August 28, 2017 2:07 pm
All this for a T Shirt and a medal?!?
It is all done.
15 hours 55 minutes and 36 seconds.
Out of my 3 IRONMAN races this was my slowest time but I have to say the hardest to do. I had to dig deep to keep moving. The bike course chewed me up. To quote my buddy LAZ, “It was soul crushing.” It bike course was indeed “soul crushing.”
As with any IRONMAN the goal is to finish in one piece and be smiling. That I did. My other goal, if you remember from 6 months ago, was to beat my time from 2008 IRONMAN CDA which was 14 hours 34 minutes and 46 seconds.
2008 14:34:46 2017 15:55:36
My swim time was around 1:35 minutes. That is about what I should be. Not fast, not slow, just right.
I felt I got off track on my swim on the first turn. I was off course and had to be redirected back on course. I looked at my watch this morning and it said I swam 4386 m. Ya, a little more than the 3800 I had to swim😁 I have to say that this has happened at every triathlon I have every done. I am clearly lousy at tracking where I am going when I am swimming. Makes me even happier with my swim time.
Other than that, the swim was awesome. Water was calm and a perfect temp. A 2 loop swim course. It was a good day to swim.
I got into Transition 1 (T 1) and I couldn’t seem to get my legs under me. In fact, I fell back into some chairs while trying to get my cycling gear on. Sea legs😉 It took me a few seconds to get my wits about me. My T 1 time was around 11 minutes.
Off onto the bike.
If I haven’t mentioned, the day was beautiful. Sunny, not a cloud in the sky. It was going to be hot. I think the temp peaked at 33 celcius.
As you know, I was not happy with the bike course. I knew it was going to be a killer. IT WAS. I gave that bike course the ride of my life. I don’t think I could have biked any better and it still took me 8 hour 37 minutes! A 2 loop course, the second part of the 2 loop was climbing. The second time through was so hard. I struggle climbing anyway but I rode hard and climbed well. I just can’t generate enough speed going uphill to average out my downhill. I like going downhill😊 Or maybe it is I can’t go downhill fast enough to average out my uphill😆
There were people walking their bikes up the hills. I saw people abandon the race on the bike, just pulled the plug. The heat, the amount of climbing, it was burning people out. The bike was relentless and hot. The wind picked up too. It was one of those hot winds, not a cooling wind. Just keep piling on Mother Nature, keep piling on.
I barely made the bike cut off. There was a chance that I when I got in off the bike a race official would say “sorry son, you don’t get to go on.” I was pedalling back into town, 30 km away from finishing the bike, when I said to whomever was listening “Just get me on the run, I don’t want to have worked all year not to finish this race.” I pedalled as fast as I could. I heard one of the volunteers say I beat the cut off by 4 minutes. I knew if I got on the run I would have a good chance to finish before cut off.
I had mentioned in the past about nutrition and eating properly on the bike. Something I am good at. By the half way point of the bike, all I could take in were power gels ( no chewing needed ) and bananas ( they get soft in the sun ). My gummies and M and M’s just sat there, never touched. You know you are tired when chewing becomes too much.
It was so hot on the bike that the bottom of my feet heated up.They were so hot that it hurt to push off the pedals. Standing on the pedals hurt and became a chore. I have never experience that before. Not pleasant when you know you have to run a marathon after.
T 2 was smoother than T 1. I changed into my run gear and headed out to run a marathon. 9 minutes in T 2.
The run was 3 laps. Pretty much flat. One slight incline but other than that, flat. I hit the first lap. My goal was to run 10 minutes on, 1 minute off and also walk through the aid stations to get water and food. For the first 40 minutes I was bang on. Then it becomes 8 and 2, or 5 and 3, or walk 10 minutes run 1 ( never did that last one but we all get close to that ). RV said he would run 20 steps, walk 20 steps.
Keep moving forward.
Lap one was good, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Lap two was a struggle. I am pretty sure I walked more than I ran. Lucky for me I ran into my friends Hope and Phipper at the start of Lap 3. My watch had stopped working due to low battery ( I swear I charged it the night before ) so I had no idea if I was flirting with the overall cut off time of 17 hours to complete the race. They both said I had plenty of time if I keep my current pace. In fact, Phipper joined me for 500 m and gave me one of his pep talks to motivate me and get me in the right frame of mind. Thanks to Phipper, I bet my Lap 3 was faster than my Lap 2. I know it was.
I needed to get this done.
And I did.
You cross the finish line, you get a medal, t shirt, maybe a hat. Also, some free pizza. Phipper had donuts waiting for me but I couldn’t eat one ( I had it for breakfast ).
No one does these races for the swag at the end, it is the challenge of “can I do this?” Testing your limits. See how you handle yourself under stress. It doesn’t have to be an IRONMAN that does that for you, it can be any activity, any challenge.
It is also not about finishing. I saw 5 people pack it in on the bike, every lap on the run I saw runners laying on ground and being hauled off in an ambulance. I think the heat really did people in.
It isn’t about finishing, it is about showing up. Did you come and give 100%, if the answer is yes then you already crossed that finish line. You are an IRONMAN.
An update on my friends who did this race with me.
RV – the one legged wonder. 15:39:21. He completed his first IRONMAN. Also, he won his category so that is pretty impressive. Enter your first IRONMAN and come out #1. Not bad at all. Hard to top that. I saw RV on the first lap of the run course. He looked like death in running shoes. I honestly didn’t think he would make it. I thought he looked like he was going to throw up. Turns out he did😁 But he kept moving forward.
LAZ – 13:37:05. He had a great race. He is one tough guy. He gives you 100% all the time. Amazing because this course, this race day was hard. It didn’t crush LAZ’s soul.
JOE – DNF. Joe did the swim and around 120 km of the bike before he decided to call it a day. I never wrote about this before but JOE had a serious health incident during a recent Half IRONMAN. I wasn’t sure he would even come down to CDA, let alone do the race. It was a scary time for JOE and his family.
Not only did JOE come down, he swam in 1 hour and 21 minutes and biked 120 km. Pretty damn good! He played it safe, a test run if you will. He showed courage. More than I could have if I was in his shoes. Proud of you JOE.
Well, that is it.
6 months and it is all over.
Thank you to all of you who left comments and encouragement. You are amazing people.
Enjoy your day😉