Sunday, September 21, 2008

i am a REDMAN

Sorry about the post yesterday night... I was deeply upset at being last in my age group... which was a first... it was totally uncalled for. Under the circumstances I went through... epscially on the run... plenty of spectators, competitors, and race support were WOWED that I made it to the red carpet finish. I am deeply honored to wear my Redman Finisher Shirt and Medal... and have been part of the best triathlon hands down in the United Stated:) So with that here is the low down on how I went down at the 2008 Redman Triathlon in OKC, Oklahoma!

Pre Race
Like most triathlons ... it was a sleepless night. I'm always concerned about waking up to late... missing the alarm go off. By 4 am I was up and ready to roll. I unpacked and repacked my transition bag a gagillion times Friday night. My pretty in pink race day ensemble was laid out, water bottles filled,nutrition ready to go, and bike already in tranisiton... all I had to do was put on clothes and eat my breakfast. I was out of the hotel by 4:15 and at Lake Hefner by 4:30. I headed out to transition and waited with the four other athletes who had already arrived. When 5 am hit... I got body marked... and headed to my bike. I laid out my transition area to the right of my bike, got my chip, ran a tiny warm up, chatted with my fellow age groupers, and soon enough got my wetsuit on. At 6:45 transition closed... and everyone made their way to the staging area by Lake Hefner. I hung around with Gerald, Dave, and the rest of the gang. I'm always happy to have Gerald and Dave around... and was especially grateful that morning. I had tried to zip my wetsuit up on my own... and luckily Dave and Gerald redid it for me... what a swim that would have been. At 7:15 the full iron, full iron relays, and full iron aquabike were off. By 7:30 the men 39 and under along with the half iron relays were in the water. When 7:33 hit men 39 and over and the half aquabike were off.

1.2 Mile Swim
At 7:33 all the women in pink caps were staged. I got at the front and was anxiously awaiting my entry in the lake... I had to jump up and down to get the butterflies out of stomach. As we walked over the timing mat... we had two minutes to the start. The water was not that deep... especially since the swim was an out and back that paralled the shoreline. I stood on the ramp awaiting the gun. BOOM... the gun blew and I dove in ready to go. The wave was small... with only a 100 women... so I got at the front and went to avoid the mass craziness a swim start usually brings. I veered off the left to make sure I was right next to the buoys... so I could have a great straight swim. It was all pink caps for the first quater of a mile. I found some girl that seemed to be flying at a good pace and hung on her feet. I soon started bumping into light and neon green caps of wave 2 and 3. I quickly got around them... though it took some smacking and kicking... and was well on my way to the white triangular turn around buoy. The swim out was perfect... I swam continuosly... and straight. As the I approached the turn around buoy I stopped to sight the buoys coming back... since the swim was straight into the sun. So much for that. I was like i'm following that person and soon started to head off to sea... oh boy. At about the fifth buoy I finally found the buoys again and swam the rest of the way home straight. As I approached the ramp I started to tear my wetsuit off and made my way to get my wetsuit stripped. Legs in the air and POW my wetsuit was off.

T1
Super duper fast for putting on socks, shoes, helmet, and sunglasses! Grabbed my bike and was gone!

Bike 56 Miles
This was the best bike course I have ever ridden... hands down. The first portion we rode around the lake on the path and over the dam. It was then a right turn down some little road as we made our way out to the beautiful countryside of the northwestern portions of OKC. The ride north on Macarthur was beautiful. The right lane was coned off to cars so I had alot of room to pass by all those 30 and 40 something year old guys as the start of the 56 mile ride began. The roads were in good shape till we got out of the city and into the country. Potholes and cracks became a concern and the last thing I wanted to do was crash. We had nice tailwind which made a for a great first part of the ride. Miles later it was a left on Waterloo as the bike made its way from Oklahoma to Canadian County. Once past County Line Rd and into Canadian county the local traffic picked up and the road conditions started to worsen... so much for the smooth roads we had earlier. The rolling hills were nothing and I was making great timing. The roads were filled with cyclists and it was hard to stay the three bike lenghts behind. Everytime I heard a motorcycle I glanced back to make sure if it was indeed a race official I was not in the drafting zone of another cyclist... no penalties would be accepted. As we approached the turn around... the rollers got hillier and more consistant. There was huge white SLOW DOWN sign on the road... and I slowed down... maybe a bit too much... CRASH. The next thing I knew I was on the ground right in front of the turn around cone with the left shoe unclipped. It took but a few minutes till one of the gracious water bottle hand off volunteers came over to unclip me from the right pedal... so I could get back up and get back on the bike. The crash hurt but no damage was done. I was purely embarrased but everyone was so nice and helpful. As I flew by the many on the way back... I got lots of words of encouragement for getting back up. The ride back was lonely once I got back to Mcarthur Rd to make my way back to T2. The bike course had thinned out quite a bit and there weren't as many people to chose as my targets to make my next move off of. The ride took us back in the coned off area of hte right lane. A few times I nearly got hit by stupid cars that decided they didn't want to be in the left lane. One huge black chevy truck who nearly hit me driving in the right lane gave me the finger as he flew by me when back in the left lane... how rude!!!! I made my way back to the path by the lake and was making great timing. Only on such a day would I have ever imagined a sub 3 hour bike ride... oh yeah baby :)

