Friday, August 26, 2011

Bloody Hell! Timberman 70.3 Part IV

This post contains graphic descriptions of normal bodily functions. I am tellin' it like it is so if you are squeamish or just don't wanna read about that kinda stuff, you might wanna skip this entry. But this is what happened in all it's gross glory. Ahhh, the glamorous life of an endurance athlete!!

I wasn't really sure how to title this entry. So many funny and gross ideas came to mind...but I didn't not use any of them. Maybe I'll run some sort of contest for the best title.

Did you read Part I? How about Part II? and of course, you need to read Part III!
Yeah, obnoxious. I know. I'm breaking it kind. It's my first 70.3 and I wanna remember every single detail-good and bad. But to really appreciate THE RUN portion of this race report, you may want to skim over some of the details mentioned in the previous entries. It'll all come together soon enough.

Remember how I did not take my hydration belt but grabbed a few "essentials"? Yeah well let's back track to Wednesday for a few minutes.
Last month I knew that I might have some additional issues to deal with come August 21st. You see, on July 21st I started my period and you know what THAT means. One month later to the date was THE BIG RACE. I did not sweat it since my body is like clockwork. 3 1/2 weeks between each cycle and Bam! "Aunt Flo" arrives for her visit, no big deal and she is gone in 3-4 days.
By Wednesday before the race "Aunt Flo" had not arrived and I was freaking out. The one thing I did not want to have to deal with come race day was my period.
Friday-Really freaking out now.
Finally, late Friday night, "Red Tide" arrived and I was relieved BUT annoyed. I knew this would not give me enough time to be completely rid of "the curse" for Sunday.
Earlier this summer I was with a friend who suffers from heavy bleeding and it was suggested to her to wear two tampons if needed. Race morning, this conversation replayed in my head and I decided to go with it. Hopefully, wearing two would get me thru the race.
The above mentioned essentials? Yeah, I shoved two tiny OB tampons into my tri top just in case.

The Run-

My legs felt fantastic off the bike, they were not fatigued considering the ride I just did and I was ready to run.
I saw Lola along the side lines so I stopped, hugged her, kissed her and got my HIGH FIVE.
I was so excited to be able to see my girl and I was ready to GO GO GO.

Heading out on the run

I'm watching my pace on my Garmin (I have a terrible time controlling my pace of the bike) and saw that I was running at a sub-8 pace. I needed to slow it down or I'd pay for it later. I got my pace down to the 9's and then proceeded up the first 1/4 of the route--a low grade constant climb. I kept my pace in check and felt good. The heat was certainly increasing and it was getting muggy so I grabbed some snow from the UNH Hockey aid station and shoved a little down my top and held tight to two tiny snowballs in each fist.
I finally crossed the first timing mat, grabbed some water shortly after that and then continued on my way.
Then I felt it.
Earlier in the day when I skipped the port-o-potties, I knew this error would come back to bite me in the ass, lliterally...I am pretty far from the next set of potties along the course and at this point, it becomes a game of Mind over Matter. I don't recall much from this portion of the run except it was Mission Port-o-Pottie.
Finally, I reached a lone potty and ducked in. This is when the freak out started.
If you read the first post, you know I have a huge phobia about these things. They disgust me. Obviously, this is something I am going to have to overcome if I am going to continue in endurance sports but I would rather go on the side of the road then be in one of these things. My biggest fear-I am attempting to go without so much as toughing any surface of the potty, trembling and freaking out about how gross it is. Losing time, precious. But I took care of business and excited the Green Tomb of Hell a new person.
Time to Run Jen!!
Run run run
It's getting hot-I grab a wet towel and wrap it around my neck-ahhhhhhh. It felt soooo good. Grabbed another water and kept going. Up up up another hill and then there was a gentle decline that allowed me to rest a bit.
Oooooh! A right glute cramp-that felt good but I was able to run thru it.
Even with the slight decline, I could feel my pace slowing.
Garmin is flashing high 9's--
The run course is a two loop course so you have to run right by the finish line and then do it again. I wondered what kind of mind screw this would do for me but it was not bad at all. I was looking forward to the crowds and hopefully seeing my family again.
Hot hot hot--I grab some sponges and shove those down my top. I thought of Macca's ever present sponge made man-boobs and laughed. As I ran towards the shoot and took the right lane for the loop two runners, my second mishap of the day would occur.
As I am running, the tampons I had put in earlier this morning were COMING OUT!!
Half in and half out.

The Middle of the Tampon Malfunction
Sorry fellas but you have no idea really how awful this is.
Ladies--I'm sure you've been there at some point in your life-but probably just one. Not a double dose.
I'm running through the chaos, my hoo ha is hurting from 56 miles on the bike and tampons hanging of it, but still laughing at the absurdity of it all.
What else could I do but laugh. It was funny, it was annoying and it was no big surprise!! Of course this would happen to me.
I looped through, got to high five my girl again--saw the family and friends then booked it to the next potty-
This time--I did not care. More time lost but what are you gonna do?
I was happy that I had the thought to pack extra supplied earlier in transition.
I peed and Mess #2 taken care of --I was off again.

