"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Race Report: Ironman Coeur d'Alene - June 21, 2009

Alternative title #1: I was right, swimming sucks ass.
Alternative title #2: Two out of three ain't bad, well..., maybe it is.
Alternative title #3: Does 67% of an Ironman make me an alloy like ChromeMan? (Obligatory nerdy science title)

Let's get the unpleasantness out of the way first off, shall we?

Overall Time - DNF

For the record, I did not quit, the race quit me (someone very smart and very Iron told me that this weekend and I liked it) it sounds so much better than "I was too fat and slow to make the time cut offs, but too stubborn to leave the course until they made me", which is exactly the tale of my first Ironman attempt.

I will tell you that I cannot begin to thank all of you for your encouragement and support. The tracking comments and posts made me laugh and feel so special. And then, when it all went to shit, the outpouring of concern and kind words helped me see the positive side of a pretty fucking emotionally tough day.

Here is the story of Project Ironman, Take 1...

Pre-race: The Epic Road trip.

Hubby and I decided to take Ms. Lucy with us to Coeur d'Alene so we drove the 1200 miles to get there. Now, it is actually only 990+ miles, but we had to go visit the in-laws first in Washington. I will leave it at, we went, we saw them, and that family obligation is done until next year. 'Nuff said.

Some shots from the road:

The fam fam on the Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA

Jimi Hendrix grave in Renton, WA. the spots on his face are lipstick marks from mourners kissing his grave stone. Eww, but I would guess still probably cleaner than kissing the actual Jimi Hendrix.

Lucy was not impressed. Personally, I don't see the big draw either.

The Crooked River Gorge Redmond, OR.

Tacky little diner in Weed, CA that had the BEST French dip sandwich I have EVER eaten. I am a HUGE fan of tacky diners. The tackier the better!

These two gorgeous creatures are mine, all mine. *smug grin*
Taken at Castle Crag State Park

Pre-Race: IM Check in

When we got to Coeur d'Alene it was time to get checked in. Packet pick up on Friday went pretty smooth and I was amazed at how calm I was. I chatted with a a beautiful, leggy Canadian girl in line. It was her first IM and she was excited that she did not have to feel the pressure of speed like when she is at Olympic races and she is trying to win her age group.

Yeah, me too. So nice to not have THAT pressure.

Setting up the gear bags

On Friday I was going to skip the pre-race dinner and just go to the meeting, but some of the gals that train with my coach talked me in to going and I am glad I did. During the dinner and meeting Izaac (Formulaic) and I were texting and we met up after dinner. It was so nice to get to see him and Kelly and meet their beautiful baby Kian before the race. I am so grateful to this internet/blog world for introducing me to great friends like them. From the time we met it was like we had been friends for years. We just 'get' each other.

Small aside: My friendship with Kelly is a testament to my HUGE growth as a woman. In a past life I would never be able to be friends with a woman that was so gorgeous, smart, funny and looks so freaking good a mere 3 weeks after giving birth that she could wear a bikini out to dinner. I am just saying...

On Saturday I met up with IronJane. She was there to volunteer in T1 and the Med tent. I do not think I could have had a better day-before-race than I did. We went to lunch, talked about Ironman, training, dogs, life, etc. I really think that it put me in a perfect pre-race mental space.

Day before Ironman CdA.
RBR and IronJane in front of a nice calm Lake Coeur d'Alene. Stupid fucking lake.

Race Day: The Ominous Morning

My dad and I got up early race morning and I sat on the deck of our rental house, drinking my coffee, and watching the white caps on the lake. I was currently facing my worst case scenario.


It was cold and windy, which I would not have minded so much had that not meant the water was going to be rough. For those of you that have followed my IM training you already know that a rough swim had the power to end my Ironman faster than anything else.

Oddly, I was pretty calm. I was resigned to the fact that I was here to do this regardless of the conditions. I knew that my odds of making the cut offs just dropped dramatically.

