Sunday, October 11, 2009

2009 Ironman Kona Race Report

Racing Kona this year was my favorite by far. I had a ton of friends racing. Race morning I spent more time talking to them in transition than thinking about the race. I was not nervous, it was more excitement to see what I could do during the race.

After last year's clobbering swim match, this year was actually pretty low on contact. I swam 1:06 and laughed when I got out. I've completed six Ironman races and swum 1:06 four times. It is my illusive barrier that I will break someday, but yesterday was not the day.


Out on the bike the winds were mild all the way out toward the climb to Hawi. I felt like we were given a gift. I felt good. The climb up to Hawi had the typical cross winds, but nothing scary like years past. Screaming down from Hawi is an amazing feeling - the barren land drops off to the ocean on the right. It is beautiful.

At the bottom of the hill we turn back toward Kona on the Queen K. And it gets HOT. And the headwind picked up nicely. I still felt good. In fact, I felt good all day on the bike yesterday. I PRd my Ironman bike split with a 5:32. Probably the part of yesterday's race I am most proud of.

Out onto the run and the lack of wind in Kona meant it was extra HOT. My first mile was 6:50 - oops, too fast. I pulled it back to 7:30s and was hoping to hold my pace there. I hit the climb up Palani to the lonely stretch of the Queen K and briefly felt like death. A mini-bonk if you will. I slammed some Coke and GU and recovered in the next mile.

The rest of the run was a progression of feeling good and then feeling like I might die, finding some Coke or calories and feeling good again. I think the "feeling good" ended around mile 18. I ran into my friend Nick in the energy lab. He made it his mission to get me to the finish line in decent shape. I can't tell you how awesome this was - he talked to me and distracted me and pulled me along when I just wanted to shuffle. He picked up the pace and I followed.

At mile 25 we ran into Fast Brian. The three of us ran in together. These boys are both way faster than me and had rough days. It was quite possibly my most memorable Ironman finishing moment though - crossing the finish line hand in hand with my friends.

My run split of 3:33 was two minutes slower than last year. I was really bummed about this for a while, but then realized this year the run was hotter. And I really gutted it out to maintain a podium spot. I was 30 minutes faster overall with my time this year and my new Ironman PR of 10:17 makes me happy.

Ironman is a really crazy sport. And I absolutely love it.


Steven and Jeffrey were spectacular supporters all day long. Jeff ran about 5 miles in flip-flops up on the Queen K to find me and make sure I was still running strong.

Ian busted out a 9:09 for 3rd in his age group. Kevin had a solid race only six weeks after Ironman Canada. I am so lucky to have such great friends to train and race with.

It's been an awesome 2009 triathlon season. Thanks for sharing in my journey!

44 comments:

Jennifer Harrison said...

AWESOME race! CONGRATS!!!!! well done indeed. ENJOY your R&R!

Heather Figueiredo said...

WOW!! YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR!! Thank you for sharing your blog and ironman journey with us mere mortals. So proud of you!!

Rob MacEwen said...

Wow. Very cool, and inspirational. Congrats

Hooterville Mayor said...

Well done, you are an inspiration!

beth said...

i cannot believe how freaking amazing you are. and YES, the story of you meeting up with your buddies and getting to watch you (oh yes you KNOW i watched you cross the finish on the computer.).

i just love your story and your dedication and your love for the sport. congratulations. big time.

FLATOUT JIM said...

10:17 in KONA! Pretty impressive superstar. Enjoy the afterparty.

Jill Costantino said...

WOW 10:17 AMAZING! Congrats! That is so great that you met up with your friends. Enjoy the rest of your time in Kona and HUGE congrats again!

Molly said...

Wonderful amazing race! I was so excited cheering for you all day and thrilled to get to see you cross the finish line!!!

Kiet said...

Congrats Charisa, now enjoy your much deserved break.

rocketpants said...

Awesome, awesome race!! I was still watching the live streaming when you guys came across! That was fun. :-) Congrats on a HUGE PR on a hot day and tough course. And Amazing job with 5th AG. That is so great!

Runner Leana said...

So awesome Charisa!! Congratulations on a fantastic race. What a way to end the triathlon season this year! Love the finish line shot of you crossing with your buds!

