Monday, November 29, 2010

Ironman Cozumel Race Report

My main goal going into this race was to break 10 hours. With the course being flat I figured as long as I set myself up with a good swim in my mind there was almost no way this wouldn't happen.

Good luck from my Mom before the start...

The swim starts outside a dolphin area and spectators were treated to a dolphin show while all the athletes got into the water.

About 100 meters into the swim I realized jellyfish were stinging me. This made me swim faster to get away from them, and also grab some feet in hopes that the people in front of me might clear the jellyfish path. When I lost the feet at the corner buoy or because the current pushed me off course I fought to get back on them. Coming out and seeing the clock at 59:18 put a huge smile on my face. I think the Profile Mako speedsuit helped as well...

With my solid swim setting up my quest for sub-10 I now had three laps to tour the island.  My goal was to ride 5:15. Lap #1 felt great and passed several pro girls. Lap #2 felt like absolute death and they all re-passed me, plus some. I was going BACKWARDS. I think the heat was keeping calories from hitting my bloodstream. Whatever it was, I felt terrible and several times wished I could throw the Quintana Roo into the ocean. Thankfully after an hour of pedaling easy while half the world passed me, I started to feel better and the QR and I were friends again.

Lap #3 I felt good again and tried to make up for time lost on lap #2. My favorite section of the bike was when we came through town. I am pretty sure the locals have no idea what an ironman is, but they come out in full force to cheer. They bring their kids and noise makers. They stand in the street cheering for hours. I've never seen such awesome crowds. I came off the bike in 5:27.

Dad out of the swim (his least favorite part...)

My Dad's first two laps of the bike went completely to plan. He held his heart rate right where it should be, he felt good. Lap #3 took a turn for the worse and he had some leg cramps and then his stomach revolted setting him up for a rough run.

Starting out on the run I knew sub-10 was still within reach. But oh it was HOT. I was surprised to find out I wasn't way down within the pros - in fact I was almost in the money. 

The run was a mix of feeling fairly good and hanging on for dear life. I passed several girls, but I knew there were several behind me that were close. The crowd support in town was the loudest I've ever experienced - better than Kona. I'm guessing it's because just about every local had a Corona in their hand and as the day wore on they just got louder.

I passed my Dad on my final lap and he was walking at that point - trying to take in some calories. It was a brutal day of heat and wind and I'm so proud of him for sticking it out to finish in 13:55 - in what I believe is his slowest Ironman to date. It would have been just as easy to call it a day, but he finished it out and will get to Kona next time.

Seeing the large Mexican flag was a welcome sight because it meant I was re-entering town and the crowds that pushed me slight bit faster. On my final lap Steven told me I could move up a spot and all I had to do was get myself around the lagoon (a loop I run at home). This would prove one of the hardest loops all day. By mile 20 I was sure I would puke if I took any of my GU or anything for that matter. So "Coca" it was. And several bathroom stops. The final six miles were pure survival. At mile 25 the girl behind me caught me and pulled ahead. The competitiveness in me came through and somewhere in my calorie deprived state I found energy I had no idea I had to sprint the final mile and secure 7th place. My run time was 3:36, far from what I had hoped, but a solid survival run in the heat.

My final time was 10:07 - exactly what I finished at Wisconsin. I actually was not too disappointed in missing sub-10. I know on a good day it is there. The conditions at Ironman Cozumel were some if not the hardest I've ever raced in. And to finish where I did among a stacked pro field of women made me proud of hanging in there and not giving up when the going got tough.

THANK YOUS: TriSports.com for carrying everything tri related. Sable Water Optics - I can see all the fish (and jellyfish)! Rudy Project for protecting my head and making some rockin sunglasses. QuintanaRooProfile Design & Zipp for an awesome ride. SCAPE for protecting me from the sun. MicroscopeWorld.com for the days off to race, train and chase my dreams. GU for making awesome flavored gels (espresso!). SMACK! Media for keeping me in the loop. And of course Zoot for compression, fun racing and training gear and suhweeeeet shoes!

It's been a great 2010 season and I've pushed myself further and accomplished more than I thought I would this year. Here's to a great off season before I gear up to what I'm sure will be an awesome 2011 season. Thanks for following my journey.

33 comments:

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Wow, congrats!!! and congrats to your dad as well, that is so cool that you got to race along with your father.

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Great job. I know dad is proud of you and probably more proud to have raced with you. That race is bringing back bad memories of this year's Louisville which was another humid/heat fest.