Not a happy camper

I had already decided that I would not leave the course until they made me. It was time to do this. About 10 minutes before the start I got in to get wet before the swim. I always do this so I don't have the shock of the cold water right in the beginning of the swim. It helps control my breathing so my asthma does not cause issues. The water temperature was about 65 which is very comfortable in a wetsuit and MUCH warmer than the ocean water I have been swimming in.

The Swim: 2:16:48/T1 9:55

The canon went off with no warning and no pre-race pep talk. I waited while the fasties got in and started swimming and then meandered into the water staying to the far right. It must have worked because I did not get hit. Not once. I did not get kicked or swum over. It was actually one of the tamer swim starts I have had in a triathlon. I was waiting for the Ironman washing machine, but one never came. I just got in and started swimming.

The swell and current was disheartening, but I had taken Bonine (motion sickness medication) and held my own for the first loop. 58:20, a normal pace for me and pretty good considering I swam extremely wide for the first loop and was fighting swell and current.

Heading back out for another beating.

I got back in for the second loop and the conditions got significantly worse. I fought like hell just to get to the first turn buoy. The swell would pull me up and then drop me back on the water, smacking my face on the water like the bottom of a boat. Over and over A-fucking-GAIN. It was maddening. I had to swim at a diagonal to keep heading toward the buoys because the current was pulling me to the far right and every time I looked up to sight, I swallowed another gallon of lake water. I have never hydrated so well in my life as I did on that swim.

The far turn buoys were just terrifying for me. The swell loomed over you and then tossed you around like a rag doll. By time I reached the last turn buoy to head in I was so seasick. After another 50 yards I was retching and the first of several kayaks and surfboard guys came over to me and asked how I was. I told him I was sick. It was 8:43 am. He said, "don't worry you have plenty of time." I had about 900 yards to go and it would turn out to be the hardest 900 yards of my life. I would swim a few strokes and then have to look up and breathe. A surfboard guy named Jesse (yeah, at this point I am on a first name basis with the rescue crew) came up and starts cheering me on.

Here is where I hit the wall. I was clinging to his surfboard retching and crying (I know, so cool) I was shaking and wanted so badly to quit. I MUST get out of this fucking water.

Jesse: "Stacey, you can do this!"

Me thinks: Why don't you have a fucking jet ski? A surfboard would take FOREVER to get me out of here.

Jesse: "Come on, only four buoys to go."

Me thinks: If I flip Jesse off that thing, I can get in faster. Fuck him. He can swim.

Jesse: "You can't be seasick on land!"

Me thinks: How much lake water HAVE I drank?!

Jesse: " You are doing great. Only two buoys to go."

Me thinks: Your entire family and your best friends took their vacation time and spent A LOT of money to come up here and cheer you on, suck it up and JUST FUCKING SWIM!

And finally, mercifully, it was done. I staggered out of the water to a roar of cheering and applause. I was so sick I couldn't even see my family who were screaming their heads off. My mom had been crying and everyone was totally freaked out by the mass start and how long it took me on the second loop. This was their first triathlon. Maybe Ironman was not the best way to indoctrinate them.

Staggering out of the swim. You know you look MARVELOUS when not one, but two volunteers walk you up to transition.

I assumed that I had missed the cut off. I kept waiting for them to pull my chip. I hit the wetsuit strippers and they told me to sit down. I immediately fell over and I heard people gasp.

"I am fine. Just sick. Very sick." I kept repeating.

At that point IronJane came running up screaming her head off.

IronJane: "You did it! You did so great!!"

Me: I made the cut off?

IronJane: "Yes! You are so awesome!" (Jane seriously missed her calling. If this doctor thing doesn't work out she should consider professional cheerleading)

Jane and I heading into T1 tent. I am soooo grateful she was there.
I am not sure what is worse in this picture, the green, I-am-gonna-puke expression on my face or my GINORMOUS, wet spandex wrapped ass.

Then about 45 volunteers (I was last, so there was no one else for them to work on) descend upon me and start dressing me for the bike. I can not move I am so nauseous. It is all I can do to not throw up on them.

