A Note from Fatty: Before I get to Dustin’s race report (I guarantee it’s a must-read, and you may want to have some tissues handy), I want to remind you: today is the last day you can donate in the Tour de Pink contest, where you can win a $10,000 Giant TCR road bike, complete with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2. Or a fantastic set of top-of-the-line wheels. Or a GoPro HD camera. Or a lot more. So go donate now, already.
A Note About Who’s Riding for Team Fatty in the Tour de Pink: I’ve asked Heather S to represent Team Fatty at the Tour de Pink. Here’s a little about who she is, in her own words:
In the beginning of 2010 my husband Erik and I were learning how to be parents of 2 after Genevieve’s arrival in August 2009. In May 2010 we celebrated my 31st birthday. In July 2010, I participated in the San Luis Obispo Triathlon for the 2nd time and beat my goal time. In July 2010 we celebrated Annabelle’s 3rd birthday. In August 2010 we celebrated Genevieve’s 1st birthday. In September 2010, I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.
While there is a lot of cancer in my family history, I certainly did not expect to get breast cancer at 31 years old. Breast cancer is for women older than me – women who have already had a chance to watch their kids grow up, celebrated their 40th and probably 50th birthdays, and maybe even be grandmothers! Right? Apparently not.
After my diagnosis I got right to the research – in true Heather fashion. What is this cancer? What is the absolute best way to kill this beast? Just as importantly: were there other young people out there like me who had to face this challenge?
That’s when I found the Young Survivors Coalition (YSC). This organization has a website where an amazing community of young women (diagnosed at <40 years old) gather to support each other. We laugh, cry, celebrate, mourn, question, teach and learn from each other. Aside from the priceless support, this is the place I got the best information; the most up to date information out there. Hundreds of women with similar breast cancers researching and sharing information from their doctors, etc. Can you imagine the wealth of knowledge?
YSC holds a special place in my heart because I can’t imagine going through all of the ups and downs of diagnosis, treatment, surgeries and now the struggle and blessing that is survivorship without this community. Cancer diagnosis and treatment can be lonely, alienating and depressing – but I knew I could (and still can) always turn to my YSC sisters for someone who totally “gets it.” I hope YSC can provide this opportunity to young women for years and years to come.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine a better representative for Team Fatty at the Tour de Pink. Heather (and her husband Erik, who’s going to ride with her) has promised to take a lot of pictures and will send us a ride report when she gets back.
And I’m thinking maybe Team Fatty needs to have a larger presence at the Tour de Pink next year.
Good luck, Heather!
Kona Ironman: Dustin’s Race Report
I first want to start with a thanks and an apology. I want to thank you all for your support and fundraising support. Michelle dreamed big and all of you helped me and her friends and co-workers deliver in a huge way. I want to thank you for the support.
What I want to apologize for is taking so damn long to finish. I read that a few of you stayed up until I finished … I’m kind of speechless on what to say about that. All I can say is thank you for caring that much. I’m humbled. For those who posted to the comments, thanks for making me laugh and smile.
Okay … Race Day! I got to bed later than I wanted. Like 11pm. I woke up at 4:30am, ate a PB&J sandwich, tested my blood sugar, and sat on the balcony looking down at the Swim start. As I sat there I was surprisingly calm. Just very focused on what I needed to do.
Jump to 5:30am. I ate a banana, tested my blood sugar again, and went down to do the thing I hate most for a triathlon: Take off my shirt and get numbered up on my arm.
So this is the World Championships and the majority of people got to come here through being incredibly fit and qualifying because they are incredibly fast. So why do I hate getting numbered? Well I’m overweight and just about 98% of everyone else needs to eat more. I feel intimidated. Not that I’m trying to win, but when my time is that of people over twice my age and they have six packs, well … I’m a little insecure.
After getting numbered I went up to my room to test my blood sugar again; my sugars were stable.
I went down to my bike and pumped my tires up to 110. The heat of the day would bring them up to around 120 when I was on the bike.
From there I walked over to the swim start and got ready. I saw my friend Holly and she helped apply the Tri Slide to help me avoid rashes. Right before stepping down in the water, I applied even more … I did not want a rash in my pits!
It’s about 6:50 now. I saw the woman is responsible for letting me in the race to fulfill my promise and much much more. I went up to say thank you and then started out to where everyone was wading in the water to start the day.
BOOM!!!! The canon hits you like shockwave and we are off. I opted to start at the back to avoid from what I heard was the roughest Ironman start around. Well, either I wasn’t far enough back or it is that rough, because people are climbing over me, I got kicked in the face, elbowed in the face and then I said ok, I’m going to be a bit more aggressive and use my size to my advantage. I started swimming elbows wide and thrashing around like a hooked Marlin. It worked; people were staying away from me now.
