2010 is almost over ……. Just 1 more Ironman

2010 is almost over ……. Just 1 more Ironman

WOW ………. This is it.  This is the final race of a 17 month cycle that included 3 Ironmans, 3 Half Marathons, 2 Half Ironmans and a boatload of training and smaller races. It was my best season to date. Im not sure that I can ever match this year and I am good with that.

Coming into the Florida Ironman I didn’t really know what to expect. I had just completed the Hawaiian Ironman 4 weeks earlier and I knew that doing another Ironman this close wasn’t a great idea, but I was already signed up and knew that I could complete this one within the 17 hour window if I had to. I also had a bunch of teammates who were doing the race and it only gives us that more strength when we see each other out there making it happen. Half our crew were first timers and I knew that there was no quitting this one if I lined up at the start. Plus, Kelly has been running so well that I knew I couldn’t back off to much or I would get chicked by my wife.

So, I had nothing to loose and I had a lot to gain by going for it. Yes, I wanted to go for it. I wanted to do well, not just finish. I have had a great season and I wanted to end it with another great race. The nice thing about it ……. was the fact that I was not nervous leading up to this one. It was like I was heading down to do a Sprint Triathlon. All my race nutrition was memorized ………. I nailed my training ………….. I just had to see if my muscles could handle another freakin marathon.

Sunday morning comes and Andy, Kelly and I slug down our breakfast. We then check out the weather and the temp is in the high 30’s to low 40’s for the swim. This is the Florida Ironman ………. It’s supposed to be tropical. I have trained and raced in hottest weather …….. I have not trained all summer for a race in Antarctica. Oh well, just another curveball that will get thrown at you in every Ironman.

The swim:
The swim start is awesome in this race because it is in the ocean. The ocean is big and it doesn’t feel as crowded as a typical Ironman start in a lake. The gun goes off and I push hard for the first 400yds. to get myself in a faster group. I get into a groove and my swim goes real well. I come out of the water in 1:05 ……. my 2nd fastest ironman swim ever.

The bike:

I jump on my bike and I know that I am going to need to work a little harder to keep my body warm. It is real cold. I am so glad that I went with arm warmers and knit gloves. Within the first few miles I catch Andy. We have a few words and then it is back to work. For the next 5 miles we yo yo back and forth. The problem we start to create is that we are moving at a good clip and every person we pass ends up sitting on our wheel. By mile 10-15 I have approx. 15 guys that are forming a pack. After a few more miles I pull off and roll back to remind these guys that this is a non drafting race. None seem to care and the pack continues up the road. At this point Im going to burn myself out trying to stay in front of them (they are not even working). There isn’t much I can do, so I get back into a groove and keep the hammer down. Around mile 25 I make a turn and I am finally in the sun (The last 25 miles were in the shade). All in all I feel real good and I continue to blow through the miles. I now have another cyclonaut in my sights. It doesn’t look like Paulito. Who the heck is it? I continue on and I get close enough to figure out who it is. It is Ryan! Holy crap ……… He is cruising in his first Ironman. We have some words and I continue on to the out and back. On the out and back I see Paulito and I seem to be not to far behind him. As we get close to 100 miles there is another out and back. I catch Paul on this one and he doesn’t look right. He tells me that his heart rate is running high and he had to slow it down (if he is on ……. I ain’t catching him). This does not make me happy, but I need to move on. I have been doing the math and I might have a outside shot of breaking 5 hours on the bike. The last 12 miles weren’t easy because of the wind, but I mange to keep the speed up and I cross the mat with a 4:57 bike split. My fastest 112 miles EVER.

The run:

Wow …….. I have just nailed the swim and bike. Now all I got to do is run 26.2 miles. So, off I go. Within the first mile Paulito comes screaming by. Passed me like the cops were running him down. I get into a groove and continue cranking through the miles. A few miles later Andy comes smoking by (chasing Paulito). I love this stuff, teammates help keep you fired up on race day. I make it to about mile 7 and then it hits me. I feel like I am done. Maybe the swim and bike went a little to good ………. maybe doing an Ironman 4 week later can effect your legs ……. 17 months of hard work has now whipped me down hard. Now I gotta dig deep and just do my best. I make the first lap and I continue out on the second loop. Im running/jogging and my legs are crying. Now, the only thing keeping me going is the fact that I just saw Kelly and she is going to run me down. Even though Im a lap ahead, I gotta just keep moving. My run wasn’t great (3:51) …… but, I somehow did my best Ironman time to date 10:05. Oh, I also out ran Kelly by 2 freakin minutes.

After a long long season we took a much needed non sports related cruise over the winter.

Im on a boat …………….. Good Stuff