I was surprisingly calm race morning. Nervous, of course, as usual, but not nearly as nervous as IMWI 2010 or Kona last year.
The morning went quickly like it typically does, and I soon found myself crossing the timing mat and heading into the water. Swimming out to the start, my goggles leaked. *sigh*
The Swim: 1:04:27
As I got close to the inside buoy where I wanted to start I heard someone call my name. It was a friend of mine, Matt, so we hung out and waited for the swim start while I tried to get the water out of my goggles and get them to seal properly. Before the start I saw another familiar face, Summer. I swam with her one or two times at an SBR Coaching swim. I knew she'd be targeting an hour. She was also the only pink cap in the group and has a straight arm recovery so I thought she'd be easy to keep track of. As I squeezed in front of Matt, he gave me a funny look. "She's my rabbit." "Oh... you're my rabbit." So we got in line - Summer, me, Matt - although I'm pretty sure Summer was oblivious to all of this.
We didn't do a good job chasing our rabbits because I finished 4 minutes behind Summer and Matt finished 4 minutes behind me. I lost track of my rabbit immediately.
There's not a whole lot to say about the swim other than my goggles leaked immediately so I swam the whole way with water in my eyes which is quite annoying. Also, people really need to learn how to pace themselves. This is not a 500-yard swim race, although you'd never know it by the way people start the swim.
Coming out of the water about to head up the helix.
The Bike: 5:23:17
*sigh* The bike sucked. I never felt like I got moving. My power was low and my legs felt a little heavy. Ironman power felt like work.
Fifteen minutes into the ride I reached down for some maltodextrin and my bottle was gone. So I started doing the math on how many gels and Perform I would need to grab on the course throughout the ride and when I should eat those. I did the best I could, but math is fuzzy at best in a race. I was aiming for about 1400 calories and as I look back I can only account for 700 calories. I may have had more, but I came up well short of the 1400 I've been training with.
I knew Courtney and the Fam would be on Timber Lane. Here I am looking for them as they stand right next to me cheering (white coat, brown coat, blue coat, my dad is blocked by me).
Gnorman the Gnome came out to cheer.
I finished the bike 6 minutes slower than 2010. All the time I made up on the swim was gone.
The Run: 3:34:07
The run was weird and all over the place. I came out of T2 and saw 6:37 on the race clock, the exact same time I started the run in 2010. I was aiming for 6:20ish this year so I was way off pace. I felt weak as I started the run. My hands were a little shaky. I ran around the capitol and hit State Street and that's when it hit me. I am starving. The pizza smelled amazing. I saw a guy biting into a piece of pizza and I nearly quit the race right there so I could eat. I still think about that piece of pizza.
Aid station one and two were ridiculous. The volunteers laughed at me as I grabbed Perform, pretzels, cookies, grapes and a gel. I've never taken more than water and a sponge at an aid station. I must have eaten 500 calories in the first couple of miles.
I wanted a sub 3:30 run so I started at an 8 minute pace. I faded quickly from there. By mile 10 I was running an 8:25 pace and averaging 8:15 overall. Then I got passed by someone in my AG and I got frustrated and discouraged. This wasn't going how I'd hoped it would. I've never taken Coke in a race, but people seem to love it. I wonder what will happen if I start slamming Coke.
Every aid station was 2 or 3 at a time. By the halfway turnaround, I felt great. The next hour I ran a 7:46 pace and caught and passed the guy in my AG. Maybe sub 3:30 is still in the cards. My overall average was now down to 8:05. But I got sloppy and started neglecting my nutrition. I missed some gels and stopped slamming Coke. I hit a huge wall about mile 20 and was soon struggling to hold an 8:45 pace.
I told myself to start slamming Coke again, but I got to an aid station and took a sip of one Coke and moved on. Not sure why. With about 2.5 miles to go I got passed by someone in my AG. Just keep him in sight and maybe you'll feel better soon, I told myself. Then someone else in my AG passed me, the guy I passed earlier. No, I said. I got a little pissed, a lot stubborn. I immediately passed him back. He tried to repass. NO!
The race was on. He pushed. I pushed. The next 18 minutes we averaged a 7:37 pace and finished off the race with a minute at a 6 minute pace. I beat him by 10s.
Where the hell did that come from? Why was I able to step up the pace so much toward the end? I was no longer high on Coke (never written that before). There is a mental side to this game I need to figure out.
I didn't get my sub 3:30 marathon but I did set a PR on the run and an overall PR for the race.
Gnorman the Gnome waiting at the finish line.
Overall Time: 10:11:42 13th in my AG (no Kona) and 63rd OA.
I won't lie, I'm disappointed in my race. I realize 10:11 is a good time, but it's not what I was after. I've got some things I need to figure out before I begin training for Cozumel. I've been working on that already, and have 4 more blog posts written and scheduled to publish in the next week or so. It's time to change things up.