Sunday, April 7, 2013

IM Los Cabos: The Run and Being Hunted

If you missed IM Los Cabos: Pre Race/H2O click here.
If you missed IM Los Cabos: The Bike click here.

I left the tent screaming, "I feel like a million bucks."

And I did.  My legs felt great and the streets were filled with people cheering us on.  The run in Los Cabos was shaped like an M, at least, that's what I heard.  It makes sense too.  We would have six turn arounds where you could see who was in front, and who was behind.  We would run three loops of 8.5 miles (or so).

I started to see some familiar faces, and cheer out to people I knew, and didn't know.  For some reason, my race number had MEXICO instead of CANADA written on it so needless to say, I got a lot of "Vamos Mexico"  from the crowds of Mexican  supporters.   

I ran the first loop feeling great, but I was well aware of who was steadily gaining on me.  There were too many turn arounds to start counting time, but I knew it was coming on the second lap.  Upon reaching one of the water stations, I saw a girl with sunscreen.  Although it was far too late, I took a glob and rubbed it on my shoulders.   

As the sun set, and people became silhouettes I could see who was approaching.  It was mile fifteen and I looked over my right shoulder, "ahhhhhh shiiiit" was all I had.  Ricardo had caught me and I knew that was it.  He was running a lot faster than me, so I knew that matching his pace was almost impossible.  

"What happened on the swim, babe?"  I asked.

Now I would find out why he will never ask me to zip him up again.

"My wetsuit opened, and I couldn't zip it back up."

"Did you swim he whole race with it open?"

"Ya.  And I was so cold that when I got out of the water, I couldn't feel my legs.  So I sat in transition to warm up."

Oops.  First the upside-down E and then this. 

After looking at the times, I would see that Ricardo did in fact beat me on the swim, but then had a 12 minute transition.  I got on the bike 1 minute before him.  

So after our brief chat, he gave me an "I love you Babe!" and sped ahead.  

As I set out on the third lap I started to feel a little bit better. A girl with green socks who I had passed on the bike passed me and drifted by with a fast pace.  Coming up to mile nineteen, I decided to unleash the beast.  I had been carrying a Gu Espresso Love Gel with me the whole race.  Now, for those of you who know me, I am like a kid on speed when I have caffeine, so to be honest, I was afraid to take it. What the heck, I am going to see what this is all about.

Bottom left corner.  That's my back!
 At mile 20, I sped up.  Faster, and faster.  And then even faster.  A while back I read a race tip that said you go slow, slow, slow ... until there are five kilometers left.  Then you let it rip.  This worked well for me in Brasil, and with 6 miles left, i thought I might be jumping the gun.  I was going for it.  I am going to catch him. 

Without letting up, I let my pace continue and when I arrived at the last turn around, I saw him.  I was literally 300 meters behind him.  And there was about one kilometer to go. He gave me a thumbs up and yelled, "good job babe!" and then he did the unthinkable.  He sped up.  For a moment I wondered if he might wait for me, but I didn't get my hopes up. Between him and I, was Heidi gliding in her green socks.  

Although I didn't catch him .. I gave him a good scare.  That's his finishing photo. Afraid of what, or who might be lurking behind him. 


I sprinted into the race chute and saw the clock 12:46 and some change.  There was Ricardo smiling big and holding out my medal.  I jumped up and gave someone a high five and then cheered my way through the finish line. 

Ricardo would beet me by 2 minutes and 40 seconds ... this time.  

He put the medal around my neck, we hugged and kissed.  

And then we ate pizza.

We sat down and started to talk about the race, Ricardo was saying, "I love you babe, you are such a Rockstar."  I gave him my hand (like hand to the face) and said, "Sorry Babe, I think I am going to pass out and I don't know what to do." He picked me up and walked me to a medical bed where I layed down.  

This was the first time I have felt such an after race sensation.  I was freezing cold so they stripped my clothes off and gave me a pair of boxers, and Ricardo gave me his finisher shirt that was dry.  My race clothes were soaking wet and the temperature had dropped.  2 hours.  That's how long we stayed in the medical station, well, between it and the port-o-let.  I will spare you those details (but if you are interested in reading about such material, visit IM Cozumel: The Bike).  My brothers might appreciate that one. 

Knowing that we had to walk our bikes back to the hotel, I had a familiar flash back. I remembered being young and foolish, and drinking too much.  That feeling that you have to get up off the toilet, but you can't, but you have to, but you cant, came flooding back.  I had to get up.  "OK!"  I said.  "Let's go." 

The medical staff checked my blood pressure that had dropped really low and it was on the up.  It's now or never.

We got up, Ricardo in his race gear and me in my boxers, and arm in arm, we walked out of the race area.  

Run time: 4:38

Race time: 12:46:27

It took 24 hours (the typical amount of time it take to feel normal again), until I was ready to talk about which Ironman we will do next.  And so it has been written, Nice, France June, 2014.

Raynelle and Larry Thompson.  Ricardo and I want to be like them when we grow up. #Konabound

Thank you
Thank you to Bekah List for kicking my swim up a notch, to Vail and Sarah for making a great pre-race motivational video and to everyone who send messages along on it.  Thank you to Ellie who made my my first ever golden carrot (that was orange). Thank you to everyone who wished me well and sent messages of encouragement.  And to everyone who gave a shout out at the end.  Thanks to all who followed the live tracker and who dispatched details.  Thank you to Sergio Godinez for always taking the time to check out our aching knees, ankles, and shoulders.  Thanks to Asdeporte for another great race, and thanks to my Sweet Ricky P.  who really is the wind beneath my wings.  

 Fun fact: Bekah, my coworker and swim teacher extraordinaire says to me on Thursday, "You know what? My friend finished in between you and Ricardo."

My reply, "HEIDI in the green socks."



  1. Si se pudo!!! This Ironman story made me tear up a bit and even think that Nice would be beautiful in June. :) Thanks for sharing your journey. Vail

  2. Oh, Nice will be incredible. I am glad to be part of each others' journey my friend! xo

  3. Really fantastic & i really appreciate with my heart keep going on

  4. Interesting blog to read..Thank you