For an Ironman branded event, this felt much more like a local race. Only a bit over 1000 athletes, but over 400 were 1st timers. It gave the race a completely different vibe than big events like Madison WI, or Lake Placid.
Once again we stayed at the Hyatt Chesapeake Resort. It’s pricey, but they do take care of the Ironman athletes.
Race morning we were up early to get good parking and get setup for race day. Rob & Nicole Martzen (TeamNRGY) came down to support, volunteer and cheer for me. That was a great treat!
Fran, Rob & Nicole were also scheduled to volunteer at the event.
Pre-race was my usual BP coffee, and Xtend Perform BCAA drinks.
I was a bit worried about the jellyfish, since they seemed to be everywhere, but I never got stung. Water was 71f and felt perfect in my full wetsuit. Start self seeded and people were released in small groups of 8-10 athletes. Swim was long by my Garmin (4615 yards) but I was pushed around by the current, as were others. out of the water in 1:10
Fran was right at the swim finish, so I got a quick kiss and off to T1
T1 was a bit slow. Just didn’t have a sense of urgency. This was a theme for the day. 9:16
Bike: 1st loop felt pretty good, but I was riding with the wind. I could certainly feel the wind pick up, and the temp and humidity rise with each passing mile. I stayed on top of my water and salt intake, but fell behind on nutrition. I just didn’t feel like eating, and without eating my mental state didn’t improve.
At special needs I really felt like I was done for. I did stop and saw Fran, Rob & Nicole, and tried to get some food in me. It helped for a bit.
On the next leg of the bike (2 loop course) the wind was screaming in our faces and my pace slowed to a crawl, and my mental state with it. I stopped at each aid station for water and tried to rally myself back into some sort of race state but it wasn’t happening.
On the return leg, at about mile 90 my stomach revolted and I ended up pulling over with dry heaves. I realized that I was way, way behind on my fueling and that I was headed for a very, very long day. After my gut settled down a bit (about 10 miles later) I tried to eat some of the bars I brought, then grabbed a banana at Gatorade at the next aid station.
Off the bike in 7:14. Looking at the data, you can really see my HR, Power and pace fall off a cliff after the 1/2 way point…
T2 was also slow. My gut was in full-on rebellion, I was hot, tired and in a dark place. Not where you want to be for Ironman. But I was in for the full deal, and somehow got myself out of the tent on onto the course 8:07
Run: The run is a 2.5 loop affair, and while most of it has some good crowd support, a chunk is rather boring. I started off by walking the first bit, and trying to get my gut to cooperate, but it just wasn’t happening. I was pretty much in full-on bonk, and just putting one foot in front of the other. My Garmin was telling me that I was at a 21-22min/mile pace, and I KNEW that was wrong as I was hitting the mile markers well before the Garmin clicked. After almost 3 miles I figured out that the Stryd footpod I was wearing was completely off the reservation, so I deleted it from my Garmin as an sensor. Once that happened I was using GPS and the miles started to make more sense, but I was still short a mile by my watch. I did manage to find Fran on the run, just by luck. She had finished up her volunteer work, and was on the run course on her way to the car to get my post-race clothes. I saw her “crabbie” hat and yelled out to her. She didn’t hear me, but a couple on the course heard me and got her attention. That was a nice moment in a tough day.
I did manage bits of running from time to time, but I was battling hamstring cramps by this time. I’d get up to 13 min pace and then one or both hamstrings would lock up and I’d be back to walking. Then I developed and a bunch of blisters on both feet from all the walking. Around mile 14, I had another major bout of dry heaves that had me doubled over for about 10 minutes. Once that cleared up I was able to get in more fluids and some food, enough to keep moving.
I fell in with a young guy named Steve and we kept each other moving along, trying to run when we could, but just kept moving along.
7:26 run time, 16:07:49 final time.
So a bit better than IMLP last year, but I had really expected much, much better results from myself, given my training leading up to race day. I made huge mistakes with nutrition, which lead to the poor performance. No excuses, I just didn’t bring my “A” game, mentally. But I know what I have to do to get ready for IMLP2018 and IM#10!