T2
Slow as Molasses!!!!!!

Run 13.1 Miles
Lets just say at this point I was thinking "maybe I should have done the aquabike"! The tough part of the day started as soon I made it out of T2 and heard my name. It didn't even take a few minutes before I realized that it was no 80 degrees outside... instead soooooooo much hotter and the sun made it worse as the run dragged on. The first three miles were a blast... and I mean it. I was strong... running at a nice even 8:15 to 8:30 minute mile pace. Up ahead after the third aide station I saw Coach Dave and oh yeah I wanted to show him I could kick his sorry butt in a half iron. As I passed him he was talking to me... telling me how I was top 10 women on the run course. I let it get to me to much... and was soon overtaken by the other three girls in my age group... not to mention what seemed like the whole race in that few mile stretch. I was bummed at that point... I had made my way from tops women and top in age group to last in age group... a first... it sucked. My heart sunk low and I didn't want to be out there any longer... I was in tears... I couldn't belive this happened... how embarrasing. But as soon as the tears finally stopped I had more things to be concerned about. Around mile 5... one of the girls in the medical carts asked me if I was doing ok... I told them "no". I was cramping... I was dehydrated... I wanted to be done. She told me I could get in the cart and go back to the finish and turn my chip in... hell NO... it wasn't going to happen. I didn't come to OKC to DNF. She went to the next aide station... about a quater of a mile up the road... to make sure I had wet towels, cups of ice water, and pretzels. This was start of walking every aide station the rest of the way through the run. As aide station to aide station dragged on... I ran between each one... walking through the aide stations. The scariest part of my race occured just before mile 6... I was running and all the sudden I couldn't breathe... serioulsly... I stopped breathing... for about 4 minutes. I started to burst out in tears again. I didn't know what was happening... I was freaked out. Those who ran by me saw what was unfolding and made sure I ws doing ok before they went on. As soon as I was able to catch my breathe again... I was doing better and knew I was going to finish:) As I approached the turn around and halway point I saw Gerald, Khai, Garry, and David. I didn't feel good but I turned my smile on... I didn't want anyone to see me beating the crap out of myself... as I struggled. I hit the turnaround and couldn't have been happier... only 7 1/2 miles left. It was a looooooooooooong 7 1/2 miles. I saw Coach Dave, Melissa, and Brooke as I made my way back. They all looked strong on the outside... and I was worried I would get overtaken again... but had to stop thinking about it. I was soon back in the mindset of the red carpet and white picket fence. At mile 8 I saw the same gal in the medical cart. She told me I looked worse and asked me if I was doing ok. I once again told her "no" and this time said "i'm gonna finish... it may not look pretty... it's probably gonna be ugly... but I'll get there... i'm gonna finish". She was concerned and told me if I needed to be pulled out of the race to let the aid stations know. OMG... what the hell... I couldn't believe they wanted to pull me. There was no way it was happening... I was going to finish. I wanted the medal, the shirt, the red carpet, and the white picket fence. As the run went on I was passed by those running and I passed those who were walking. Aide station to aide station running... through the aide staion walking. I was making my way... and thankfully... still in the running for a sub 6 hour half... I hate the number 6... esp when it comes to a half iron. Somewhere between mile 10 and 11 I was asked for the last time by the same gal and now some dude in a medical truck if I wanted to get pulled. I wanted to pull my hair out... didn't they get it... I was going to finish... and that was that. I saw the mile 12 marker and even though I was plenty dehydrated and so much more out of salt and cramping like crazy... I was going to jog... run... whatever it was for the last mile. I didn't want anyone to see that I was struggling that much. I turned the corner and right in front of me was the red carpet and white picket fence awaiting me... YES... fianlly! I wanted to throw my arms in the air and smile into the finish... but it wasn't gonna happen today. I had not a single bit of energy when I heard... "coming in from Frisco Texas... Marci Goldberg... an Ironman Couer d'Alene finisher back in June... now a Redman Half Iron distance finisher". As I approached the timing mat... I saw Gerald and was soon telling him "I was not doing well". Gerald grabbed my finsiher shirt and medal for me... as I couldn't do it on my own.

