Yippee! An Ironman once again! This one was so totally different. Except for the swim, the course was so much easier. The bike course was about as close to pancake flat as you could get, and there were probably less than 10 turns to make. The run was also extremely flat. During the first half of my run, I thought I had a chance to set a marathon PR. Of course, that all changed at mile 19 when my walk breaks got longer, but I still was less than 20 minutes away from a PR. Pretty damn good for a marathon preceded by a 2.4-mile swim and a 112-mile bike ride! Things of particular interest during this race:
1. The ocean was much choppier race morning than it had been the 2 days beforehand. During my second loop, I was being tossed around so much that I actually laughed underwater.
2. Even though I started the swim way out to the side, somehow I ended up right in the thick of things before making the first turn. I was getting grabbed, hit, and kicked constantly. At first I was a little timid and tried to back off, but after a while I got angry and developed a "F*ck you! You kick me, I'll grab your feet!" attitude. That didn't happen at all in Wisconsin last year.
3. Because the bike was so flat, there weren't any areas to give my legs a break. I pedaled the entire time. And I was on my aerobars over 90% of the time. My quads, shoulders and neck were really happy for me to get off the bike.
4. I surprised myself on the run. I had no idea that I was going to be able to run as much as I did and especially as well as I did the first 15 miles.
5. Last year when I got about 1/2 mile away from the finish line, I got so excited that all the pain and fatigue left my legs. At mile 24 this year, I told myself, "Just suffer through the next mile and a half then it'll all get better. That great feeling will hit." It didn't. I hurt the entire time. I guess that euphoric feeling is just reserved for first-timers.
6. I cut 2 hours and 2 minutes off of last year's Ironman time. Yay me! My time was 12:40:41. My swim was 1:25, my bike was 6:20, and my run was 4:37. My first transition was something around 12 minutes and my second was 5:36.
Here are some pictures:
This is me (far right in the QR suit) and some of my friends 2 days before the race. I love how my wetsuit makes me look so skinny - except it totally flattens what little boobs I have.
I had to yell at Mike 5 times to get his attention so that he could snap this picture. I had planned on wearing my bike clothes under my wetsuit, but since it was so cold at the start of the race (in the 40s) I decided to change before getting on the bike so I could be in dry clothes. Of course, it was really tough to get out my wet bikini while shivering.
Mike and Hayden drove out on the bike course and found me. Since I'm such a slow swimmer, I played catch-up quite a bit on the bike. I should've kept count of how many people I passed because it was a lot.
This was in the first mile of the run. A friend of mine was in transition at the same time I was, so we waited on eachother to hit the port-a-potties and took off together. (I have no idea who the tall guy on my other side is.) I left him at mile 4, though, because he had to take another bathroom break. Mike took another picture of me later, but I was walking, so I won't show you that. I was actually kinda pissed he took that.
Hayden had fun waving at all of the athletes. I think he did better than we had expected him to. He and Mike weren't at the finish line because that's just too much for him to handle, but he was able to be out on the road and cheer.
I also got quite a bit of knitting done on this trip. I started a cardigan for my new niece Lucy and also a cardigan for Hayden. Hayden's is really straightforward so it was my project for the car ride home. I figured my brain might not be able to wrap itself around the more complicated pattern I'm using for Lucy's cardi. I'll post pictures tomorrow or Thursday of my progress on those as well as a finished Hourglass Pullover.
One last thing: the day after the race Hayden and I went with a friend to KFC for lunch. I had 2 pieces of fried chicken - dark meat at that - mashed potatoes, green beans, and a biscuit. Yummy!