Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ironman Louisville... ANYTHING Can Happen

I have been involved with endurance sports for enough years to know that come race day ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN and this race proved no different.

I have wanted to compete in an Ironman for years.  This dream had been placed on hold a few times but once it was back in front of me I decided that I would give everything to enjoying the entire ride.  Training was a journey in itself and I loved it.  My coach, Vince Matteo, was absolutely key in keeping me in the game and headed in the right direction.  I am a very self-motivated person but having Vince gave me the reassurance that I was doing things right.  So much was learned along the way and I only hope to apply those lesson even more in the future.

Just as soon as we arrived for athlete check-in and the Louisville Ironman band was placed on my wrist the energy all around me immediately.  Yes I cried and yes the volunteer knew immediately that this was my first.  Everything about check in was perfect.  Smooth and well planned out.  I also participated in the practice swim leading up to race day.  Insert more energy from those around me!

As soon I entered the lobby my crew was there dressed up in Robin Customs.  They are TRUE SUPER HEROS!!  Prior to the race we were also interviewed by the local news stations (click here for the video).  Again… absolutely amazing and I loved them for all of the excitement and support during the entire day.  I am VERY blessed to have them in my life!

I have never been one for very lengthy race reports so here it is broken down –

Swim –  1:20:06
I entered the water and did my best to just ease into my own rhythm. Louisville offers a time trial start and I took advantage of having just a little extra room.  I still was kicked and hot but it was less than a mass start would have been for sure.  My plan worked and my swim was over before I knew it.  Really enjoyed it!
Bike –  8:05:42
All was perfect on the bike but not for long.  At the first aid station, mile 8, a careless rider decided at the last minute to swerve over and grab a bottle taking me out from behind.  I was completely separated from my bike and blacked out for a brief second.  It all happened so fast.  Lots of tears when it was first thought my ride was over.  A request for a wheel replacement was called in and an hour later it arrived.  I cracked a few ribs in the process as well.  So as I began my journey again I had to push what I could keeping the effort to a tolerable pain level.  So many details but let me just say seeing my husband and support crew, having the amazing volunteers, and keeping a positive attitude helped me more than tackle the 112 mile route.

Run – 5:17:31
Knowing my ribs were a factor I was very worried if I would be able to run at all.  It is amazing how the body works!  I left T2 and after a few running strides I realized that pain was no worse than it was on the bike and I could do this.  My run was not fast but I RAN.  I passed one person after the next.  The course was full of walking zombies.  So with each aid station I would walk and take more nutrition in and than just make it to the next station. 

The Finish – 15:03:05
Hearing Mike Riley announce my name was one of my proudest moments.  I dug so deep, kept myself in a positive place during the entire race, and absolutely took in everything around me.  I LOVED IT ALL!!!!  The crowd was even more than I could have imagined and cheered so loudly.  No words can describe it even today.  I could write this report a thousand times and still not capture my feelings.  When I reached my husband the tears just poured.  His support and love for me is immeasurable!!

Thank you all for the support and well wishes.  I even had the addition of support from fellow blogger, Suzanne, and having her there was just a true treat.  I only wish I could have spent more time with her.  She is one great lady!! 



Matthew Smith said...

Robin, YOU ROCK! Way to go! Congratulations! I can't believe you got taken out on the bike, busted some ribs, and still continued so that you can be an IRONMAN! That's just awesome. You should be so proud, and I think you're amazing. Way to go! Enjoy the recovery, and let us know when your next event will be. Congrats!

Maria (maslife) said...

You are incredible, lady! You really remind us what IRONMAN is all about. Your family is awesome - I love those costumes! It makes such a difference knowing there are people out on the course waiting for you. And, it makes the experience just that much more special.

Enjoy the glow - and start looking up your next race! Hopefully we'll meet at one of these things :)

zanne said...

okay - I totally just teared up a bit. You are incredible - the fact that you continued to stay so positive after so many others would have thrown in the towel is truly awe-inspiring.

I too, wish we could have spent more time together; but I have to say - that was one of the most exciting, memorable and inspirational first-time meetings I think I have ever had with anyone!!

I'm not sure if I told you about the text my husband and I exchanged that day as I was waiting for you on the road just before you turned into bike finish. He was with me in the kitchen after I came back home from seeing you at T1 when the text came in from Scott that you went down. We were both super concerned but relieved to hear you weren't hurt (which is what we thought at the time).

