First I want to thank the Jensen Family, the homestay has been great. You guys made me feel like I was at home, and allowed me to race the best I could out there!
Not finishing an Ironman is something that sticks with you until you get your next finish, even if that finish is walking to the line or not having your best race. I didn’t finish my last race in China, and it has been annoying me ever since. I was going to make sure I finished CDA, and finished it as best I could with my current fitness.
I was getting mixed signals from training and racing as to where I was at. I was abou 15 minutes off of my 125 mile Time Trial ride from what I was doing at the end of last season; BUT, I did have a nice ride 2 weeks before CDA at the Rockman Half Ironman. I was doing some good runs in training, but then at Rockman I didn’t run super fast. So it would be good to race, and see where I truly was for Ironman distance, and could go from there as I began working toward the Ironmans I plan on doing later this season.
For the swim the water was rough/choppy, and was great for the good swimmers. They were able to exaggerate their leads, and shell off the slower guys/gals. I still managed to come out a bit ahead of some swimmers I normally swim with, and closer to a swimmer I would normally be well behind. So it was good and bad, b/c the lead swimmer was still well ahead.
Onto the bike, it was a cold day, around 55 F (14 C) for the start of the bike, and maybe 60 F (17 C) by the end of the bike…but it was okay. I began riding with S. Curry, but he ended riding outta sight midway through the bike, and I got pretty weak the 2nd half the ride. It could have been really demoralizing when quite few more guys went right by me, and I couldn’t respond as I was seeing stars for a while out there. I put down more calories and the headwind coming back to T2 actually was good b/c the road was flat, and I could just grind in and recover a little. For the nutrition people, I think I had about 2000+ calories on the bike, maltodextrin, gels, gatorade, and some clif bar.
Onto the run, I accidently looked at the clock as I exited transition and saw the race time was 6:02…its a bad omen to look at the clock during the race . I felt pretty wobbly out on the run, and knew if I missed any calories I would bonk and would be walking. So I had atleast one gel per mile, and took a cup of coke and gatorade at every mile’s aid station. It can be tough in some races to put down this much food, b/c of the nausea and what not, but it was a good reminder to me that you can keep going if you just eat. I ended up losing ground to some guys, and gain on some others. I was seeing though some friends I had made on the plane over(Dave), and at the pre-race dinner(Jon), and they were both doing well, so that was motivating. Also would see/hear people yelling “nice beard” so that was funny. With 5 milesto go, at the last turnaround, I saw I was closing on 5-8 spots a little, and try to pick it up, but above certain speeds my hamstrings would lock up, so went as fast as I could to the finish without cramping.
I ended up in 9th place, swimming 56:xx, biking 5:01 , and running a 3:04 —for a 9:06. Not my best race, not my worst, just the best I could do with the shape I had. Its always satisfying to give it your all, and do everything you could out there…and it was Fathers Day, so in his words I had to “give ‘er all I had, and try and catch those f’ers up ahead”