Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ironman 70.3 Augusta Race Report - After the Finish Line

This is the last part of a series of posts about the 2014 Augusta Half Ironman. Click here to start with the first post! 

So I had made it through the finish line, collected my medal and finisher's cap, and became - officially - a Half Ironman!

Not looking too bad, I think!
I made my way to the food tent and picked up a piece of pizza and a can of Coke, a bottle of water and a banana, then took it to a nearby table to eat. I took one bite of the pizza and one drink of the soda and nearly gagged. Apparently, my body was not yet ready for this kind of food. I dumped them and ate the banana and drank the water. I looked over at the massage tent to see about getting a free 10 minute massage on my left hip and lower back (can't remember if I posted about my lower back bothering me for a good bit of the run - never had that happen before in training @@) but the line was very long. I just wanted to find my parents and get my stuff out of transition!

I stopped to pick up my Morning Clothes Bag and stretch a little bit, then I found Mom and Dad and we started walking back to the hotel! It was about a half mile walk, but we took it nice and slowly and I shared my initial thoughts about the race. We stopped off at the room to drop off my bag and race belt - but I wanted to go ahead and get my stuff. I was looking forward to an ice bath and getting off my feet, but I knew once I did that I would not want to get back up. Mom had already sat down and had her shoes off, so my dad offered to walk with me. I assured him is was only about a half mile. Yeah, I was pretty wrong. I should have known better since it took me 20 minutes to walk there slowly... dad estimated it to be around 1 1/4 miles there (and then another 1 1/4 miles back! LOL I guess I did 72.8 on Sunday, at least!). It was a nice walk, though, since I don't get much chance to hang out with my Dad. I had taken a Luna bar with me to eat so I could have a little bit of protein. I think next time I do any sort of endurance event, I need to have a small bottle of TruMoo chocolate milk in the room waiting for me. That is really the best post-race recovery food for me.

We got to transition and they wouldn't let Dad in, so I headed over to pack up all my stuff and grab my bike. It was almost 12 hours since I had arrived there that morning, and still very surreal! I walked back out of transition and Dad grabbed my bags from me and tried to push my bike, but he is too tall so he was having to hunch over. I took over the bike and pushed it myself. We made the slow, slow walk back to the hotel.

I had planned to eat at Farmhaus Burgers after the race, but as I ran past them during the run, I realized that they are closed on Sunday and Monday. To the owners of this place: NOT SMART! I think you could have done a brisk business with all the hungry athletes and spectators!

I did find that I wasn't terribly hungry, though. And the idea of getting cleaned up and driving or walking somewhere was not pleasant. Since Mom had to work on Monday morning, and it was already getting to be in the evening, I told Mom and Dad they could go ahead and leave. Mom was very unsure about this. I had food with me in the room (best thing I did was to bring food with me!) but she was afraid I would get ravenous and the food I had would not be enough. I assured her that it would be, and if it weren't, I could go buy something in the lobby of the hotel (small assortment of convenience foods) or call for delivery. I was just going to get my ice bath, then shower, and put on jammies and compression socks and put my feet up!

Reluctantly they left and I got to tending to my body. The outer part of my left knee started to hurt as soon as I got back to the hotel and stopped moving. I knew immediately what that was all about - my IT Band was not happy with me. Since it hadn't bothered me during the run or immediately afterward, I decided it was just some inflammation after the long workout and I set out to roll and stretch it out. In our swag bags we were given a sample of an cool wrap so I put that on my knee for a few hours. I cleaned off my toe and put some more neosporin on it and a clean bandage - it hadn't bothered me at all during the race! I inspected my feet and didn't find a single blister or hot spot! Incredible!

I made myself a peanut butter sandwich and ate some goldfish crackers. After having some Gatorade, I had a cup of my Pibb and my little pumpkin shaped Snickers. My appetite never did kick in that night. I stayed up a little later than planned so I could catch up and respond to all of the FB messages and emails I received both while I was on the course and after the news spread that I had finished! That was simply incredible and I felt so loved that so many people had tracked me and were thinking of me while I was out on the course! Your energy and prayers and thoughts carried me through, for sure!

I found a sample pack of Advil that I carry in my purse and took those before bed. I figured it would help the inflammation on my IT band and elsewhere. When I woke up the next morning shortly before 7, I was pleased to see that my knee felt much better. The tightness had returned to the hip/groin/quad area of my left leg, so I'm sure that was related. I rolled and stretched and took a nice, long shower. I packed up my stuff much more quickly than expected and took a load down to the car and then checked out the breakfast buffet. Nothing looked good. Apparently my appetite was not back yet. Weird. I decided to go ahead and get on the road since there was a lot of rain in my way. I stopped at McDonald's to pick up some breakfast but only ate about half of it.

The drive home went smoothly, even with the rain! I didn't have any cramping issues at all! I got home to my girls (my son was asleep - he works 3rd shift) and offered to take them to lunch once I got everything unpacked. Finally, something sounded good: Sweet Tomatoes! This is a salad buffet, for those who don't know what it is! It's delicious and the girls and I love it, but I was shocked that of all the things that would sound good, it would be a nice, big salad and a strawberry lemonade. Why couldn't I have had cravings like that during my training?!?! LOL Even though it tasted really good, I didn't go crazy like I thought I would. In fact, I probably ate less than I usually do.

I've been assured that my appetite will kick in and that I will likely experience some form of letdown or depression in the next couple of days! And I'm sure it will. But for now, I feel great! I woke up this morning (Monday) with most of the hip pain completely gone. My legs are still pretty tired, though, But that is to be expected! My upper back and shoulders are tight but not sore. I wish I could get a massage or something, but that's OK! ;) I'm fatigued but not exhausted. Overall I'm really pleased with how my recovery is going.

 So now, we've come to the end of my race report. If you read all 6 parts, I think you deserve a medal of your own! Thanks to everyone for being a part of this journey with me! I sincerely appreciated all of the encouragement and support over the last 9 months! Triathlon may be an individual sport, but not a single athlete out there on that course on Sunday made it through without the help and support of their family and friends! I am incredibly blessed to have all of you in my life! :)

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