Laura Booher’s November 20th, 2011 Ironman Arizona Race Report
Our friends and family called us crazy for doing a Full Ironman, our triathlete friends new better. On Sunday 08/28/11 completed 1st Ironman distance ever in Canada. On Monday, August 29th, 2011 we were starting to think about getting into Ironman AZ, which was less than 3 months away. Now everyone NEW WE WERE CRAZY. Hey, we were already trained and felt great.
AZ quest to get in:
This race has been sold out race, since last year. No problem, let’s get in through a Foundation slot. Minor detail these have also been sold out for awhile. “Where there is a will there is a way”. Adrienne worked a couple of companies and we thought we had a shot for all 3 of us. Then it may be for 2 slots, then maybe 1 slot. You know when you have great friends and teammates, when they each give up their opportunity at a slot to let you have it. Thanks Adrienne and Jillian, you will never truly know what that meant to me. Calling me a little obsessed at the time was an understatement. My boyfriend was going to kill me. Oh, didn’t give him a clue of what I was trying to do till a few weeks after returning from Canada and I was on my way out of the house heading to Blythe, CA (borders AZ). Driving to Blythe I started working the phones and asked for a little help from dad. Oh yah, dad swirls in the winds of the desert in AZ. The minute I got to my destination, I received a return call back from Cameron at Carmichael’s Training. He already told me they didn’t have any slots and didn’t have any other ideas on how to get in. I told him my sob story and begged for his help, he never had a chance . Not only did Cameron find some entries, he found enough for all 3 of us plus a few extra, which Carol was the recipient of later on (obsessive people suck others in-wasn’t me). I immediately texted Jillian and Adrienne and then called them back to back, so I could get back to Cameron on how many we really wanted. I was excited the girls were in shock. “Where there’s a will, I will find a Way” .
Doing 2 Ironman within 3 months is probably not a good idea, especially, your very 1st two. We had asked permission from our lovely coach Joby while we were still in Canada (Jillian didn’t really want any part of it, YET) and he said we could discuss it when we came back. I don’t think he thought we were really serious and that we would ever get in. Sorry, Joby you trained us so well this year and set our Canada plans up so we could do what everyone said we should do and Have Fun during our 1st IM. We wanted more (silly us). Once, we found a way to get in, it set in how crazy this really was. More training, different training, speed workouts, what the ?&$%% were we thinking of. Oh yah, it’s AZ, we are trained and we are obsessed. Probably the best part of this additional training is that we finally got to do long distance training with our other teammates who were doing IM AZ. We would see them for a few minutes here and there over the year, but we were all on separate training plans. My new run buddy for long runs became Bill Davis. Loved our runs and he helped me stay on pace and have someone to chat with along the way. Yes, chat, because of our slow pace we could do that. At least, until we had to pick it up and then I couldn’t catch Bill. Look out for Bill, he now flies on the run, as well as, the bike. Also, really met Marie for the 1st time on our 20 mile Halloween run. Thanks to my IMCA partners in crime and to all my training partners for the encouragement and help along the way. Ok, so I still don’t all the names of the guys that would chat with me on Santa Ana River Trail. Met Matt and there were 2 others that I would run into from Yorba Linda/Anaheim area. Thank you, to the guy from Yorba Linda/Anaheim (I am so bad with names) for changing my tire on the Santa Ana River trail during my 105 mile ride. He saved me.
Ironman Arizona 11/20/11 Race Day
Swim 2.4 Miles, Bike 112 Miles, Run 16.2 Miles
Goals: Swim just get through it 1:40, Bike 7 hours, Run 4:30 to 5:30
Total Time to completion expected to be 13:30 to 14:30 of by 9:30pm. I wanted to try and race this course, except the swim of course.
Absolutely beautiful weather, NO rain in the forecast. High of 60’s with cloud cover, who could ask for anything more. All friends and family members set up in 1 area that we called tent city with all the pop up tents. Thank you Paul for letting my mom camp out under your tent.
SWIM: Water start. Love water starts. Swam out with Jillian to the start. Got kicked a couple of times in the calves and the race hadn’t even started. Here we go. Wore Neoprene cap under race cap, full wetsuit opted out of booties. Water temp 61. Swim was crowded, couldn’t see in the water. Gun went off and there was just bodies everywhere. Kept calm and knew this was how it was going to be for most of the way. Stayed in the middle of the river and looked for the buoys. Just made it to the turnaround and some guy literally smacked me up side the head and then pushed me under. Really, there was plenty of room. After I regained my composure, I got mad and then started looking for the guy. Why, who knows but it kept me occupied and helped me move a little faster. The 2nd half of the swim seemed so long. Finally got to the end and what, you have to pull yourself out of the water up some stairs that didn’t start till the top of the water. I had looked at my time and it was better than Canada at this point. On the 3rd try I finally had a leg up and pulled myself out and ran for Transition. Wet suit strippers are amazing, they yanked my wetsuit off me so fast. Love these volunteers.
T1: Grabbed my bag and opted to sit on the grass and change into bike gear (no clothing changes). Quick restroom break and ran through the changing tent to get my bike (scary in that tent, but felt good to be in the warmth for a couple of seconds).
