Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ironman Italy

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Ironman Italy ~ Emilia-Romagna was set up in Cervia, Italy, an ancient fishing village on the east coast of Italy. The beauty of this city makes it a huge tourist destination and even Ironman describes it as the one of the "most glamorous seaside towns in Italy". It's true! And being less than 3 hours away, it became a MUST for Luca's first Ironman...

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Swim: 2.4 miles (3.8km) in the calm waters of the Adriatic Sea. The water was as smooth as glass. Rolling start based on estimated swim finish time. Unique design w/an Australian exit at 1.55 miles (2.5km). Tons of support on boats. Very comfortable and smooth swim. We both entered at the rear of 1:20-1:30. I expected 1:35/40 for both of us honestly. Luca did much better than we thought and I had my 2nd best IM swim...
Luca - 1:19
Lisa - 1:29

Transition: longest transition ever! For the space IM had to use, they did a remarkable job with organizing a very flowing transition. From the sand to the sidewalk to the street... from swim exit to my bike, it was .6 miles. My favorite moment in transition, I saw that Luca's bike was gone and felt very relieved and excited that he made it out of the water so quickly. No transition troubles. 
Luca - 8:41
Lisa - 8:54

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Bike: 115 miles (185km) along the charming countryside of Romagna. Two laps with 1,967 feet (700m) of climbing which came from only 1 hill. Which was STEEP as heck! But wow, the views! And the little town at the top was out cheering, so fun! We also passed through the Natural Park of Salt Pans with pink flamingos!
The first lap the wind was low and mostly at our backs. Coming back was a bit of a struggle which grew for the second lap as the wind picked up. We passed through two little towns where the locals were out celebrating and cheering us on; very motivating!! Lots of support on the course. They actually completely closed highways for us, bravo Ironman! I saw Luca only once and knew he was having the time of his life. We were both stung by a bumblebees; he on his chest and me on my head. Hurt like hell for a good two hours. No troubles on the bike beside the wind; nutrition game was strong. And Luca told me later, he definitely had the time of his life out there. Ha ha, I knew it!
Luca - 6:24
Lisa - 6:55 

Transition 2: same long transition... No troubles. 
Luca: 4:12
Lisa: 7:13

Run: I had such high expectations. I really thought I'd run a sub 5 hour marathon and wanted more like 4:45. And knew Luca would run 4:30ish, probably faster.
The course was flat, 4 loops, city and pines. Within the first few kilometers my tummy started to turn and I felt like I was going to vomit. I sipped some coke but shortly after the projectile vomiting began. Uhh wow! Two of my friends (both Kevin's) experienced this during their Ironman but it's one of those "it won't happen to me" type things.
I was legit, projectile vomiting for basically 4 hours. I mean, it came in waves...but every time I tried to run the feeling would return. After a while it settled, my run picked up, I ate some pretzels, sipped coke, tried to get water back in...and it all came out again. I wasn't going to quit though so I just walked a marathon. (I think I know what happened, details at the end).

I saw Luca twice. He was doing so great. At first, pacing with a guy for a sub 12 hour race. That guy ultimately quit and it was tough for Luca to maintain the pace solo. I wished so much that I'd be near the finish for his You Are An Ironman... but I wasn't. Despite, he laid down a sic time for his first Ironman at 4 hours and 38 minutes. My man is an Ironman!! A couple hours later I too made my way to the finish line. 
Luca - 4:38
Lisa - 6:28

Finish:
Luca - 12 hours 35 minutes
Lisa - 15 hours 9 minutes

Luca finished his first Ironman and me, my 14th.
An uncomfortable but silly evening followed with the both of us moaning and groaning, begging the other to get up and get this or that for each other, turn the light off, bring the... etc etc. Ha ha ha! I'm so proud of us both and so happy that we could do this together.

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Thank you to all our friends and fans for the continued support and love!!! 



Random:
* We stayed at this quirky little home/hotel called La Villa. While it wasn't what we were expecting, it turned out to be such an interesting and eccentric stay. In the 1950s, a woman, "nonna", who still occupies the residence wanted a home in the midst of the pines which line the Adriatic Sea. Her husband built it for her. Each room has it's own balcony and bathroom. We were hoping it would be more of a home style and have access to the kitchen and such but it was more like a hotel with no amenities. It was a great place to stay despite!! With one caveat...
There was a strong smell of sewage in the bathroom and I'm pretty sure the water was contaminated. We decided the first night we better not drink the water. My stupid ass though, still filled Jake's bowl with the water. Read on...

* I think my projectile vomiting came from the hotels water. Here's why: returning home Sunday, Jake had really bad diarrhea. Like, I was up with him every 2 hours for emergency poos. It continued through Monday and then he started vomiting too. Monday afternoon I took him to the vet and I think we can conclude that his tummy was shitty (literally). I had actually sipped the water a few times from the faucet and brushed my teeth with it (Luca's stomach is made of steel). I think the activity and mix of sugars combined with shit water = projectile vomiting. I'm not mad about it. It happened. And Jake is feeling much better with a shot of anti-vomit, anti-poo pills, and some probiotics.

* We ate some of the BEST food in Cervia. Two restaurants: Il Moro and Ristorante Pizzeria Da Luciano. Both prepare very traditional local tastes. Some of our favorites: handmade pasta at Il Moro w/ragu, wood fired oven pizza at Luciano, and street Piadina's.

* As a first year race here, Ironman did a great job with organization, informing the city, closing roads, and supporting our big day. I imagine next year will be twice as great!

* Officials on the bike course were buzzing around like mosquitoes. Although, I watched Peloton after Peloton of cyclists *angry face*

* This course is FAST and the field is very competitive. You want to qualify for Kona? This might be your race! Add the beauty of the area, the food, wine, and the fact that it's ITALY, I highly recommend it!

* The guy in my finish line photo was my Ironman angel. He "picked me up" towards the end of the 2nd lap of the run course and cramping himself, kept me going the next 2 laps. He is Italian and we enjoyed speaking what I like to call Italianglish (Ee tally onglish) for the last few hours. He insisted we finish side by side (despite my desire to have my own finish). But he saved me, truly! I lost him at the finish line and hope he finds this race report and gets in touch. Thank you!!


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