Tuesday, June 24, 2008

IM CDA 2008

Well I did it, again. If you have been following along on this blog then you know I was less than optimistic about this year. With my work schedule 7x 10hr nights in a row then 7 days off it was hard to be consistent. Working nights adds an element of sleep deprivation that cannot be good. This combined with the addition of Otis, our Chocolate Lab puppy in Dec. made for many days with 4-6 hrs of sleep. The weather also took it's toll on my training plans. With the limited number days that I could ride my bike to start with being ruined by rain,snow and freezing temps. My pre race mileage was down over 900 miles from last year. with my longest ride being 82 miles.
The icing on the bike riding cake though was being hit by the car 3 weeks prior to the race on what was to be the beginning of my biggest week. My running, the 1 bright spot in my training early on, had fallen on tough times as well in the last 6-8 weeks. Minor injuries and a slightly mistimed peak had left me feeling a little flat and less than fast. As for the swim, I hate swimming! I never have like to swim. As far I can tell the only good thing about swimming, other than keeping you from drowning, is girls in swimsuits. The SWIMP3 made the training bearable but still not something that I looked forward to.
Ok so enough excuses you get the picture. Ironman is not for pussies,excuses or whining.
Race day morning came early 0330. Jayne and I opted to stay at home this year vs staying at her mom's house. We stayed at her house last year, and it did save us about 40 min, but sleeping in our own bed is sure nice. So after we both had some coffee and a successful BM we were off. We were about 8 miles from the house when I realized I had forgot my IRONMAN swim cap, shit! But it was not worth turning around for and we were sure they would have extras for all the other morons, they did. When we got to CDA we were a little concerned as we drove down Northwest blvd because the flags were flapping in the wind. But after parking and getting a look at the lake a feeling of relief no real waves to contend with. Compared to last year it was glass.
We dropped off our special need bags and drinks and helmets at our bikes. Filled our tires and double checked all the gear. I made sure my bike was in a lower gear so I could start off easy. After the body markers we put on our wetsuits and headed for the beach. We got to see Al and wish him luck. Boom! and we're off. The mass start of an Ironman is a clusterfuck beyond belief. Imagine 2000 people thrown into a 2 million gallon washing machine, and everyone trying to go to the same place. I think this actually works to my advantage though because it's the only part of triathlon which is a contact sport. For the 1st 1000 meters it's basically a fight for a place to swim. By the time we made the 2nd turn and headed back to shore it had spread out and I was able to get into a rhythm. I finished the 1st lap in 37 min. WOW! for me that's great. The 2nd lap was uneventful. But I was getting hungry, swimming makes me so hungry. Out of the water and to my surprise my legs felt springy, so I ran up the beach and to the wetsuit peelers. After they peeled my suit and stood me up I got one of the best head rushes of my entire life. Re-caged the giro and I was off to the change tent again with springy legs. I was actually high stepping over the other t1 bags on my way to the tent. T1 went faster this year but not much. swim time 1:17:07 T1 11:13
The plan for the bike was to start slow enough that I could eat a pbj, then hit it. Well I ate 1/2 the pbj, the rest was blob of mushy goo in the bottom of the baggy. Lesson learned do not cut into quarters. Time to cruise, now this is where I get confused. I passed tons of people all day long. Up hill, down hill and even on the flats. Now I did get passed but it sure seemed like I passed alot more people than passed me, but my bike time relative to others in my age group pretty much sucked. The difference between bike split and my bike computer was 8 mins. so with stopping to pee and getting my special needs bag that's not to bad. My garmin was a huge disappointment. About 3 hrs into the bike it starts telling me it has a low battery. The damn thing had been on the charger for like 4 days straight without being used. I don't understand what the idiot that designed a recharging system that actually loses a charge while being plugged in was thinking. I would think that the software could assess the charge and act accordingly, but what do I know. The Garmin issue was not that big of a deal on the bike but the run would suck without the pacing info. I digress. Towards the end off the 1st loop as you head back into town the head wind was brutal. I remember thinking that if this wind keeps up the 2nd loop will kill me. The wind must have subsided a little because the 3rd 1/3 of the ride was faster than the 2nd 1/3 but not as fast a the 1st. make sense?
bike time 6:29:27 t2 4:31
I do want to thank all of the volunteers that helped with this race. Having been a volunteer in the past myself I know that I liked feeling like I really helped someone have a good race. And for me it was the guy who helped me in T2. I don't know his name but this guy was great. He dumped my bag and was taking my bike shoes off. After changing socks he put my running shoes on my feet and my hat on head while I was eating and drinking. I know he saved me 2-3 minutes and allowed me to relax a little. I got to talk to Mike Bresson a friend who was also helping in the tent and got some words of encouragement from him. Which means alot coming from a guy that can run a 2:20 marathon. Got some sun spooge rubbed on me as I left the tent and back on the road I go.
With no gadget to tell me my pace nor a watch to figure it myself I was left to be a caveman. I ran on feel. I have no idea what pace I was running at first, or at second for that matter. But I did have an idea. When I would get to a mile marker I would ask someone standing there what time it was. Now this was not going to be a very good system for figuring my current pace, but it would allow me figure out roughly when I might finish. When I felt like I had settled in I passed my buddy Stan only he was going in the other direction. He is great rider and had pretty good day on the bike in retrospect he was about 41 mins ahead of me. Stan's a big boy though and I thought I could catch him if just stayed consistent and tried to push myself. I would know when I got back towards the second turn around if I was going to be able to run him down or not. It was a pretty nice day for a run the wind was a non factor and the support was great. My feet were killing me though. One of the nagging minor injuries I had been dealing with just would not go away. Of coarse my fix...a new pair of shoes... a model that I have run in but still brand new and a 1/2 size smaller than the other 2 pairs of those shoes that I have. So now not only do I have the normal soreness of my right foot, but now I have a whole new soreness of the big toenail of my left foot, gotta have balance. Like I said Ironman is not for pussies. keep plugging away counting my cadence in my head. People yelling "good job" "nice pace" "your doing it" for the first 5-10 miles I would say "thanks alot" or "thanks for your help" but by mile 10-20 it was reduced to "thanks". And from mile 20 on it was more of a grunt. By the time I got to the third and final turn around I knew I could catch Stan if I could maintain my pace and keep the wheels from falling off. We high fived each other as we passed, what a great competitor. 5 more miles of pain, I was drawing deeper and deeper into my own head. Counting cadence focusing on form the the occasional grunt towards a spectator. Now I have intentionally left Jayne out of this blog because her story deserves it's own blog entry. But I will mention her here just before mile 25 I saw her, we kissed, that's all I needed. I could see Stan in front of me now maybe 2 blocks. Right at mile 25 I caught him. I told him he was one tough MF to catch. What a great race he had. Last mile gotta pick up the pace, finish strong. I was passing people some with a second loop still to come and others on their way home with me. But nobody was going to pass me in the last mile no matter what, and they didn't. Now when I made the last turn and headed toward the finish line I would have sworn I running 7 min/mi pace. But according to the Hobbit no not quite 7 min pace, maybe 9:30. I felt fast, to bad that doesn't count. I was able to get the crowd fired up though which was fun and when I came down the shoot this year I did hear him call my name and call me an Ironman. run time 4:34:53 total time 12:37:09
For those of you keeping score that's a 57 min improvement over last year.
After the catcher helped me out of the finish area and I was waiting for Tony an Janine. I actually got a little choked up. Knot in the throat, watery eyes the whole thing. So for those of you that say I only have one feeling, I found it. Huge thanks to Tony and Janine for being there and Tony for helping me load everything up and Janine for keeping track of and continually motivating Jayne. Thanks to everyone that sent the good vibes my way it was appreciated.