Bike: Three loops. Coach instructed me to feel my way through the 1st loop, go by feel for the whole ride and watch out for the wind and don’t get discouraged when it slows me down. Saw Adrienne on the side with a flat, oh no. Yelled to see if she needed anything. Took it semi easy on 1st loop. Watched my mph drop on the false flat and hill, but did the math and made up for it on the down hill. I wanted to average 16mph and did math in my head during the entire ride to make this happen. Knew Adrienne would fly by and yelled at her, what took you so long when she did fly by. Start of the 2nd loop heard our cheer section, especially Tina. Thank You. 2nd loop, where did the wind come from, oh my. Started to get frustrated, but remembered what Joby said. Saw Yen, Jackie and Stacey cheering us on. Thank You. I wanted to race this 2nd loop as best as I could, wind made it very challenging. I starting feeling sick to my stomach on the 2nd loop, not sure why. I took a couple more Enduralytes, just in case. Not sure it helped, but couldn’t hurt at this point. NO stopping. Grabbed my 2nd nutrition bottle from Bike Special needs and kept going. On the way to the turnaround for the 3rd and final loop, right knee kicked in and started to hurt, shoulders kicked in, right groin muscle (I guess that’s what you call it) hurt, oh no I was falling apart. 3rd loop, new goal, get through it as fast as possible and get off this bike. Things started to loosen up as I spun a lot more to ease the pain. It worked and last few miles other than right foot hurting for awhile (loosened shoe and felt better) felt great. I had more fun on this ride then any other ride. For the 1st time ever, I got to see all my teammates participating in this Ironman, including our coach Joby Gutierrez, who was racing this course. I couldn’t believe when I got off the bike that I did 112 mile bike ride under 7 hours. NO WAY!!!
T2: Got off the bike and volunteers took my bike. YEAH!! Grabbed my bag changed into run gear and ran to the bathroom. Stomach still not sitting well.
Run: 3 Loop Run. I looked at my pacing plan for the first few miles of the run. HMM, can’t seem to get there, ok I will just take it easy the first few miles and go by feel. Saw Robin and she looked great. Really wanted to stay with her, but we all have to do our own race. Walked with her a couple of minutes and headed out. Calves cramped up right on schedule after mile 1, they usually release between 3 to 5 miles, so I just sucked it up. After mile 5, calves still not happy, so kept pushing and went by feel. Finally after mile 6 calves loosened up and right knee kicked in. NO!! This wasn’t how it was suppose to go. I wanted to own this run course and race it, now I was doing calculations on how long it was going to take me. Looped around tent city and waived to mom and she saw me, YEAH!! I wanted to at least finish the 1st loop before it got dark, barely made it before all the light was gone. 2nd loop did a run walk and saw a few of my teammates. YEAH!! Stomach was still upset, so I periodically ate chips and pretzels. They tasted so good. I knew from the start, I would be one of the last ones in from our team. Those darn youngsters and speed demons. Saw Joby and Mia rounding my 2nd loop and knew I didn’t look good, I was really limping by that time. 3rd loop, darn darn darn. Now run walk wasn’t working so well. I walked a lot on this 3rd loop. Pace ranged from 17 ish to 19 ish walking and 15ish running, if you want to call it that. I decided to chat with others who were walking and enjoy the venue. Met a lot of nice people out on the course and the volunteers, they were just as crazy as we were for being out there all day. Started thanking all the volunteers on the 3rd loop and enjoyed the music. Finally, saw the girls notes on the reader board on this 3rd loop. THANK YOU. In this dark area by a park I heard LAURA. Well after awhile it hurts to turn around and I figured it was just another runner about to pass me. Boy I was wrong, it was Marie and her friend. You Go Girls. I really wished I could have run with them, they were looking great. Ok, I hardly ever take bathroom breaks during a marathon, it’s a rare thing. Even, in IMCA I only used the facility once. I probably used the restroom at least 4 times on the run course. The last few miles I walked with a gentlemen who lived in the area, but was from England. Very nice man and we chatted until I left him with a mile to go to end this day. I had to, Once again I heard LAURA, again I thought it was someone in the crowd, just couldn’t turn around again and say thank you. Of course, it had to be, there is no one else it could be, it was Tina yelling and running of all things with Robin. Oh my goodness Robin looked great. I so wanted to run ahead of her, but opted to watch her run by with that huge smile on her face. AMAZING. Robin did it!! YEAH Robin!! Figured I better get it in gear, so no one has to wait for me any longer and tried to run it in, ok limped it in. I didn’t feel sorry for myself, I did the best I could and enjoyed the day. I slapped the kids hands as I came through the shoot and was elated to be done. I finished 15 hours 8 minutes and who cares about the seconds, which was still faster than my overall finish time in Canada.
Swim Time: 1:41:45 / T1: 7:49 / Bike Time: 6:50:44 / T2: 4:49
Run: 6:23:40 / Total Time: 15:08:47 / Experience: Priceless
I wasn’t last. I was 119 out of 148 in my age group that started the race
Thanks mom for coming with me, it meant the world to me. Thanks to Paul and Jeff for watching over my mom, taking her to a private bathroom in the building and taking her to the bike portion to see me. I really appreciate you both taking the time to watch over her. Thanks to all of you who came out to cheer us all on. Thanks to those who volunteered and cheered us on from the race course, especially, Yen, Stacey and Jackie. It was great seeing you 3 on the bike course. Yen, I really appreciated your help, support and Sherpa duties. I can’t thank you enough for being there for me for both Ironman races. I owe you many thanks and drinks. Thanks to all my teammates/friends.
Joby and Mia you are the best and we all know it took both of you to help us through are training and mental states Joby, there is no way in the world I could have done and IM, let alone 2 in a short period of time without you. I would have never been able to do this, let alone dreamt this, if it weren’t for your training plans, kindness, patience (you definitely have a lot of patience), encouragement, support and willingness to listen to a bunch of crazy triathletes freaking out about IM monthly, weekly and at times daily. THANK YOU
Adrienne and Jillian thanks for everything. We made it through another one and have more than earned a rest. 2013 starts all over again for IM!! Ok, I still didn’t hear Laura Booher, You Are an Ironman from the Finish Line announcer. Next race I am putting in on my entry form, I NEED TO HEAR THIS.