Ironman... the long and winding road

"Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic." Tim Noakes

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go." T.S. Elliot


Ironman Arizona

Hi All!!

I bet you are wondering if I finished the race or not??

Well, let me take you back to the morning of the 15th of April, 2007.

The night before, I really did not sleep, I just basically laid in bed and waited for 4am to approach. I had packed the night before, so I knew that all I would have to do is get dressed, eat (egg sandwich on wheat) and put my camera in the car. This is what I did when I "awoke". (how can you wake when you really have not been sleeping?!?) I also got a phone call from my boyfriend wondering if I was a wake hehehe... Of course I am.

At 4:30am, we headed down to the race start. Wetsuit in hand and ready for whatever awaited me for the day.

At the race start, I put some last minute things in my gear bags for the bike and run and then put water bottles on my bike and orange Gatorade (this is what they were using on the bike course, so I just went with what would be there) in my profile bottle that was on my aerobars.

Next, I went to the restroom, tried to rest, but there were people waiting in line :)! I then went to get my wetsuit on. Now, the wetsuit I rented ( from TRIBE multisport in Scottsdale, thank you!!) and was hoping that it was going to get me through the race. I put on my bodyglide and on went the suit. (I made sure to lather up my neck, because the suit rubs there.)

After the wetsuit was on I headed to the race entry for the water. I waited for about 10 minutes and then I dove into the water and swam about 200 yards to the start.

The Water:

68 degrees (2 degrees colder then the 2 prior days) But somehow, felt like a great temp. Last year I got in and my breath went away.

As I floated in the water this year, I was a little worried because I had not swam as much as I would have like to and I did not swim over the 2 miles as I had last year.

When the canon went off, everyone started to move forward through the water. I got into my rhythm and made sure to watch my breathing. I fully expected the thrashing and flailing, the kick in the face, the people swimming over you trying to drowned you. This year, that was not the case. People were very courteous and actually stopped to go around you or found the open space to swim by.

While swimming, I tried to stop only when necessary. I would pick my head up to make sure that I was still on course and to see where I was in the swim. When I was at the half way mark, I felt pretty good, I made sure to think about my breathing and keeping it steady, I also visualized my bike and run. I was trying to put it out there, that there was a lot more to get done in the day.

When I was swimming I also was trying not to drink the water. (A race was canceled a few months back, because of the water!!)

As I was 2/3 of the way done, I thought about how last year my arms felt some tingling, how I felt tired and I wondered if this year I would have as much trouble getting out of the water as last. But this year, I a lot more energy and I as I approached the stairs, I found my self able to pull myself up and out of the water and walk up the stairs, I was pretty happy with this. There was no weighted feeling and I then proceeded to the strippers/peelers (as they like to call them) to take off my wetsuit!

As I walked to the transition area, there were people just sprinting by and I wondered why was everyone running? (I know why!) :) It is not like we don't have a 138.2 more miles to go and whether you run or not they will still be there. Me on the other hand, I like to walk because it gets my legs moving, less chance of falling while sprinting to the transition area and I can reflect on the things to come.

At the transition I got my bike bag, went to the restroom and then changed. I had a very nice volunteer who got all my stuff out and insisted that I sit where the towel was so that I could wipe my feet off. As I got my bike stuff on, the volunteer was rushing, and I told her, I am in no hurry :). After I was ready to go, I got up and was out to get the sunscreen on. I had already put some on, but I figured more could not hurt and would only help! As I walked towards my bike PB&H (honey) in had, I saw my sister and my boyfriend who were cheering me on! I through up my hands -- see phot hehehe...

noticed I have not eaten my sandwich yet!

I walked to my bike and there are people that hand you your bike. My person, looked at my bike and I told him, yes that is my POS, it is vintage ;). After getting my bike, I headed to the mount line, I took my time as others once a gain sprinted by. I had a sandwich to eat and besides, there is 112 miles to go.

As I mounted my bike, I noticed that the shorts that I had chosen to wear for the race, were still wet from the water... :( not a good sign. I took off riding and the more I went, the colder my thighs were becoming. They really ached. My shorts must have been at freezing temp, for now my thighs were burning from the cold. I was hoping that this would end soon.

Out on the course, I noticed the wind had picked up. I am not a fan of wind, so I was hoping that it would just blow over! :0)

When I was about 2 miles in, I thought that I should be drinking and that in about 10 minutes I should be eating (I brought, 10 Carb-booms, gatorade, peanut butter filled pretzels, nuts and fruit and the other 1/2 of my PB&H. I made it a point to think, have you eaten or drunk anything yet? I like to eat about every 20 to 30 minutes and drink small sips about every 10.