Me thinks: Holy shit, I am still in this thing

The Bike: 8:14:32 (unofficial)

I knew that with that bad of a swim time that my odds of making the bike cut offs were bad. Like im-fucking-possible bad, but my motto had become "you are not leaving this course until they make you," so I soldiered on.

It took a couple of miles before the seasickness wore off. I started sipping water and by mile 10 I was able to eat. When I passed my family at mile 15-ish I screamed I am feeling better! I pushed as hard as I could. My new goal was to make to 1:30 pm cut off at mile 56.

I was passed by the first pro about 4 miles in (yeah, he was over 50 MILES ahead of me. Whatever. This is his job) A girl on the side of the road yelled to me, "Come on! You can catch him!" That cracked me up. This set the tone for my ride. I was the happy, smiling girl that was last. I remained that girl for the entire ride (well, there was a brief bitchy snit fit, but I will get to that). I must have said 'thank you' 10,000 times to spectators, volunteers, and race officials. Everyone was SUPER nice. I may have been last, but I was damn happy and damn proud to be there.

There was a group of drunk bikers that were tailgating, spectating and cheering for riders with a megaphone. They were very amused by me. They went ape shit every time I went by. It was kind of cool.

The downside of remaining the last rider is that I became the Ironman Grim Reaper of the bike course. If I passed you, you were done. It may not be immediately, but eventually everyone I passed dropped and SAG'd in. So let the record reflect that I did actually pass some people!

As I headed out to Hayden Lake and the hills I was on a mission. The hills were steep but short and I rode up every one of them without stopping or walking. Both loops. Now, I am in no way sitting "high atop my seat of judgment" for those that had to stop or walk up them. I just have to take my "Boo yah's" and "Go me's" where I can get them. I trained hard for these goddamn hills and I am proud that I rode up every mother fucking one of them. And there were plenty of them. Believe me.

Pros were passing me left and right at this point and several of them cheered me on by name. For the record, Justin Henkel, Annette Kamenz, and Jeff Kimball are extremely nice people.

The really shitty part of this bike course is that you do not get much of a reward after climbing the hills. The downhills are short and most of them end in a hairpin turn that you have to brake on before climbing up yet another fucking hill. Therefore, you do not get to use your momentum to help get up the next hill, nor do you get a long down hill to help raise your average speed. I call it the "lose/lose" of the CdA bike course.

I started to get passed by the WAY hardcore age group riders and several of them were so nice cheering me on. One guy even said, "Good stretch Stacey, Find your rhythm. You are looking great!" I wish I could remember his name.

I hit the first timing mat at 35 miles (I don't remember the time) and I knew it was going to be a stretch to get to 56 miles by 1:30 pm. Push, push, push. Finally back I got back in town. My Garmin was off by about 2 miles (trouble finding a satellite in bum fuck Idaho) and my bike computer was about 3 miles ahead since I forgot to clear it from my 'check to see if the bike is ok' ride. I wasn't sure exactly when 56 was. I assumed there would be a timing mat.

Where is the fucking 56 mile mat?

No mat. Nice.

I kept going and assumed I made the cut off. I later found out that I made the cut off by less than 2 minutes.

I got to special needs and knew I could not stop. I had no wiggle room. I yelled out that I wanted my coke, sandwich, and chips and the gracious volunteers humored me as I am sure they were thinking "Really, we are going all 'Tour du France' style and you are dead fucking last?"

I immediately dropped the sandwich, but I somehow got the coke open and ate some chips while riding. The coke was a LIFE SAVER. It lit a fire under my ass and I was ready to tackle Hayden Lake again. I passed a girl about this time and she asked,

Dead Girl Riding: Did you see a 56 mile mat?

Grim Reaper (Me): No, but they didn't stop me, so I assumed I made the cut off and I was behind you so I think we are fine.

Dead Girl Riding: I am not going back out to Hayden Lake If I am not getting credit. I am going to flag down an official.

That was the last time I saw her. I did not have time for all of that. I am not leaving until they make me, so it does not matter.

