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Sue's "not as long as thought" day
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Sue




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 6269
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:35 am    Post subject: Sue's "not as long as thought" day Reply with quote

Well it certainly started as an endurance weekend taking me 7 hours instead of 2.5 to get to the hotel. Surrey was gridlocked due to the M25 being closed, then there were problems on the M42. At one point realised it had taken me 5 hours to get 60miles, heck, even I can bike faster than that Rolling Eyes .

Nevertheless was pleased to have Saturday there to chill and relax. Went to registration late afternoon and met Andy, Michele, Jeremy/BB, Gary from Leyboune lakes for the pasta party. Also increased my TTer count with Iain (and Michele who tries to keep him under control), and AndyFBIL.

My early night wasn’t to early as I faffed with the different bags-n-kit-n-food. With the start and finish being at different venues I’d opted to go to Wombourne to be transported with my bike to Chasewater, the bus was due to leave at 3.15am meaning I had to get up at 2.15am.
Leaving the hotel sooooo early with my different transition bin bags the security man though I was a dubious character and watch me like a hawk, Im sure he thought I must have stuffed all the bedding inside and making a quick get-away. Was strange starting my day as most others were only just finishing their Saturday evening out Shocked
Met Matt the Brum on the bus and we weren’t too subdued for a natter –hey, 9hr40 Matt, no wonder I didn’t see you on the run course, excellent.

Was still darkish at Chasewater, was met by Tripeople/Paul who kindly asked me if I was feeling ok and did I want a minder to put me at ease- thank you. And had I not had a 15hour day infront of me I would have snapped his hand off, should have asked for a rain check
--very apt expression as it turned out later.
Met Stuey whose neatly and colour coordinated taping of his gels to his top tube caused some amusement to folk. Chatted to a few folk, including the “character” that Andy refered to in t’other thread. He’s been doing tri’s for 3 years and this was his 1st IM. His predicted times were 2hr10 for the swim, 8.5hour for the bike (both over the cut of times) and 5hour marathon. I relaxed a little thinking someone would be behind me, but what an excellent time he got.
The time passed and saw Andy, Michele and Dre/Steve for hugs as we went down to the lake.

The 1800m loop looked vast. For those of you who know Heron, just imagine 2 laps stuck together. My game plan was to start at the back so that folk wouldn’t swim into, over or near me. The water was chilly and hoped my feet wouldn’t play up. The hooter went and I got my own space very quicky and kept to my steady pace. My plan was to cut the distance up into portions by swimming from one buoy then looking to the next. The weeds were very high in places and got tangled in hands, arms and goggles. Wondered if Id come out looking like a weed monster. I looked ahead on the last side to see folk upright and walking, that wasn’t on the plan I thought, to get out-n-in for the 2nd lap. But no, in 2 places it was so shallow you had to walk over painful shingles. This actually served a good purpose for me, instead of stopping and treading water to stretch as I have been doing, I used this walking to cover that.
The 2nd lap kept me occupied by the 2 folk near me were swimming all over the place, one especially swam left, look, then swam right, look, then left, he must have done way over the distance. Was nice to have some company, apart from canoes –hey, not because I was last but because they were lots of them, and I got out of the water the same time as the other girl, to a shout and wave from Andy and Michele. My time said 1hr28, wow for me, but then I was told it was about 400m short Rolling Eyes The results time of 1hr35 is with T1 as well.
Was so nice to have help undressing and dressing, Iain’s Michele kindly helped me with this, very unhurried in my time.

Was nice to come out to get the bike to see a few more still racked. I waved goodbye to Andy and Michele, but little did they know that 5 mins down the road “Bang”, my back inner tube burst Crying or Very sad . Don’t panic I told myself, I can do this. So put my “change the back inner tube” head into gear. A kind competitor took time, as well as Sarah, to offer me moral and verbal support. Had only just a few days earlier got some co2 cannisters that Andy had explained to me, put that head into gear and remembered what to do. Hey presto a bike fit to ride again, and prob a PB for that, although I was a bit tentative for the first few miles. It had been one of the things I was dreading since didn’t think I could afford the time to fix with my predicted time of 7hr30 being close to the 8hr cut off time. I knew I’d “banked” some time from the swim so hoped that would be ok. Andy stopped in the car a short while later in a layby, didnt realise that it was because he'd had a message from Sarah to tell of my puncture, so he was checking I was ok, eee thanks Andy.
22 miles up the road at Drinks 1 was met by Steve and time for a few mins chat as I “sorted”. Had decided to stop at all 4 drinks points to rejiggle my gells, water, foody bits and give my butt a few mins rest. Also to have a quick chat and some company since I knew it was gonna be kinda lonely out there with only 200 or so competitiors on the course
--and most infront of me.
Wasn’t until I started my 1st loop when I briefly had some company when I was passed by some of the "big boys" on their 2nd loop. Many were very kind and offered words of encouragement. Had a shout from Dean/Sealskin at the 45mile junction. It was at this stretch upto about 60miles that I hit a bit of a low when the wind took hold. At times I was fighting to maintain about 10mph and was worried that my predicted time would creep up towards the 4pm cut off time. Then the rain started and continued and worsened, I was warm, my armwarmers helped a lot but my glasses and “me” started to drip. It was at this point I raised my eyes to the sky and asked why was this being done to us. Stopped to have a quick word with Dean at the same, but now 75mile junction, waiting for me to pass so he could go home. I didn’t think I was last, even with the puncture but it was when I was going up in the crawler lane and a van pulled and stuck behind me that I though this could be 1 of 3 things
--I was going faster than said van ---emm, nope
--someone had a yearning to watch my lycra butt for a while –emm double no
--it was Iain in the mop-up van and I was last on the course.
Then it struck me, hey, they are all waititng for me in the pouring rain to pass, how luvly of them.

