The Run – 26.2 mi/42.2 km
I made my way out on to the run course, with my feet showing no signs of the cramps and soreness that had bothered them on the bike and through transition. It was less than two miles until I’d get to see my family cheering on the course.
Angie was so excited about the day I was having and she asked how I was feeling. Honestly, my legs were feeling pretty tired and I wasn’t feeling super awesome. Things go up and down during an Ironman so I just needed to keep moving forward.
I was feeling a bit lightheaded and fuzzy. It was warm out, so I assumed my lightheadedness had something to do with the temperature. At every aid station I’d take a cup of ice, stuff it in my bra, and get some calories in via Coke and Gatorade. I even managed to take two gels in the first half of the run.
There were moments where I was focused on putting one foot in front of the other and was feeling good, then other moments where my legs felt too tired to run. I was walking every uphill to manage effort and fend off the fuzziness. The Gatorade began tasting too strong and sweet for me, but given the heat I knew I needed to keep getting electrolytes in. I grabbed a tube of Base Salt from their cheer station and switched to Coke and ice cold water. Ice was still getting shoved down my top.
The Setting Sun
Then, just like two years ago at Ironman Boulder, as the sun started to set the lightheadedness began to improve. It was time to dig deep and at mile 19 I tried to really buckle down and start moving toward that finish line. Despite starting my day with a fully charged Garmin I had been getting low battery warnings during the run. I had neglected to turn off the Bluetooth on my watch which I suspect drained the battery faster. Just before mile 22 my watch died.
I needed to keep running, no matter what the pace. I estimated I had started my day around 6:30 so I was doing math in my head for when I’d need to finish by in order to come in under 15 hours. At the final turnaround at 24.6 miles I knew I needed to pour on the effort. It was mostly downhill from here and I needed to work it!
That last mile and a half felt like a sprint that late in the day. My 11:11/mile pace wound up being my fastest run split of the day. As I turned to the finish chute I looked behind me and saw no one. I’d be able to savour my moment, running to the finish.
A spectator held out his hand for a high five and told me that the best part of my day was just ahead. That last few meters down the carpet.
All the pain and hurt leaves your body as you hear Mike Reilly call out your name and say “You are an Ironman!”
26.2 mi – 6:15:45 (14:20/mi)
W35 – 39: 42 out of 68
Women: 238 out of 415
Overall: 968 out of 1,490
The run was so hard, but I problem solved and stayed positive the entire time. It was slower than my run in 2014, but I wasn’t disappointed. Overall it was a really great day with a very nice 57 minute personal best at the Ironman Distance. I am so thrilled with my day after working so hard this year!