LizE said...

i couldn't wait to hear all about it. was tracking and cheering you all day (and chrissie ;) what a GREAT race!! and a hot day. chrissie's marathon was 10 min(?) slower than last year...

congrats on such an amazing season!!!

ADC said...

Great race - congrats and huge well done. I can't wait to see what you can do next year.

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

I guess you took my joking comment in an earlier post that Bree Wee better watch out too seriously.

Fantastic performance and crossing the line with friends must have bee the icing on the cake!!

Snakebite said...

Big congrats and a "way to go!"

D10 said...

You are awesome! Great race report and congrats on a new PR. The finishing picture makes me smile. Well done.

Leah said...

Congrats! You are amazing and very inspirational.

Alili said...

Fantastic race Charisa! Every time I checked the website you were going strong. And the pictures; so many great smiles. :)

Beth said...

How amazing, out of all those people, that you found and were able to run in with your 2 friends!! Congrats on a great race Charisa!! A great improvement over last year (30 minutes on the bike - all that riding surely paid off!) and STILL running just as fast as last year. Amazing! Your season has been so consistent and so impressive. Now hoping you are enjoying some well deserved rest and relaxation to the max! :) Can't wait to see more pictures!

Kim said...

You really had a day out there! I knew you would and even in the highs and lows you kept your head up and your eyes focused! Way to go.. I was cheering for you all day Charisa! So happy you had such a great bike and really a wonderful run too.. now.. on to relaxing!!

Trishie said...

Congratulations on an amazing race, Ironman ! looking forward to seeing more photos :)

Roo said...

Yay! Congrats on the PR and amazing bike split! Now it's time for some off season adventures!

NJ said...

What an awesome race! Great to see your season culminate in a spectacular finish! Congrats on the PR.

Cy said...

Great race! I just love the finish photo and can understand why this was the most memorable. It doesn't get much better than finishing with friends! The 30-34 AG was stacked and you were on the PODIUM. Whoo Hoo. Congrats again on such a super year marked with such steady improvement. Enjoy the recovery!!

Jennifer Cunnane said...

WOW, wow, WOW, wow, WOW = I am impressed, glad you had fun! Enjoy off season!

GoBigGreen said...

Awesome! I love the pic of you with the tall pillars beside you at the finish, and how selfless that they took you home. That is awesome, yes i used that word already but it truly is AWESOME:)!

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Fantastic!!!! You earned every single bit of it - GREAT GREAT GREAT! I am so happy for you, so proud. I knew you could do it.... :) You are an inspiration!

Terrish B said...

You are an inspiration to us all and I LOVED LOVED LOVED being at the finish line when you and your friends crossed.... it was a great and very happy moment!!! ENJOY your recovery and hope to see you again soon!

Running and living said...

congrats! well done!

Bob Almighty said...

Awesome Race Chica!

Colleen said...

love the finish! how fun to finish with friends. you are truly inspiring charisa~ congrats on a great day and a successful season!

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Love this race report - it has Charisa written all over it. Your positive attitude and enthusiasm is wonderful.

Great pics! I feel just a tiny bit like I was there :-)

Chloe said...

Awesome race report! I stalked you all day - and loved your finish! Congrats on the amazing season!!

Tina at Gotta Run Now said...

Found you from Meg Runs... Congrats on your amazing race! So inspiring!

Jaclyn said...

A spectacular race and an exceptional race report! I am amazed by your dedication to your "crazy sport" and thrilled by your success!

Lisa G said...

Congratulations, you did so AWESOME! So glad you had such a fun time and enjoyed the journey! Now it's time for some well-deserved rest!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats!!! Your a rockstar!!!

Rebecca DeWire said...

You totally rocked it! Congrats on a great race and I love the finish line pic with your friends.

Mike said...

That's awesome! I have enjoyed "watching you train for this and I am glad you did so well! Looks like you have a great team around you as well! Keep it up!

Kim said...

you are A-mazing!!! congratulations! hmm what kind of potent liquor drinks would i put into that bowl?! :) CONGRATULATIONS SPEEDY!

Charles said...
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Charles said...
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Travis said...

I admire all the participant of this competition because to realize the entire competence is necessary effort and pretty much courage. I have a friend called Levitra Kuzkcat who has participated in the last 3 occasions, and I'm so proud of her.

Buy Levitra said...

I am afraid that i did not participated this competition but i am my friend Bob Cialis will join the up comming competition.