Tuesday, December 4, 2012

IMAZ Race Report

Wow...what a race. Back in January I set the bar to break 11 hours. Mostly I wanted a better way that I could hold myself accountable in my training and focus so I put it out there where the world could see. When the day got close all I wanted was a smart race. Although I didn't break 11 hours I couldn't be more pleased with my race. Over 140.6 miles and to be that close, I know I did what I needed to do over these couple of months.
As it came closer to the race things started to unravel a tiny bit with the sleeping, sickness, and trying to pack while still managing my taper, work, life, etc. I kept it together as best as I could and kept reminding myself that it was already in the bank. 2 years ago I was at the race working it which turned out to be awesome because I knew my way around pretty well and knew the course somewhat all helping calm the nerves.
Getting right into it...
Swim: Damn crap coldness! I knew it is common for the swim to be cold here, but I didn't worry about it too much. I should of psyched myself up for it a little bit because I was really surprised when I got in at the warm up swim. I am not one for long sleeve wetsuits; my swimmer shoulders no likey, but that was not what caused me problems during the race. During the swim it kept feeling like I had something stuck to a couple of my toes. Out of the water I figured it out real quick. My feet were legitimately numb. Let just say T1 was solely focused on where I was stepping because I could not feel my feet.

My goal split for the swim was at the very least see 59:59 on the clock. I have been so very close the previous two times: Lake Placid: 1:00:19 and Wisconsin: 1:03:34. Welp I knew when I saw 32 minutes on my watch at about half way I was in some trouble. I picked it up but still fell short: Arizona: 1:00:46. Next time around I will try and get some more focused open water swims in before hand because I was just floppin around on that first half and wondering how there was still such a big group infront of me. That's because I was screwing around and not hauling. I came out 124 out of everyone though so it is what it is. I will break you 1 hour some day!
t1: Left my watch on "by accident" so it could stare at me the whole bike ride. Tried to warm up best I could and I was off as fast as my cold stumps could move me.

Bike: What I thought was going to be my weakest link of the weekend turned out to be my strongest. That is what this distance will do to you. Play games! I had a 55 minute PR. My goal split was 5:44:59 and I was almost 5 minutes under so I was happy. Well, more like I am happy now. At the moment I was just focusing on getting through the next 26.2. I really wanted to have a smart race and getting my nutrition down on the bike was key. I would say I hit my goal pretty well here, but as a true athlete I always see the room for improvement. I don't think I should be faster here, I just wish I would of eaten more on the last loop. I was shoveling it in thinking I had enough but it really took some time for it to kick in on my run which costed me some time I didn't want to give away and makes me think I could of taken more.
t2: I actually don't remember this at all except that I had to stop in to the ladies room twice. The first time to pee and the second time to take care of some lady business. I would love to see a dude try and do an Ironman when that mother nature lady from the Kotex commercial shows up.

Run: Per usual I started out too fast and had to get down to what felt like about a walk/small shuffle to hit the right pace. I have never really had a good Ironman marathon and knew to survive I needed to eat. I got some water and coke at the first aid station and eased into it as much as I could. By mile 2 I already knew I needed more fuel so I started taking in Gel and salt. It held on well for the first lap although the second half I just never felt like my nutrition kicked in. This picture must be right out of t2 because no chance my form looked that good on lap 2.
This is more likely lap 2.
Although I was consistently eating and drinking coke at every aid station and walking through them to get every ounce of nutrition it just didn't seem to hold on through the middle. When I hit 13.1 I was walking, but for some reason I knew it wasn't over. I wasn't going to give up like the last two times. I kept telling myself the more I run the sooner I will be done. Silly motivation, but it wasn't that I wanted to be done because I wanted it over this time; I wanted to be done, because I wanted to have done it right. I kept at it eating and drinking and salting and it finally came around. I saw my good buddy, Inch, around mile 20 who had ran/dragged me in at Wisconsin. 
He could tell I was feeling better and straight up told me it was now or never to take a chance. To go for it! What could I lose? From somewhere I got a second wind and picked up the pace. It felt amazing to be moving along and I just fed off of all the people that I was flying by. I got some great comments. It made me feel so much faster than I really was going, but when you have 6 miles left what you feel is all that matters. I kept seeing Inch along the way to move me along so it was great motivation and all I had to do was run it in. One of the last aid stations started playing the Rev3 Team's anthem and I loved it. I was flooded by all the support I had received from the staff and team throughout the year.
I was focused on taking more time and enjoying the finishing shoot, as I don't remember the last two, but I was moving so fast it was over in a pinch. I ended up having a 50 minute PR on my IM marathon split with almost a 2 hour overall PR. I couldn't be happier and finally felt like I have put in a good quality smart race. Throughout the race I got a ton of Rev3 shout outs which I loved. It was the best motivation out there.
Super special thank you to my boo, who provided endless support leading up to the race and was the best sherpa anyone can have! Huge thank you to my coach, JP, who led me through what can sometimes be an endless tunnel of doom. Big thank you to those who were out there supporting me on the course and cheering me on at home. I was great to know my friends were thinking of me and provided such a great boost in those rough spots. I could of never have pulled this off without all of them. I was extra thankful this Thanksgiving!
I am enjoying the off season, but already busy with remolding the kitchen and the holidays! Thinking about running soon if I can fit it in, but in no rush. Pictures to come of the progress!