My first thoughts – Ironman France Race pre-Report

by Amy  - July 6, 2013

Finishing my first Ironman triathlon was by far my largest physical goal that I’ve ever accomplished. It took me some time to gather my thoughts about the race overall. The lasting impact of this race on my life is still being felt more than 5 years later. But this is a window into how I felt immediately after.

After the Ironman race we took a family vacation

I’m finally home from my vacation. Interestingly I had I thought posted an interim blog post about my immediate thoughts while I was on vacation.

But I see now that it never posted. Hmmmm … the mysteries of the blogger app and international wifi.

Oh well. I’ll put together a post soon. In the meantime here is a photo of me practice swimming in the Mediterranean  Sea to keep you happy while you wait 🙂

yup … I look fabulous. I know. You’re welcome.

The water was pretty cold but both of my kids did eventually brave the water for a few minutes. The waves come in and out pretty strongly right at the shoreline which scared them a bit (rightly so). So I helped them get past that so they could swim around. It’s also imediately about 5 feet deep so it’s not really a kid-friendly wading beach.

Here’s my daughter getting in. That’s my son behind her and my husband over his shoulder. I think the camera lens is playing a perspective trick here because my daughter is still standing which means that was probably only 3 or 4 feet from shore.  But in this pic you can see how the rocks slant steeply getting into the water. They were pretty excited that they actually went in. Of course, my daughter was in and out. My son stayed in until he got smacked by a wave and pulled out a little bit and thereby scared the crap out of himself before he got out. That was about 2 minutes. Luckily there were triathletes bobbing all over in their wetsuits and one of them just flung him up onto the rocks 🙂

Basic Ironman France Pre-Race stuff that is helpful to know if you go.

I arrived in Nice at around 5 pm on Thursday the 20th. Pre-Ironman nerves were in full effect and since I was supposed to be there around 1pm I was a wreck. Our connecting flight was delayed in London for about 3.5  hours. I ditched my family at the hotel and ran over to check in. I managed the check in well even though I think I mangled my race number in French pretty seriously we worked it out. Then I came back and put my bike together and then I felt much less stressed.

I was admittedly a little nervous about my bike being assembled correctly since ummm I was using the little travel tool 🙂 So I put it on the to do list to have it checked by the mechanics. My husband agreed that was a top notch idea.

Over the next 2 days I did two practice swims thereby perfecting my wobble off the rocky ledge known as the “beach” and the crabwalk scramble needed to get out of the water onto the rocky “beach.”

notice the rocks and how you can’t see where the water meets land. that’s because the last 5 feet or so are pretty steep. To get in the water you sort of slide down the rock hill and then flop into the water. Also the water rushing in and out over the rocks makes a crazy rushing sound almost like a roar/screech. You can hear it while you’re swimming when you get close and it’s a little eerie.

On both practice swim days there was a boat floating in the water giving out hot tea. I think it was supposed to be like the Kona coffee boat but I’m not a tea drinker so the first day I declined. Then I saw they were giving away a free arm band so while I’m not into tea I am into free stuff so I swam out there and choked down a swallow of tea and got my free thingie. 🙂

My fellow Floridian racer David also took me on a ride of the bike course. Well some of it. We eventually got lost due to my superior navigation skills. In my defense I was navigating based on a Garmin 800 bike computer route. Ahem … not ideal. So we saw most of it. Enough that I wasn’t super scared of the course.

This is the only photo I took of the bike course preview. It was a spectacularly beautiful course which you cannot tell from this non-fabulous photo.

And that’s all I’ll give you for the preview. Next up the actual race report. Although I am hoping to find the one I thought I’d posted to share my first thoughts but we’ll see if I can actually find that.


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Amy Stone (she/her/hers) is a life coach who helps adults in blended families. She is a mom, step-mom and a step-grandma. Other random fun facts include that She is a 7-time Ironman triathlon finisher and many many marathons and shorter races. She created

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