So along the windy stretch again, but with the knowledge that it was the last time, even though it was still as windy and wet.
Drinks station 4 found Andy, Michele, Steve and another support person ready to replenish my drinks. A quick chat and away I went, knowing it was the last 26 miles. I smiled a lot after this point as the rain gave me large pools to either bike through or try to go around if no traffic. Thought how as kids we would love doing this.
It was quite lonely most of the time on the ride so was always nice to see a marshal or drinks station and a friendly face. It does make a lot of difference to that 112miles. The last 15miles are the worse, inclines and drags that on tired legs, espec after battling with the wind were tough for me. I remembered one hard drag from my reccie, hit the 100miles, 12 to go sign and thought I must have done it and not realised, smiled to myself
--then there it was, laughing infront of me. Head down, gears finally found non left, so get on with it girl, after another look skyward to see if I was being laughed at. Didn’t however want to say too much since I felt I may have needed something on the run.
Finally into PoolHouse Lane where the incline teases infront of you, bottom gear jobbie but up I went. Now the only thing left was the short sharp incline from the traffic lights to T2. Drat, lights at red but low gear and waited, hadnt found it too bad on the reccie so not unduly worried but as I set off my foot slipped and I banged my shin on the pedal then struggled to maintain any momentum, Hr soared as I struggled with what then seemed a very hard incline and I struggled badly. Was I pleased to get into T2 and by my watch, 3.30pm-ish so 30mins to cut off time. Wasn’t amused when Martin asked if I wanted to see the doctor,
--did I look bad I thought, didn’t feel it, besides would take up precious time so ignored that.

The womens changing area was flooded so was shephearded into the mens, they are decent I was told, well I wouldnt be since had a complete change of kit but who cares at that stage. Was sooo nice again to have someone pull this off, put that on, etc. Eeee the best part though was I shared a cup of tea with another guy and it tasted soooo good, could have stayed there for more, but no out I had to go. Was nice to feel dry and clean again and had this feeling that it should have been the same outside but no, still raining. Kept my armwarmers on and they did me proud in the run, keeping me warm. My quads felt hard from pushing against the wind on the bike and I hoped that wasnt a sign of cramp but pushed on and would tackle that if I had to.

My main problem had started on the bike, bit sicky feeling as I think my food wasn’t digesting well. Think it was the aero position although I do try to sit upright at times to allow for this. I knew i was hydrated enough since had lots of pit stops. It didn’t disappear on the run so my strategy was to walk through the feed stations to drink and take gels instead of solid food in order to let it start digesting. Was about 15km when most of it finally subsided. Seemed such a long time to get my 1st of 3 bands, felt a bit naked as everyone else had 1, 2 or 3 of them. Felt a bit sluggish and was sugested to have some flat coke on lap 2, I didn’t know if this was too soon as didn’t want a “dive” before the finish but was guided by their knowledge and it certainly picked me up for laps 3 and 4. It was at this stage that I knew the 15hr 30 was not a problem and my own predicted time of 15hr achievable. At one point I thought possible 14hr 30 but thought that was a bit greedy so settled on 14hr45. Felt a bit embarrassed passing folk so many times, felt as if they expected me to have finished. The course was getting less-n-less competitors on. I didn’t know if I was still last until lap 4. Caught up with Jeremy/BB who was walking by then, had saved a gel to eat and walk with him for a while. Everyone seemed to be walking on this lap so I overtook a few and see I finished with 8 behind me, mind you all but 1 making the cut off time of 15hr30 which is excellent.
I crossed the finish line in 14hr 31.15 which I was very very pleased with. Suppose if I hadnt had the puncture and hadn’t stopped to chat everywhere I could have been closer to 14hours but that was it on the day and Ill gladly accept it. The chat was important to me as a way of appreciating the work of the marshals and support crew.

There wasnt any point that I felt I couldnt make it, just a few worries at times with the puncture, wind and inclines that they would eat up into the cut-off times. That had always been my main concern although I felt with no problems 15hours was realistic. I never wanted to give up, just thought the environment could have been a bit friendlier to us all out there.

The event itself was great. The organisation that I experienced very well planned. I must say the people made the day for me. Those marshals and support crew couldn’t do enough for you, they always had a smile, a word of encouragement, a cheer, time to chat even in the pouring rain. It certainly made the day special. It would definitely be an event for folk to do but alas it maybe the last one. In that case I have felt privaledged and proud to have been a part of it. They all need a very special thank you.

