I cannot believe I am actually writing a race report for full IRONMAN! Even after 2+ weeks, it is still hard to believe that I am officially an Ironman. Before I get any further, I want to thank my family and friends. Without their love and support, I would never have crossed the finish line. You are the best, and I am so lucky to have such amazing people in my life. Okay, now that the sappy lovey dovey stuff is out of the way, let’s get down to business.
Lesson #1: Get to the race a day before packet up. Although everything worked out in the long run, I would have been crushed if I didn’t make it to the Expo in time.
Other than a quick pre-race run and dinner with my family, Friday night was pretty uneventful. Oh wait, my friend and teammate KGo decided to grace us with her presence! KGo had raced IM Arizona the weekend before, and decided to make the trip to
Cozumel to cheer. Did I mention it was a surprise?? Yeah, KGo is a pretty rad chick! J
Race morning:My alarm went off at 3:45AM. I had set out my race gear and everything else I needed the night before. This was a huge help! As soon as my alarm went off, I went into auto-pilot. I did not have to think. I just started following my race plan. I had 2 PB&J sandwiches, 1 banana and a bottle of Gatorade for breakfast. After breakfast, I changed into my gear and jumped on the first shuttle to the course.
Lesson #3: Plan every little detail of your race morning- from waking up to your last trip to the bathroom before you get in the water. It might not help everyone, but it certainly worked for me. It allowed me to focus on the race and not waste precious energy sweating the small stuff.
I did not want to be forced to swim over/around 2,000 people, so it was important to me to start with near the front of the group. I ended up at the front of the pack, but to the far right. When the gun went off, the calm water turned into a washing machine! There were people everywhere. Thank goodness everyone started to spread out after we rounded the first buoy. About 500 meters in, I found my rhythm. A short hour or so later, I was rounding the last buoy and heading to the swim exit. I felt strong, but I was definitely happy to get out of the water. Right before I reached the steps, I spotted my family. Mom and Fuzzy were going crazy. That is just what I needed before I took on the bike course. Total swim time: 1:05:30
Lesson #4: Have a plan for everything that you are afraid of i.e.: getting kicked in the face, your goggles breaking, leg cramps, etc etc. My biggest fear for the swim was that I would get kicked in the face and lose a contact. To conquer that fear I practiced what I would do if that happened. No- I did not have a friend keep me in the face, but I did try swimming without both of my contacts in. It was not ideal, but I could do it. Knowing this, put my mind at ease. Plus, I put an extra set of contacts in my T1 just to be safe. Thank goodness I did not need them.
|Smiling for the camera|
Lesson #5: Ironman is a really long race. If things are not going right, you have plenty of time to fix them. However, you have a lot of time to do something stupid! Even though my bike splits were not lightning fast, I tried to ride a smart race. I knew that I had to run a marathon as soon as I got off Miss Scarlett. If I would have let the crazy headwinds mess with my head during lap 1, I would have been toast by the time I got to the run.
I cruised right by my special needs bag and kept moving towards the fun part of the course- the home stretch into town. The locals were out with their families and pets cheering everyone on. These guys were AWESOME!! I might not have been riding as fast Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France, but these guys were cheering like I was. I spent the last 5 miles of Lap 1 smiling and fist pumping. #ICanFistPumpLikeAChamp. J As soon as I passed the T2 shoot, I saw Mom and Fuzzy. I had made it! Only 2 more laps to go.
I carried the high I had from all of the fan support in town all the way back to the lonely and windy side of the island. Unfortunately, the high didn’t last forever. Once I was 10 miles in to the second lap, I started to feel tired and hungry. I am guessing that I was pushing it a little too hard coming through town because I was excited. But not to worry! I knew that feeling hungry and tired was easy to fix. I slowed down for a little bit and took down a bottle and a half of Gatorade and a Honey Stinger Waffle. Within about 2 miles, I was feeling much better. The wind still stunk, but I wasn’t feeling bonk-y (yes, I am now making up my own words). Not feeling bonk-y equals a win in my book! Over the next few miles I tried to focus on the ocean and the beautiful scenery. Somehow this worked! Before I knew it, I had stopped to get my Take 5 candy bar at special needs and was cruising into town for the second time. BRING ON THE LOCALS AND THE FIST PUMPING! One lap to go!
Here is where the real challenge started. The first 2 laps were tough, but by lap 3, I was really ready to trade in Miss Scarlett for my running shoes. The high from town did not last as long as it did on the second loop. I really wanted to be done! I spent the majority of my time positioning and repositioning myself on my bike because I wasn’t able to stay in aero. Who cared about staying aero on lap 3??? This girl didn’t! I know it would have saved me a little time, but that point I didn’t care. I was trying to do everything in my power to get myself through the last 20 miles of the race. I stopped at special needs for a second time to grab another candy bar. This stop was a huge waste of time! I did not realize that once you got into your special needs bag you could not get into it again. Oops!
Lesson #6: Know the ins and outs of course and how things are going to work on race day. I wasted a good 10 minutes waiting around for the volunteers to find my special needs bag the second time.
The last few miles of the bike course went by pretty fast. I started thinking about the run- which made me VERY VERY happy. It sounds crazy to be excited to run a marathon after 9 hours of exercising, but I was. I was so happy when I made the last turn into transition. Holy crap! I did it. Total bike time: 7:48:15
|I <3 Running!|
Total run time: 4:24:22
Thanks for reading! Come back to see how I did in comparison to my Race Goals.