Ironman St. George
Okay well here it is, the race recap from my first, of many, Ironman’s.
The swim: The morning was a cool morning with temperatures hovering around 60 degrees and the water was around the same temperature which made it full wetsuit and a neoprene hood under my swim cap. Most races start off in wave format, meaning that each age group goes off at a certain time. Well, in the Ironman it is a mass start, meaning that everyone starts at the same time. Imagine having 1900 people all starting to swim at one time. It is pretty brutal from the get go. There were times where I was under water not on purpose because people were pushing me, kicking me, hitting me, but that’s how racing goes.
Usually on the swim you can get on someones feet and ride their draft so you don’t have to do all the work yourself. I had someone on my feet the whole time, the same dude. I was wanting to stop half way and ask if he wanted to pull a little bit but I keep pushing and let him ride my feet the entire 2.4 miles. I could not get one anyones feet and thought that my swim time was going to be long but it turned out that I went 1:06:30 on the swim.
The Bike: 112 miles of nothing but hills. Just when I thought there could not be any more hills, I was stunned by more hills. Everyone told me that there were going to be hills there, and the profile showed them. What they didn’t know that what goes up, must come down, and come down fast! I got up to 45 miles per hour on the downhills which was pretty freaking sketchy. I also forgot to drop off my special needs bag with extra cytomax and hard food so I ate gels the entire ride and my stomach is paying for that now.
The first loop went well, I was holding back to save enough energy for the second loop and then the run. The bike overall time was 5:55 which I was stoked on considering I had been training on flat ground and did not get enough hills under me.
The Run: My favorite! I got off the bike and my legs felt good, I knew that I was going to finish. Most people use a Garmin to track their pace and the distance of a race, but I went old school, ran by feel. It was great to not clock watch and worry about my pace and all that. I just went out for a run, well a 26.2 mile run. But I love running and met some pretty cool people along the run that I ran with the entire time. It was also cool to see the pros 2 times on the run, meaning I did not get lapped by any pro’s! I was stoked on that one!
The first 13.1 miles, or half marathon, split was 2:01 which is not bad considering the hills on the run course. They were more brutal than the bike course, just long high-grade hills. I love hills so it was not too bad, but the temperatures were heating up and that made it a bit harder. Along the first half of the run I was walking up a hill, short walk just a couple of steps, and a lady from California said to me, come on bud let’s go. That lady, Jenny, ran with me the entire time. We helped pick each other up when we were feeling bad and wanted to walk and we pulled each other through the run until the last 1/4 mile. The last 1/4 mile was amazing. The crowd screaming, yelling, and just going wild.
I never thought that when I got to that last 1/4 mile I was going to do what I did, but I did. A lady that I was running back and forth with the entire run was cramping up. She was having a hard time standing up and was weaving side to side. A man in front of me grabbed her and helped her to the split in the road where he still had another 13 miles to go. So I grabbed her and said let’s go, we are almost there. I held her hand, which meant holding her up since she was putting all of her weight on that hand. We crossed the line together and I could not think of a better way to end my first Ironman.
Overall Feelings: I AM HOOKED! I want to do another one soon. Not knowing what to expect was a good thing I think. I now know where to push it, when to hold back, and when to enjoy the time. My overall time was 11:17:03, 18th in my age, and 205 overall. 140.6 miles for the day and a day that I will never forget. I can’t complain about anything, it was a great day all around. And yes, I did get the tattoo the day after in Vegas, that was the highlight of Vegas, the tattoo!
So now it is time to recover, a spin is all planned out for tonight and can’t wait for my next Ironman Adventure! The day went great, I had fun, and I learned a lot about myself through the pain and hurt along the way.
Here is the elevation for the bike then the run… Talk about hills