Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya 2015 - Against All Odds

My journey to triathlon started in September 2013 when I first did a mini in Cold Storage Singapore International Triathlon 2013. Fast forward to April 2015, I completed my first Ironman 70.3 in Putrajaya. So much thoughts going through my head and this would probably take me a few posts to complete my journal.

First the RACE.

Even though 8 hours was not a timing that I should boast about, but I was proud that in the midst of all that went wrong, I survived 8hrs of gruelling heat, pain and managed to cross the line :) Ironman is not a race against others, it's a race against self. More than the physical abilities, it was the mental struggles and odds that I had to fight with.

- 3 weeks before the race, one of my team mates met with a freak accident during a bike training. She had to undergo a spinal cord operation and is still undergoing rehabilitation at the hospital. Her husband had to forgo the race to take care of her.
- 1 week before the race, another friend was hit by a car during a taper ride. He suffered a shoulder blade fracture and had to give up on the race.
- 2 days before the race, my period came... Well, kind of expected, but I was hoping that the stress I was facing would delay it till after Sunday.
- My Garmin 910 went dead on the morning of the race! WHY??? Till today, I do not know... It was charged in the morning.
- Thinking that it was flat, we made a calculated risk to U-turn to pick up the charger for a quick charge in the car. We ended up with only 15mins to set up our transition, including pumping our tires.
- Garmin was at 58%. But when I reached the swim start, the battery was flat... I thought time to upgrade :( However, I charged it after the race....and it is WORKING now... Sigh, Murphy's Law.
- After the first turn out from the transition area, I hit my aero bottle and dropped it. Bottle broke and I can only rely on my electrolyte drink. Had to grab a bottle at every aid station for a quick drink.
- I wanted to avoid another female cyclist at an U-turn, I crashed into a metal barricade.
- Was careful not to push myself too hard on the bike so that I can save my legs for the run. Cramp hit on the first run loop... Time to relook on the diet.
- Many had warned me about the blazing sun... But it did not prepare me for how HOT it turned out to be... No shades, humid and HOT HOT HOT! I was burnt badly...

In the midst of the odds, there were much to be thankful for!

- Left with only 1 team mate, we had a smooth drive up to Putrajaya. No major jam at the customs.
- 2 people, 2 bikes. 1 car. Perfect combination.
- Period came but there was no cramps.
- I met Craig Alexander, the legend of Ironman. Scored a pic with him.

- Garmin 910 went dead and I remembered I had a friend who came as a supporter. Managed to see him at the swim start. He was an angel! Without hesitation, he willingly offered his Garmin 920 to me.
- On the first loop, someone saw me cramping and offered me his electrolyte drink. He mentioned that it was those that doctor prescribed for dehydrated patient. He was walking and I could see that he was also in pain. But he willingly gave me one and even advised me to sip it down slowly.
- On my second run loop, saw a guy walking. Asked if he was ok. He asked if I had a salt capsule. I gave him my 2nd last one.
- Medic and volunteers at the aid stations were very supportive and helpful.
- Made many new friends of the same passion.
- Last but not least, LOVE the finisher towel! Didn't expect that :)

Thank you Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya for a memorable first race. I've been "stamped" by the IM mark :)