One of the toughest races that I’ve ever completed!
About 3 weeks before the race coach advised me to do Ironman China. At first I thought he was kidding because I had only been at training camp a few weeks and wasn’t sure I was ready to tackle an Ironman so early in the season. I told him I was excited for the challenge…
Going into the race I wasn’t nervous which is unusual. It was a smaller race than most Mdot events and that seemed to relieve some pressure. The swim was 4 loops and by the second loop it was already a cluster. It was wetsuit legal but I didn’t have a wetsuit for this race. I wasn’t too concerned because it would probably only be a few minutes difference than if I did have a wetsuit. Ironman is a long day so a few minutes in the swim didn’t seem too much of a disadvantage. Well, my swim was not what I had hoped for with or without a wetsuit. As soon as I started I felt as though I was going backwards. Everyone was passing me left and right. I tried to get on anyones feet who went by me but they just kept going and I wasn’t going with them. Since this is a kid friendly blog, I won’t write what Coach said about my swim. Let’s just say I’m capable of much more and we both know that. So, I was glad to get out of the chaos and on to the bike.
On to my new Cervelo P4 and was determined to catch up to the leaders. It took my legs about an hour or so to warm up and get rolling. I took the lead at about 40k. The wind was crazy, coming from every which direction. People were getting blown all over the course and some were even riding sideways…me included at times. Everyone was dealing with the same conditions so I tried to push into the wind a bit and cruise the tailwind (what there was of one). The wind took a bit more out of me than I thought. By the last 40k the legs began to tire and I was ready to be done. I came off the bike in the lead but wasn’t sure by how much.
Instructions from coach on the run was to shuffle and survive. That is exactly what I did. It was HOT. Real HOT. I was trying to grab as much water, gatorade and sponges at every aid station in hopes I would make it to the next aid station without passing out. I felt good, not great but for the conditions I was very pleased with my run. I had a bit of a lead over Nicole Leder, but she was gaining time on me every time I saw her at the turnarounds. At about 30k I knew if I was smart and just keep my shuffle pace I could come away with the win.
As I turned the last bend to the finish line, who do I see? Brandon. He was just up ahead of me. I had no idea he was that close to me. He kept looking back to see if I was catching him! I tried but ran out of real estate. I think that is the closest I will ever get to beating him. Congrats to B for toughing it out the last 10 miles for another solid top-10 finish. It was great to have B there at the finish line to celebrate my 2nd IM title. It was a great way to start the 2010 season, and my first season with TeamTBB.
This race may have been small but it was one of the hardest races I have done. Congratulations to everyone that finished. Way to go TeamTBB for all Top-10 finishes. I would like to thank all my sponsors and supporters for giving me the opportunity to race and train all over the globe. Also, thank you to Brett for advising me to do this race when I didn’t know if I was quite ready. I’m looking forward to the rest of 2010 season. Next up will be some 70.3s in the U.S. before another Ironman somewhere I’m sure! Stay tuned and thanks for reading.