Sunday, October 9, 2011

2011: Ironman Hawaii


The race was insane!

Swim: I started in the second row with Adrienne and Cam Knuth. As the cannon went off, the chaos started. It took me just under 30 minutes to get to the turnaround. The whole time I was battered, kicked in the face (causing a small laceration underneath my eye), and felt I like I might drown about 20 times. It was really scary. The swim experience alone made me realize that I don't think I'm coming back to do this race again. Unlike the two practice swims before hand, the salty taste did not overcome my taste sense. (This trip was the first time I swam in the ocean and I battled some sea-sickness and salt-water taste.)

T1: I took my time. I happened to sit down across from Madison, WI Mike Lavery. He commented to me that the swim was brutal. I agreed.

Bike: The week before the back was feeling better than it had for a long time. However, when I shaved my legs the night before the race in the tub, I re-aggravated my left SI joint. Race morning I woke up and it was really stiff and vunerable. I was noticeablely worried. At the race site, I happened to find the ART docs and they worked it over and I got it adjusted. It made it feel significantly better.

I took the first 10 miles easy. Dennis Melowski & Steve Chapin soon passed me. I kept the watts around 200. My pre-race watt target was 180-200 watts. Given my lack of training, I was realistic about it.

I rode about 85% of it upright trying to manage the back discomfort. I had a lot of discomfort in the right glut.

I had to white-knuckle it up to Hawi the winds were that bad.

At 110.5 miles, I got a flat tire by hitting a road reflector on the side of the road. It tore open the sidewall of my front wheel. The hole looked bad and was going to be surprised if PitStop fixed it. It did not. Then I got to work removing the razor blade taped to my frame and cut the tire off. Shortly after that, race support showed up and they put the tire on for me. After I inflated, I rode the last bit in.

Adrienne was about 10-15 minutes ahead of me I suspected.

T2: Again, I took my time. The run around the pier was long. The legs felt great because of the easy bike effort.

Run: I took off at a manageable pace, 7:30s. The first five miles were just fine. I walked every aid station.

I put in a few strong efforts to see if I was going to be okay and I was. Pre-race I had determined that I wanted to run the first 13 miles and run-walk it in.

I saw Adrienne way ahead of me on the first out and back on Alii Drive. But when I came to mile 8, I saw Adrienne walking. She massaging/stretching her right abdomen. We chatted and we both decided to walk-run the rest of the race together.

I had one stop to the porty-potty as we ran up Palani drive to the Queen K. From there we ran and walked until we got out of the Natural Energy lab. At that point, I figured out that if we kept running the last 4-5 miles, we'd crack 11:00. We ran around 8's for the last 3-4-5 miles.

On Alii drive, we grasped each other's hand and walked across the finish.

Post Race: All that Gu, Powerade, and Coke made me sick to my stomach. I went into medical to make sure I was alright. About 15 minutes later they discharged me, but when I went outside and over to the medal and finisher pickup, I puked four times.

After being escorted back to medical, I got an IV.

In summary, Ironman Hawaii is much harder than Ironman Wisconsin. The weather conditions plus the level of competition make it hard to do well. I am happy to have finished the race since my year has been tough from an exhausting work schedule and a bad back. Others seem to love the race, such as Dennis Melowski, but I think Ironman Wisconsin continues to be my favorite. If I do another Ironman, I'll stick to my hometown race.