This race was great for me for many reasons. A big one is that it made me confident as an athlete again. This year has been tough, and before this race I did two races that were not fantastic by my standards and expectations of myself, and really I wondered if I could do it again.
I felt tired during the taper and I know this has been the case for most/all past Ironman races I have done, so I kept talking to myself about that and telling myself it was normal. In the few days after getting to Arizona I started feeling good and rested, which was great! Perfect timing. I had a good head space about me when I was there. And I was staying at a homestay with fantastic people: Thank you Tammy and Tom Gordon!
And now for the race day details:
The swim was slower than I would have liked. I was on my own for about 3400 of the 2800m. But, I could see the pack in front of me for most of the way, so I was happy about that. I felt like I was swimming well actually, until the pack of age groupers who started 10 minutes later started passing me!!! Then I was like “oh crap, how slow did I go”. Anyways, when I got out and saw 1:07 I didn’t let myself dwell on it and stayed in a good headspace.
I felt great on my bike and was happy to be out there riding it. I kept my eye on my power meter and tried to be stronger with each lap. On the first lap I had a mechanical issue and I thought I may be finished.. my chain got jammed between the cassette and the bike frame!! When it got jammed I thought I was going to break the chain getting off, but I somehow unclipped both feet and kinda jumped off and figured out what was going on. I was able to reef it out on my own and get going again. On the second lap I got a penalty for drafting!! This was a little disconcerting because I was making a big effort to keep the appropriate distances between myself and the bike in front of my for the whole race. One of those times when the officials came by at the wrong time. There was a guy in front of me who wouldn’t let me pass him (guy who didn’t want a chic passing?) and the motorcycle went by as I went back behind him. Ugh. Anyways, so took the 4 minutes at the penalty tent to eat, drink, and tried not to look at all the people going by. Third lap was good, the wind changed so it was in our faces on the way back.
An Ironman run is never “fun”! 🙂 The first few miles were hard, but I was running 4:30-4:37 for the most part for the first 8 miles. Then I died early on the second lap of 8 miles. Tried to hang on as best I could, walked through one aid station to take in lots of fluid, then by the end of that lap was okay. Crossed the half marathon mark at 1:40.. Third lap was better than the second lap, but still slower than my goal pace. I had a good headspace throughout this run, there was no way I was going to stop, and there was no way I was not going to finish the race, I just told myself in my head to keep running and see what happened.
Overall.. I think a successful day for me, and a great end to my “short” 2012 Triathlon season! Finishing in 9:57.
I would do this race again for sure.
Thank you to Powerbar, La Bicicletta, Sugoi, Mizuno, Rick Choi of Reel Kool Products and of course Absolute Endurance for all the help and support along the way!