Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ironman CDA 2010 Race Report

What an amazing experience. I could start from the day we arrived in CDA but that may make two whole books and I only want to write one. So I guess well go from race morning. How bout we start off the last post... Drinking coffee with my dad race morning. ---->

We all headed down to get body marked, check my bike, air up my tires, place all water bottles etc on my bike, turn in my special needs bags and I stopped once by my T1 bag to grab my inhaler for one puff before the start. The beach area was so crowded trying to get from one end to the other. I was freaking out trying to get back to see the family where I planned on putting on my wetsuit. Cathlene followed me close by and kept me from freaking too much. We made it to were everyone was, I pulled on my wetsuit and said my goodbyes. That was tough. "See you guys tonight". Knuckle bumped almost all 36 supporters with a little shake n bake and Cat and I headed toward the entrance to the beach. I put my two caps on (for extra warmth) hugged the hell outa Cat and slowly made my way down to the beach. I made my way to the water to splash myself and then down the beach to the very inside of the buoys. Got my goggles on and ready when they announced 2 minutes until the start.

Before you knew it the cannon went off and all nerves were aside, there was no turning back. I had a special lucky rock in my hand that I collected from Mexico last year at this time with Cat. We had decided then that this lucky rock would travel to CDA and be thrown into the water at the start. (Corney I know, don't judge me). I held on to the rock until I had to open my hand to swim. The first few hundred yards were INSANE, I didn't put my head down for the longest due to the water being so crowded. The red turn buoy seemed forever away and it felt like we would never get to it. I swam mostly on the inside of the buoys and then outside the turn buoy. The turn buoys are where I really feared for my life. It seemed to just stop right at the buoy and swimmers started piling up, you had to tread water for a good bit until everyone could get around and take back off. This meant for elbows to the face, kicks to the legs, and where I started feeling the first of the cramps. Nothing too bad,,, Yet. The swim was brutal. I don't see why its not part of the MMA fights. I started to get some water in my goggles but I toughed it out until we made it out of the first loop. Got out, let the water out of my goggle, and then right back in to the water. I kept telling myself to just stay calm and the swim would happen. I found some open water a couple of times but not enough to really stretch out and swim hard. I found myself singing the finding nemo song "just keep swimming, just keep swimming" to help me stay calm. This second loop is where I started feeling more cramps, first they started in my left calf, then worked up to my hams and when we hit the turn buoys again and had to stop, both legs were hit. OUCH! I made it though, made it to the beach and I was soooooo happy to be finished with the first part of the race. But as soon as I stood up, both legs locked. I hobbled my way out of the shoot and the cramps went away. I knew this was a bad sign, I hardly ever cramp and especially this bad. The wetsuit stripper did their job, as I was headed to the change tent I saw my uncle and aunt in transition asking if I needed anything. I think all I said was man I'm cramping. (I blame the cramps on the cold water)

2.4 Mile Swim = 1:21:09 (2:09/100m pace)

I got my helmet on, socks, shoes, vest, gloves, sunglasses, grabbed the arm warmers, nutrition in my vest etc etc.. Ran through the tent and my aunt was there with sunscreen for me. Made it to my bike, grabbed a bottle to put in my vest and headed on my way.

