About Me

I am a mother of three very hungry, busy boys. A Wife to a helicopter pilot and my most amazing support and sponsor of my triathlon lifestyle! I am the owner of Perseverance Multisport Coaching in Whistler, BC. I coach athletes competing in short to long course distance triathlons. I started racing triathlon in 2003 in my first sprint distance race and gradually worked my way up to the Ironman level racing. This past July, I completed my 9th Ironman Canada race! In 2009, My goal one day is to qualify for Ironman Hawaii World Championships and show my boys that with a lot of commitment, hard work and determination "Anything is Possible"! I hope that I can instill the love of sport and living life to its fullest every day to my boys and to everyone I am able to share my healthy triathlon lifestyle with!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Subaru Ironman Canada 2008!




Training for and racing Ironman reminds me of the Christmas and New Years holiday season. We have the big build up of x-mas shopping buying everything and anything hoping it's going to be the best gift, baking, eating, stressing over money, (swimming, biking, running, eating tons, sleeping, working, purchasing everything and anything that will make us faster etc.) Then the big day!! (Ironman) We get to open the presents!... Some are what we hoped for (I finished!), some totally take us by surprise! (my medical tent visit) We are mostly happy, but mentally and physically exhausted. Then the next day it is all over! A bit anti-climactic, back to reality, and we start cleaning up for the new year.

Every year that I have trained and raced Ironman Canada has been a completely different journey! I think for me, that is what makes it so addicting and I can't help myself. I have to sign up again!! If I didn't, I would always wonder what experiences I would be missing if I didn't participate. I definitely can say, I do not feel as mentally exhausted as I did last year. I look back to last year and just think about how much pain I was in the whole time, and how much garbage, mentally, I was carrying with me through my training and then racing IMC due to my nasty crash that I had in the Snow to Surf Race. This year, I was so much more at peace mentally and felt more physically prepared for race day. I had a little bit more confidence and felt alot better about my training and was so excited to see how I could perform come race day. I thought for sure this year might be the year that I could come close to getting that "Kona spot"....


Then on Tuesday August 5th, everything changed! (19 days out from Ironman)... At the Tuesday run club track practice I rolled my ankle doing some crazy running drill! I can't even post that it was during some great trail run or hard race. Just a running drill! Ugh!!!... My ankle was the size of a softball within 30 seconds. Thank goodness Wayne Crowe was there and he held my shoulders (while I was in absolute panic mode, bawling my eyes out!) and said, "Do not panic, you will be o.k., you have just officially started your tapper, you will race"... Somehow, deep down inside, I did believe him. But it would take me until 2 days before stepping on that start line, that I really felt, I would make it!...

I do have to admit there is a small part of me that is saying, "So that's it???" "That was my "A" race"?... I felt a bit ripped off. And I felt like I just wanted to do one more with a healthy ankle, just to see how I could do. Having had the ankle injury just before my taper for my "A" race of the season was a huge disappointment for me. I cried my eyes out for days on end, and at one point had completely thrown in the towel for the year. But!!! Thank goodness that passed and I was able to crawl out of my "Oh poor me" hole.

I learned alot in those last three weeks leading up to IMC. I learned that I was not JUST doing this race, just for a Kona slot! Or that I would be placing all the success of my season in just that one day! I was doing this race because that is who I am. It is a lifestyle that I have slowly created for myself, and I love everything about it. I love the training! Not just for my health but for where it has taken me and for the people I have met doing it and for where it will continue to take me for as long as I am doing it, which I hope is until I'm in the 80-84 age category (at least). I love inspiring people and I love being inspired by others. I love the gear, the clothes, the bikes, the race venues, and yes the gadgets! Bring on any gadget (if I can afford it) I love it! I love to be competitive and I am lucky to be able to do this great sport as we know, so many can't. I had a few people ask me after the race if I was disappointed in my result... Believe it or not... I am absolutely and completely satisfied with my race day. First, because I started the race, and was told by a lot of people not to even start! (Like the Emerg Doc at St Joe's who told me I would be in an air cast for 4 weeks, and "No, you will not be doing Ironman, not this year") Second, because I finished the race (my third Ironman) and within minutes of my last years time (injured). And finally, because I am proud of myself for staying mentally strong and positive, and I learned more about racing that will help me for my next Ironman. I have more goals to set for next year, and I am still hungry for more! And that, I think, is a good thing. Cause if I wasn't hungry, I would be wondering why I was doing it then.

Race morning I kept everything simple, followed my plan for breakfast, eating three hours before the start (3:45am). I took a gel at 6:40 am with water. I went out into the water just after the pros started and warmed up for about 10 mins. I started the swim slightly off to the left, just a few rows back from the front. I may have been a bit too far over to the left, because I could see a big gap between us and the other pack that started more to the center. I didn't have any sort of issues in the swim start what so ever. It was uneventful! Yay! I was feeling my ankle a bit as I was kicking alot more (of course cause your in race mode now), so I tried to just allow that leg to move easily thru the water instead, as I didn't want to tweak it before getting out of the water. I drafted for most of the swim, except for the last 1000m, it was a bit more spread out and finding someone to draft was more work than just swimming to shore. I really thought I had a much better swim than my time showed. That was a little disappointing for me. I know I can swim alot faster than that and I am not sure why I don't get the results in the open water. I do find my arms fatigue alot faster in a wetsuit and I don't hold the water at all. This is what I want to work on for next year. (more lake swims!)

My T1 was uneventful! I was only a few seconds slower than last year, and that is because I put on an ankle support for the bike.

