|Finishing up a dissapointing day...|
|Chaos of T2|
|Getting ready for this cold swim!|
As we lined up in our waves, I focused on my game plan. Basically to line up in the front on the right side. Go out hard for 200 meters and then settle in. As I was in line I noticed the carnage already lining up from the previous waves. People literally doggie paddling, lying on their back, holding on to the lifeguard paddle board. I knew there was going to be a lot of traffic in the water. As we approached the water, I saw Rick from The Bike Shop which was really refreshing. He always has a way of lightening up the mood. He looked like he was having fun, it was now my turn. I splashed some water on my face to adjust to the cold and it actually wasn't as bad as I was expecting. Xterra Vegas last year ruined me on cold water - but also toughened me up because THAT water was cold, this was in upper 50's I believe...not too bad with my Xterra Votex wetsuit on.
|My wave is off!|
As I got out of the water I saw the clock and was trying to do the math, but everything was a bit foggy. I knew I didn't have a great swim, but I also had the comfort that everyone in my wave went throught that same mess so I suspected all of the times would be slow...boy was I wrong. Props to them. I have a lot of work to do in the open water. T2 included a long I'm thinking 150 meter jog around the transistion area. I saw Amy and gave her a smile, I was having fun! At transistion I decided against the arm warmers because I figured the sun would come out eventually - 2nd mistake of the day. I threw on my new Kask Crono helmet and off I went. As I mounted, one of the volunteers yells out to me, "Cmon Wattie, Watties aren't slow..." stoked. Thanks for volunteering man, great encouraging words! I just laughed it off.
|Right about where my awesome voluteer chatted with me|
|Time to go to work|
Since I was not running a power meter or a heart rate monitor, the goal was to just go off of RPE (Rate of Perceived Effort) and strategic points in the race. For the first 5 mins I just focused on calming down from the swim, getting in some nutrition and mentally preparing to hammer. As soon as those 5 mins were up, I started ramping up my speed. Then just 5 mins later my spare tube that I had only tied down with ONE rubber band under my seat fell off, landed and wrapped around my wheel well perfectly. Like, it literally seized my bike slowly. I quickly pulled over and thought I had a flat. It took me a minute to realize that my tube looked exactly like it did when you pull it out of a new box, only this time it was wrapped around my axle! Lesson #3 of the day, securing a spare tube to your bike....I tried to unwrap it from the wheel but no dice. I started panicing a bit, because I was worried there was nothing I could do. I even tried to muscle it tear the tube off...yea, good luck with that. I eventually took off my rear wheel and figured out a way to get it off, that sucker was on there. Relieved, I threw back on my wheel and hit the road again. All in all I think I lost ~5 mins here, maybe more. I wasn't too worried about it. As they say, expect 3 things to go wrong in a race - dunno if this was #2 (#1 being a sh*tty swim!), so I just let it go and raced my own race. I was worried about all of the traffic from previous waves, but it never came into play. There were a few guys for the first 20 miles where we would pass each other back and forth but eventually I dropped them and from then on out only one guy passed me for the remainder of the race....That is; except for the two times I had to stop and pee.
|Cold rain was coming down around here|
My transistion was money. Even with me putting on socks -it was probably one of my fastest transistions. Why doesn't the time show? Because I had to freakin pee again! This time I hit the porta pottie.
After the first 100 meters in my new K-Swiss Kwicky's I knew I was going to have a good run. First of all, I couldn't believe how great the shoes felt and how great it felt to get out and run. At this point of the run, I had no idea where I was at place wise. I knew I passed a bunch of people on the bike from my AG, but I still didn't know how I fared on the swim. So the plan was to just hit it from the get-go. First of all, the run course was a nightmare. With all of the traffic to weave in and out of, it really broke up my rythmn, often times I had to stop and wait for people to move, every 200 meters or so I would have to yell at people to move out of the way. I slammed head on into one guy when I tried to pass around the cones...Just a total mess of hundreds of people to pass on a bike lane when I'm going sub 6 pace and they are going sub 10 pace. This occurred for about 3 miles total for the run and the rest of the course opened up. It was a 2 lap course, so for my first lap the goal was to hammer, the 2nd lap - hang on! My legs and energy level felt great. I took gels, drinks, salt tabs and food at all of the right times which is usually uncommon for a newbie---so this is something I definitely am proud of about this race. My stomach felt great the whole race and even during the run, I was hungry and all of the food cooking in the background sounded really good, which is a great sign.
|I look so fraile and broken!|
4:50:37 16th in my AG (out of 250), 166th overall out of 3,000 competitors
Now that may not sound bad to some people, but when you put in the time, energy, work and effort I do - this really was a tough one to swallow. I sacrafice a lot to do this sport and although I love to swim, bike and run, I do it to compete and nothing else. I hate to lose and I really hate to get my ass handed to me. Not to mention I wanted to qualify for Vegas here. Now I'm gonna have to take the time off work, throw down another Ironman entry fee and spend more money to try and get a qualifying spot out in Boise or Kansas. Trust me, I know this sport is not easy and I can't expect to go into this event (as a first timer) and kick everybody's butt in one of the most competitive fields in any Ironman of the year...but that is indeed what I expected of myself.
I was pretty down for a few days as I took it all in. I chaulk it up as another learning experience. The race really humbled me and although it pushed me to the brink of whether or not I should be doing this - I've bounced back and am VERY hungry to redeem myself. I told myself that I would give this year 100% no matter what the outcomes. As long as I keep doing all of the right things in training like I have been, the results will come. The talent is there, the motivation is there and the support system is there...I just have to give it time - so I'm letting this one go and heading on to the next one..which in this case is Wildflower. One of the toughest 70.3's in the nation. Can't wait to toe that line.
Huge props to my Wattie teamates that crushed it out there including John Shilt who placed 3rd in my AG!
John Shilt - 4:28
Doug Close - 4:30
Christopher Masilon - 4:44
Chris Liou - 4:49
James Adams - 4:50
Derek Liou - 5:04
Peter Leavitt - 5:14
Thanks for reading and thanks everyone for their kind words, it means a lot. Some more pics from the weekend!
|Getting ready to swim|
|Owner of The Bike Shop, Rick volunteering at swim start|
|Heading out to the start|
|150 meter run to T1|
|An ambulance pulled right out in front of us here, almost hit him!|
|Narrow streets I was talking about...|
|New Wattie Ink kits were bad ass out on on the course|
|Kids trying to stay warm (with Autie Madison)|
|Leaving a cold tough day behind...|
|Ironman owned me last weekend, but I'll get my revenge!|