T1 = 7:56

Out on the bike I felt pretty good. It started off a little cold due to just getting out of the water and my toes were numb so I had on some arm warmers. I took my perpetuem every 30mins as planned. At mile 20 (where the hills really started) my chain popped off while going 7mph uphill. I had tired to shift to an easier gear and I guess shifted too far. I was already riding close to the shoulder with maybe 3 feet to the edge of the road. I was nervous as I unclipped and I heard a guy behind me yelling "hey, hey, hey!" He was trying to pass on my right and must have been right on my wheel. He fell into me from my right side, I put my left foot out to keep us both from falling over and this is where the toe of my cleat broke. I apologized to the guy where he then said he shouldn't had been trying to pass to my right. I thought yeah jerkface, it's not totally my fault. I felt so stupid and wanted to crawl in a hole. It was until I tried to clip back in did I notice something was wrong with my cleat. And then I remembered looking at them before the race thinking they were a little worn down. I just didn't want to change them that close to the race. I even asked my friend Phil about changing them. I was still able to clip in but something felt funny about them. Then I tried pulling up on the pedal and my foot would come right out. From here on I concentrated not to pull with my left leg, only push while pedaling. I scared myself pretty good while bombing down a hill and my foot slipped out of the pedal. And then when I tried to clip back in I kept catching cramps. I saw another aunt and uncle on the way back to CDA. Tried waving at them but I'm so super fast, hahah.. Made it back to town and saw the reason I kept pushing myself to the finish. All my family was there cheering me on. All my worries went away. Around mile 60 I stopped for a pee break and actually looked at the cleat. It was the lip on the toe part of the cleat that broke off. No worries, I made it 40 miles without it I'll be just fine. At special needs I grabbed some salty peanuts hoping they may fix the cramping. This second lap was pretty tough and I found the plastic that broke off my cleat on the same hill. I made myself smile and have fun, enjoyed the beautiful course. I would ride up to people and make jokes to try and pass the time. I had to stop once more and found a tree to water, also found a penny on heads that I picked up. The hills were tough and the wind going back into town was right in your face. I stuck to the plan and didn't push myself too hard on the bike.

112 Mile Bike = 6:43:45 (16.6 MPH)

I made it into T2 and boy was I happy to be off my bike. This was a great feeling. I got off the bike, a volunteer took it from me and racked it while I made my way to the change tent. A ton of my family was in T2, my sister right at my bag, my dad helped me change into my shoes and gave me my other garmin watch for the run. mom, Cat, bro in laws etc. were all there for me with anything I needed. I don't remember coming through transition very well, I do remember sitting down in the tent with my dad. I dumped the bag out to get my shoes and told him there was no way I would finish under 12 hours. I had to run a 3:30 or so marathon to break 12 hours and it just wasn't possible. He assured me that it was ok and to have fun and just finish. No problem dad, I got this.

T2 = 3:07

I started out hurting pretty bad on the run and that pretty much sums up the rest of the marathon. The first half mile I ran right what I planned on, just under 9 min mile pace and then my knees couldn't handle it anymore. I stopped to stretch but nothing helped. My knees were killing me due to the cramping I experienced beforehand (ITBS). If you know anything about ITBS you know that there is little to do once the pain sets in. It only gets worse the more you run. And I had 25 more miles to run. I thought if I could just hold 10 min miles I would be ok. I passed my family again around mile 3-4 and mentioned my ITBands and cramps. Then I was on my own for what seemed forever. The lake was beautiful to run beside and this kept my mind off the pain. I had started to try and run to each aid station, walking through them. (each aid station was about 1 mile apart). This turned into just running as far as I could until I couldn't handle the pain and then I would walk. Sometimes I would push myself a bit further and others I wouldn't make it 100 yards. I would gather as much as possible from each aid station. Chips, pretzels, water, ice, oranges, gatorade it all seemed great. I never felt ill or that my nutrition was off. If anything I may had taken in too much nutrition on the bike (stomach felt a bit full at times). At one point I stopped to get a rock out of my shoe and talked to a family who looked up my splits for me on their computer. Very nice people. I asked them for a beer... Made it back to town and I saw the inspiration again (family). Talked to Edwin and told him I was planning on just having fun, that there was no way I was going to have a good marathon time. That's ok though. Saw my dad, mom, Cat, jenn, travis, greg and the bro in laws etc. and tried to tell them the same. I'm here to finish, and I'm going to finish even if I have to crawl the rest of the way. It was hard seeing everyone at this time. I got real emotional and choked up. I wanted everyone to know that I was having the time of my life and it didn't matter how long it took me, I was going to be and Ironman that night. Made it back through where most of the family was set up and gave everyone my last high fives and such. I was on my own again for the next 10 or so miles. When I got back out to the lake area my sister and bro in law showed up (Jenn and Travis). And just before this I saw my cousins working an aid station that I didn't expect them to be at. I gave them hugs and this got me though the next few miles. Jennifer and Travis would drive up ahead of me, get out and take some pictures until I made it to them. They did this for miles 18-22 or so. Wow this helped so much. I would run when she held the camera up and walk when I saw the camera down (I couldn't have a picture of me WALKING!) haha. Ran walked my way back to town and I figure from mile 23 and on you couldn't wipe the smile off my face while running or walking. Volunteers would say "your almost there" I would pump my fist and just cheese! All these long training days, early mornings, late nights were paying off. I was about to finish. It wasn't until I made the last turn when I really knew I had made it. I wasn't about to walk this last stretch with hundreds of people cheering for you. Besides it was all downhill and the finishing shoot was glowing. Words cant describe my feelings when entering the finishing shoot, I made sure to find Cat and my parents. I stopped to give them hugs and others high fives. Nothing was going to take this moment from me. The finishing shoot was mine. The spectators were great and the energy was amazing. I crossed pumping my fist, (then the Crowie poise) and of course I didn't hear a sound. Everyone says you never remember or hear Mike Reilly say "You are an Ironman" and that seemed true for me. I didn't need to hear it. I had dreamed and visioned this moment for so long. I was there. In the moment. Crossing the finish line, AN IRONMAN.
23.6 Mile Run = 5:37:27 (12:53 pace)

