Saturday, August 8, 2015

My First Ironman at 67 in Pictures

That's me in the green swim cap.  Time to finish the swim was 1:55 which was faster than I had planned.  I thought I could do it in 2:00 and planned for 2:10.  But the transition was much further than I expected.  I planned on 10 minutes but T1 actually took about 16 minutes eating up a lot of the swim gain.

I wanted to capture the look of how far 2.4 miles is in the water.  This picture shows the last leg of the swim going all the way across the lake.  It doesn't do the real visual impact justice.  When you look at that course (and are not a strong swimmer) it makes you very nervous.

The smile on my face is real.  I am so happy to be out of the water and on the bike even knowing I have maybe fourteen more hours to go.  I am very confident that I will complete the Ironman in time.  Actually I never lose that confidence even when my run breaks down.

The bike route is actually pretty hard.  There are four major climbs.  Not that they are mountain climbs but they are long and at times steep.  And 112 miles is 112 miles.  I thought of the route in terms of loops (3) and climbs (4).  The first two loops of 43 miles were identical and had this climb up Nelson Rd.  The third loop and its two climbs really hurt a lot of riders.  Several were in the ditch with medics and several more were just sitting beside the road.  Some were pushing their bikes up the climb!

I was able to hold a 12min/mile pace through mile 12 before my left leg gave out.  By then, thanks to gaining 40 minutes on the bike, I knew a fast power walk would get me to the finish just in time.  I hit the half marathon in 3:02 which was right on my plan.  Plan was also to do the second half in 3:30 but it would take me 3:45.

This is a carefully selected picture.  I was really tired as I neared the end and this is one picture where I don't look to0 exhausted.

The money shot.  Finishing the race in 16:52 minutes (hit water at 6:34 am).  I look way better than I felt.  It was not an emotional time.  It was a personal test, for sure, but not something that defined my life or some life changing event.  I can see how if you have had to overcome some major challenge in your life and this was your way of proving you have overcome them (for example the amputees or the men who pushed/pulled their disabled sons deserve every emotion they want to have) then let it hang out.  Everyone will understand.

Now to rest and recover and think about what to do next.  You have to have goals.  

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