I am always amazed at how many people sprint in front of me only to be passed in 200-400 meters. No real problems until I neared the turn around. Somebody decided to pull my goggles down. No big deal, I treaded for a few seconds and replaced them. At the first turn buoy, a double d (dum dum) decided to use me as a platform. I went under water as he went over me. When thing like this happen, all I can think is that Karma will get you. I felt great on the way back. I passed a lot of people. I exited the water and quickly found a wetsuit stripper. I ran by my bag, grabbed it, and hit the tent. I quickly put on my Oakley's and Spiuk Kronos.
It was amazing how great I felt running through transition. I dropped a minute off my transition from last year. This is the first ironman where I didn't feel tight in the upper body and my breathing was relaxed. I grabbed my Lynskey and headed out of transition
I quickly got into a nice rhythm. My plan was to drink every 10 minutes and take a Succeed Salt tab every 30 minutes. The first loop, there was a head wind out and a tailwind back on Beeline Highway. I saw Karen on the way back. She was wearing a cheerleader outfit with a big red M dot on the front. She definitely played the part. On the second loop, there was a head wind all the way out (19 miles) and a tail wind back. I felt very slow going out. I don't remember how many times I got out of the saddle. I found a guy who seemed to be riding at the same speed, so we worked together the rest of the race. He ended up winning the 40-44 age group. On the third loop, the winds were the exact opposite of the first loop. Two guys caught up to us just after the second loop turn around. I liked their pace, so I decided to ride with them. I went to grab water at the aid station and they took off. They placed 1-2 in my age group. I know I could have rode with them. Would it have affected my run? I started feeling hungry with 10 miles to go. I drank 1700 calories on the bike. I definitely need to add more. I took in 5500mg of salt.
As I neared T-2, I got my feet out and mentally prepared to start running. I quickly dismounted, ran by and grabbed my bag. I didn't have any luck with volunteers having my bag ready today. The way I look at it is, if they have it great, if not then be ready to grab it. This is why I do a quick run through the day before, so I have a mental note where I need to be just in case. I took off the Spiuk. I put on my Newtons, grabbed my bottle & visor, and headed out. I quickly asked for sunscreen on my shoulders.
I took another minute off my transition. It could've been faster except one of the volunteers decided I needed sunscreen on my face too.
My left foot was numb and my back felt super tight. I walked a bit hoping it would loosen up right away. It took almost 5 miles before it loosened up. I drank coke & water every aid station and drank Powerbar Endurance every mile marker. I also took a salt tab every 4 miles.
I was able to get into a nice rhythm for the entire second loop. I started drink coke & water at every aid station. Karen was all over the place. She stayed at the same spot on the bike, but not on the run. At one point, it almost seemed as if she had teleportation powers. She was at 2 different spots within seconds. She told me I was in 7th and the guy in 6th was right in front of me. She said it loud enough that the guy turned and looked at her. I think he gave her the how could you stare.
One of the pros who finished fourth passed me near the end of his run. I didn't change my pace and it seemed we were running at the same pace. Maybe I did pick up the pace, something about male ego. If I had my watch on I could verify that. My watch came off around mile 5 as I was turning right. The band came off both sides and one of the pins vanished into thin air. I don't really use the watch during the race. I use it more to see splits after the race.
I mentally broke on the third loop. I also started cramping in my arms. Was it because I did not take enough salt. I used to drink a different liquid that had more sodium in it. I completely brain farted on that one. I looked for reasons to walk. I pulled it together by the end of the run.
9:26.25 5th 35-39, 15th Amateur, 43rd Overall
I finally put it together. I qualified for Kona. It took 5 tries, but I did it. I still remember Heidi telling me it is a long process and me not believing her. It has been a great year of training and racing. I look forward to next year. I will continue to challenge myself. Kona here I come.
I want to thank:
Jason - Getting me into triathlon
Heidi - Writing my first training plan and giving my lots of wisdom that I would evetually accept
Guy - Getting me through my first Ironman
Mark - A different training philosophy.
Karen - Race Support and crushing me in the pool (Yes, you are still the faster open water swimmer)
Crowieto - Making be a better cyclist and all of the trash talking to push me further
I want to also thank all the companies who have supported me:
Bear Naked Granola