NOT the peace sign, I wanted to know that this was LOOP 2!!

Another run up that slow climb. Now, my glute is still spazzing out. I am soaked from sweat, water and humidity. I had run many miles in my compression socks but never soaking wet. My feet feel like they are on fire. I look down at my shoes and see blood all over the tops of my sneakers.
I'm pretty sure that my feet are bleeding by this point.
The I get the pick me up I needed.  I hear my name and look over to see Tracey!!
We have been communicating via Facebook for months and she was moving to Maine from Florida. She competed in the sprint race the day before!!
I stopped to say hello and give her a nasty, sweaty hug! (sorry girl)
On I went-
Just before reaching the timing mat for the second time, I take a walk break to take in some fluids and suck down a gel. I chatted with a guy who asked what my mileage was on the Garmin. We were both close and showing about a 1/3 of a mile MORE than the course. Hmmmmm
Oh well--time to run. See ya and have a great race.
I run by the Barber Shop Quartet guys again and thank them for being out there. They sounded amazing by the way-
run run run
You are almost there girl. GO.
I'm not super tired, I want to run. My legs feel just fine. It's my feet. WOW! did they hurt. and my toes. On the descent, my toes were taking a beating. The glute is still spazzing a bit but by now I am just able to ignore it. I tell myself that the last 1/4 mile of the race, NO STOPPING.

The red streaks down my compression socks. Sweet
Run thru it. You are almost there.
So I run. and run. and run.
Then there is that damn hill again. I decided to walk a bit for some fluids-I walked longer than I wanted but then it was on. RUN JENNY RUN
All I remember is I know that I was not far from finishing.
I saw the 12 Mile Marker in the distance.
This was it. It was almost over.
Again, I was sad. I did not want this day to end.
Even with my feet on fire. I was quite sure they were bleeding. My toes felt like they had been run over by a truck from the constant slipping in my shoes and pounding.
But my heart was full of excitement and joy. There was a smile on my face.
The spectators at Mile 12 yelled GO PURPLE!! Looking strong and then pushed me. I thanked them and just continued to smile.
It was then that I thought about 140.6 and yeah, I can do that!
Mile 12 done-it's into the shoot.
Sprint time.
I ran with everything I had in me.
I saw the finish line and heard the cheers..
I smiled. I ran. I finished with arms in the air and feeling like a million bucks.

I saw her
There she was-it was Chrissie!!

All goals for the day achieved!!

She said Congratulations and put my medal on my neck. I then told her that all I wanted out of my race today was to finish with a smile and get my medal from her. I think I may have told her I loved her too.
(ok, so I totally told her I loved her)
She gave me a huge hug and I felt like I had won the race.
And as far as I am concerned, I did win.

Projected Run Time: 2:05-2:10
Actual Run Time: 2:16:21

RUN SPLIT 1: 3.275 mi3.275 mi (31:26)9:35/mi

RUN SPLIT 2: 6.55 mi3.275 mi (33:34)10:14/mi

RUN SPLIT 3: 9.825 mi3.275 mi (38:07)11:38/mi

RUN SPLIT 4: 13.1 mi3.275 mi (33:14)10:08/mi

My Garmin reports a run time of 2:15:43 and 13.39 miles.

I moved along the shoot, stopped to smile for a picture from the event photographer. Someone then removed my timing chip, I was given my Timberman hat and a bottle of water.
I then saw my family and friends.
And my daughter.
Then I lost it.
The tears came.

Here come the tears!
All of this has been for her.
Being a Mommy was the catalyst for change.
When I was fat, I did not want to be fat FOR HER.
I wanted to become a woman that my daughter could be proud of.
I pushed myself to achieve each and every goal I set for myself over the last 2 1/2 years.
Over 110lbs of fat gone.
Along the journey, I discovered that I was doing this for me too.
I rebuilt my body and my soul.
I found joy and real happiness. I learned to love myself and I forged a new confidence that I never knew I had. I discovered that I am stronger and more resilient than I ever gave myself credit for being.
I found passion. I made real, honest friendships that mean the world to me.

I buried that fat, sad, miserable girl out on that Timberman course on August 21st. I said goodbye to her with a smile and a wave of the hand, gone is all the hurt she held inside for years.

I crossed that finish line with a smile and a new set of goals.
Now I know what to expect from a 70.3 and now I know what I have to do next.

Say hello to the new Jen and the animal that was born on August 21st, 2011.
Now I'm out for something new.
Now I want faster.
and I'm out for blood.
The "beast" has emerged.
And she is smiling...and hungry for more.

I never found out my final finish time until that evening when my best friend, Dawn gave me my splits. She had been following me all day on Ironman Live.

Goal Finish Time: under 6:30
Actual Finish Time: 6:00:51


Big Daddy Diesel said...

I was NOT expecting that!!!

Congrats on an awesome race!!! You are a true rockstar in my books.

steve pridgen said...

awesome job!! way to push it and get that 6hrs!! keep up the great work you are doing!!!

adena said...

Great, now I'm at work and crying.. fantastic report!! Loved every single word. LOVED IT!!

