Monday, November 24, 2008

Ironman Arizona Race Report!

The best thing I have ever heard in my life:

"Corinne Frayer, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!"

I still can't believe it... I am an Ironman!

Sunday morning I woke up at 4 a.m. to both my alarm clock and a wake up call from the hotel (yes, I was a little paranoid) I ate my usual breakfast of Barbara's Shredded Wheat flakes, Kashi Strawberry Fields and Vitasoy Vanilla Soymilk. Most of my things were already ready to go so by the time 4:30 rolled around I was standing by the door, bags in hand, telling my dad to hurry up so we could go! We hopped in the car (after Dad forgot his wallet and had to go back to the room) at around 4:45 and were off to the race! We parked in the parking garage on the corner of Mill Ave and Rio Salado and were just about the first ones there! (yes, again I was a little paranoid. It will be a trend in this race report haha). When we got to the transition area I filled up my aero water bottle with Gatorade endurance and my water bottle with Smart Water. The the nice guys of Landis Cyclery pumped my tires for me and I was outta there! Then I had to go drop off my special needs bike and run bags so Dad waited for me in the spectator area. After that I probably went to the bathroom four times between checking my transition bags and making sure everything was set to go. When I was waiting in line for the bathroom the guy next to me was singing "just keep swimming, just keep swimming" from Finding Nemo and I thought of Barry and started to sing it with the guy! at around 6:15 I started to get my wetsuit on and I ate half of a Met-RX bar and gave all my dry clothes to my dad. Laura called me and I met her in the line for the bathroom (lots and lots of bathroom breaks in the hours before the race... nerves!) She hadn't even put on her wetsuit yet! The race started in 25 minutes! I was all ready to go, but I stayed with Laura and helped her into her wetsuit and dropped off her dry clothes bag. Then we joined the 2,500 other athletes waiting in a big herd to walk over the timing mats and jump into the water. Laura and I held hands and jumped in the lake together. My heart was beating faster than I can ever remember it beating before, but it was awesome

Swim 1:15

Laura and I swam the 200 meters to the start together and I seeded myself kind of in the middle but in an area where for some reason there was a big hole, so that was great! All I remember after that is the announcer saying something like, "I only have one more thing to say: Everyone have a great day out there." and BOOM the horn sounded and we were off. Now, I have a few things to say about the Ironman swim.
1) If you are a person that likes to fight, it is REALLY hard to hold back and not punch someone in the face for almost drowning you.
2) It's not easy swimming with 2,500 people, it actually really sucks
3) Tempe Town Lake is probably the most disgusting body of water in the United States of America
4) I still hate swimming
All in all, I swam a 1:15 so I have nothing to complain about. That's a pretty good time for my first Ironman swim. However there were lots of bumps along the road. First, my left goggle filled up with water in the beginning of the swim and I though, oh well, I'm not going to fix it. Second, I was never swimming without someone directly to my left, right, ahead and behind. That was REALLY annoying because I got slapped, kicked, knocked in the face and even shoved the entire swim. Seriously people, do you not look where you are swimming! That is why we wear goggles! At one point the group I was swimming in started swimming toward the middle of the lake and the people in the boats were yelling at us to go right. I started swimming diagonally right and accidentally nugged a guy. He literally stopped swimming and took both hands and shoved me away from him. Oh man, I felt the fire inside my body like I wanted to rip his goggles off and swim away really fast so he wouldn't have goggles for the rest of the swim. What an a-hole. I was definitely ready to be done with the swim and was so happy to see the red buoy where we would turn and head towards the stairs to get out of the lake!

T 1

My transition one time was pretty slow, about 7 minutes I believe. First, after I got out of the water I had to find a wetsuit stripper to help me get my wetsuit off. Then I ran down the long shoot to the swim to bike bags and I saw Jorge, Ted and my dad. That was pretty sweet! I grabbed my bag and headed into the women's change tent. Everyone else in the tent seemed to have a volunteer helping them transition... except me! So I did it all myself. Helmet on. Socks and shoes on. Gels in pocket. Spare tube in pocket. CO2 cartridge in pocket. Sunglasses on. Race belt on. Fuel belt bracelet on. Too much to think about! Then I ran out of the transition where some volunteers slapped some sunscreen on my arms and legs and I was off on the bike!