The bike start was a bit of a gong show. This is why I need to get out of the water like 10 mins faster!!! I am stuck with about 500 big men on bikes that don't like to have a chic pass them. It was so congested! I was in packs of 40-50 guys until the start of the climb for Richter Pass. My heart rate was around 145 for most of that stretch, and then staying at around 155 for the climb. Again, after the climb, it was so hard to just get around everyone, that my heart rate at times was like 130! Heading out to Cawston for the out and back, I got a warning for drafting. I was feeling a bit low and was needing a bit of a break, and I zoned out and all of a sudden the big chic on the motor bike was freaking on me! I didn't even hear them coming. Thank goodness it was just a warning! ;) The out and back was so congested again, and it was hard to get a good rhythm going thru that area. So, in retrospect this is where I had one of my learning lessons for the day. I had placed one of those new chocolate caramel Recovery Power Bars in my special needs bag because I thought it would be a nice treat to have something like that to perk me up for the last couple of hours on the bike.... It was amazing, and I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. It was exactly what I needed. I felt better after that, and was able to get out of my low and power on.... BUT!.. I paid for it later in the run!


I did go thru some mental stuff on the bike. I was having little battles with myself over going hard or going conservative. Part of me wanted to see how hard I could go, cause coach said, "if in the end you don't finish, have something positive for the day" (like a fast bike split). The other part of me was saying 'just take it easy, enjoy this moment, it's working for me... I know I can finish this... Don't blow up on the bike and wonder, what if I could have run, but blew up on the bike instead kinda thing'. Shawn and the kids were at Yellow Lake. Shawn said 'I looked amazing'. He said 'I looked like I was truly enjoying myself and looked strong'. When I saw them there, that was when I knew I was going to finish for sure, cause my ankle wasn't even an issue at that point. I was not even thinking about it. But, that is also where I could be flying down those hills into Penticton, and I am still a big chicken on the descents! I really need to get over that. The winds were going with me at times, but there were some pretty good side gusts that freaked me out and I can't help it, I slow down!

My T2 was again, uneventful! I put on my new Sugoi Compression Socks for the marathon! They saved me! Love them! I recommend getting a pair for recovery or running!

At the start of my run, I was feeling the effects of zero run training for three weeks, and was a little worried that I might have a bit of a battle ahead of me. It was so windy!!! Ugh!!! Was about all I could say. Shawn met up with me on his bike just before Skaha lake, and I was moving at a big 9 km/hr. The winds there were crazy! Seeing Shawn, I told him, I am going to do this, don't worry! It's not about what place I am going to come in, it's about just being here, enjoying the moment, and I was having a great time. I was already completely satisfied that I had made it that far without any issues. I just really couldn't go any faster than the pace I was keeping. My goal was at that point, just to get back to the finish line on my own and without medical assistance! What I was mainly worried about during my first 1/2 of the marathon was that I did not see Bree Wee (First year Pro athlete that I love to follow) and I was so worried about her, and couldn't help but think of all kinds of crazy scenarios that could have happened to her. Then at the turn around it happened!!! I was all excited cause I was going to be running with the wind going back, and I felt good, and I even thought "oh my god, I might even beat my time from last year". But no!.... Remember that Recovery bar I had at 120km into the bike. Well, I think it finally got to my large intestine and that was it for me. I barely made it to the 14th mile porta potty and so on and so on!!! This brought me to a slow walk. Every time I started to run again, I would get cramping and even had to use the bushes b/w aide stations one time. I tried to stay on my schedule of one gel every 25-30mins with water and salts, but the gels were not liking the tummy either. So I switched to bananas and coke! By now the rain was coming down, and I was getting a little cold, and this is where I made mistake number 2! I didn't mean to, but I guess I stopped taking in any water. I wasn't feeling thirsty, I just wanted my stomach to stop. I had about 5 immodium and eventually I didn't have to hit another porta potty again until after the finish. By the time I saw my coach at 5km out, I knew I had some work to do to get under 12 hours again. Just before the finishing chute, some man said to me, "you have just 10 mins to get under 12 hrs". When I hit the turn around on Lakeshore, I saw Coach Lance, and he yelled at me that I had just two minutes to get under 12hrs, so I gave it everything I had and sprinted my ass off the entire way to the finish. I couldn't even breathe when I stopped. It was so cool. I was so proud of my accomplishment. "11 hours 59mins and 44 seconds"!!!!! I made it by 16 seconds!... My excitement was short lived. I had to hit that porta potty so fast, and my stomach issues didn't stop for like an hour after. I got so dehydrated and cold and couldn't stop getting faint. I ended up getting carried into the medical tent about an hour later and had an IV and warm packs all over my body. My heart rate was like 30!!! I think we made it back to the trailer at around 11 pm. I showered, put on my compression tights, and lay in bed awake for hours. My legs were killing me. I couldn't remember being that sore so fast ever! I wore my compression tights non-stop for 3 days straight. My legs were so swollen and sore. But, that didn't stop me from getting up and hitting the "Finisher's Tent" at 7:00am to buy myself an Ironman Canada Finisher's Jacket! I decided this year to purchase one, as I have not bought any of the finisher's swag before. I love it! A bit too flashy, but hey, I love it all! I did, of course, sign up for next year, and I am already planning some of the other races that I would like to try next year! Oh yeah, and by the way. Next year I am in a new age category!!! I turn 40 in February, so Women 40-44 here I come! I am so excited to see what the next chapter in my triathlon lifestyle will bring! It is truly a "Sport For Life"!


"Life is simple: Swim. Bike. Run. Eat. Sleep."


Audrey


2 comments:

Korky said...

WOW!!!! Way to go on your race! Enjoyed your story!

shawnerlandson said...

aud, your amazing, and your amazingly committed to yor sport and family. All your boys just love you to pieces, and I could just dunk you in my coffee. Love from your biggest admirer, Shawn.