Total Time = 13:53:22

I have so many people to thank for their support. You cant do this alone. From the long training days to the long race day you need your support there for you every step. You guys and girls that were there for me, We did it! My family that came in to support me was awesome! I cant thank you guys enough. I'm pretty sure we had the largest support group at IMCDA.
Ask me five years ago if I were ever to do an Ironman. "No way, not me, those guys are crazy". Bad things may happen but they can always be turned around. I'm coming up on three years of my accident. The Ironman reminded me of that pain, but just like the race, the pain don't last forever. You will have aches every so often but the positives always outweigh the negatives. Our minds and bodies are capable of amazing feats, we just have to push them a bit to get there.


Philip LaVoie said...


grant said...

dude - gonna cry in the office. not cool.

Congrats! inspirational story

Isela said...

Your report was awesome. I cried and cried. Thank you so much for inspiring others with your story. You are an Ironman! Congratulations :).

PS: the little rock in the swimming portion--way neat that you had this planned out.

Amy said...

Amazing, Jeremy. :D
It was so much fun to watch you finish! Thanks for such a wonderful report. I'm glad you had fun out there.

Samantha said...

This is a great recap - you really kept a good attitude about everything too! Beyond awesome that your entire fam came out for that & Cat rules!!

Bill Risch said...


Great story - and I know no matter what would happen to you on race day - you'd make it. I couldnt' have had more fun this year - either running with you in Houston or our fun times with Phil on the course in Austin! See you guys soon enough!

saroy said...

Congratulations on becoming an Ironman! I enjoyed your race report. :)

goSonja said...

Congratulations Ironman. Way to progress through the day, battling through the adversity that came about. You are put iron!

Donna D @donna_de said...

Amazing, inspiring, and sent chills up my spine. I've loved following your progress on the day, blog and tweets. Your recovery dedication and commitment are awesome and I hope I can get to Houston and go to Chuys to celebrate with you in person some day!

Cindy Springs said...

Thanks for sharing you experience. You have an amazing family!!

Kori Estrada said...

WOW...Jeremy your story was GREAT!! Congratulations on being an Ironman! You have a great family and with them being there I had no doubt that you would finish! I am sure, if I know Jennefer, she has millions of

Kat said...

YOU DID IT! I had no doubt, but now you have no doubt too. Congrats ironman - the fact that you became an ironman is something no one can ever take away from you.

Gusano said...

You guys are all so awesome! Thank you so much for your kind words and support.

Jamie said...

Okay, so you know I was following Cat's tweets and your IronmanLive updates all day, but it has taken me this long to actually read this whole post.

Dude, my heart is thumping out of my chest after reading this. Awesome race man. You are a champion. I love your attitude through the whole thing and that you had such a deep crew out in Idaho to support you.

Rock on.