Bike 6:22

Right after leaving the bike transition we had to mount our bikes on a really skinny sidewalk. There were a lot of us in one area and it was pretty scary. Then there was this spectator guy yelling at me to hurry up and get moving. I was already pissed from the swim, so I was ready to hit him! Luckily I held back and got on my bike or he really would have gotten it! I took the bike very easy because I didn't want to burn myself out at all. Heading up the Bee Line Highway was the worst part of the bike course because it is pretty much uphill, but heading down the Bee Line and back down McKellips, McClintock and Rio Salado back to ASU was the best part of the three loops! I always got really excited every time we looped back around Mill/Rio Salado because my friends and my Dad were there cheering for me! During the swim and bike I had issues with my calves cramping up and hurting so I was VERY on top of my Endurolytes tablets and Gatorade. I ate and took two Endurolytes every 45 minutes and I sipped gatorade about every 15 minutes and whenever I was thirsty. I hardly used the aid stations, except for water and Gatorade refills and one banana. I did have to stop once during the bike because my tool bag under my seat was falling off. But in the grand scheme of things, it really was no big deal.

T 2

When I finally arrived at the transition area after 6 hours and 22 minutes of biking the volunteers took my bike and I walked (or tried to) to my bike to run transition bag. A volunteer met me right away and held my gear while I went to the bathroom. Then she helped me get ready for the run, which was totally awesome and way better than when I had to transition by myself from swim to bike. She dumped my bag out on the ground and got me some water as well. I changed my shorts, took off my singlet, put on my running shoes, strapped on my fuel belt, put on my white Nike hat and was off to the the sunscreen people again! By the time they slapped more sunscreen on me, my legs had loosened up and I was ready to run!

Run 3:57

The run was the most fun I have EVER had during a marathon. It was absolutely amazing and I couldn't even ask for anything better! There were spectators along the course the entire time cheering and I saw my dad a lot too which was awesome! I held back on the run a lot because I didn't know what to expect. Normally when I run just a marathon I go all out and always lose it around mile 20, so I didn't want that to happen at all. I took it slow, and I even slowed down a lot in the middle of the run to talk to some people to take my mind off my aching butt! I talked to a professor from U of I and a pilot who teaches guys in the Navy to fly! It was awesome meeting these people and the feeling I had when I saw my Dad at mile 20 I will never forget! "Six miles to go," he told me! I got so excited I picked the pace back up again and went all out for the last six miles and I loved every minute of it! I told him to go to the finish line and that I should be there in less than an hour. I finished so strong and I felt like I still had energy left in the tank! The finishing shoot was the most incredible thing I have ever experienced. People held their hands out and I slapped their hands while sprinting toward the finish line with tears in my eyes! 11 hours and 46 minutes and I couldn't believe it! My goal was to finish between 12 and 14 hours and I exceeded my every expectation!

After I finished my Dad walked me around a bit and I took a picture with Jorge who congratulated me on my finish. Then I got some food and sat down and ate a piece of pizza and some pretzels. My Dad bought me an awesome Ironman Arizona jacket and a finisher t-shirt that I love! I got my bike out of transition and gave it to Tri Bike Transport so they can ship it back home this week, and I picked up my transition bags as well. I called my mom and she said Laura was on her last 5.9 miles of the run so my Dad and I went to the finish line and we watched her finish. It was awesome because when they announced she was a member of the US Army everyone went nuts and I cried! I ran down to meet her and we took pictures and I met her family. I am so happy I got to see her finish! I couldn't have done this race without her!

After we left the race my dad took me to Subway and the lady working asked me why I looked to tired. My dad told her I just finished a triathlon and she was like, oh. Haha she probably had no idea what he was talking about. Subway was awesome and then I went home to shower and take an ice bath. I hardly slept last night but it was worth it!