A little while later, a motorcycle pulls up next to me and asks me how I am doing. I tell him I am great. He says, "Well, we are going to keep an eye on you because you are the last rider." I would hear that about 47,000 times over the next 47 miles.

I hit the Hayden Lake hills again and I swear they were easier this time around. I was feeling really good. I was joking with the volunteers and spectators and even with my grumpy motorcycle escort. I passed several people that were waiting on the side of the road for SAG or walking up a hill. Other riders heading back into town looked shocked that someone was still heading out. But I smiled and cheered them on and they cheered me on.

As I descended to the mile 90 turn around I saw them flip the orange timing mat into the truck.


When I got there they stopped me.

Me: Do I turn around here?

Timing Mat Flipper: Yes, but I have to take your chip. You are not going to make it.

Me: What?

Timing Mat Flipper: You are at the farthest point of the course. You won't make the cut off. I have to take your chip. Sorry.

Me thinks: They should have sent a bigger dude to take my chip. You could get hurt this way, sport.

Me says: I have an hour and half to the cut off.

Timing Mat Flipper: You won't make it. You can wait here for SAG to bring you in.

Me: Can I finish the course?

Timing Mat Flipper, as he removes my chip: Yes

And with that my Ironman was officially over.

As I rode away, I was so angry. Why the fuck would they not tell us there was another cut off at 4 pm at mile 90? (I got there at 4:03pm by the way) I caught up with another gal Susan that had just had her chip removed as well. She said, "Bummer, huh? Maybe I should just SAG in. It is getting really cold and now it is raining."

She was so much calmer than me, but not after I got done with her. By time we reached the next hill, she was as pissed as me. I am pretty sure she never swears as much as we did. But what she lacked in vulgar vocabulary she made up for in enthusiasm. I like to think she will blossom under my tutelage.

They were picking up the cones and pulling the directional arrows on the course so it made a little slower going getting back as we tried to figure out which way we were supposed to go. It was cold, windy and raining, and all of the spectators had moved on, but I was meeting my goal, I was not leaving the course until they made me.

When we got back closer to town my drunk bikers were still out there and as I approached they started screaming and cheering saying "There's our girl! You are first place in our book!" and then they held out beers like an aide station.

As we approached Coeur d'Alene, I got a new motorcycle escort, but this one was a total sweetheart. For 10 miles he stopped traffic for me and made sure that I was safe through the busy streets. We laughed and joked and he kept me pushing until the very end. I did not casually cruise back into town, or ride in dejected and beaten. I came in smiling and pushing hard.

I didn't even cry until I saw my dad. Then I sobbed. I knew I could run. I was pretty damn sure I could run a marathon, but it wasn't to be. It was not my day to be an Ironman, but don't count me out.

This story isn't done yet.


Aileen said...

I give you credit for even attempting it. I'd never do it. And I doubt I'd make it through the swim.

So people kiss Hendrix's grave too? Just like Oscar Wilde's in Père Lachaise...

Triple Threat Ladies said...

I just stumbled onto your blog and wanted to say that I think you are awesome for hanging in there. No one can understand all of the training and effort it takes just to make it to the starting line of an Ironman race unless they have been there. With all of your determination I am sure you will be crossing the finish line before too long!

Unknown said...

Stacey, you ROCK!! What terrible conditions to have to swim in. Blech. Stupid choppy lake.

The reason I was so concerned (as I mentioned before), I was pretty darn sure you wouldn't walk off the course voluntairly and when there wasn't a 90mi time, I figured something terrible had happened - of course that's b/c I didn't know about the cutoff at that point.

But being the ROCKSTAR that you are, of course you finished the bike portion.

I love your fiesty attitude. Never forget how awesome you are.

Fe-lady said...

Chapter Two coming...
better luck in your next race. You have plenty of time to finish an IM...
Crying is allowed after a not-so-successful race.
Glad you did and now you can plan for the next adventure.
How you still wrote a funny, entertaining report of a DNF race tells me you have loads of talent.
Thanks for writing...

JenZen said...

