ANGELA CONQUERED THE OPEN WATER SWIM AT IM 70.3 MUNCIE
IRONMAN Muncie 70.3
On Saturday, July 13th, I was able to cross the finish line in Muncie, Indiana and finally get the medal I thought would never happen!
About three years ago, I joined the Playtri Race Team and started on the journey of triathlons. In the beginning, I did only Sprint distances and then finally took the leap in May of 2017 and signed up for Wiki Wiki Man Olympic Triathlon. This would not only be my first Olympic distance but also my first open water swim in a race. About 5 minutes into the race, I started coughing and it quickly progressed into coughing up blood. I was pulled from the race and was CareFlighted to Presby Dallas where I stayed for 3 days. After many tests, it was determined that I had SIPE (Swimming Induced Pulmonary Edema). I healed and eventually started triathlon training again.
Fast forward to October of 2018. I was to compete in my first 70.3 in Tempe, Arizona. I trained hard for 5 months and was in the best shape of my life! I was ready but unfortunately had another case of SIPE during the swim portion of the race and had to be pulled out. Needless to say, I was crushed. I didn’t understand why this was happening and why it was happening to me! I pouted for 3 months and seriously considered giving up on triathlons all together.
With the gentle nudge from my husband (who also happens to be a triathlete), I started getting the itch to train and compete again. After doing a little research, I was able to find a research facility and started working with a great team of doctors that have worked with athletes that have had SIPE. I was cleared to continue to compete in triathlons but had to make some minor changes in order to race safely.
Muncie 70.3. I had read that this was a great race with great support and decided that this was going to be my day and I was going to cross that finish line no matter what! The water temps were in the upper 70’s so it was wetsuit optional. I was able to get through the swim without any issues! I have never smiled so big in my life when I stepped out of that water! As far as I was concerned, I had already won my medal and nothing was going to stop me now! The bike course was fast and flat. The run was hot and hilly but was bearable because of all the great volunteers and fellow athletes pushing each other along the way.
I crossed the finish line in 6:57! I cried like a baby with my husband, who happens to be my biggest supporter, and my family. You see for me, it wasn’t about time, it was about believing in myself that I could actually accomplish something this big after all that I had been through.
I love triathlons. I love the people. I love how it can push you to believe in yourself and do things one would never think possible!
See you next year Muncie!