Friday, July 29, 2016

The Yarn Bombers Rocked It

Ironman Calgary 70.3 relay team - Yarn Bombers
July 24th, 2016

I have so many great things I'd like to blog about but haven't had time to do so. I am back now and I would love to get back to my Adventure blogs. But for now lets stay here. This blog will be a bit different. This blog will include Michelle's, Jennifer's and my point of view.
Swim - Bike - Run (photo credit: Keith Cartmell)

It all started with Michelle. She posted this "RUN & BIKE FRIENDS WANTED" March 19th 2016 on FB! I remember sitting beside her and I saying "pick me, pick me!" She got a few replies and had to create two teams instead of one :) March 30th was the day we were registered as team Yarn Bombers and I realized what I had done. I slowly started freaking out but I knew all I could do was training, training, training. And that I did.

Ok now, lets have a look at the point of views from the three of us. It starts with the swim :)

Michelle - Swim 1900m (more like 1750m she said) in 42:46

I woke up around 3 a.m. (an hour earlier than my alarm) so just got up to have breakfast and get ready.  Antje and I drove to the start for 6 a.m., parked at the hospital and got Jennifer to do our body marking. Then I pulled on my wetsuit while checking the bike.  Once on the beach, a friend reminded me to go dunk myself, then the team relay wave horn went off before I was really ready.  I ran and threw myself in and swam, getting bumped by some of the faster men passing me but not kicked.  I remember not really liking the experience for the first part of the race.  It was chaotic but things changed and I started to enjoy the race.

(photo credit: Keith Cartmell)
I got off course a bit at times and stopped once to dunk my foggy goggles and keep going.   At one point I was swimming next to a guy doing the breaststroke and tried to stay out of the way of his kick.  There was another guy doing head-up front crawl. I choked on a splash from another swimmer, gulped in a cup of water, but just kept dog paddling, coughing and choking, wheezing until my breathing returned to normal.  Face down, arms forward, pull, kick, keep moving…

I could see the triple yellow triangle buoys and knew I was almost done.  I kept swimming toward the shore until I could dig my hands into the sand before jumping up to run over the finish line, and ran into the tennis court to hand off the timing chip where Antje was waiting to head off on her 90K ride.  I had time for a coffee and a shower while Antje biked before heading to T2.  The rest of the story belongs to Antje and Jennifer…

I loved the experience and am grateful for my team.  I hope Antje and Jennifer had as much fun as I did.  I know we all trained hard and got out there and did our best on a really hot day.   I even learned to crochet so I could be part of Team Yarn Bombers!  Next year, I look forward to doing this race again (swim, bike and run). 

Myself - Bike 90Km in 3:26:41

I didn't mind getting up early because I was used to it from going swimming 3 times a week at 5:15am. I felt "alright" in the car all things considered. The moment we got to Auburn Bay I started feeling nauseous. I asked myself - What the hell did you do? Are you sure you are ready? I was worried finishing my bike ride in time. I knew Jennifer depended on it. We quick checked my bike and Michelle got into her wetsuit. Surprisingly the moment Michelle got into the water I started to relax. I knew I did all I could. I was ready I really wanted to do this. For me and for my team.

I saw Michelle coming out of the water and heading towards me. She handed me the timing chip and off I went. 
And I am off. (photo credit: Keith Cartmell)

Auburn Bay to 37th St was new to me and I looked ahead and wondered - if 37th St will be far. I couldn't bike the entire route in training but my lovely friends drove the route with me once. 

I loved being among all the other riders (kinda was nervous that I would be slow and alone - silly me). I past a handful of people which was enough for me and everyone that passed me commented on my amazing Cookie Monster Jersey :) It was a hard ride but it was so worth it. I tried to focus on parts of the ride instead of the entire ride at once. I got very emotional in Bragg Creek because I biked 52K in 2:12:25 and I knew I had less then half to go. The second time I got very emotional and had a hard time focusing on my ride was when I headed down the last hill to T2. I checked the time and realized I would finished in 3 1/2 hours ... I was so surprised, overwhelmed and just happy ... I almost cried. I reached the bottom of the hill where I had to get off my bike. I headed to T2 and looked for Michelle and Jennifer. I gave up my timing chip and I was done. Woohoo. Wow. Amazing. I did it.  Very happy I was part of this team. I would definitively do it again :)

Now have a look at the run and final part of our team triathlon.

Jennifer - Run 21.1K in 2:31:41 

I decided to be apart of a little adventure.  A couple/few months back Michelle made a Facebook post asking if anyone would be interested in being a part of a relay team for Calgary 70.3.  I didn’t even hesitate, I jumped at the chance to be a part of a race that I have been dying to participate in (not just volunteer).  After all was said and done and we were registered as team Yarn Bombers I started to panic.  I don’t like depending on people as I have been let down before and this whole process was starting to get stressful for me. 

photo credit: Jax Olar
Anyways…. fast forward to July 24, 2016.  Even though I was running in the afternoon I still felt the need to volunteer in the morning, I did body marking and wetsuit stripping (and if I wasn’t going to do the entire race myself next year I would do it again, LOVED IT!).  It was a great experience to be at the start of the race and get to see everyone start and end their swim.  Then the fun part started…. waiting!  Once I left Auburn Bay I headed to North Glenmore Park and waited for what seemed like forever. 

Michelle and I waited in T2 for Antje to get back (which she did fantastically awesome!!), got a quick pic, and took off on what ended up being a tough run.  It had to be about 26*C!  Gross!  Not ideal running weather!  But that’s ok, it is what it is.  By some chance by best friend who did the entire race caught up to me on the run!  I don’t know how it would have went if she wasn’t there suffering with me. 
The aide stations were fantastic!  Who knew that having a bit of Coke mid run would be a great idea?  LOVED it!  Other than the coke the ice and wet sponges were probably my favourite part.  

Like any other race the first 2/3 or so of it went well (thank goodness for the shade!) and then the heat and hills started to play catch up. 

After all is said and done I had a great experience doing the relay with these lovely ladies, although I don’t think I will be in any rush to do another (I think I put more stress on myself this time around than when I run solo).

Finish - 6:43:53

Thank you Ladies for an amazing day. Very happy my first relay was with you two on my team.

Happy Training For Your Next Adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your perspectives Antje and Jennifer! I'm happy we all cared about each other & wanted to do this. We ALL stressed ourselves out worrying about others on the team. Thank you both for being part of Team Yarn Bombers! I LOVED the experience & especially sharing it with you both!