Los Angeles Triathlon Club
Race Report
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Club Member: Lisa Gillmann
Race: Ironman Florida
Distance: Ironman
Race Date: 11/06/10
Submit Date: 11/10/10

This will be my very first Race Report with the LA Tri Club, I decided to go into the medical field for a career cuz I hated writing papers in school, but Im going to give this one a good try. This whole experience started out as a fun way to mentor a good friend, Liza Velarde, through her first Ironman distance. Little did I know, it would turn into a huge accomplishment for me as well. I thought, what would be more fun than to do an Ironman on your birthday?? Well, it was just that. We arrived on Wednesday in Panama City Beach, Florida at what was supposed to be the most beautiful time of year. Warm 70's and low humidity were predicted. We were slightly prepared for the headwinds, and I haven't seem to find an Ironman without headwinds. My last Ironman in St. George had headwinds, sidewinds, underwinds, overwinds, oh and hills, lots and lots of hills. Well, I made it through that one, so this should be easy. Easy Ironman ?? HA! The weather on Wednesday was bad. Rain and high winds. The poor folks that decided to register on Wednesday had to stand in a very wet line. They were actually the smart ones, cuz our line on Thursday was much longer, up to 2 hour wait. So, the good news, the weather blew by, and we became prepared for a beautiful day, cold, but perfect. Saturday morning came by quickly.... We were very lucky to have our hotel room about 50 feet from the race start, so I got up early, dropped off special needs, then headed back to room and crawled back into bed :) 6:50 Suited up and got myself down to the race start with Lisa Dordick hand in hand. We were gonna get this done. 7:00 Swim.....explosion of almost 2500 fists in every part of my body I could explain. Ive never experienced a mass start nearly as bad as this. I did start at the front of the pack, and told myself, you are a strong swimmer, just fight and get through it. So that I did. 1:16:09 swim...PR by 8 minutes. TI 8:34...just hussle and get it done, although my hands were frozen. Bike..... I really tried to use as much discipline as I could to get this bike done efficiently, and it worked. I almost got a little greedy at the end to finish sub 6 hours, but I really wanted to have a good run, so I backed off at the end. It was a wise decision, cuz I felt great off the bike. Bike time 6:02:09 PR by 22 min or so.....T2 4:55, get it done again. Dont forget the Birthday Tiara :) Run...It was a great run course, nothing like I had expected or been warned about. It was very populated and the support was amazing. We had an incredible sunset around one of the bends. Now this is where I have fun. I got into a very comfortable pace quickly and maintained that for about 13 miles. I even surprised myself on how great my legs felt. The next 13 miles were a different story. I started to have the usual fatique one would expect at the end of these things, but I just would not let my mind believe I was tired. I did my best to keep running through all the aid stations and started to do all the predictions that we all do on a finish time. It felt good. I felt happy. I came up onto a couple of guys, and we discussed the pace we needed to hit the sub 12 hour mark. One guy was pretty negative and said if we kept it at the pace we were at, we would never make it. So, I quickly sped up my pace and got away from all the negativitity. This was going to happen!!! Finish time 11:57:24 PR by 1 hour and 17 minutes! Three things Ive learned from this experience.... 1) Florida is not warm in November 2) A flat bike course suddenly becomes hilly with a little headwind :) 3) You never know, you might even surprise yourself. Just dig deep and BELIEVE!!! Huge thanks to all my coaches, training friends, and body therapists.... you know who you are and you made all this possible for me. xoxo

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