Your race post just totally brought me to tears. You are amazing. Seriously. Through all that you persevered and pushed through the pain and sickness and kept going and going and going. I am so proud to read your blog and just get a glimpse of all that you do.

Now I have to go find a damn tissue.

Aron said...

you are so amazing!!!!! you have so much heart and pure determination that I KNOW you will get that ironman finish someday very soon. I am so sorry it wasn't your day, but you know its coming.

that lake was very mean and I had heard about it early that morning and was thinking about you. I cannot imagine what it was like out there.

be very proud of yourself lady!!

Alisa said...

Wow, I am so in awe of your attitude- you gave it your all and came in pushing hard and smiling.

You are such an inspiration!

Your IM is out there, can't wait to read the news when you kick it in the ass!

Jenny Davidson said...

Yes - there is no doubt that a DNF in the first Ironman attempt is a huge disappointment, but it happens to many and you are taking it very stoically - you will have a very good shot at making it the next time!

Anonymous said...

AMAZING!!!!! I can't even imagine attempting an Ironman especially with those swimming conditions! You're SO strong for pushing yourself and not stopping until they amde you. Congrats and you will get that IM finish!!!!

Anonymous said...

So sorry; you had an awesome attitude about it the whole time. I know you'll do it again!!! You really are inspiring.

You rock!

Anonymous said...

You are iron in my book, and also my new hero. Swimming in water with no waves makes me nauseous - I can't imagine swimming in that kind of choppiness! You are 100% true-blue kickass awesome!!!

StephB said...

Yay, here is the report! I'm so sorry that you got cut-off. That was a tough swim. Big props for finishing the bike and not SAGing out - I was cussing with you and your friend as I read along. You rock!

My husband (swim is also not his favorite) is doing the Beach 2 Battleship IM as his first one in November, if you are looking for some revenge (and a with-the-current swim, and a nice flat bike and run). Just saying . . .

Sarah said...

you.fucking.rock. seriously. we have to meet sometime. I am so proud of you and I don't even know you all that well, but I'm just bursting with pride that you finished that bike course.

and now I'm scared shitless, because I signed up.

Stef0115 said...

You did yourself real proud out there Stacey. Reading about your swim made me cry. So been there, hanging onto a kayak and crying with fear and frustration.

Your next iron swim will be easy compared to that. Whoever suggested B2B that idea was a good one. Plus I'll be there doing the half! :-)

Congratulations!! Seriously not many other than you and your new friend would have gone on to finish the bike course. You made the absolute MOST of the situation.

Can't wait for your next adventure!

Hoolia said...

Oh man, I am so blown away you soldiered on past the swim! Of course, your whole blog is proof of your badassery, but even so, wow. Nausea is the worst feeling in the world for me. Good for you for going balls out to the very end. I'm about as proud of you as a stranger reading your blog can be!

Carolina John said...

that swim was tough. i know i barfed twice durin my recent oly. it's not fun.

glad you finished the bike. i'm real pround of you. small victories are still sweet.

Regina said...

RESPECT! I was hanging on every word. I tell you, as God as my witness, as soon as you said you didn't cry until you saw you Dad, I started crying too.

Your will, gutsy determination and refusal to give up make you a winner in my book. In fact, I'd say you had a harder job keeping your head in the game with the positive attitude you did, than any of the winners that day.

As far as I am concerned, you kicked ass girl!

EatRantRun said...

I'm so glad you're ok!!

Your worst nightmare swim and you made it through; that is a lot of mental strength gained right there.

The unexpected bike cutoff sucks ass.

Life is long. There is plenty of time to try again, and I'm pretty sure you will....next year?

Bootchez said...

Boo-yah! Go, you! You *so* fucking rock! To keep it together and keep biking in the face of 'defeat' (or, more properly, 'de-matting') says so much about your character and determination -- I for one am more impressed with you toughing it out with attitude than if you had finished without spirit. Really, I will keep this race report of yours front and center as I start my race season in a few weeks, just to refer to it when things go wrong for me (as they surely will). So classy!

