We get up race morning at 4:15 to eat a sandwich and be on the road just after 5:15. Getting into transition area, I pump up my tires first. First one is just fine but while pumping up my rear tire, the valve breaks. I start freaking out. By this time it is 5:50, transition closes at 6:15. I don’t have time to stand in line to get the tire fixed. I ask for a tube from the bike crew, but realize I have no way to change it. Luckily it is holding air. We go pump up Ryan’s tires and come back to mine and it has held air. I decide if worse comes to worse, I will change it as I come in from the swim. So we walk the .8miles to the swim.
They make us get in the water with 15 minutes to start to tread water with the other 2500 people. Needless to say, we are kicking each other for 15 minutes. I hear a guy say “here comes the washing machine.” I was not really sure what he meant by that until the cannon went off. Every stroke I was hitting someone or being hit. I literally swam over a few people and they swam over me. It seemed like a long 2.4 miles. I came out of the water at 1:10, grabbed by bag and ran into the tent. I locked eyes with a volunteer and she helped me quickly change and I was ready to go. I ran to the bike, checked the rear tire (it was still full) and thought, “well here we go.”
The bike started out really flat. I thought, “I can do this!” I was keeping a good pace, just under 20mph. About mile 25 a guy rides by me and says, “wow, you must have had a fast swim.” (I am still not sure if that was a diss or a compliment) Mile 46 I drop my chain going up an incline, so I have to get off and put it back on. Mile 59 I pick up my special needs bag for my uncrustable and gateorade (lunch). That is about the time we start heading right into the wind— for the rest of the way home. After mile 100, my left hip really starts to hurt whenever I get into the aero bars, so I ride the last 12 miles upright (luckily we are back in the Woodlands where it is completely flat). I get off the bike and have difficulty walking. This might be a long run. By the time I got to the back of transition for my run bag, my legs had loosened up and it felt more normal to run.
I started the run 7:19 into the race. Immediately it feels like I am the ant under the magnifying glass being seared by the sun. It was hot! I was dousing myself with ice and cold sponges every mile walking through every aid station. Something had upset my intestines (probably the sugars and heat combo) so I had to stop in the port-o-johns at least 3 times on the run. Finally 2 miles to go…. I can do anything for two miles…. Just run!!! Going down the finisher’s chute people were cheering, it was such a rush. “Kimberly Humphries, you are an Ironman” 11:52:59. I’ll take it.