During the first lap before the turn around, I noticed the wind was at my back and it was not a pretty wind at that. It was gusting too. I stopped at the first aid station to use the restroom. After that, it would be a while before the turn around. Boy, was did I wishing that there was no turn around. The wind was a killer. It had to be blowing at 20 mph, with big gusts. The turn around, is down hill, have you ever felt like you had to climb down hill to get anywhere?? Well if you have not, this was the day. I thought to myself, it would be nice to just pull over and not go on! But then I thought, what a wimp. There is no DNF. (I also read the quote on my hand, for me it is a tradition to put motivational quotes on my hands to read during the race, that is supposedly from the man who started the Ironman... :"You can quit and they don't care, but you will always know!!" I have never quit a race, or not finished!! Why start now??) I was just hoping for the turn around that was with the wind, when will I make it there?? Unfortunately, not for a long time.

With each lap, the wind got progressively worse. The second lap, I haul butt with the wind and and tried not to fight to much against it.

One thing that I noticed on this ride, was that there were people crashing everywhere . One person crashed 4 bike lengths in front of me and I thought 'what the heck happened there?' and I hope she is ok. She looked a little beat up, but she would survive. Then immediately after that crash, I came up on another lady who was on the ground!! :(

As I got to the turn around again, I thought that I was going to be blown over. The winds must now be at least 25 with gusts in the 30s!! This might be an exaggeration, but if it is, it is not by much! Once again, I was fighting to go down hill!! This time, I was dodging stuff blowing in the road and tumble weeds that I swear had radar. Again it would take me forever to get to the turn around in town so that I could do my last lap and you know I was praying for that lap to come, so that I could get off this course!!

I finally was on my last and as I was hauling A$$ again with the wind, I start to shout encouragement to those that were riding into the wind! Although I would be there in about a half hour, I just wanted them to know that I was rooting for them and to not give up!! Got a lot of smiles and that was very awesome! As I was doing this, I saw my sisters and I rode by and said Hi to my lovely sisters, they kinda missed me but started to cheer me on as I was by them! :0)

Now, as I headed towards the finish of the bike, once again, wind every where, blowing dust and tumble weeds, empty bottles blowing! It was Crazy.

As I got back into town, I was SOOO happy to get off the bike. I was beat up from the ride and the wind. I felt like I had biked well over 112 and now I had my marathon to complete. My visualization was shrinking, because I know that it took me a hell of a long time on the bike and I was really disappointed with that, even though I had survived. In my mind, I knew that had there been no wind, I would have made a faster time this year.

As I left the transition area, I was beat. I saw the time clock and I was thinking I have 7 hours left. By the way that I feel now, am I going to make it in 7 hours?? I wanted to cry and almost did. I did not think about crying because of the distance that I had to go, but the fact that I did not know if I would have enough time. (oh, did I mention that I did not have a bike computer or a watch??)

One thing that I would like to mention before I talk about the laps, is the people that were there yelling for perfect strangers! Cheering us on. Thank you all. It is really awesome to hear someone yell your name, tell you that you are doing it, that you are truly amazing for just even trying!

While on the first lap, I tried to run for a little bit and then walk, but I just did not have it in me. I decided, to eat, drink and walk as fast as I could. I sat there and thought about the wind in my face and the people going by and I read some of the motivational quotes ("Never look down on anyone unless you are helping them up!!" This quote was on the course last year and it was here this year too) that they put along the way. I think that the first lap mentally was the hardest. It was a time factor that was getting to me. But I thought if I could make 4 miles an hour, I would make it! But then, during the whole first lap, I had to stop at every restroom. I think that all the liquid on the bike was catching up to me. I thought that this is cutting into my time!!