And I thank you TTers for your support, encouragement, advice and kind words through out my preparation. I have been motivated by those who have undertaken their 1st IM this season and admit to feeling a bit of pressure at times since everyone has done so brilliantly.
A big thank you to my friends Andy and Michele who came all that way and braved the weathers to be at the start, points around the bike and run course and at the finish. It was nice to have Steve at 2 drinks points plus walked with me a way at one of the run stations as I digested my drinks. The loudest cheering voice has to be from Carl/Barley, who at one point stopped his car and got out to shout encouragement. He was also at various points around the run course shouting as loudly. Iain however did come a close 2nd with his loud shouts, heard a few times around the bike course and at the “in” point of the run.
There was much commararderie on the run between competitors and I passed a fair few folk I knew as well as some who seemed to know my name. Quite a few times during the day I got asked “are you Sue?”

So how do I feel? Ofcourse very pleased to have been part of and completed an IM, and Im really pleased with my time. Its nice feeling to be part of the elite club of IM like many of you are.
Part of me does think though that I had set myself this goal and so did my best to achieve it, doing the necessary training, just like any of you do, be it your 1st tri , PB or upping your distance. These things are as important and fulfilling to each of us as individuals.

Yesterday I was annoyed with myself at feeling a bit stiff and having the post-IM walk but today it is subsiding and I am smiling when I think of what Ive done, and "what" distances, did I really do those Shocked I do think as well that my “highs” and emotions stem more from everyone’s help in my quest to be an IM. Thinking of all the support, kindness and encouragement both before and on the day. Its these things that I’ll hold very close to my heart. I feel many of you have been part of my special day and for that I’d like to thank you.

And now in a few weeks time, the last of the “if you can do it then so can I” trio will undertake his IM. I’ll be there to support and will you on to that finish Ray.

So what is IMSue to do now? Well at the minute Ive 3 bags of T1,T2 kit, a dirty bike with remains of soggy foody stuff and gels still on and the title “IM” doesnt seem to afford me anyone to deal with these.

So swim +T1 =1hr35 (143rd out of 148 finishers)
bike = 7hr35 (141 out of 148 finishers)
run + T2 =5hr19 (117 out of 148 finishers)
Total time 14hrs 31mins 15secs
--very good enough for this IM Wink
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dr dre




Joined: 03 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sue

You are the greatest.


xxx
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Bruiser




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Longest race report ever - I will print a copy off so I can look like I'm reviewing a work document! Excellent stuff and congratulations Sue. Fantastic time.
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CathyJ




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What can I say? Brilliant!!! Very Happy
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redbiker




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sue.

You are amazing!

MUCH respect to you and all of the hard work you've put in during this last year to achieve your goal.

Well done x 1000. You are an IRONMAN.

Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool
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Stealth Attack




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sue - What a story, and what a lady. What you have demonstrated is that to win at this long distance game, there are two essential ingrediants. Firstly, the will to succeed, which you have in abundance, and secondly, peer group support. I'm only sorry that I couldn't be there in person to cheer you and other TTers on, but I had my own battle to fight, albeit on a slightly smaller scale!

But I must pick you up on one thing. No mention of that tattoo????

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Paul L




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Sue! Airborne

You have really earned your IM status. Your blog, this race report and your positive comments to everyone on here are truely inspirational. You represent everything that is good about TriTalk.

I look forward to finally meeting you at either Heron Lake, or the IMUK supporters club.

Enjoy your post race high and Recover Strong, Paul. Very Happy
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Foggy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sue - you are an inspiration!

Am soooo chuffed for you Very Happy

Well done!!! Very Happy
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Swerve




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bloody fantastic, IMSue!
Very Happy

By the way, they say transition is the fourth discipline - for Ironman/full distance the report is the fifth, and that was a belter!


Last edited by Swerve on Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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AndyS




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a brilliant achievement but you really deserve it and have worked hard for it. You certainly are an inspiration to many people and helped me through my journey for which I’m forever grateful.

Winner Worship Winner Worship Winner Worship Winner Worship Winner Worship

No pressure or anything, but Ray, it's over to you. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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doug




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent !

An epic report for an epic race - well done Winner
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Stealth Attack




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Methinks we should introduce a TTer of the month poll, with Sue winning hands down to become Miss July. That's not of course to diminish everybody else's efforts, which are of course equally magnifcent, its just that we have all lived through Sue's training highs and lows and probably swam every stroke, pedalled every inch and ran every step with her on Sunday.

So who's up for nomination for Mr or Miss August? Somebodt at IMUK perhaps?

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Dirty Davey




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic stuff Sue, well done!!!!!!!!!!!!! Airborne Airborne Airborne W00t W00t W00t

And to think, you finished the race in a shorter time than it took me to read your report Very Happy
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redbiker




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sue winning hands down to become Miss July


Can we get a calendar ( Wink ) printed in time for New Year ?
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Josie




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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fab race and fab report Sue - well done.
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