11:46 and worth every hour of training! Can't wait to see what IMAZ 2009 brings (yes I already signed up!)


Thursday, November 20, 2008

I WILL do this!

This video has really been helping to pump me up!

Today has been quite a day! I got up and went to the practice swim at Tempe Town Lake around 9 a.m. Afterwards, I ran for 20 or so minutes on the run course. When I realized I forgot my USAT card for packet pick up I walked all the way down to ASU's campus where luckily my ASU ID still worked on the computers and I was able to print a temporary card! After packet pick up I talked to some people I knew for a while and then waited in like to get my bike from Tri Bike Transport until about 2 p.m. Finally I am back at Keiths sitting around! We're gonna go to his parents house tonight for some dinner. The lake was REALLY cold today... a lot colder than I expected, but it will be ok. I swam well for about 30 minutes and am still really pumped for Sunday!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm in Arizona!

Welcome to Arizona... it's HOT!

No shocker there, because Ironman is coming up so OF COURSE it has to be record breaking temperatures in Phoenix! We can't stop the tradition of hot, windy Ironman days now can we? Well, I have my fingers crossed that we can.

I arrived in Phoenix Monday night around 7:30 p.m. and it was still 80 degrees out. When I left Chicago it was snowing! Keith and I had a fun night wondering around trying to find a place for food that was open at 9 p.m. on a Monday! Eventually we ended up walking to Extreme Pita and I ended up practically blowing my chips out my nose laughing so hard at his stories. Ahhh Keith, some things will never change! We went to Target and I bought an awesome huge soft green blanket and a $16 double size air mattress. Good thing I spent all the money on the blanket and got a cheap air mattress... NOT! It didn't come with a pump so Keith and I took turns doing three minute intervals with the bike pump! It took forever to blow up, but in the end it was worth it because I freakin' love this damn blanket! :)

Yesterday I did a 2,500 meter swim outdoors at Lifetime and then I ran for 32 minutes outside. It was HOT! But I think I can handle it. There will be lots of sunscreen and lots of endurolyte tablets making an appearance on Sunday! It will be a sweaty, but awesome day! I also met up with Luanne at her house to see her baby Cailyn and then we all went to RA for some sushi and appetizers. I had the best time and I miss my Lu Dogg so much! We laughed and laughed and laughed some more until it was time to go home and put the baby to bed and then Keith and I watched football and tv all night. I also talked to Laura and she is driving here and will arrive on Thursday. I can't wait to see her either!

Today I went to a spin class at Lifetime because my bike wont be here until tomorrow at 1 p.m. I spun it out easy for an hour and then swam 1,500 meters outside. The sun is so damn bright I am contemplating using darker goggles, but then again I like my clear ones. Decisions decisions. Tomorrow I will to go Tempe Town Lake in the morning with my westuit for the practice swim and then run a little on the course afterwards. Tri Bike Transport should have my bike at the Expo by 1 p.m. so I'll pick it up then and ride a little of the course. Yesterday I spent a lot of money on new tires, tubes, fuel and a new tri outfit. So I'm going to start getting all ready so I have less to stress about as the race gets closer. I will probably pick up my packet tomorrow as well so I can start sorting out what goes in what gear bags and special needs bags. Ugh... so much to think about! I'm also meeting Jane at the Pointe tonight so I can pick up a Gage sports bra I plan on wearing for the run :)

Lastly, I stopped by my old work today at the Ahwatukee Foothills News and saw some of my old co-workers. I love stopping by there and hanging out in the Newsroom like old times. I missed Kelly though because she was at lunch, so I will have to stop by again while I'm here to see her. This shouldn't be a problem since I really don't have much to do other than worry about this race!

All for now! Time to relax and watch some TV and maybe take a nap. Tapering is tough haha!


