Morning of race

I got to transition early, around 5:20.  I don’t like being late and didn’t know how much traffic there would be getting to the start.  I dropped off my special needs bags off.  Then I checked my bike and loaded my bottles. 

Everyone around me was fiddling with their bikes, but I really didn’t need to mess with it.  I decided to put my gloves on my aero bars so that I could just put them on during the ride.  That seemed to work out well.

 

Then I wandered around with Christie (wife) and my dad and then went and used the bathroom.  At about 6:20 I went and got my wetsuit on and headed to the beach about 6:30.  I was actually able to find my cousin and his son and wish them good luck.  Then the gun went off!

Swim – 1:16:51  2:02/100m  142/327 35-39AG   888 OA

This was faster than I expected.  I really had nothing to compare it to or even a good way to estimate my time.  So, I was very happy with my time.  My first lap split was 35 something, so I slowed a bit on the 2nd lap.  The start was crazy.  I was VERY worried about the swim start.  Seeing that mass of people all start at once, I figured I would drown.    After listening to lots of people and reading lots of their descriptions of the start, I figured I would avoid all the fast people on the left and avoid all the scared people on the right and I would start right in the middle.

The gun went off and I think I was 4th in line for the water.  About 400m out, I looked up and actually saw a large open space and tried to swim into it (along with others).  I think it was nice because I was able to avoid a lot of the stuff that other people said happened to them at the start.  I didn’t really get hit until 100m from the turn.  Then it was crazy.  I made the first turn and just followed people.  I was getting hit from every direction. I don’t even remember making the turn back towards the beach.  I just finally looked up and saw the beach off in the distance.  Getting beach was uneventful.  I got out and my split was 35min.  WOW.  The clock must have been wrong.  On the 2nd lap, I just found someone who was going my speed and straight and followed him to the turn.  Then I found other people to follow.  I got out in 1:16.  5-10 min faster than I expected.

T1 6:23

I tried to get rid of everything that I really didn’t need.  It just seemed to take a while to get out of the water, down to get your bag, back into the tent, put on helmet, socks, shoes, sunglasses and then get suntan lotion and then go pee.

Bike 6:37:55  16.9 238/327 AG   1349 OA 

My goal watts were 158.  I ended up right on .70 IF and a VI of 1.06.  So, it was a very steady ride.

I must have got passed by 150 people by the time we did the first out and back from town.  People seemed to be just hammering it.   They would bust it by me on the up hills and then I would fly by most of them on the downhills.     The hills on the back loop of the course were more of the same, my getting passed by everyone on the uphill and then flying past them on the downhill.  Just as I had planned.

My nutrition on the bike was great. I think I nailed it.  I may have been able to take one more gel at the last place, but I didn’t want to be full for the start of the run.

Overall, I was very pleased with my bike.  I just nailed everything.  I felt great until I started to head back into town, then I noticed my legs getting a little tired.  So, I slowed a bit and cruised into T2.

Run 4:45:42  10:55/mile  123/327 AG  828 OA

The first 10/12 miles of the run were fine.  I was tired, but my mind was not complaining too much.  The first 5 miles I really had to focus to keep it at 9:30 pace.  Then after mile 6 I didn’t have to focus on keeping it that slow.. I had to focus on keeping it that fast.  Around mile 13 or 14 I started to have a small asthma attack, so I used my inhaler and things seemed to get better.  Once I left town on my 2nd loop, things were tough.  I really wanted to walk.  My legs felt like pillars of cement.  And my right knee started hurting.  Looking back my short stride/slower pace probably caused my knee pain. But it got to the point where I could only run about 1/3 of a mile before I had to walk 30/40 paces, then 40 or 50 paces because my knee just hurt.  On the way to the turnaround hill I made a deal with myself.  Run the downhill and flat and walk 75% of the way up most hills.  So I ran ½ way up the last hill and then booked it at 8:00 pace down the hill (it was steep enough that I figured it was just easier to do a controlled fall).  Then I started my walk/jog.  With about 1 mile to go, someone passed me during my 50/60 step walk and said… “lets go, we are almost there”  I ended up running with him for the last mile or mile and a half.  Once we hit Sherman ave, you could see the finish line in the distance and there were people 3 deep on each side cheering.  It was awesome. I almost wanted to just run back and forth on that street.

The one thing that started to bug me during that last 10 miles was that every time I would start running with someone, they would stop 100 yards later.  I really wanted to work with someone to keep going, but no one would/could.

My uncle-in-law recorded my finish… you can see it here:  Click here to watch

Thoughts

I am very happy with the results.  I could look back and pick it apart, but everything went according to plan until about 13 miles into the run.  Then I really could have used a large dog to chase me so I would have run faster.  But the mental battle you do with yourself during those last 13 miles was interesting to say the least.  If anything I should have been more vocal to the people around me to say “lets all start running”.  Next time, I will try that.  My real goal was to break 13 hours and I did just that.

I also have to thank my wife and kids for being so patient and helpful.  It got really tough when my 4 year old would ask “why do you have to be gone for so long” when I would leave for my Saturday rides.  I am still amazed that no matter what kind of race I do, my wife is always there on race day, plotting her path so that she can see me a bunch of different places on the course.

Now the real hard part comes… what to do next?  Life will most likely not give me enough time to do another Ironman for 6-7 years, so I guess that gives me lots of time to focus on getting faster on the bike!

Thanks for reading!

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