Especially the Chrissie hug!

and uh, I gotta ask.. tampons? as in more than one?? ouch??


Same thing happened to pro Bree Wee last year at Cozumel. Her only problem was she was not prepared and only found out during the run when all the local spectators were pointing at her nice white...uh red, running shorts.
She DNFd

Katie said...


congratulations, friend. you are awesome.

jaruel227 said...

Ok- not cool Jen- now I am crying and setting new goals for myself. Thanks for the inspiration.

BabyWilt said...

Holy Moly that was some race, and you dealt with a potentially disrupting issue very well as far as I'm concerned.

CONGRATULATIONS you are an inspiration XXX

Tough Chik said...

Amazing and inspiring post! Congrats!

There is a time of the month when I refuse to mt. bike for that uncomfortable reason alone. Super painful, ugh I feel (felt) for you!

Finallyfit2011 said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Wow Jen, that sounds like a total pain in the butt run (literally) but you managed to smile through it all & enjoy the moments! I will remember that in future races I promise! xoxo

Erica Gorman said...

Awesome job and awesome post. Ironically, "Aunt Flo" is now on a collision course with my marathon race day. Wish me luck!

Jason said...

I have thrown-up and pooped at the same time but never have I thrown-up and cried at the same time...thanks....LOL!!!!

This was awesome. I am so proud of you for all your accomplishments. You truly are an inspiration for all.

Thank you for being you.

jamie@sweatyhugs said...

Man, oh man, oh man...chills, tears, admiration. Congratulations!

Rebecca said...

You are an amazing example to me to pull through and finish with a smile. Thank you for being an inspiration to keep me goiing, and congrats on your amazing finish time.

I want to be MMM when I grow up :D

Unknown said...

AMAZING - I have tears and as someone who also started on a fitness journey (for my son) and have also lost close to a 100 pounds (96) and also is called Jen… I can so feel the emotional journey this has been.

I loved the smiles, the appreciation and the total kick ass attitude you had the whole way.

i can't believe f'n flow tried to slow you down - but you were on point and conquered everything thrown your way because you are an ironman. Wow.

Kabekona Tri Girl said...

oh mna, now you have me crying at work. For real. Beautiful write up. Amazing race, great job!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on an amazing race and how far you have come in your life. You are awesome!!

GetBackJoJo said...

CONGRATS!!!!! You look so awesome and strong in all of those pictures! Loved the end of your report. Congrats and congrats and congrats!!!
I have had the half in half out problem before... So NOT FUN!! Glad you had an extra one with you.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Wow this was amazing! So proud of the journey you have made! Totally inspiring! 6 hrs!!! WOW!!!

p.s. I've lived that racing (ultras) while having my period stuff too. Not fun or always comfortable at all! Guys have it easy! ;-)

Melissa Cunningham said...

WOW! you are awesome jen! i have really enjoyed following you along this journey to 70.3!
i may not have commented on all your posts,but i have read them!
and these last few posts of your
from the gory bloody details that very few women are brave enough to be real about all the way to your triumphs throughout the race,and especially about your journey to get to that finish line...(oh yeah and the pictures!)
you are truely an inspiration!
keep on keepin on with your jen self,and way to recognize that in all things in life,
YFGT!!!!(yup,just channeled EMZ for ya!)

Unknown said...


justme said...

rockstar. you are so inspiring me. amazing job on finishing 30 minutes better than your girl.

and i have had the half in half out and it is not a comfy thing

justme said...

rockstar. you are so inspiring me. amazing job on finishing 30 minutes better than your girl.

and i have had the half in half out and it is not a comfy thing

Jamie said...

In case I haven't said it yet, I'm SO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU! You killed it out there. I loved sitting down and reading all of these back to back. :-)


Pahla said...

OMG, best race report EVER! I laughed and boy, did I cry! I am also the proud owner of a red-legged race photo. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Congratulations on a really, really excellent race!!!

Carrie said...

I am so, so, so happy for you! You must feel so incredibly proud. You are such an inspiration to others and especially to your daughter. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Love this. So much. Way to go! You definitely deserve to be proud of yourself.

Unknown said...

I'm totally teary right now! You, my dear, are amazing! The cards were slightly stacked against you, yet you didn't want it to end. That means you are a badass! :) So excited for you and yes, you CAN do the 140.6! Can't wait to cheer you on in AZ next year!

And hoping you don't have your period that day. I did two years ago during Ironman and I felt like my medal should have been encrusted in diamonds or something! HA!

Molly said...

I went from laughing at the start of this report, to getting teary at the end. I'm so happy for you, CONGRATS again!!!

Emily Manship, CPT, RYT, CF-L1 said...

You ROCK mama! I am so stinking proud of you! ((HUGS)) and love love.
PS-- my AF came before the warrior dash started... and I mean like when I went to the port-a-pot before the start line :-P Lucky for me I got covered in poop smelling mud, and no one but my hubby and I were any wiser. I suggest you check out the Diva Cup or the Moon Cup. These would be REALLY helpful for you, and considering the time frame of your runs they'd be better for your health than tampons imho. ::SMILES::