Thursday, November 13, 2008


Oh how much I HATE tapering! When I don't work out as much as I am used to I get sad/depressed/mad ... all of the above!! I know the best thing for me to do right now is hold back and take it easy, but it is SO HARD! I forced myself to stick to just swimming today and I am going to do a run tomorrow morning before work.

Speaking of work, I started working this week in Hoffman Estates. I am working as a pre 2 teacher and have a class of 2, 3 and 4 year olds. They are adorable. I am learning so much and I love, love LOVE having my own classroom of little rugrats. I also met with an adviser at school today and registered for classes that will begin January 26. I will have two night classes a week (Monday and Wednesday) along with a few observation hours in the classroom throughout the semester. I am so excited to start school I have no words to even explain it! :)

On Monday afternoon I will head to Arizona to spend the week in Tempe getting ready for Ironman. I can't believe the race is almost here but I am so ready to just get out there and do it! I still have to figure out how I am going to get my bike down there... what a pain! I also need to practice changing tires so I am going to go to a multisport store on Saturday and buy new tires and tubes and practice changing tires myself just in case I get a flat (heaven forbid!) My Dad will fly in to Phoenix on Saturday and will be there watching my race all day Sunday. I am SO THANKFUL that he is taking the time to be my support crew. I honestly don't know what I would do without him there... I mean I know I would still do the race, but just the mental aspect of knowing he is there for me is really going to make all the difference. Even though my Dad doesn't fully understand my obsession and passion for endurance sports, his unconditional love for me really shines through because of his undying support for me. Family really is number one and this proves it! Thanks Dad (in advance) I love you so much!

The weather in Illinois is less than desirable, however I am loving every minute of it. After spending so long in the sweltering heat of Arizona I have really grown to appreciate the seasons. The leaves are so beautiful and watching them fall to the ground and the branches get bare is incredible. I haven't seen the fall to winter change in six years! So when it is raining/showing/sleeting or whatever outside I just think, oh well, indoor training today... and it will be AWESOME! haha! But really, I love it and I really, really REALLY do not regret my decision to move back to Illinois. Everything and everyone has been nothing short of amazing since I have moved back and I can't wait to see where my life takes me.

All for now!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

I finally arrived back in Sleepy Hollow on Saturday evening! My parents and I left Denver around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, and after a quick stop for a flat tire in Sterling, CO and a good night's sleep in Lincoln, Nebraska, we pulled in the driveway around 6 p.m. Saturday. I am so happy and excited to be home!

On Halloween (when we stayed in the hotel in Lincoln) I checked my e-mail at the hotel and finally received my scores from the Illinois Basic Skills Test and I passed! Now I can schedule a meeting with my adviser at Roosevelt and officially begin picking my classes for January. I am also in the process of looking for a part time job during school working with children. Everything seems to be coming together here and I'm praying it all works itself out as things typically do... fingers crossed!!!

As for my Ironman training in Illinois, it has been great! On Sunday my dad drove the car around some farm roads in Huntley and I followed him on my bike. He showed me some good, safe roads to train on and let me just say they are AWESOME! There is no one out there - just me, the open road and, well, lots of corn fields and cows! I did a 91 mile ride that day, with a 50 minute run and I felt pretty good. It was windy, but nothing compared to last weekend. On Monday I did a run around Sleepy Hollow for a good two hours and then I swam at Lifetime. I still can't believe Ironman is less than three weeks away now. I do miss training with Laura so much and our inside jokes about stopping at the spa along our long ride in Colorado and our awesome bike speeds in the wind. I miss you Laura!

I started planning my TENTATIVE 2009 race schedule which you will see on the right of this blog. I am going to add a few running races in there, but it's a start. At least I have a couple races planned out and can enjoy a nice relaxing off-season after Ironman and before these races. I am most excited for the Spirit of Racine half Ironman because my entire family will be able to see me race. I am also looking forward to the Chicago Triathlon because I have heard such great things about it and I can't imagine how cool it must be biking through downtown.

Today I am taking it easy and will probably walk Hannah and swim after I run a couple errands and force myself to spend a couple more hours unpacking.. will it ever end!