona

Yes, all those "splashes" are people! I'm somewhere in the mayhem.

Mom & Dad waiting for me to finish biking
I didn't panic at all, not once. This is HUGE for me. I've panicked in the swim in every single triathlon I've ever done, regardless of my training. In reality, I was a better swimmer (not necessarily faster!) than a lot of the athletes. So, I got stubborn & wasn't going to let them scare me (or hit me or drowned me, as in my nightmares!). I concentrated on my breathing and every few strokes, looked up for the buoy. I was touched and swum over and was able to keep cool. The course was a huge rectangle (1 loop), so the backside, farthest from the shore, was a mile and seemed long. People afterward mentioned a current against us, but I couldn't really tell, it just seemed long.

I think just about the entire race passed me on my bike! Really. I didn't think I was that slow, but I guess I am! I didn't let it bother me though, I just wanted to finish, I knew if I started "racing," it was going to be a long day. I didn't quite keep to my nutrition plan, but I did eat and drink (maybe too much, see below), knowing I had to fuel for the bike and the run. I was able to stay positive and in-the-moment during the bike. Towards the end, it did get a little long and I just wanted to be done. The course was hilly, but really beautiful. There was a headwind, which did get tiresome, and I think took a wear on me mentally and physically. I just tried to keep positive and concentrate on the next turn where I'd get out of the wind.

Until about mile 16, I felt pretty good on the run. I ran slowly and walked through the aid stations. Miles 11-16 felt really good; I felt I was getting into a rhythm. Then I started to get stomach cramps and had to use several (seemed like every one) porta potties. I walked at least 4 miles. I couldn't keep anything in me at this point and was feeling a little light headed. But, I still knew I'd finish. I just really couldn't wait to finish by this point. I'm not sure if I overate during the bike or I under-ate during all of my training rides...Or, if I just cannot do solid food in events like this. If I do another, I might try liquid nutrition.

Still feeling pretty good here.

Overall, I was able to stay positive and kept telling myself I can do this. It really helped me to have my family there, though I felt badly they had to wait so long for me to finish. But, I just kept reminding myself how lucky I was to be there and my family there with me. I was able (physically, financially) to participate, and I would get through it.
Finish line in the daylight

After the race, I headed to MN for some R&R. And I did nothing! It was so nice to see friends & family and take some time to regroup.

During training, I told myself I wouldn't do another race like this...I think I've started to rethink that...though I haven't signed up for anything just yet!


I finally got to meet Lola! She's cuter in the flesh than in photos.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Newest Carlson Kid

Lola--my brother and fiance's new puppy....I can't wait to meet her.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi follows the 85-year old owner & his family at Michelin 3-Star Tokyo subway station sushi restaurant. Inspiring film. Next time I'm in Tokyo, I'll stop by...!