All I can say is WOW!!! I don't think I can be any happier with my results. Of course I will look to improve, but I am so incredibly pleased.
Results first. Finished in 5:46:04 which is almost a 45 minute PR from Rev3 in early June. 45 minutes! Not a typo, not a misprint, 45 minutes!!
Swim time 49:55 (that's almost 3 minutes faster than Rev3)
Transition 1 3:16 (I need to work on clipping my shoes in and going with no socks)
Bike 2:58:04 (18.9mph, 28 minutes faster than Rev3)
Transition 2 3:13 (need to work on taking my feet out of the bike and no socks)
Run 1:51:36 (almost 14 minutes faster than Rev3, 8:31's per mile)
Nancy and I left early Saturday for our trip to Timberman. Small world it is. As we stopped at a rest stop we bumped into Cliff Scherb, who Max had introduced me to. A month ago Cliff drastically refit my bike. He was there to do Timberman too before he does Kona. It was good to see him and we continued on our way.
We arrived at the race site to check in and I realized we needed to go to Gunstock Resort to check in and for the mandatory meeting. Since this was going to be my first Ironman event, I wanted to make sure all was okay. We walked around a bit, then went back to the race site to rack my bike. Left for the evening to drive our 36 miles back to the hotel. At the meeting they said that if you got there late (after 5am) you would have to take a shuttle bus to the race site. They also said they had 2700 participants.
Nancy and I decided to get up at 3:40am inorder to be able to park at the race site. I didn't want to risk it and they were predicting rain, so Nancy could go back to the car while I was out on the course. Got to the course at 4:35am and still had to wait, but got in. Set up in transition and went back to the car. Pre race meal was a protein bar, bagel with peanut butter and jelly and a banana with some coffee and gatorade.
Transition closed at 6:45am and we made our way down to the beach. It is an in water start (up to your knees). I was right in the middle of the 18 waves (so at least I wouldn't be at the very end getting out of the water). The horn sounded and off we went. I decided I was going to walk as far as I could as it would be faster than my swimming. I almost made it to the first buoy! The normal freakout came almost immediately and I told myself to side stroke until I got it under control. I was praying at this moment when a lady in a kayak said "hello". I had wandered a little bit inside the marked course. I said thanks and she said "Sorry to wake you". I kinda laughed, tension gone (prayers answered) and I figured I better swim. Felt at peace the rest of the way, didn't get bumped or jostled at all. When I got out I ran to a wet suit stripper who ripped my wetsuit off in no time flat. Noticed I was around 50 minutes, so I was psyched.
Transition went okay, fairly long run to the bike out point. Hopped on, saw Nancy and off we went. Everyone that I spoke to said most of the hills were in the first 12 miles or so. They were right. Mile 10 had a big hill, but felt strong throughout as I felt I was passing a lot of people (I was also getting passed a bunch, but not on the hills!). Once the big hill was done I settled in and got my heart rate under control. Ate 3 Clif blocks and drank 5oz. of gatorade every 20 minutes throughout. There was a point where I was just cruising at 23-25mph and I thought I could push it, but followed the plan and the heart rate zone. Started to rain when I hit mile 25 and lasted most of the rest of the way in the bike. Definitely felt like I could have gone 5-10 minutes faster, like Max wanted me to feel as I got off the bike.
Pulled into transition and went out to the run. Stopped and gave Nancy a quick kiss on my way out too. Had a quick thought that my sneakers weren't tight enough, but that thought was gone early. Thought I was starting to cramp, but then realized it was just my legs getting used to running and not pedaling. However, I was full. My stomach felt like I couldn't eat anything. So much so that I didn't even drink anything I think between miles 3-5. The wet sponges were a big help. The course was not overly hilly, but still had some hills. I liked the fact that it was a 2 loop out and back course so I could break it up into quarters. Passed a bunch of people throughout the run. Really tried to pour it on from mile 8-9 in. My last 1/4 was my second fastest next to the first 1/4. I must have passed at least 10-12 people in my age group in the last 1.5 miles who were walking or shuffling.
As I was coming down the chute I was by myself and I thought I can't believe I just did this! I raised my hands in pure joy! I saw Nancy and we both just kinda looked at each other dumbfounded? I had forgotten to get my finisher medal, so I went back and Chrissie Wellington who had smoked all the other ladies put it around my neck. She was smiling the whole time. Any pain that I was feeling left me quickly and was replaced by euphoria. I am still a little stunned at how well I did.
Preliminary results show that I came in 199th out of 332. Swim place was 314th, bike was 230th and the run was 123rd. I still realize that I am not a fast triathlete, but for me, the improvement is astounding. For the first time I actually feel like I am a triathlete. I am not disappointed in the slightest in my placing. The reason I started this training was to prove to myself that I can do this. Even though I am in a competiton, I am competing with myself first and foremost. I may never be a top age grouper, but I will continue to strive to be the best I am capable of being.
I really want to thank Nancy for being my support team during these races. I could not do them without her. I'd also like to thank Max for all of his help. I felt so ready before this race. I felt completely prepared thanks to him. Also, thanks to all the notes and well wishes that I got from my friends, family and fellow Trimax teammates. I can't tell you how much they meant to me.