The Medical Tent... The Fourth Discipline
I was soon being taken off to the medical tent by one of the medical staff. It's funny how when I was out on the run course I said to myself I wanted to go to the medical tent... and now I got that chance. I arrived and was seated in a beach chair and soon surrounded by several medical people. I was being asked what my name was... what day it was... where I was as I was getting my temperature taken... getting my blood pressure taken... getting towels put all over me... all as I was getting stuck 3 times... they had trouble finding any viens in my weak body... this was not good. They soon found a vien and the IV bag was hanging over my head from a plastic hanger. I was laying with my head up... had just gotten comfortable... when they asked me to shift my way so my feet were up in the air. Seriously... you think I could shift myself on my own... I needed help getting moved around. After being helped and shifted the other way... I was given pretzels and gatorade... and was monitored to make sure I was getting salt back into my system. The next hour and half went by slow. I was visited by Gerald and Coach Dave... they were concerned. From my chair in the med tent I cheered on those who were coming across the finish line... even though I couldn't see them. As soon as I heard Melissa and Brooke's name ... both first time half ironers from the group... come in I was relieved... and so proud they made it in safely. The med tent started to fill up with half ironers who were in bad shape like me. After my first bag of IV fluids were done they told to me to hold my horses... and that I needed another bag. This was going to be long afternoon. They helped me get proped up back into regular sitting position which made eating and drinking so much easier. During the second round of IV bags fluids a lady who was prettier in pink then I was came in being held onto by 3 medical guys... she couldn't even keep balance... poor thing. The guy who was to my left had one IV in each arm and was barely concious... oh gosh. As the second bag of fluids were flowing into me... I became more aware of what happened on the run and understood of why the medical staff was so concerned about me being out there. As the second bag was almost empty... I had my blood pressure and temperature checked one more time. The very sweet medical lady who took care of me for that hour and a half... helped me get out of my seat... and made sure I could walk around on my own before releasing me. I thanked the med staff for great the care they had taken of me.

After being released I hung around... baked in the sun... made some new friends... got a massage... watched the last few half iron and first few iron finishers make their way down the red carpet. It was an experience

I am so grateful that I chose such a premier event to take part in. It was a tough day on the run... I failed to place top three in my second to last tri ever as a 20-24 year old... but in the end... I made it within seconds of my goal time... made alot of new friends... got to experience the IV bag... and hands down enjoyed the race.

Next year I'm going back to Redman... most likely to complete the Full Iron. What a race... what a day! If you haven't had the Redman experience... I highly suggest you get some it.

I thank David Wood... the man behind Redman... the volunteers... the spectators... and the medical staff of Redman! Without them I would not be a Redman!

More to come...

4 comments:

Steve Stenzel said...

JEEZ!! That's a rough day! 2 BAGS of fluids?!? You're a crazy woman!!

Glad you're still kickin'!

Cortney said...

Marci bless your heart on the IVs. Sweetie you did it and didn't give up! 4th place is better than 50th! ;)

Kona Shelley said...

You did great on a very tough day. Makes you stronger eh?
Congrats!!!

Rainmaker said...

(Just catching up now...)

Congrats though for pushing through. Especially with a crash and all - that would have completely thrown me for a loop.

Plus, two bags of IV fluids is totally awesome! Again - you're just getting extras that nobody else got, like a bargain!