Posts tagged Ironman Triathlon
IRONMAN Florida, November 5, 2016

IMFL 2016 Race Report

This may be the mother of long race reports!  There are so many people to thank, I tried to cover everyone in my pre-race comments, my husband Bill, my fabulous son and coach, Patrick, his wife, Jeanne, and my grandchildren Paige and Ian, and Marc, who came from Belgium, and to all of my friends who came to the race, and those who cheered and followed from afar. 

Seeing familiar faces on the racecourse was absolutely the BEST!  I think I was more anxious than I thought, but I really thought I felt calm.  I have to admit my patience was a bit thin.   My thoughts always came back to “Pat has always gotten me ready, and this is no different.”  I completely trust his coaching.  

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Gini Fellows Lookin' Good and About To Be an Ironman

Originally published in Huffington Post on November 4, 2016

I checked in with Gini Thursday evening, and she seemed remarkably calm. Here’s an excerpt of our conversation.

Carolee Belkin Walker: So, wow, the race is on Saturday! How are you feeling?

Gini Fellows: Physically I feel great, and I know I’m prepared. I didn’t think I was nervous until last night so I thought, oh, you better go to bed. There’s a lot going on at the Ironman Village. We’ve had a Facebook group this past year so there is a get together.

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Almost There

The countdown has really begun, 11 days until Ironman Florida.  It is almost unbelievable that it is finally more than just a date.  I have learned so much about myself throughout this journey.  I think the most important thing I learned is, “you can do anything if you are willing to do whatever it takes.”

At least that is what I am hoping on Saturday, November 5.  My goal is to finish within the 17-hour time limit.

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Long Distance Training

This week held the longest ride and my longest training run. We headed back to Canada for their Thanksgiving, and I was able to run/walk 15 miles in three hours. The ride was the Southern Magnolia 100 last Sunday, October 2.  

For the Southern Magnolia, it was a beautiful morning with comfortable temperatures. One of my friends decided to ride with me, and we headed out for the country roads where there was very little vehicle traffic.  A few dogs, none of which seemed vicious, and only wanted to run, had chased us.  We were riding along when two dogs were in the middle of the road.  They turned and saw us, and came ambling up wagging their tails.  The large chocolate lab was extremely friendly, so friendly that he walked up to me, and while I was trying to get to the side of the road he walked into my front wheel.

We both went down!

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IMFL Triathlon Camp

Who doesn’t wait until she's 70 to go to camp for the first time?

Well I did and it was a unique experience.

No tents, bond fires, or s'mores.  It was a lot of work, but I think I got a lot of experience and information to remove some of the terror of the swim away.  I am sure I will be a nervous wreck prior to the start, but at least I feel I can handle the swim.  We rehearsed a short version of the swim, getting out of the water and running back in. Our coach gave us pointers on sighting.

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I am invincible?

Last week I had two rest days in my training plan.  Well, if you call rest driving 1100 miles over those two days.  I am back home in the real heat and humidity.

It takes a few days to switch back from the metric system. I no longer have to check to see if I am driving kilometers or miles, swimming meters vs yards. There have been some changes since I have been gone. The gym where I worked out closed due to bankruptcy. It was a great place because it had a pool, weight rooms, and exercise classes. This week I spent time looking for another place to swim and a new gym. There are only three indoor pools on the Coast but numerous gyms. I found the pool, and today signed up for another gym.

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Sport in perspective

This week has been “what were you thinking when you signed up for an Ironman?”  I know I am obsessing about the swim, mostly.  Will I be able to complete it in the time limit?  Can I get through the breakers?  Why didn’t I sign up for IM Chattanooga, with a down river swim?   Will I be able to keep up the cadence during the bike?  The run will be about survival.  The list goes on and on.  

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Journey versus adventure

This week was a little easier as far as the runs were concerned.  My knees have been sore and stiff, and my legs were cramping.  The longest run I did this week was one hour and fifteen minutes.  Fortunately it was a little cooler so it went well.  After the run I did some yoga and all was well.  At least until Saturday night when we had a party at the yacht club and I danced for a couple of hours, in sandals.  Sunday morning my legs felt pretty sore.


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Gaining confidence with harder workouts

My swims are changing. My coach says my stroke “turnover” needs to get faster. There are so many things to think about.

I have more drills and fast 50s and 100s. I have mentioned the pool in town where I do most of my swim workouts. It is a community pool and I think every minute is scheduled from early morning until it closes. Generally I go early during one of the adult swim times, and another time is at noon when there is adult and senior swim.

I have started calling it a “fossil fest” where I am the only fossil swimming.

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Longer rides, longer runs, fast swims

Part of the Irish Blessing states, “May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back.”

For my past two long rides the wind has not been at my back for long. I must be building strength because it seems as though the wind has been head on for the majority of my rides. On one morning the wind was a crosswind at 18 mph and gusting up to 24 mph. Tough rides!

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