Ironman World Champsionship 2007

I was a bit unprepared for the swim to start – I was floating in about the second row in the middle of the start line, when out of the blue Mike Reilly said “Have a good day” – BOOM!  No count down, just go.  The swim start was the roughest I’ve been in – probably had something to do with the fact that this was the World Championship!!  I got kicked a few times and elbowed in the nose once.  Finally, near 1/2 way to the turn around things started to settle a bit.  I did my best to stay on others feet and had varying degrees of success in it, but mostly found lots of good draft.  Got out of the water in 54:09 – didn’t feel disorientated at all.  I ran through the showers, grabbed my bag….

And as I turned into the changing tent I took a beautiful digger – landed directly on my hip, right elbow and then slide on the concrete scuffing my right leg a bit.  Didn’t hurt, just took me by surprise.  Got changed and out the door onto my bike.

I did my best to ride according to my HR, but with the climb up Kuakini I had a semi hard time doing so.  Eventually (with the aid of the downhill after the climb) I got my HR under control and then rode my plan.

I made the turn in Hawi in 3:00 flat of riding time, and took it easy down the 7 mile descent.  Using it as a good time to recovery, pee, and drink some fluids.  Once I got to the bottom I followed my plan and started riding a bit harder then “usual”.  Late in the ride I really began counting down how many miles were left, wanting to get off the bike badly.  My enjoyment of the ride just wasn’t there.  I also felt a bit off – part of me like stopping and throwing up would help.

Soon enough though I pulled into T2 handed my bike off and ran to get my run bag.  The Pier was excruciatingly hot under foot.  After a quick couple of minutes I was out and on my way.

The first few miles of the run went great – my legs felt fresh, bouncy and I was running solid 7:3Xs.  Shortly after the turn around my stomach (maybe even slightly before) to feel a bit full and the small urge/though to puke returned, along with an unexpected thought of “How the hell am I going to get up Palini Rd.?”

I got to Palini in great time, but as I turned off Kuakini my legs told me “no more run” – a complete shock since they had been good so far – my mind just didn’t have the willpower/drive to override my legs so I walked up the hill.  As I was cresting it Macca was coming down at about mile 25.

Miles 11-20k were very rough, very dark.  Around 20k my mind came back and I was able to get a few 9 mpm miles in out to the entrance of the Energy Lab and down into it.  A small amount of walking, but not much.

At 17 it started to get rough again – physically my muscles and legs felt very rubber – almost as if someone had thrown a hand grenade in them.  Mentally I was worried about my stomach – it felt full and I could hear and feel fluid sloshing when I did run.

At mile 19 I figured that I had about 85-90 minutes left to get in and be 10:5X.  I got myself moving, mainly by walking the first 60-90 seconds after a mile marker, and then running(more of a ugly shuffle) to the next marker.  I skipped the aid stations as my stomach was gross.

I got to town and walked down Palini, running down it hurt my legs and stomach to much for my mind to handle.  At the bottom I saw Mary who had this evil look on her face, a look so evil that if I hadn’t planned to try and run from that point on, I would have out of fear for my life!

I crossed the line at 10:51:30 a rough day, but not my worst.  It was my best effort – at the line I had nothing left.  I was totally spent.

After the race it became pretty obvious to me that my stomach had shut down at some point during the day.  At dinner I had little to no appetite and my stomach was gurgling like mad as it restarted.  Did I ride to hard? To many calories?

Not enough plain water to dilute the Infinit?  Ultimately, looking back it’s not important as I had a grand time.

Thoughts on Hawaii

Proud, yet Humbled.  While I can’t find the exact word to describe my feelings about my race here in Hawaii, the combination of those two words is the closest I can come to putting them into words.  Looking back at my race, it was all that I could have hoped for

  • a challenging course
  • beautiful weather
  • great support from friends and family

It also had some things I didn’t expect, namely, the bike course to be as difficult as it was.  It was a brutal course – in many ways it was the most difficult ride I have ever had to ride.  Lots and lots of rolling hills, two rather large climbs – one of which in the first 10 miles of the bike all added up to make it much more difficult then I had mentally prepared for.  I’m glad that I drove the course in advance to at least discover that my mental image was wrong, otherwise I would have been in for a dastardly surprise on race day.

The run was simply a run.  It had a few difficult spots, but besides the hill up Palini road the most difficult part of the run was that much of the second half; okay all of the second half was totally exposed to the heat, wind, and sun.

Anyways, I’m proud that I toed the line, and finished spent having given it my best effort.  10:51 was the best I could do on 10/13/2007, no should’ves, could’ves, would’ves.  That was it.  I raced according to my plan and went for it.  I’m proud that I did that, and that I didn’t quit when it fell apart.

Humbled.  There are lots, and I mean lots of good people out there.  I thought that I was good, I am; but these people are REALLY good.  Race morning Mary and I gave a ride to #907, Marty Bulcock.  Turns out Marty is 41, and went a 9:12 – 1:06/5:03/3:03.  The dude is 41!  This race was really a wake up call to me that reminded me to accept where I am, and to focus on improving myself – and not place myself higher then I am.  Very much along the lines of Jack Daniels/Gordo’s thoughts of "Don’t train fast until you prove it in a race."  Same deal.

This is the first race in a while where I have finished the race and come out of it with a deeper desire, drive and motivation then I went into the race.  I know where I want to get, and some of how to get there – and I have a burning passion and desire to get there.

Still have to jot some thoughts on the season as a whole and what comes next – hopefully tomorrow and the next day I’ll jot those down.

I’m alive

I’ve got a race report written up for Kona, as well as some thoughts on the race and the season in general – now that I appear to have internet access where I am staying I’ll put them up over the next couple of days!

P.S.  It was an awesome race!

Another one for the book

Did a race sim ride yesterday.  4 hours on the bike + 1 hour run.  The bike was spectacular, windy, very windy.  Ended up with 83.8 miles in 4 hours. – 20.9 average – my fastest training ride ever.  I rode it similar to how I plan to ride in Kona.  135 soft HR cap, 145 hard HR cap.  I only exceeded 145 once – was going up a long moderate incline hill into the wind, and I looked down and saw 150.  I backed off immediately and all was good.

The run afterwards went really well.  Started out running really, really strong – the first four miles were sub 7 average – way to fast actually.  Not sure of the exact distance, but right around 8 miles.  Last couple miles were ~7:40 – a good pace, but would have rather done 7:15s straight across.  Gonna have to watch those first few miles in Kona.  I also had a little bit of stomach issues on the run – took in to many gels in to short a time.  It was the strategy I’ve used in the past with success, but today it gummed me up pretty bad.  Not sure how to address that as I know the key to my success on the run is equal parts bike pacing and keeping the calories coming in.  Overall I was pretty happy to cover just over 8 miles in 60 minutes, including a bathroom break.

The coming week is pretty mild – an hour run on Tuesday, the usual 3k-4k SCM swims, and then some easy biking and running.  Key workouts this week are a tough 90 minute + 30 minute brick on Wednesday, with a 2 hour + 30 minute brick on Saturday.  After that it’s stay loose and then race like a bat out of hell on October 13th.  Kick ass and take names.

I’m actually starting to feel just a little prepared – anything can and will happen during the race, but my key sessions this past week have been a great mental and (hopefully) physical boost.