As I went across the bridge to start my second lap, I saw my boyfriend and son and sister. I smiled and thought they are here for me and I do not want to disappoint anyone, (which I would not be, only myself!!) As I proceeded along, I felt as though I was getting a bit stronger, like I had settled in and finally was warmed up. I decided to run a little bit more and make sure to keep eating and drinking, this course has little rollers on it and is not bad at all. It was getting darker and as it got darker, I wondered what time it was. I did not ask, because if I did not know, then I would think that I need to keep the pace up and not have time to take a breather. As I went by my boyfriend I told him that I was not sure that I was going to make it! He asked if He could walk with me and I told him that it was not allowed, but he could walk near me. As I approached the special needs area, I was a little dismayed, because I was pressed for time and they had packed up the bags!! I was upset, because this was digging into precious minutes that I needed so that they could find my bag!! WTF?? Please do not get me wrong, I love the volunteers, but whose decision was it to pack up when not everyone has been by yet? After getting my bag and putting on my fresh pair of socks and chewing some gum, I was off. I had picked up the pace and I was telling my BF that I was not sure that I was going to make it. I had about 11 more miles to go and he NEVER doubting that I could do this said "you have got this, you have 3 and 1/2 hours for those 11 miles! you have got this."

I kept this in mind as I approached my last lap. On this lap, I was definitely stronger and I ran more then I walked! I also talked to people and spouted encouragement to those that passed me or I passed :) One guy named Jason, told me that he had to walk for fear if he ran, he would fall down! Jason told me that we had 1:45 left and I just wanted to jump up and down!! I had about 5.4 miles to go! I do hear my name being called! I next came across a lady at about mile 22 who had passed me in the beginning, she told me that I was definitely looking better and stronger then her. I thanked her and told her that she was not looking too bad herself. I told her that we were going to make it and that there is time!!

I just kept moving forward one foot in front of the other. As I got about 2 miles from the finish, I noticed a 71 year old man running in front of me! How inspirational is that?? I hope to be where he is when I am that old. I thought, I am going to make it. This man is kicking my ass and I am going to make it!

I finally made it to the bridge, where on the other side waiting for me was my son and boyfriend! We ran through the arch together as we heard Mike Riley say, Kathi... You are an Ironman!

140.6 miles later, I am a 2X Ironman Arizona finisher.

The next day, I heard stories about people crashing, one guy got hit by a road sign and t cut his leg, arm and dented his new bike.

We heard that this year had the highest drop out rate and that 25% of the pros did not finish.

Thank you to all my friends and family who supported me and showed up to cheer me on! I truly appreciate you all and you all ROCK!!

Shout out to my amazing Boyfriend

Hello all, after my shout, I will give a race report.

This is to my amazing Boyfriend, I just want you to all know that he gave up a lot to get me to and through the Ironman this year (and last)! He made sure that I had everything that I needed, supported me and got everything up and running so that I could make it to the finish line. He sat and cheered me on through the whole race and ran through the finish line at the end. :0) It was truly wonderful and I am truly blessed. I love you Shane. :)



Time has Flown

Wow, time has really flown, 10 days to race day!!

Of course I have not been here in a while, but believe me, I have been putting in the miles! I am lacking a bit in the "running" part, but I am hoping that I will still make it.

I have not done as much as I would like to have before this race, but I guess that is what illness does to you. So you get things done with what you have left! :)

That said, I am a bit worried that I will not make it to the finish line. I am worried because I have never entered a race that I did not finish and I do not want this one to be the first. I will give it my all though.

The last 2 weeks before the race, I am in PHX. I have ridden the course once and it looks good. There are a little bit of hills and I go slow up them, but that is ok!! I have also swam in a pool that is soooo hot that I dehydrate everytime that I swim in it. Lastly, I have been walking down the green belt with my mother and sister. I walked down the green belt yesterday to the bike shop and got a sweet deal on a pair of speedplay pedals!! After walking yesterday, I have been having pains in my heels and in the side of my shine bone. For my heels, I think that there is not enough coushin in my shoes. In my shin, I don't think that it is shin splints. I have an old injury there from my mountain bike. I was riding down a small dirt hill when my wheel gave out because of the dirt. The bike promptly snapped back and hit me in my shin bone. I had a huge welt there and I could not stand on it for 2 days. I guess the best way to describe it is for those of you who have broken a bone, it is the ache that you feel when the weather changes. It is pretty sore, so I am thinking about packing medical tape in my special needs bag on the run, so that I can tape it if need be.

My bib number is out, it is #2256!(thanks to RoboRanch for notifying me of this at!!) So you all can go to and watch my progress if you like! I really need all the good vibes that I can get!

So, I just want to say that this is probably the last post for a while, because my mother's computer is sooooo slow and she has dial-up :( !!

Well wishes to you all and I hope that on April 15th, I will hear "Kathi Moore, You are an Ironman (or woman in my case!) for a second time!!"