The final race of the season is sometimes a mix of "Ohhhhhh I just want to be done and have it be off season!" and "I am POSITIVE I have a final fast race in me." I would say I was wavering 50-50 between these two feelings going into Arizona. It has been a long season with some great racing, combined with a bike crash.
|Thanks to Kerry Yndestad for just about all these awesome pics!|
I lined up in the center on the swim. I figured I'd let the super-fish swimmers get out of the way, then jump on feet. Apparently when we took off I was the fastest swimmer in my area. I swam solo for an entire 2.4 miles. I pushed the entire time and tried to pretend I was chasing someone, but honestly it was just a completely lonely solo swim.
I came out of the swim in 1:01, was mad for about two minutes, then moved on.
The first loop of the bike I tried to settle into my pace and go with a few girls when they passed me. Most of the first loop I was solo, trying to push into the headwind on the climb and enjoying the tailwind back to town. The second loop found me chasing a few age group guys. By the third loop the winds had shifted and we had a tailwind on the climb out, headwind on the way back. I never felt horrible on the bike and I never felt amazing. I honestly felt like I rode mediocre - not terrible, not great. I came off the bike after 5:05 - leaving my goal of breaking 5 hours out there for chasing on another day.
My Garmin never picked up a signal, but I've run blind in races many times, so I was not too concerned. I tried to run steady and not go out too hard in the first loop. But honestly, in the first loop I was worried. My legs did NOT feel good at all. Not that they ever feel good in the marathon of an Ironman, but typically in the first loop I have to hold myself back.
|My try to smile but OUCH this hurts face.|
Around mile 7 an age group guy passed me moving at a good pace and I decided to take a chance and go with him. For about 3 miles I ran behind him and my pace picked up. And then it got crowded and I lost him. And I accidentally slowed down. The third loop just felt like a death march. At mile 16 I started thinking "Only 10 miles til off season!".....then "9 miles til off season!"
I suppose the good news is that I ran a 3:18 on a day where my legs didn't exactly show up to run. I finished 9th in 9:30, happy to be done, happy to be inside the top 10, and very happy to start my off season. It may not have been the result I was aiming for, but it was still a good day to be racing.
As for my Dad - he swam a 1:26 (this is actually fairly decent for him!), biked a 5:46 (while having some cramping issues starting at mile 75), and then he had a very long run of 5:05, where he would run a mile, cramp, make the cramp go away, then run again. He finished in 12:27, 5th in his age group. I think he went out a bit hard on the bike, which brought on the leg cramping. He is still trying to figure out what effort to race Ironman at on the bike. I look forward to the day he figures out the bike because he has a killer run in him that he has yet to use in an Ironman.
A big THANK YOU to my sponsors for keeping me going all year long.....ZOOT for footwear, wetsuits, apparel, etc - the entire crew is a pleasure to work with. CANNONDALE for picking me up after the season had kicked off and making an awesome fast bike. PROFILE DESIGN for great aero bars, wheels, stems, hydration, etc. TRIBE for hosting a fun party every year before Ironman Arizona, and supporting me with everything I could need for racing. EXTREME ENDURANCE for allowing me to race, recover repeat a lot this season with use of their products and for creating an immune boost multi-vitamin that helps keep me healthy. POWERBAR for a multitude of nutrition products that fuel me before-during-and-after racing and training. RUDY PROJECT for great sunglasses and helmets that protect my eyes and head! MICROSCOPE WORLD for many days out of the office and on the road this season. And last but not least - Elliot, Mom & Dad, Jeff, Kevin, Mike, Ian, Chris, Erika, Marit, Karen, Angelina - thanks for picking me up whenever I fell down this year, laughing with me and for your friendship. I am grateful.