Elizabeth A. Rich said...

Awesome end to your rookie pro season Charisa!! :)

Chloe said...

Congrats to you and your dad! That heat and humidity can be a killer - so congrats on the awesome time. Not to mention the sub hour swim!!

Christi said...

Congratulations!! You had a great year and I can't wait to see how 2011 goes!

Congrats to your dad as well!

FLATOUT JIM said...

Sounds like a Tough day.

Kim said...

was the wind on the bike as brutal as it was there last year? 24mph then you go 8? and the jellyfish out there were terrible! way to hang in there and finish strong! congrats to you and your dad!

Angela and David said...

Awesome! Such an amazing season you put together. It's been a lot of fun to follow and cheer for you.

Beth said...

What an amazing race on such a tough day Charisa! I did a little dance when I saw that swim time of yours! :) Congrats on another great IM and an awesome rookie pro season. Like you said - much greatness to come in 2011! :)

Marit C-L said...

You are amazing Charisa - more than your athletic talent, you've got a great heart.... I am SO HAPPY for you and your incredible season! Congratulations on one heckuva good race in brutal conditions - I KNOW that sub-10 is out there.... can't wait to cheer you on! xoxox

Definitely Noodles & Co. time!!!!

Christine said...

Nice job, Lady!! You always amaze me!

TRI714 said...

Cograts to you both. Way to push thru. I guess that goes for both of you also. Have a great off season, and look forward to following.

JenniferLeah said...

congrats! and your dad is a total rockstar!
I would love it if my Dad (or husband) got into tri's with me :D

Heidi Austin said...

congrats on a solid time! and that's so cool that your dad rocked it too :)

Leah said...

You always inspire! :)

jessica said...

love that you look like you're walking on air in all of the run photos :)

Amanda said...

Great job! Tough conditions out there and you pushed through! What a way to end your first pro season. I love it!

Jill Costantino said...

Super Congrats to you Lady:))))))
way to break the 1:00 hr swim woohoo! Enjoy your off season.

Running and living said...

Charissa, congrats on a great race and an amazing year! I am looking forward to following your training during next season. For now, I am excited to follow your off season. Yoga again?

Caratunk Girl said...

Congrats!! I followed you yesterday - what a tough day, you are a rock star. Congrats to your dad too, that is so awesome he did the race too!! Way to cap off 2010, here is to an even more successful 2011.

solarpowered said...

I've had marathons like that (though not as fast) and it stinks! Congratulations on digging deep and getting such a solid finish! A swim PR, a race with Dad, a get-away with your family... Sounds pretty darn great. :)

Aimee said...

Woohoo! Congrats to both you and your dad for doing awesome, despite the tough conditions!!

Kiet said...

Tough course, looks like everybody ran slow, but you've got all the individual pieces now with that 59 minute swim! Way to hang tough and come to race CDA so we both can break 10 hours together.

m said...

Congrats on a sub 1 hour swim, a great place and a great first pro season! Enjoy the well deserved off-season!

Meg said...

What a great report. I can't believe the crowd was louder than Kona, what a surprise!
We followed you both all day and it was fun to see you do so well, I was wondering if it was pretty hot.
Congrats to you dad, he'll get to KONA, I know it.

Steve Stenzel said...

Congrats Charisa!!! Sure, it wasn't sub-10, but for that day it was GREAT!!

When Pharmie and I were in Cozumel 2 years ago, we were swimming and had jellyfish "bits" stinging us. It SUCKED. Glad you could get though it!

Congrats again to you and your Dad!!

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

You did so well! Good job on your awesome performance despite the jellyfish and heat!!!

kristinschleicher said...

Congratulations on a great race and especially an awesome swim! Can't wait to see your 2011 season plans!

martin briars said...

excellent report - it must be great to run with your dad ! (my daughter who's 11 ran with me this week and i told her i'd love to do a race with her when she's older..... i would love it).
well done - your determination is nothing less than brilliant!
enjoy the rest now!
marti

Matt said...

congrats on a great race, to race that fast and deal with a few issues is impressive and a big swim PR to boot! I am jealous your on the beach and we have over a foot of snow and alot more on the way..

Alili said...

Congrats on a great finish Charisa! So cool that you and your dad were both racing. :)

Alison said...

Congrats on an awesome race and gutting it out in the heat! You look like you're flying in the pictures!

Kathy said...

congratulations! I looked for you but must have been busy when you crossed the finish (I was working the Cruz Roja tent). Have a great year!