When I arrived to see you at the end of the bike is when I found out from Scott that you had indeed been injured & I texted my husband to let him know that you had cracked your ribs and were still going strong. He simply texted back: BAD. ASS. I have to concur.

Amazing day - enjoy it all & rest up.

Grey Beard said...

With the crash and all, INCREDIBLE just really doesn't cover it. I'm just so happy they found you a wheel and you could finish the competition.

3+ years, and finally, in the video, I heard your voice for the first time. :))

Anonymous said...

Robin - my dearest congratulations. I have major respect for you - nothing can ever get YOU down. The video is great and I loved hearing your voice for the first time ever!!!! Enjoy your rest now and recover well.

KTFitness said...

Robin! You are an inspiration, and should lecture people on how to dig deep, and never give up! Seriously;) Congrats on becoming an Ironman! I have my first one in 10 days at Ironman Wisconsin! Woohoo! I can already relate to the tears flooding my eyes, because it's happened once or twice on long runs, and long training days, when I say to myself, "I can't believe I'm doing this". So, I can only imagine what it is going to be like on race day. Congrats again Girlie!

Velma said...

It has been fantastic following you for the last couple of years. A LOT of people would have thrown in the towel, but you are a fighter.

Matty O said...

I guess the word, "epic" gets tossed around a lot... but honestly, I can't help but use it here. Forever you have that story that your first ironman was truly and undeniably EPIC.

Girl, this was awesome, and come my race day, if I ever think anything negative or anything hurts, all I have to do is think of you and your kick butt performance.

I am so happy you were positive and did NOT quit or give in despite your injury.

It was awesome following along on your journey this year, and I am SO HAPPY for you that you ended on a GREAT NOTE!


Karen said...

Simply FANTASTIC! You are one amazing girlie :) said...

I know I've said it a number of times but I'm so proud of you and I am truly blessed to have been part of your journey!

Dave said...

you are an hero of mine...both you and Scott. really my words do not say what I feel...and how proud of you I am...carry on!

Robin said...

Congratulations! You did awesome...from one Robin to another! Way to go.

geo said...

That's just awesome. Great job finishing after going through so much. I hope your head has been feeling good too!

Wes said...

ahahAHAHAHA! ROBIN!!! you are an AniMAl!

I saw your bike time and I wondered what was going. I thought mechanical issues, but I had no idea until I saw Scott's snippet on FB.

Congratulations on achieving your dream!! You were indeed an Ironman before you ever toed the starting line. Now you have official stamp of approval!!

Congrats again, Ironman!!

Marlene said...

I've been behind on blogs this week and just found this when I started wondering 'hmm, where is that race report?' ;)

LOVE the Robin costumes. Too funny. I saw the pic on the weekend but did not make the connection. (capital "L" for me, duhh)

I was devastated when I saw Scott's tweet that you had crashed. You are one resilient chick. Amazing to get back up and push on after that happening so early in the race.



And you still finished in an incredible time.

I am in awe.

Bob said...

You rode 100 miles and ran a marathon with cracked ribs? You ARE an ironman. That was heroic. Congratulations!

davepeach said...

OMG. You are a bad ass, tough chick. Enjoy your recovery and get well soon.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

holy crap!!! broken ribs...seriously this is complete proof to me about how mental running and tri's are. What an amazing crew you had and way to go in finding the strength to push through and reach your dream

Colleen said...

You my dear are one badass chick! I was so worried watching your results, not knowing what was wrong and when I heard you went down, my heart sunk. Never in a million years did I think that you'd finish, with a smile to boot. And to know you cracked your ribs?? Girl... you are awesome! Congrats!

Stacey (aka UltraPrincess) said...

Congratulations!!!!! That's a great accomplishment.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

You, my friend, are a true bada$$!! I saw the tweet about bike crash and broken ribs and my heart sank for you. And you toughed it out and finished!!! You deserve something more then just the title of Ironman!!! *stands up and applauds*

PS did the jerk that ran into go down as well? Did he at the mim say he was sorry? I know it doesnt make up for it

Judi said...

sorry i wasn't there. suzanne was texting me all day keeping me in the loop. so proud of you! you HTFU, and you did it. so happy. hope you kept your glow stick.

Shannon said...


Peter H said...

well done, and congrats for toughing through the bike accident. Australia, the leader of the Liberal Party in the lower house [ opposition to the government ] [ Tony Abbott] has managed to train and complete an ironman tri in each of the past 2 years, in respectable times too. gets a lot of flack, but like you toughts on through that.

Again......well done

Scott Keeps Running said...

simply awesome.