Spokane Al said...

Congratulations to both you and Jayne. It looks like a small thing like getting hit by a car did not slow you very much. You both rocked on this perfect day.

kerrie said...

great job! sorry i didn't get to meet you out there...it was a crazy couple of days. sounds like you executed your race well - an hour improvement is huge!!!! i loved the area, it is so pretty around there, we'll be back next year for sure!

GZ said...

An hour improvement?! Holy crap. That is huge. Well done!

Michael W. Bergquist said...

Reading about how wonderful and stress free your life was heading into the race made me think I was reading about my life. It's really tough to be an athlete on a schedule like that.
Swimming makes you hungry? Swimming makes me scared that I'm going to die ... or be food for a giant water creature.
I had a similar issue with a Garmin on the bike. Mine had a full charge, but decided that it wanted to preserve battery by shutting itself off every time it had been on for a few minutes. It seems that you handled your frustration well, especially since you'd be without the pacing for so long.
If you were thinking clearly, you could have just strapped the chip to Bresson's ankle and send him out with your bib for the run. Just a tip for next year. Anyhow, good work out there. That's a tough race to finish, but you're tougher.

Angela Naeth said...

Great job on the race for both you and your girlfriend! You guys need to get out to one of Chuckie's camps next spring!! :)

BRFOOT said...

Chuckie's camps are on the wish list for sure.