Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kona! 2014 Ironman World Championships

Ten days have passed since I raced in my 3rd Ironman World Championship. Only 10? A lot has happened in those 10 days so I guess it's no wonder I still feel like I go hit by a bus.  I have so much to say and yet I am at a loss for words. The race report on this is going to be a slow release. I'll write in pieces as I feel like it and as I come up with the words to express the way I feel.  
This one carries a lot of emotion. Why? Don't they all? Yes.... but this may be my last.  I love this event... but I'm not sure I'll head back for another 140.6.  I guess we never say never and even my husband looks at me with a tilted head and certain look in his eye when I say that. But seriously.... for now it is on the shelf. 

My cherished Medal- albeit crooked here :) 

At the end of the day, Ironman day that is, I crossed the line in 18th in the world, in my age group. Top 20. The 40-44 women's age group is one of the fastest in the sports.  I was the 5th American woman to finish in that age group. Did I want more? Of course. I was 7th last time, in 2011. Am I proud of myself? Hellyeah. That was a Beast of a day and I'll be 45yrs old  in 2.5  months.  Unlike when I was an age group swimmer and was at the "top" of the 13-14 yr old age group ( for ex ), being the old girl doesn't pay off anymore.  I didn't just finish that race last week, I raced it from start to finish. I worked as hard as I could. Was I slower than last time? Yes I was. Am I ok with that? Well... no. I am disappointed. However, it was not the same race. It was not the same at all.  On paper it is always the same. But on the Queek K, it can be  a Whole different ball game.  

I have smiled about my day, I have felt proud about my performance and I have also cried big fat crocodile tears.  It's that sort of emotional rollercoaster. For years, literally years, I have put my heart and soul into preparing for those 140.6 miles.  I planned on it going just the way I visualized it during all my very very very long hard training weeks.  I prepared in every way possible. But it did not go according to plan. And yet, my race was not a failure. I didn't have a Bad day. I walked away from that island a much tougher person then when I landed there.  The little blue tracking dot did move slowly at times...but that was thanks to some serious serious winds pushing my big white sail of a bike back and forth on the road. But I didn't stop. I kept moving forward all day long.

So....I didn't walk away with a wooden bowl like I dreamed.  If I was already 45, I would have placed 3rd.  Third!?! Sigh...  But, I am only 44! For 2.5 more months....  :)   Never wish time away!! 

I'm back in Maine, I'm happy to be here for our  beautiful Fall and I'm sorting through the race piece by piece. I will write this blog and think it over for a few more days and then it's time to move on and move away.  It was truly incredible to be one of the relatively few Ironman athletes that qualified for the World Championships this year. I am proud and honored to have accomplished that, I am proud of overcoming the rough beastly conditions of 10/11/14 on that Big beautiful lava covered island and I am going to hold my head high when I talk about my day.  And, what blew me away more than anything and has given me the biggest 'hug', is the amazing amount of support I received from people both before and after the race. I had so many well wishes, I couldn't believe it. I continue to go back and ready them for that warm fuzzy.  One of the best things? Three college swim team friends were together at UVM the day before and surprised 'face-timed' me! How fun is that? We lost our connection pretty fast but it was still the happiest surprise.  

Look at this place!!! 

My 3 Ironboys!!!  Flying the TriMoxie "flag" waiting for Mommy to run down Palani to the finish!!!  

A look down Ali'i from our condo 

Beautiful waters 

post race dinner-- lookin' a little wobbly & worn out still 

Bannar from this year 

My guys on our lanai-- or The "larry" as they called it 3 yrs ago for some reason. The term stuck with us and it is now all we call it. 

And the bannars from my 2 previous years on the Big Island 


Marisa said...

You are amazing. That is all.
Hugs :)

Jennifer Harrison said...

TOTALLY understand.

You raced hard. You raced well and were top 20 in the AG. Take that away. You were injury free and ready to race - and will be 45 in 2.5 months - ANOTHER great take away.

It is a tough, tough race when the conditions are less than favorable for sure.

But, hold your head up high - celebrate all you've accomplished and rest deep and hard. :)

Look at 45-49 AG!

Jennifer Harrison said...

Meant to say "look OUT 45-49 AG!" :)

John said...

You raced hard and did the best you could on the day. No one can ask for more than that, not even you. Congrats on a good race.

MaineSport said...

Put your results in context. It was a brutal day and you still had a great day. In many ways, this could be your greatest victory. As for many, the pressure you put on yourself over the past year was incredible given that you only had one day to perform. So many things can go wrong, yet you persevered. Great work! We're amazed and proud of your accomplishments!

Unknown said...

Ange! you were a rockstar on a very tough day. congrats friend! - kim k.