Steve's suggestion, don't be shy. Call out clearly what you want. The volunteer that has it should respond and hold it out. The volunteers want to get you what you need, and want to help you.
A serious observation: I saw several people come through that looked overwhelmed and undertrained for the event. An Ironman is a BIG event. I encourage all triathletes that want to reach for an Ironman to do it, but please, take the preperation seriously. You don't have to be super lean (but leaner helps) you don't have to be fast, but you can't be slow at all three sports, and you have 17 hours. In my humble opinion you should think you can honestly do it in 15.5 before signing up. This gives you 1.5 hours for "bad stuff" to happen and you will still make it.
Thank you, that gel came in handy.
|The swag and my bib|
I was moved by the amount my social media feeds had "blown up" during the race and how many people stayed up to watch the streaming of me finish. This was very humbling, and I thank each and everyone of you for your kind words and support.
To God for giving me the stregth and desire to take this on, and for getting me through.
To my Wife for putting up with my training, my addiction to gear, and my whacky-ness especially after long training days.
To my triathlete friends for your encouragement. Many of you are also my social media friends mentioned above.
To my dad for being my dad.
To my mother-in-law for keeping Angi company while I was away.
To my bike mechanic for making sure the Transition was running good on race day!
To Ironman for putting on a great event.
To the people of Coeur d'Alene for being the best spectators of any event I have ever done or been to.
To the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the Stanley Cup Monday night, putting the cherry on the sundae to a great weekend.
If I missed you, I am sorry, but if you supported me in anyway, I truly do appreciate it.
By the way, it is now Wednesday afternoon. My aches and pains still have aches and pains. That is a grueling event. But very worth it.
I have been asked if I will do another. No. Yes. Probably. I am considering Arizona 2014. Okay, I am in the preliminary planning stages, so I am seriously considering it.
A few photos:
The Lake, the Monday before
|Bike Racked and Ready|
|All smiles, done and dusted!|
My initial writing of this blog did not include some things I consider standard for my race reports. Mostly a, this went well and lessons learned section, as well as what’s next?
I had so much excitement in the days after the race and so many thoughts going through my head, I just forgot to include them.
However, these are critical components, maybe not for the reader, but for myself, as typing it out helps me plan my next steps.
First off, I didn’t even detail my run. This was in part by design, as I wanted to focus on the tremendous crowd support. The Ironman website mentions the run being the highlight of the race, but hey, they are selling the event. Well in this case they under-sold it. I am still amazed at the amount of people that came out to watch us have our few seconds of glory.
Those of you that know me, or follow any of my musings know that the run is by far my weakest event. My swim and bike are typically at or just below middle of the pack for my age group. My run is in the bottom 10 to 15 percent.
I had trained to a 5:30 to 5:45 run, and really thought this was doable, if I struggled maybe 5:45 to 6:00. So how did I get to 6:33?
Believe it or not, I had plenty of legs. My heart rate seemed a bit high, but manageable. Something weird happened between mile 9.5 and 13; I had a hard time getting air into my lungs. I would be wheezing after 20 seconds of running. So I walked, and walked, and walked. Around the turn-around I felt like I had some air flowing again, so I resumed my run/walk strategy that I had timed out so diligently in my training, and was able to keep to it except for the big hill around mile 6/19.5. I actually had a slight negative split to my run. So even though the time was well off my goal and honest prediction, I was not too disappointed in it. Especially since I ran the final half mile in and could have kept going!
So what worked?
The swim: Right on prediction and other than getting popped and elbowed, which is just part of it, the swim was as expected, and I came out feeling ready to ride.
Nutrition: I never felt like I was ready to bonk. No GI distress except for a bit of gas which is normal for me, and I never felt like I had too much in me. Following the Training Bible concept of eating “just enough.” It can be a delicate balance as in training I bonked more than once. But I did not bonk at all during the race.
Transitions: While I contend that a fast transition isn’t really necessary until or unless you are competing for a top 10 or Kona slot, over 9 minutes in T1 was a bit much. I just didn’t have my thoughts organized or a good plan for getting through T1.
The bike: The time was okay, and was in my predicted range. However, the first half was much better than the second. And my cycling did not see the improvements through this training block that I wanted it to. I have hit a plateau. I think I need to make some changes to my cycling training. And a big change is I need to invest in a power meter. What gets measured gets improved, and there is no better way to measure one’s cycling that through a power meter. Any of you loaded wonderful readers want to gift me one?
The run: It has been and continues to be my weakest sport. Despite the 6:33 marathon, I did see improvements in my run throughout the training. A big part of this was due to taking Brian M’s run clinic late last year, and working on better form. I completed a six month build to the IM and stayed injury free while logging more miles than I ever have. So now, its continue to build on that, and start to try and run faster over shorter distances to get that feeling going and continue to build run fitness.
Weight: I’ve come a long way from a guy that was a couple of donuts shy of 400 pounds. But let’s face it, as a triathlete I’m pudgy, and if I want to knock off a couple of hours from my time, I need to find a way to take off another 20-30 pounds. The added bonus to that is it will help my running, and hill climbing on the bike.
So what is next?
August 11 is the Chula Vista Challenge. It is an Olympic distance tri that is very challenging with a mostly uphill bike and a very hilly usually HOT run. I did it last year, it is a fun event, and I really just want to see if I can improve.
September 30 is Superfrog. The original 70.3, I also did it last year, and want to conquer that doggone beach run.
Looking ahead to November of 2014: IRONMAN Arizona! And here it is for all to see: I am targeting a sub 13 hour finish. A two hour improvement; here we go!
And a couple more photos from the race: