My friend Jenifer, an amazing triathlete, has started a blog that chronicles her athletic adventures. Read and get inspired!
"Jenifer you are an Ironman!" Never Gets Old
Hello my name is Jenifer, and I'm an Ironman. Here is my story.
I got down to Panama City Beach (PCB) 4 days before the event and met up w/ my training partner Roger. That day we did a 15min swim, 1hr bike and 30min run to help loosen up our legs from traveling and just to keep us in the flow of things. On Thursday I went to packet pick up and got everything smoothly. Had to weigh in and was 9lbs under my ideal race weight, but I blame that on over-training and being around my mom (stress). I love you mom! My parents finally got into town that afternoon and we checked into our condo which had an awesome view of the beach and ocean. On Friday we did a 15min swim, 20min bike and 15min run to keep fresh. And then went and ate pancakes that a local church was serving everybody. Thank you to all the volunteers, you were awesome. Friday night we had dinner at Mark's condo w/ every body's family: Mark, Curt, Roger and myself and all of our family that came to watch us race.
4:30am alarm goes off and I call Roger to make sure he was up. Take a shower and get all my gear together that I needed to take to the race w/ me that morning especially the special needs bags. I was so nervous I had to force myself to eat breakfast because I knew it was going to be a really long day. I was more so scared I was going to throw it up I walk down to the race site and drop off my special needs bags. The go to my bike and put my water bottles on it, get body marked, then go put on sun screen. I waited for the line to go down before having air put in my tires. Put on the wetsuit and head down to the beach. I can't find anybody from Tupelo Multisport (TMS) so I go out in the water to loosen up my arms a little and make sure my swim cap and goggles are on right. I walk around the coral and finally see Roger so we talk a bit and see my parents and take some pre race pictures. We get smart and go to the left side/ inside of the swim cause it looks like most people are out to the right side of the swim.
7am the gun goes off and we start walking towards the water. I am overwhelmed by it so I tell Roger good luck and I'm waiting a bit before I go. So now I'm in the water w/ 2200 of my closest friends starting to do a 2.4mile swim. It was the most chaotic thing I have ever done before. About 5min into the swim I start to freak out, so I roll over on my back to regain my composure, and all I see behind me is a couple hundred more people coming at me. So I decide to just keep going. I talk myself into relaxing and finding open water. Once you got to the first turn around buoy everybody stopped swimming cause it bottle necked up to get around it, but it was like the force just pushed you around the buoy and then once around you started back swimming again. Make it to the 2nd turn around and all is well, start swimming in and I'm feeling good and strong and looking to the right you could see this beautiful sunrise coming up, which was great until lap 2 because then it was in my eyes! Then WHAM. I got slammed by a foot or elbow to my mouth. I knew at that moment it was a blow and a hard one, and the blood was rushing into my mouth. I come out of the water spitting blood and still dazed as I the hear the crowd just cheering everybody on. I grab a cup of water to rinse out my mouth and start walking back into the water to do it all over again. The second lap was a lot smoother for me but still had to fight off some people. My mouth still bleeding as I'm wondering should stop? No! I kept going...
To continue reading, see Jen's complete blog here.