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

You are a true survivor. That water sounded truly awful! I don't think I would have stopped at that point either! Stupid time cutoffs! There will be another and you will do it!!

Lisa said...

Wow! That was a wonderful race report. You inspire me. Way to go on a hard-fought race.

Julie said...

One of the most inspiring race reports I've ever read! You are amazing!

Kelly said...

Stacy, you are amazing!!It was so good to see you again. I am sorry that the day didnt turn out the way you planned but you still did more than most people.

I would have given up much earlier but you have such strength and determination. Again, amazing!!

run to eat said...

Been looking all week for this report and cried a little, laughed a little and am so inspired by your strength after reading it. You are amazing. Now, go get your marathon fix in SF!

colby said...

I did IMCdA this year (I am local) and actually came to your race report via Athena Diaries. To me, people like you are the people that make Ironman - people that tough it out, that are on the course the longest, that have the mental toughness to keep going. Conditions WERE bad. Making it through that bike course is a HUGE victory after that nasty swim (hell it's a huge victory any day). The fact that you got on your bike puts you ahead of SO MANY people who DNFed after the swim - and there were upwards of 225 other people that also DNFed, that's at least 10% of the people who started. You weren't alone.

Keep at it. You will be (officially) Iron. If you come to Coeur d'Alene again, I will cheer you on. I will also offer to curse with you at those fucking hills. I do it regularly. ;o)

The woman who finishes the race (however you finish) is not the same woman who starts the race. You showed up to the start. You kept going. For that, you rock.

Willie said...

Thanks for taking some more of my man-hood! I'm crying now, thanks.

I fucking love you! I feel like a total star for having met you. That's right all you other readers, I've met her! She DOES totally rock!

See you at Redman? Much smaller lake and my running club runs the BEST aid station on the course.

Calyx Meredith said...

OMG - you are amazing. I don't know that I could have kept going once they pulled my chip. You are most definitely chromealloy (or whatever the heck you said at the beginning) - and you are surely gold and diamonds and definitely iron that just needs a chance to get acknowledged. Please, please, please come to B2B. :D

AND I love that you took the gal under your wing and had a cursefest. Keep on girl!

René said...

Kudos on your perserverence - I'm just blown away by all the training and preparation involved. BTW I love the non-chalant look on Lucy's face.

Lindsay said...

:( i thought there was a dnf when i kept trying to refresh my stalking-you page and it only said the mile 34 time. i thought for sure something had just malfunctioned with your chip! but when i checked the next morning i was worried it wasn't your chip. i was bummed for you!

i hope you are proud of yourself for what you did accomplish - especially for not coming off the course until they made you! (and not catching a sag ride in) i have no doubts that you are an ironman, and i hope you will take the challenge on again soon!

i am really mad about that ~90 mile guy. i know you would have made it!!

i am proud of you, can't wait to hear about your future endeavors so don't give up!

Aka Alice said...

4:03...4-fucking-03. I think I would have killed someone...

That you swam in those conditions and then even got on a bike is beyond me.

You are so my hero Stacey.

Diana said...

Such great inspiring words at the end of what was I'm sure a hard report to post: "I'm not done yet!" Well said!
Congrats and proud of you for getting in there and doing it!

Southbaygirl said...

Fuck that lake and it's choppy water....and fuck the timing mat guy!!! 3 minutes-come on dude! get a life!!!! He sucks! But you rock!!! You are an IRONWOMAN to me!!!! And you will beat the course SOON!!!

Jo Lynn said...

I'm sorry you didn't get to run and complete your IM. I'm sure you're disappointed but you're a goddess in my book.
I had pacers pushing me on the 21st. They are annoying, ren't they? LOL

I hope to see you soon. ;)

Anonymous said...

WOW - your mental strength is amazing! It sucks not being able to finish, but to finish that ride even when you knew your day was over, that took guts and you should be really proud of yourself!

Kim said...

