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MY FIRST IRONMAN

Posted by benproko on July 29, 2012 at 8:45 PM

On December 25th, 2010, I opened an unexpected gift from Ben, who was only my boyfriend- soon to be fiancé at the time. It was a registration confirmation for Katherine Sims (me) for Ironman Texas 2011. I was thrilled and a little bit freaked out at the same time. I had just completed my first triathlon in August 2010 and I was already jumping into doing an Ironman. Crazy!

 

Training for an Ironman could not have come at a more wonderfully awful time. Here is what I had going on during the spring of 2011:

• Ben had proposed to me- yea! But we set the wedding date for June 9th (3 weeks after the race- what was I thinking!?!).

• My 5th grade students that year were the most awful group of children I had ever encountered, but I loved them and wanted to rescue them from their evil ways. I decided, since the one thing that made them shine was when they were helping others, I would have them plan and run field day…with my guidance…and lots of it. This became a service learning project titled: 5th Grade Super Kid’s Day Workforce and was a huge undertaking.

• Field Day at my school always occurred in May- the same month as the Ironman. Wonderful!

 

Wonderfully awful! Planning a wedding, trying to save the world and put together field day all while training for an Ironman…Fantastic! Needless to say, I got the minimal amount of training in necessary for this race. Ben formulated the perfect plan that adapted to my hectic schedule. If it were not for his training and expertise- I never would have considered doing the race.

 

Come race day, my goal was simply to finish. And that I knew I could do as long as I survived the swim. Which I did! But it sucked! (Sorry for lack of a better word). I couldn’t tell you where I was located in the pack at the start- I was too busy trying not to get punched or kicked by all the bodies treading water around me. No wetsuit for me, but I was wishing for a floatation device before the swim even started. When the gun went off- it was strictly survival. The first 20 minutes were hell- getting kicked, punched, slapped, dunked, and choking on nasty brown murky water. I thought “if I go down, no one will know.” I was on the verge of having a panic attack, but knew if I had one, my limbs would probably stop working and I’d be a goner for sure. So I prayed. Prayer is good, God is good. I made it. One hour and 50 something minutes- ridiculous, but I made it.

 

Then came the bike. I took it really easy. And it was not too bad except for the traffic around mile 90. Cars backed up for miles. My butt, back and neck hurt. I also started having digestive issues- probably from the lake water I swallowed. Seven hours and 15 minutes on the bike- eh, whatever, I made it and now for my favorite part- the run!

 

“Praise Jesus I am free!” I say to myself because I think I have ultimate control over my own destiny now…well I was wrong. The run would have been AWESOME if I didn’t have to stop at the port-o-potty every stinkin’ aid station! Ugh! My body went into system clean out and I never wanted to set foot in a port-o-potty again. I was able to run around a 10-11 minute mile- and thank goodness for that because any longer and I would have pooped myself (sorry for a lack of a better word…no there is not a better word- poop is a great word, so I retract my apology…now I am considering my possible audience…yes, I apologize…but I am not changing it).

 

Anyway, my lowest point was at about mile 135, my legs were finally starting to hurt and I was tired of pooping. I walked…more like waddled if you know what I mean…for 2 miles straight. Then it dawned on me- I am about to be an IRONMAN! With a huge smile on my face the last three miles, endorphins carried me to the finish! 15 hours and 30 minutes- good enough. I made it! Field Day was over, Service Learning project a success, Ironman completed- now all I had to do was get married to the man of my dreams!

 

I was excited to find out I ended up in this video (min 5:33ish)!  Worth a watch- very inspirational!

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Categories: First Races

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