"I turned to my husband and thought sorry honey I know you are wet and
tired but I have to do this and told him I am going to go run it anyways - I
have to. Now here is why I love him - said I did not expect anything less of
you get going and gave me a kiss."
Half Iron Mountain,
Maple Ridge Half Iron Mountain - the report.
So this is going to long winded but I need to put it down just because it has been a very emotional 24 hours and maybe this will cleanse my spirit.
If you go to the website and look up my name (Shaunene Neilson) it will read DNF (sniff) and officially I did not finish in the allotted 8 hours. I however, being the stubborn .... that I am did finish in 8hr and 50 minutes and got a medal to boot.
So now the journey.
I woke up yesterday morning filled with anticipation today was the day after almost a year of training this was it.
The swim - the distance had been corrected from last year to properly reflect the 2km - but no problem I had been swimming 2km in the pool at least once a week for months now and I had recently been doing openwater swims in my new wetsuit of the same distance so it was going to be okay. Within 5 minutes into the swim I was in trouble - I could not catch my breath - I thought okay I am freaking just calm down and you will be okay but nope it was not that I just could not catch my breath. I sounded like a 60 yr old 200+lb asthmatic man walking up a flight of stairs. So I thought okay calm down think! Flip on your back do the back stroke so that is what I did - good plan right - well sort of - I forgot to spot from behind so after I did an extra 600 metres I did eventually finish.... well behind the rest of the group but I was like it is okay you finished it, put it behind you and get on your bike. (turns out today I have a great hacking cough and some chest congestion)
I was not worried about the bike except for the weather component - did I forget to mention it was raining - not a fine mist - but a nice steady down pour - but no biggy I have ridden this course every Saturday for the previous 4 weeks (excluding the last week) and owned it. I know this course and had completed it in 3.5 hours previously in 37 degree weather so I thought bring it on. Well as I got to the first hill it was like lead in my legs - I had nothing, zilch, nada, zero and I thought ***** this is going to be a very long bike ride. Now why did I have nothing? Well you see instead of doing what I had done through out training and practicing I changed it up based on a friend's adamant advice. This friend has done Ironman and a whole bunch of half Iron's and she said oh know the day before the race just have a good breakfast and then soup and a bun for dinner. So that is what I did against my better judgment and knowing I was hungry all day the day before I followed her instructions to a tee and now here we are with dead legs starting out on a 90km hilly ride. Well no time to whine just get it done. So I am going through the ride and thinking cripes could it rain more and then it did - it rained so hard it was bouncing of the pavement and then it rained harder, so hard I could not see out of my glasses (clear) and the wind - did I mention the wind - but this was good because I was so could that everything was numb and therefore I could not feel it. Lots of fun careening down a hill at 40km thinking I should slow down and my hands refusing to work (LOL). So eventually I finished the bike ride and I am proud to say that not once did I stop or get off that bike - not once. At times I am sure I could have walked faster than I was pedaling but I stayed on that darn bike till the bitter end.
So I am thinking bike finished and now for a "quick" 21 km when the race organizer, Dean, comes up to me and says it is 6 hours in and I don't think you can finish the run in 2 hours so I am giving you a DNF and we are not going to let you go out on the course. My first thought - 5 hours on the bike - holy cr*p I new I was slow today but that is pretty bad. Then I looked at Dean and looked at my husband and apologized quietly in my head to my husband for what I was about to do and said okay so I will show an official DNF and he said yes. I said well I am still going to do the run - I need to do this to prove to myself that I can. He was like but my volunteers will be leaving the course in 8 hours - you understand that- there will be no-one out there and I said that is okay it is an out and back and I have a map in pocket. He was like I can't stop you but you won't get a medal. My response (in my head) - whatever it would just go in the bottom of a drawer with the others - no biggy - this is personal I don't need the medal. I turned to my husband and thought sorry honey I know you are wet and tired but I have to do this and told him I am going to go run it anyways - I have to. Now here is why I love him - said I did not expect anything less of you get going and gave me a kiss.
It was at this time I noticed a bunch of
friends from my past clinics I coached along with my friend I coach with
standing there. Even more reason not to quit now - they had all driven out
to cheer me on so off I went and my legs felt pretty good. So I am running
down the road and 2 things happened I hear foot steps behind me and I am
thinking cripes it is Dean he has changed him mind. But no it is my
friends Cynthia and Vic and they are like hey girl we thought we would
come out and see what running in the RIdge was like. Mind if we join you?
At this time I shared my conversation with them about the DNF and told
them that I would understand if they wanted to turn back to which they
were like look we came out here to run and we need to do the mileage
anyways so lets go (they are getting ready to do an 80km in 7 weeks) so
off we went. Aren't they the best? . Then it gets even more amazing at
corner I can see a bunch of people yelling and screaming with pom poms,
pink hair and pink shirts - Pink is my fav color. It is more friends and
past clinic grads and their shirts say (LOL) the Shaunettes - I just about
lost it! Absolutely freaking amazing - god I love these ladies! And at
every corner and volunteer station there were the Shaunettes - inspiring.
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