Great race report. Good for you to keep going.
I've DNF'd 4 100 mile races-one I pussied out of, two I timed out out, and the latest I deliberately dropped-took my ball and went home.It's far better when you time out.
Sometimes you need just about perfect conditions to get that finish-sounds like what you and I both needed in our latest attempt.
So when's the next IM?

kristen said...

Sorry I'm a deadbeat commenter, but I have been foloowing for a while. I'm not going to blow smoke up your ass, but damn - You totally inspired my ass. Not that I am stupid or crazy enough to start training for IM, but you really had me thinking about how rewarding it would be even if you are in last. Preserverence BIG TIME! Nobody can take that away from you.

Anonymous said...

Way to go! I am so impressed! I'm afraid to think that I would have sat down when they took my chip!

Es --- IRONMAN! said...

Good on you for finishing that bike ride after the horrible water conditions!

Your perserverance, determination, and humor will be on my mind in 14 days when I attempt my first IM (Switzerland).

And should it come down to it, God help the person who tries to take my chip!!!!!!

SWTrigal said...

OMG what a race report!! the fact that you went on after all that seasickness is beyond me.Way to hang in there and you will make it next time! The swim is hardly ever that difficult and you survived! You had me with tears when i read you burst out crying when you saw your dad. Never give up on the dream!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

What an incredible race report. Sorry to read it was such a tough swim, and that 3 minutes totally sucks. Your will and strength to continue after they took your chip speaks volumes about you... you are one very strong woman. Congrats on giving everything you had... you'll be back.

ShirleyPerly said...

Indeed, reading about your swim brought back memories of my IMFL swim. Very similar conditions, unfortunately, except that you made the cut-off -- WOOHOO!!!

Way to get out there and give it your best. I don't know what to say that's not already been said but if you choose to do another one this year, I would love for it to be Beach to Battleship in November so I can meet you (finally) and we could toe the line together. It would truly be an honor, really!

Isela said...

You are amazing! Your enthusiasm and heart that you put into this race shows through your words.

Great job in not giving up the bike section when they told you to! You are a rockstar in our hearts!

Jane said...

I am so proud of you anyway.
And quit talking badly about your body!! You're being abusive to a friend of mine!
I agree with Shirly. Maybe consider Battleship one. Misty was suggesting it.

The Original MAJ said...

As always, I love your race report. I have far too many things to say to put in this little box.

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to read this . ..

Kolla said...

You made it to the start line, that's more than most of us!
So how about IMFL 2010.... I'm thinking about it!

Jessica said...

Great job Stacey! You are an Ironwoman in my book and I know you will be when given another opportunity. Way to keep at it!!

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

stupid lake! I say you need a do-over. You know you can do this thing.


PunkRockRunner said...

Look at the bright side, at least your swim cap matched the white caps on the lake. Like I said before, very few people have the balls to get to the starting line to begin with and you, my dear, have got some major balls!!

I wonder if the mat flipper knows how close they came to having a bike shoved up their ass?

Can't wait to see you at the SFM!!

All the best,


Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

Idaho is living in it's own private one. Great that you even got to the starting line and then finished that swim! d'Alene can be a nightmare on a boat when it is whitecapped. Congrats for all your effort. You are my favorite Bitch running! One of my favorite Running Blogs out there.

IronSnoopy said...

I'm sitting on my couch crying - scratch that - *sobbing* after reading your report. Moose thinks I've lost it.

YOU ROCK, BITCH! You ARE the epitome of an Iron Spirit. It's how much can you take and keep on going. Not just during the race -- the whole year leading up to it.

I bow to you.

(And I love that Lucy went!)

undermyownsteam said...

I didn't have time to read all of the comments so I'm sorry if somebody else said this...

You are my hero.

I think about you all the time when I'm training - I mean I'm not like a freak or anything (well not like that anyway). You are so fucking tough. When I get down and feel crappy, I remember how tough you are and I can go just a little bit more.

Thanks for sharing yourself. I hope someday to get to race with you (sort of again).

I hope you can do the B2B - if not this year then another year. We damn sure will be there cheering you on if not racing with you.