I have this problem: I don’t swim in a straight line. But the benefit of that is about a little over halfway, a giant school of spinner dolphins swam right underneath me. I thought of Michelle and how she loved dolphins.
Then that awesome thought was soon replaced with a burning in my left arm pit. I think the tri slide wore off because it was Michelle telling me to get my ass focused again. Then I thought of AK chick and how funny it was she called me David and thought I worked for SRAM.
So I finish the swim, washed off and changed, and made sure I had the urn. I checked my blood sugars and I’m at 58–a little low. So I eat a banana and grab some Perform before getting onto the bike.
Well, finding my bike wasn’t difficult at all. There weren’t many bikes left.
The bike started great for the first 50 miles, I felt good, I saw on their way back that Craig Alexander was right with Lieto on the bike and at that point on the bike course I knew Crowie would win!
I started the climb up to Hawi. It was ok at first but then with about 5+ miles to go the winds picked up and picked up a ton. At this point I noticed a major problem. The only bolts I did not check to see to make sure they were tight, came loose.
My friggin right cleat!
This is bad because this is the side I have issues with my knee. I didn’t want to clip out because I was afraid of breaking bolts or losing them so I let it slide around the rest of the ride.
Anyways, I get to Hawi. Winds are blowing and I get my special needs bag. I stop to pick what I want and check my blood sugar. This was the fourth time I stopped to check my blood sugar; it was spot on at 100.
Once I started pedaling again, I thought of Zac_in_ak. Michelle had this saying she wanted people to know … it was “If you want to do something, do it before it’s too late”. I had this painted on my top tube to remember.
And I wanted you Zac to know to do what you want and don’t let Diabetes prevent you from doing a tri.
I’m now about 20 miles to go, headwinds are fierce and surface temperature was reportedly around 135 degrees. all I know is it was hot, headwinds suck and pedaling with a loose cleat is not great for pedaling efficiencies.
I caught a second wind (maybe it was a third or fourth wind) with 5 miles to go and was feeling good. I went into transition about 4:10 in the afternoon. I opted to use the PT in transition to help me release the tension/pain in my right knee. Transition time is not great but I need to do what I need to do. I test my blood sugar again and it’s spot on (I was absolutely amazed I was on track with my blood sugars.)
I make sure I move the urn of Michelle’s ashes into my running short pocket.
So this is the part of the race I feared most. I am not a runner! Luckily you are moving slower and around a lot more enthusiastic people cheering you on. This takes away from the pain.
That is, it takes away from the pain until mile ten when you get onto the Queen K and for me its nighttime and no one is around. I know I have to push it because the later and later it gets, I know my math has been wrong.
I was expecting to finish around 11pm. So I’m at about mile eleven and I’m in pain … bad pain. The entire ball of my feet on both sides are blistered. Someone had suggested I take an orange peel and stick it under the sock over the blisters to soften the pain. It seemed to work a little.
I’ve now made it through the energy lab and I was running a little and walking a lot. I have about 6 miles to go and I know I have to run a lot now because my math sucks or my blisters are slowing me down too much.
I ran a lot. More than I ever have. Okay, maybe it was more of a shuffle but I’ll call it a run. It’s 1.2 miles to go, It’s 11:25p.m. and I know I’m going to make it. I pulled the urn out of my shorts and ran with it in my hand the last 1.2 miles.
Coming into the final .2 miles is an experience I’ll never forget. Friends and people I don’t know there for me and everybody cheering you on like crazy. The final 100 meters or so were a blur … but spectacular. As I ran up the ramp I tripped but caught myself and held Michelle’s ashes up in triumph. It was her, my friends and you guys that gave me all the motivation I needed.
After I was greeted by friends and Crowie. Then these older ladies walked me to the after race area. But I made them take me to the water where the morning started with the swim. I took off my shoes and socks and walked down the steps to the water. They were asking me to come back but they didn’t understand I had important business to attend to. I went into the water, opened the urn and sent Michelle’s ashes into the water.
At this point, the weight and pressure of the promise were lifted and I was now done with the race.
So it’s three days later. I have some serious issues with my feet. They are bruised and blistered and I can’t really walk.
But although I finished with people over twice my age, I’m proud of what I’ve done. I had never before this day swam over 1.4 miles, rode over a 100 miles or run/walk over 13.1 miles.
Thank you all for your support and love! Thank you for sharing in my experience and thank you for being an excellent group of individuals. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. People like me can arrange products to give away, Elden has the soap box, but without all of you we have nothing!