Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Challenge Barcelona 2010 - the aftermath

First off... SEASONS GREETINGS!... So you thought I'd leave the race report there did you.... Well I'm not quite done yet ;) ...Here's the Christmas bonus... THE AFTERMATH...  Hey it was a big day you know so may as well capture it all.....

Err guys I was in the water not in the air...

Ta Da!
So having crossed the finish line and burst in to tears I was carolled around into the athletes finish area.... A place of worn out bodies and big cheesy grins, of knowing looks and weary smiles. I took a look at the food.... A big long lushous line of melon, pizza, sandwiches and stuff which would normally seem appealing... But frankly it made me want to barf. I took a couple of slices of melon tentatively just to see if I could... I turned around to the massage area to see bodies strewn everywhere, had a quick chat with some south African guys (apparently I had talked to one of these on the run... Did I mention I talk to anyone), anyway the wait was 30mins for a massage and I couldn't be bothered with that....

... It was at this point though I realised that everyone seemed to have something I didn't.... Namely a nice warming space blanket! 'hurumph' I thought.... 'where's mine?' .... And 'surely I need one, I'll probably get cold in a minute' .... Clearly I was thinking more like I was in the UK rather then 20something degrees Callela... But I couldn't let it go... I wanted a blanket!!! More then anything else... Where was my god damn blanket (just call me Lional) .... I hunted around, went back to the finish line and found that they were no longer handing them out there but at the medical tent.... Well a competition wouldn't be complete without a trip to the medical tent now would it... So I staggered my way around there... They tried to herd me in for a drip but I managed to convey that I only wanted a blanket :)

And so clutching my blanket as if it were a winners trophy I made my way back around to my afterwear bag.... I had just grabbed it hunting for my protein powder (which I should have been more concerned about 30mins earlier rather then then bloody blanket but still).... It was about this point that I heard my name being shouted by Dan the man.... Which confused me, I was in athelete only area wasn't I?... But there was no doubt that was his distinctive Leicestershire bellow, followed by several higher pitched calls... I looked around towards the noise.... The fence and looked up to see about 5 grinning faces pulling the top of the tarporline covers down ... "what you playing at? You've been ages.... Come on!!"

...err good point I thought, they had afteral suffered my day too!! I grabbed my bag, my beloved blanket and some more melon and left the area.... Being careful not to trip up on the bottom of exit ramp!!

Yeah hugs all round.... Did I say I have great friends... I mean they've got to be given I must have really really honked by then!!

HAPPY CAMPERS - They had beer I had my blanket
With some help I managed to get my rego recovery drink mixed and consumed that whilst the gang consumed beer!! I sniffed a little beer but was convinced by the sniff alone that wasn't quite the right thing to be drinking!
Having had some happy snaps taken and some general high pitched excitable female natter (poor Jules and Dan)...I realised my day wasn't quite done yet.... Not only did i have to stagger back to my hotel but I also needed to get everything out of transition too.... Bleah!

Thankfully both Elaine and Pikey volunteered to be helpers and came back with me....
Karen - you smell get to transition
To find only one was allowed into the bike transition with me to pick up the kit. So Pikey patiently waited as Elaine and I went to gather my belongings. We got to the transition tent where I found some spare socks..... Yeah that would be nice I thought, shame I can't bend down to reach my feet!! Ha ha... Then Elaine (bless) volunteered to swap then over for me... The socks not my feet..... Did I say I have great friends... So after 6.5 hours of pedalling, 5.5 hours of jogging and walking Elaine did the unthinkable.... Yes people she touched my feet... The thought of which is almost making me barf.. They were not a pretty sight.... But that's friendship for you.... So sitting there with clean socks on I realised I had yet to phone my parents!.... I grabbed my phone and called up.... Both Mum and Dad were so chuffed and thrilled, in was great talking to them. Popey had done well with twitter or facebook updates which
Popey taking her twitter duties seriously
Mum had been following... She said she'd never 'watched' the internet so intensely :)...... it was then that I suddenly felt, well faint... Uh oh.... Having experienced this feeling
before I recognised that actually I had to stand up and get moving or I really would faint and I really didn't want to end up in the med tent!! ... So with haste I pretty much put the phone down on Mum and told Elaine we had to hussel or she'd have a lump of 11 stone passing out!! So we gathered by bags, picked up the bike and left transition handing the bike to Pikey on the way out.

Getting back to the gang there was talk of food....
Is it beer o'clock?
It was then I realised not only was I starving but actualy had to eat immediately!! So despite the fact everyone had supported all day and were hungry themselves, well that didn't matter I quite selfishly needed food immediately, like right now, no waiting, not queuing .... There was only one thing for it.... I went back into the athlete's finish area and filled a plate up with as much of everything as I could carry... The look of which made me feel sick an hour earlier I now couldn't get enough of!!

