Updated: Mar 2, 2021
Started the day with the alarm going off at 4:21…that extra minute made all the difference. Drank a Red Bull and gradually chipped away at eating a bagel and a clif bar. Drank a small bottle of water. Got my gear together and headed for Placid. Parked in an outside lot and got the shuttle into Placid. Found the ultimate…a clean, line free porta potty by the bus drop off…perfect! Dropped of bike special needs and headed for transition. Got body marked, went in and put Powerade and Gatorade mix in my speedfil, and checked my tires. Then walked out to drop off run special needs then went to the swim start to drag my ass into my wetsuit. My morning went perfectly, I stayed happy and calm. The timing was perfect, not enough time to stress but enough time to get everything done. Got in the swim start under the 1:20 to 1:30 group. Immediately saw Jamie (my coach), this gave me a chance to get a last minute reminder from him that I could do this…even undertrained (I’d done 1 workout since Tinman, a 24 mile bike).
The swim was pretty comfortable, I got straight to the cable and followed it. When you swim on the cable, it’s busier but drafting really helped my speed! It went by pretty quick, got out the water from loop 1 at 7:30. I was happy, not too slow. Grabbed a water and got back in. Took me a little longer this time to find the cable and veered off left a little too much. By buoy 2, I found it and settled in again. I’m getting much calmer in the swim, even when big men swim over me, or I get trapped between two swimmers. I’m learning to lock my elbows more and hold firm so it’s harder for other swimmers to get into my space. Anyway got out of the swim at around 8:15 which was perfect because I’d hoped to be out on the bike for 8.30am. My swim time was 1:22:04, 7 minutes slower than last year, but considering how disappointed I’ve been by my constantly slowing swims this year, it wasn’t too bad. Wetsuit stripped, I ran down to transition. I took the time to dry off, wipe the sand off and get changed. Fresh, dry clothes were such a good plan. Ate a clif pouch while I changed. Went and got my bike and headed out.
The first loop went by quickly. As usual, everyone and their dog passed me on the climbs but I can always take a few back on the descents. I tried to take on 200 kcals every thirty mins which I probably didn’t quite manage. Had 2 gels then ate bananas and clif bars. Hydrated with about 70% Gatorade and 30% water throughout the whole bike course. I was constantly aware of the bike cut off, I really believed there was a real risk of not making it. I knew loop 1 had gone well, but my concern was whether I’d hit a wall on loop 2 because I was so undertrained. Luckily that didn’t happen. At bike special needs I just took 3 Advil to help with my neck/shoulder pain and headed out on loop 2. By mile 90 I was certainly tiring and slower but I was still moving. I got off the bike only three times total to stretch my neck/shoulder which held up amazingly well (benefit of not training!!). Overall I was 30 seconds slower on the bike this year, from last year. Finished the bike in 7:48:07.
In T2, I took 17 minutes (I know that’s long) but I had made bike cut off and so I was able to relax…and I did!! I took the time to get cleaned up and changed into compression pants. Then I headed out on the run.
Really from getting onto T2, my race slows down and this I need to work on. The problem is that I now have little motivation to push. I’m far far too slow to anywhere near a kona slot, and I’m going to finish, so why bother rushing. This “f#&k it” approach during my runs needs to be addressed for next year. So I headed out..walking…saw my friend Ali and her boyfriend, with their puppy. Stopped to cuddle the puppy and chat for a few. Then plodded on, walk/running, chatting to people and gradually making my way forward. My average pace was 13:56, which is pretty poor. When I can run a 4 hour marathon, I can do better than this, but I just didn’t really see the point. I took on only pretzels and orange slices for nutrition. Drank water or Gatorade at almost every aid station then chicken broth when it came out. By loop 2 my Achilles became pretty painful so I was walking the hills slower and still running downhills and some flats. Finished the run in 6:05:21.
Overall I finished in 15:48:07, about 35 mins slower than last year but considering that my training was lacking, this was fine. This won’t be my last ironman, most likely I will do IM Texas, Boulder or Placid next year but I need to look at why I’m not reaching my potential. I know I can be a lot faster, Jamie knows I can be a lot faster but it’s not happening. My walk away feeling is very positive…ironman #2 completed!