R. Jeffrey Davis said...


I don't think I have EVER seen so many comments to such a bravely written race report. EVER. Great job and you inspire many (including me).

Herself, the GeekGirl said...

Nor should it be. Remember on July 16th some Redman slots will open up. Bookmark this page () and get up early. I'd love to see you there. Keep training. http://www.redmantriathlon.com/Registration/tabid/54/Default.aspx

Terri Schneider said...

When races don't go my way I've always held onto the motto - "you keep going until they get the hook and pull you off the course." To this day after 48 years of racing I still follow this rule. They can take your race but they can never take your drive and determination. You can then carry those virtues into your next Iman...
Good work girl!

BarryManTriathlon said...

Friggin Hysterical - Just a few Swim Lessons and you'll finish next time--no problem. You hung in there though, and hopefully had some fun. I hope you are signed up for next year.

Formulaic said...

So...um...what's up?

Still out there? We miss you and you've got a bike to ride, a run to run and a swim to well....swim.

All joking aside, you are 140.6. I think about you and your attitude. You never once quit, you never once said I "can't". You had the endurance. You have the strength. You are SO MUCH stronger than you were before a year ago.

Take a good look at your self and how bad ass you have become, Mrs. "not walking up those hills" (which btw a lot of people did, I saw at least 10-15).

You are ready. Just find the next venue and be ready to rock.

Now...get out there and ride!

The Stretch Doc said...

you are the definition of Ironman and I am proud to know you and have seen you smile.

All in due time, i know it will come.

Yes, Jane is a superstar. Saw her at Buffalo Springs and have known her from Houston, glad you met her.


richvans said...

Great post! Be proud that you fought through the swim. If you watched the summary video - at least 3 ended up on the pontoon. I'm sure they're real glad for the exposure. Way to give it your all. There's such a razor thin margin for completion - however, taking what the day offers and doing our best is the real success. For me it was reaching the point where I no longer wanted to continue but continuing on with the support of my sherpa's - that was my success.

Donald said...

Ugh. I've been away fro the computer for about a week, so I'm quite late getting to this. I'm very sorry to hear about the DNF.

Mile 90 sure seems like a strange location for a cutoff point, that's for sure. You've only got 22 miles to go and they don't think you'll make it in 90 minutes? That's kind of harsh.

Congrats on getting yourself to the start line and working through all of your issues on the swim, and for pushing out all those miles on the bike when you were uncertain whether you'd be pulled. That's a tough situation to feel fired up about, so I admire you for sticking it out as long as you did.

Your finish line is out there - you'll just have a more scenic journey to get there. Good luck from here.

RoadBunner said...

I think you did awesome!!!! That swim sounds horrendous and I give you major high-fives for finding the courage to finish it. And THREE minutes?! That is NOTHING!!! Next time you will totally kill it. Great job finishing up the bike. I am glad everyone was so supportive out on the course. You are seriously my hero.

Anonymous said...

What a great race report! I felt like I was there cheering you on and was so disappointed when they pulled your chip. You will make it through an Ironman at some point, I am sure of that!

Donna said...

Wow! Your grit and determinations is exactly what IRONMAN's are made of! You may not have had an "official" overall time, but damnm you hung in there and persevered. Not many would have. It's been a pleasure (and a laugh or two) reading your blog!

I'm a sh*tty runner, so your blog title caught my eye. :)

Paula (Adventure Junkie Mom) said...

I just today found your blog and wanted to say WOW, you have some determination!!! I live in CdA, and am racing IMCDA this summer. I hope you give CdA another chance. Way to hang in there!
Also funny, I grew up in Redding, CA, was just there in Nov, and took pics on that Sundial bridge. Small world. If you ever get back up this way, please contact me.
Loved reading your post, but it made me scared as hell. =)
Good luck at Vineman. That's on my list someday!!

Lindsey said...

I know this was a long time ago, but I've got to tell you that you're freaking awesome. Someday, I'll probably DNF an IM, and I can only hope I have the same peppy (heh) attitude that you did finishing up that bike ride. I just found your blog a couple days ago, but I love it.