Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ironman Coeur d'Alene - The Run


So coming in off the bike I knew I was in trouble.  I handed my bike off to some friends Greg and Chris Purviance who were working the T2 transition and headed over to pick up my run bag.  Back into the tent and another great volunteer helped me get everything off and then on again.  I was out in no time and made a pit stop in the port-o-potties to try and buy me some time.  I knew my family would be waiting in the run out and I wanted to get myself together so I wouldn't burst into tears in front of them.  By this stage my stomach problems had worsened.  I was getting horrific cramps that kept me doubles over.  How ever was I going to run a marathon.  I doubted that I could even run a mile.  Out of the port-o-potties and I bumped into a number of team blaze peeps volunteering in transition.  They encouraged me to get going so I sucked it up and off I went.
IMG_7734 Straight out o the chute I saw my friend and PT Trish.  So good to get some encouragement from her, and then a little farther up some more hugs from friends and then the faces of my family in the crowd.  Lots of hugs and I said to my husband something like " I feel like crap.  This is going to be ugly" And he just smiled and said "You're fine now get going".  I think that's exactly what I needed to hear.  No time for sympathy.  Get moving.  So off I ran.

The first part of the run you head up through the main street of CDA.  People everywhere.  My insides were on fire but I kept running.  My mind was in panic mode.  I was trying to trouble shoot and problem solve and not think about all the miles in front of me.  I thought I'll just take it aid station to aid station. I ran until the first aid station and then I had to walk. I tried taking one of my gels but my stomach rebelled. I ended up ditching all the nutrition I was carrying because I knew it would be useless.  The only thing I kept were the salt tabs. After the aid station I tried to start running again. People were encouraging me to keep going but I had to keep stopping and bending over.  A medic on a bike came up to me and asked if I was alright.  A spectator yelled to the medic that I was fine. and said to me " Don't let him pull you off the course or that will be the end of your race".   IMG_7811 That was a defining moment in the run for me.  I just had to put my head down and gut it out. Aid station to aid station.  Run between them and then walk through them.  Take water and ice.  Keep going. And that was my strategy for the entire marathon.  At about mile 8 I started feeling a little better.  I saw my coach and he urged me to keep going.  Run while you can then walk when you have to.

IMG_7809 By mile 13 my lack of nutrition was taking its toll.  I tried to take in some salt tabs and a pretzel or 2 and then my stomach cramped up again.  Back through town it was great to be uplifted by all the crowds and the cheering.  But I knew the second half of the run was going to be killer.  Heading out again on the second loop it was getting pretty hot.  I started dousing myself with ice and water. My shoes soon filled up with water so I knew I had the makings of some decent blisters on my feet from that. By mile 16 I was having trouble walking in a straight line.  At one of the aid stations another medic asked me if I was OK.  Before I could answer an aid station volunteer thrust a cup of coke into my hand and that turned out to be magic.  I told her that it made me feel a lot better and she said just to make sure I kept drinking it at every aid station until the end of the race.  And that my friends is what got me across the line.

IMG_7895 Coming down the main street on the way to the finish line was amazing.  I stopped and hugged all my friends and family all the way down.  I grabbed the Australia flag from my son and proudly ran with it to the finish.   I don't remember Mike Reilly calling my name.  I just remember being so grateful that I made it across the line.

Once I crossed I was "caught" by 2 friends who were volunteering at the finish.  That was so nice to have a friendly face to take care of me once it was all over.  Once I was done having my finisher photo they asked me if I needed to go to medical.  But this point I just wanted to go home and put my feet up. I told them about the problems I had during the race but that I felt ok and they told me to drink water and wait 30 mins before I try and eat anything.


After that I met up with my family and friends.  Grabbed my bike and headed home for a shower and bed.  IMCDA was officially in the books.



  1. Well your time was fantastic for someone who was struggling - major props to you!

  2. I agree with Alison. Based on your crazy amazing time, and constant grin whenever we saw you, no one would EVER know that you struggled with such intense discomfort.

    Major mind over matter win!

  3. You may not have felt well, but you look strong and awesome in all of your pictures. So stinkin proud of you.

  4. Coke is an IMs best friend. You are not alone. I had to skip my planned nutrition and water and coke (better than coke and rum) were all I could tolerate with a cup of ice and sponge down the shirt every stop. Sounds like you did a great job working through it. So many people were walking the whole course or chucking their cookies on the side of the road. I don't think it is ordinary to run a regular marathon during IM. You rocked it. Now don't you wonder how you did it!