First, I must say that this was a really great Ironman and I would most definitely recommend it to those athletes that can withstand the heat. The day was hot, but at least the roads on the bike were nice and the run was full of spectators. The swim course was quite interesting once you hit the narrow waterway. Lots of athletes = lots of chop
After taking last year off from ironman, I kind of forgot what the iron day was like. I knew I had put in adequate training to get through the day; however, you never know what the day can bring. A month prior I somehow strained my soleus muscle pretty bad, so once again it was very little running before the big day. Typical! Hey, at least my toes looked good
The day started off as usual with the nice early morning apple sauce, sport drink, protein shake, and a banana breakfast. I took that down quick and then went back to bed. Before I knew it my alarm was going off and it was time to motivate. I was traveling with my friend and teammate Jen who was also racing. We travel well together as we are both type A and have an order to everything
Anyway…It is always dark in the morning because we are out there at 5:30 am! Picture lots of athletes scrambling around in transition trying to get their bikes together in the dark. Such a cluster!
After Jen and I got our bikes situated and dropped the goods in our transition bags, we headed on our mile walk to the swim start. Now that is one thing that was annoying. It was just too much walking before having to go 140.6. The race was wetsuit illegal, so those athletes that wore legal swim skins or no suit at all, were able to start at 7 am, 10 minutes before the others. I thought it would make a big difference, but it seemed that everyone skipped the wetsuit, so not much of an advantage there…good news had turned into no news
We had to go down a ramp into deep water to get to the swim start. No fun seeing my fellow athletes did not want to get in and all I could hear was Mike Riley yelling at us to get in and swim up to the buoys. Needless to say, I was in and treading water for almost 10 minutes. It was like the Kona start. I got right up in the front and as soon as the gun went off, I put my head down and just swam hard. I was able to settle in, but no drafting really. It was such a weird swim. I felt like I was in slow motion, which must have been the swim skin. It just seemed so LONG. I finally turned into the narrow waterway and thats when I just wanted to be done. It was rough swimming down that narrow path. When I finally got to the exit stairs, I totally bit it. The volunteer guy grabbed me by my arm like I was a little kid and boosted me out by my bum! I just laughed out loud. Decent non wetsuit swim… 1:12
I don’t know what it is, but when I get out of the water I like to sprint to transition, grab my bag, and hit the change tent. I don’t breath until I get in the change tent. It was an easy transition thanks to the 4 volunteers helping me out. I was all suited up and ready to grab my bike and go. Once I got on the open road I just settled in and started talking myself through the long ride. I was totally fine until about mile 60 or so when the head wind greeted me. Now that was tough for about 30 miles and then it let up. Of course it started to get hot out there and all I could do was stay hydrated, fueled, and cool. I did get into a mental game with myself at one point, but I snapped out of it. That happens sometimes Other than the headwind, there was nothing really crazy that happened on the bike. I finished in a time a little slower than I expected, but I was just happy to be done and get my running shoes on.
In transition there was one important thing for me to do… dump the ice cold bottle of water from my T2 bag over my head to cool me down. So glad I froze a water bottle the night before… very helpful. As I headed out to the run course with my banana I felt good. I just stuck to my HR plan and continued to run and hold the pace as long as I could. The first few miles I saw some of my QT2 crew out there… thanks for cheering so LOUD. Chrissie and Courney are the best cheerleaders, and Tim always gets me moving with his drill sergeant like yelling!
The first 8 miles of the run I felt great. As I made it to the second loop a pretty big side stitch came on. I am glad I had my salt tabs. I started taking one at every aid station until I ran out. I had to walk about a half mile before I could start running again, but I bounced back. I went with the run walk method. From mile 9 on I ran as hard as I could to the aid stations and then power walked through while I drank and cooled myself off- IM perform down the hatchet, water over the head, ice down the shirt, sponges all over. It was 93 degrees and pretty darn hot out there. I saw Coach Jesse on his last loop while I was at mile 16 or so. He totally gave me a boost! I saw a snake slither past me in the wood path which was kind of cool. I had fun out there giving the little kids high 5’s and dancing for the LuLu Lemon cheerleaders. Great crowd! I ended up finishing strong and running a 3:46… i will take!
Overall, a great day with a finish of 10:54… good for 8th in my AG. I am pleased with my performance and look forward to racing Ironman Florida in November. Yeah it was a decision made in less than a day… thanks to my friend Jen
Congrats to all my QT2 teammates that raced. It was such an amazing day for everyone!
Up next: NYC Tri, Boulder 70.3, and Orangeman 70.3… all pre Florida!
HAPPY TRI SEASON…and HAPPY TRAINING! Be safe out there!
Filed under: Race Reports