Ironman Hawaii October 2014
No matter the time or distance, I enjoyed every moment. While clearly it wasn't a PR, I consider the race a great success.
Our first baby Elliot Grace was born five weeks prior to me reaching the starting line. The joys of being a new dad outweighed the time commitments of training. While I did do some great rides with Thomas Brunold, I cut short the few 4+ hr rides. Swimming was twice a week for 4-5K total -- not much but enough to finish. Running was good; I got the mandatory 2+ hr runs in but completely faultered when doing the last 2 hr run three weeks prior - my body was too tired from lack of sleep.
With Elliot still a few weeks old, Adrienne had to stay home. I made the trip alone arriving Wednesday afternoon. Race was Saturday.
I started in the middle, three rows back. I swam with feet the whole time and chanted "swim daddy swim" which was the slogan on Elliot's race day cheering outfit.
The changing tent was packed. I got my stuff and ran with shoes and put them on at my bike.
I had a lot of traffic all the way to Hawi. The first penalty tent had 20+ guys in it that I rode with. My power was erratic. It wasn't much over 200 watts (ave) all the way to Hawi. After the turn around I saw the next penalty tent filled with another 20-30 guys - many of whom rode around me.
I did well with getting down from Hawi but shortly after waikeloa I entered a gray spot where I didn't hold much power. A lot of bike traffic passed me those last 30 miles. I really didn't care; instead, I focused on hydrating, food, and salt tablets.
I got off my bike and my legs felt good running to the gear bag. Inside the tent I put on my shoes and got sunblock.
Okay, I'll admit that I knew that I was going to walk some aids stations when I ran out. The weeks leading up to the race gave me the perspective that I needed to be conservative and just finish. Adrienne and I did the race together in 2011 and I recalled a few of those memories during the run.
I never stopped running until mile 9 when we turned right off of Alii drive back toward Kualani hwy. Then I ran to Palani and walked up the hill to the Queen K. From there I ran the whole time but walked every single aid station. At Kona, the aid stations are nice and long and I enjoyed walking slowly through them.
Near the end of the Queen K I felt good enough to pick it up and roar down Palani like Adienne and I did in 2011. It was fun. The finish line came up quick and I soaked up the moment crossing in 10:23.
Immediately after and subsequent days later, I felt good.
Next year I'll be doing short course racing and being a dad while Adrienne gets back into training. She's doing Ironman WI.
See you at the races!