Sunday, September 19, 2010

IRONMAN Success! 140.6 Miles.

13:41 was my finishing time at the 2010 Ford Ironman LouisvilleThis is different than the photo due to the time trial swim start.  Felt great about finishing.  I think 50% of the pros DNF’d as well as 25% of the age group field.  It was a tough day out there.   I either had allergies or a sinus infection set in on Wednesday and woke up race day with stomach cramps.  Just to cross the line was an accomplishment.  I’ve never seen so many people vomiting, ambulances (counted 9 passing me on the bike alone), people sitting in the shade on the side of the road and being carted off at the finish line.  They ran out of bottled water at the last two sag stops on the bike and it was HOT. 

Woke up at 4 am to eat breakfast and head to transition.  Pumped up the tires and walked the 3/4 mile to the swim start only to find out that we had to walk another 3/4 mile to the end of the time trial start line as many athletes started lining up early in the morning.  Took 30 min to reach the water once the gun went off.  Swim (2.4 miles) was average and I felt good coming out.  Bad news was that my Garmin did not survive the swim.  No GPS for the day and that meant no speed, pace or mile checks.  Made for a long day.  

Took my time transitioning and at the start of the bike (112 miles).  One suggestion for the bike route would be to have more mile markers.  The two loop course had rolling hills.  Started out drinking water early and had a foot cramps by mile 60.  That was a problem and started to think my day would be soon over.  Started with electrolytes immediately, reducing speed and pressure on foot.  By mile 80 it seemed a little better.  I kept my HR at around 121 on the bike all day because of my stomach cramps.  Anything over 130 and it was trouble.  It was getting really hot (~95 deg and humid) and I had more salt caked on my clothes than any other event or training.  

Once off the bike walked through transition again taking time to adjust and recovery preparing for marathon (26.2 miles). Foot had recovered with only minor cramp now.  Started the run with the goal to take short strides and keep a constant pace.  By this time of day it was really hot and I walked through each mile aid station.  This went on for most of the day until I was forced to walk between mile 18-20.  Stomach could not take any more running.  Lots of sponges, oranges, ice water and sport drink at each station.   Mentally the day was difficult.  Not only the heat but low carb levels often took a toll cognitively.  The fact that we had to turn around at the finish line to complete the second half of the marathon was also daunting.  

Ran the last mile into the finish and crossed the line in good shape.  Overall a great day and thanks for the support from my wife and her sister who were at many spots on the course to keep me going and cheer me on.  We spent the last hour of the race (11 to midnight) at the finish line cheering in the remaining participants, all able to call themselves an Ironman. Full Results

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