Ran up the chute, got my wetsuit yanked off, and I headed off through the showers to T1. Definitely different than any other transition. Waited a little for my gear and headed into the change tent. Threw on my bike socks, shoes, race number, got my pills, put on the helmet, sunglasses, and arm warmers and headed out - got lathered up with sunscreen, a volunteer gave me my bike, and off I went. Sipped water for the first 30 minutes or so, then I started my nutrition. 4 bottles of EFS, 2 energy bars, 2 uncrustables, a can of redbull, couple of bites of cookie, and 1 bottle of gatorade endurance. I picked up water at almost every aid station, 2 more bottles of sports drink and the cookie and redbull in special needs, and the gatorade at the final aid station. My pace was up at about 20.8 for prob the first hour, and slowed to around 19.2 with the wind, a few rollers, and the special needs stop. The last 25 miles or so were on brand new paved road with the wind so that picked my pace back up. I was starting to feel it a little in my low back and back of my left knee, so I took 1 advil with about 40 minutes left on the bike. That perked me right up and so I pushed it a little near the end of the bike. I came in at about 5:36 - or about 20.1 mph or so - I was happy with the bike, but a little worried about the back of my knee at this point. If I could have done anything different, I would have gone without arm warmers.
Got into transition, handed my bike off, got my gear from the no-nonsense, johnny on the spot volunteers and went to change. Threw on my tri shorts, body glide, socks, shoes and visor - all the while a volunteer is unpacking and packing my gear up for me. Then I contemplated how far a marathon was, and headed out the door to the porta potty. Felt better!! Then I got more sunscreen from a young lady who was really into her job - she even gave me a hug. Then I set out on the run. 26.2 to go!! The marathon was about survival. I eventually settled into a comfortable pace and the heartrate came down a little. Definitely started to feel the back of the knee at about 3 or 4 miles in. I was telling myself to go as long as I could without more advil. That lasted until somewhere between 10K and 9 miles. Then I took 2 more advil (if you're keeping track, that's 3 total so far). Again that dulled the pain and I felt more comfortable. I loved the aid stations. Among them were MASH, a 70s theme, and one had women shall we say dressing and acting inappropriately - think leather :-) They made me smile. I took water, coke, gel, and gatorade at aid stations. Finished the first half marathon feeling not all together horrible. I picked up special needs, had another redbull, and got a long sleeve shirt to tie around my waist. Now the race begins as they say. The sun started to go down and I appreciated the slightly cooler temps. I continued to push forward, doing the run / walk thing, and chatted with a couple of people along the way. I got to about mile 20 and started to do math in my head, calculating how fast I needed to go to break 12 hours. So needless to say, I was in pain at this point, but I was going to finish. I started the chicken broth - tasted good actually. Several waters, gatorades, cokes, and broths later, I realized I would make my goal of sub 12. The last couple miles were the longest. I ran a quarter mile, then speedwalked a quarter. When I came around the corner onto Thomas drive, about a quarter mile to go, I decided to run the rest of the way. I came around the corner, under the first arch, and high fived my brother, and then ran the rest of the 30 yards or so with my arms up under the finishing arch and then looked to the sky. I was an ironman!! Got my medal, t-shirt, and hat. Then I got my picture - After looking at it, I look tired in the picture for some reason. Then followed high fives, and hugs and tears with my faithful followers. Then more pictures, then the recovery drink, then pizza - yummy :-)
Then slowly but surely we made our way back to transition. Chris came in to get my gear and bike with me. Let's just say I didn't need the emergency immodium during the race but did after :-) So I got my bike, my gear, got changed, hit up the porta potty, and then left transition and walked back to the car with the crew. Back at the condo I had more advil - 4 to be exact - then showered and ate more pizza. I went back to the finish line with Leah and Rodrigo for the last 90 minutes of the race. The best part of the ironman, aside from your own finish, is the last hour of the race. Really fun time!! Then I went home and went to bed. Woke up around 6:30, had mini wheats and advil for breakfast, realized the back of my knee really hurt, then left to go spend copious amounts of money on finisher's merchandise. Stood in line for an hour just to get in the store. Did the shopping, then hung out with friends and Leah the rest of the day. A couple more race notes - I was really happy with my heart rate control during the bike and run. Of course I couldn't really run fast enough to elevate the heart rate much the last 10K of the run :-)
What an experience!! Thanks so much for all the support and encouragement. FYI the leg is much better today than yesterday. Just a matter time I hope!! Now it's into maintenance and recovery mode til Christmas or so. I love you all. Thank you and good day!!
Sent from my BlackBerry