As this was clearly all about me I then asked if someone could forgoe their meal a little longer to help me get back to the hotel.... I have to admit it gets a bit vague from this point in.... But I got back, apparently showered (without assistance getting in and out I may add) and was left to my own devices for a bit. Dan and Leanne went back to the finish line to cheer in another member of my club we had got to know whilst were out there, the girls grabbed some food and came back for natter and massage (they took instruction well and gave me a good calf massage ... Did I mention I have great friends!).... At some point everyone left me, I had recovery drink, some food, some bars, some salt tablets and lots of water... Somehow though I don't think I slept too well.... I actually didn't feel too tired, just excitable from the days events!

Monday consisted mainly of eating; I felt hungry about every 2-4 hours, drinking plenty; a mixture of electrolytes and some more recovery drink. In the afternoon we gathered down the beach, I had a little recovery swim and laughed a LOT at KirstyDawn trying to get in the swell... There had been a storm over night and the waves were pretty big! To say it was funny watching her get knocked back time and time again being washed up the beach would be an understatement I laughed and cried until my cheeks hurt! I felt surprisingly well, yeah I was getting hungry and thirsty every couple of hours but other then that and a couple of blisters on my feet I felt 'ok' .... But then I got a text from Jezza the king of sports massage (at least he has been for me this year).... He congratulated me and warned that he was always ok the day after a race (he's done an ironman and several ultra's) what with the euphoria of the situation, but warned that tomorrow may not quite be the same....

... And so it came to pass... I was woken up at about 4am with pain!!... Nothing serious just achey pain, but like from every joint in my body!! Ha ha ha! Lucky then I had a morning trip to the spa planned with Jules and Fionna.... I'm sure that helped plenty. Tuesday afternoon I chilled out on my own, with everyone bar the hockey contingent having already gone or on the way to the airport ... I had time to chill, pack my bike down and try and comprehend what I had done. I still to this day can't quite believe it... Just the most awesome sensation!

Tuesday night was the final night in Callela; we found a really nice tapas bar just close to the hotel when Jules, Anita and I had raced in May.... So Pikey, Popey, KirstyDawn and I went down there and said 'just bring us Tapas!' and the owner did just that... We had a delicious spread of gambos, manchego, beef, bread and other such delights.... Washed down with some nice Rioja and later some Cava (my alcoholic taste buds had been restabilised).... A perfect final dinner in a place where a dream had come true.
Vino Tinto anyone?

Ah a nice little bit of celebration bubbles :)

Most of the pictures on this page today come from Hannah - so thanks Hannah for being such an excellent and happy snapper - well it is your profession but still.... thank you thank you thank you... Some other FAB pictures from Hannah (http://www.hannahmornement.com/portfolio/topics.html )

This is one of my favorite - not that I'm in it. But the guy to the right with the runners coming and going kind of this distance to me and the struggle you have to reach journeys end.

Coffee break

I could have done with a nice coffee at some point during the event - glad to see other peeps got that sorted ok as well as bagging themselves a couple of freebie drink bottles!!

No idea who this man is but WHAT a shot!!

I know who this man is... it's DAN (also known as the actor Damian Lewis look-e-likey)..

Bikey action shots - I even got me some cornering going on there...

 Note the man in the distance on the right coming to the camera... white top, dark shorts - you just got to keep putting one foot in front of the other fella....

The carnage of the run!

Leanne, Elaine and Pikey show off the Doris t-shirts

A completely gimp picture of me, a smile reminiscent of that taken when I was 18months old... which was probably the last time I pee'd my pants prior to that day ;)

Did I mention I had a pain in my bum  on the bike?


  1. really good blog - I rarely read blogs but read all of this! :) Nice summary at the end of an exciting year for you! Cannot wait to see what you achieve in 2011! Well done again. (Love the photos)

  2. Karen not only do you run, bike and swim you are a pretty good blogger. Still in complete awe at what you achieved, heaven knows what you will accomplish next. well done you. xxx

  3. I know it was just a holiday and a day trip for us but your journey was immense in achieving that... well done Doris.. am very proud of you.....

    Oh and I took the pic of the winking man!!!!>. totally accidentally :-)

  4. LMAO... Yea... The BLANKET is the best SCHWAG EVA!!! I always freeze at the end of an Ironman, and my space blanky was oh so nice. Well worth hunting down!!

    and food... pizza never tasted so good!! I was ready to eat the minute I crossed the line, but then, I passed out in the van on the way home :-) All this of course after Karen and Lisa went to get my stuff for me. FRIENDS ARE THE BEST!!

    and I can commiserate with the first nights slip after Ironman. ouchie!!!

    Well done, Doris!! You are IRONMAN! Happy New Years!! and I hope 2011 is good to you :-)