Part 3 of Ironman Danish’s Ironman WC Race Report….
T2: I got off the Bike and went to the penalty tent for my 4 mins of shame.
It was really a best case scenario since I could take off my helmet and bike shoes and cool down. The transition area was large so running barefoot (or in my case socks) was way better than running in bike shoes. My body was tightening up pretty fast in the penalty tent, so I tried to keep moving and do some light stretching. I also was feeling the effects of the sun, my sunscreen had definitely worn off and I knew any more that I would put on would wash off quickly, so I was pretty disappointed I didn’t have a lycra cover for my shoulders and arms for the run. Once released, I got my transition bag, put on my running shoes, and had a volunteer put sunscreen on my shoulders as I put on my shoes. I headed out on the run with Red Bull and new Hammer Gel Flask in hand.
Run: The first couple of miles of the marathon were pretty tough. I went harder on the bike then I had ever gone in training, so the marathon was going to be an experiment. I could tell me legs didn’t feel too bad, but I was really hot from my sun burn and running low on calories. Unfortunately, the run is no place to make up for lost calories. I enjoyed my Red Bull and hoped for the best. I fought hard to stay in the shade when I could and dumped ice down my race suit at every aid station. I settled into a pace based on a heart rate I knew I could sustain (about 5%) less then my normal marathon heart rate and about 3% less then what I was averaging on the bike. I concentrated on not looking at mileage or pace and just putting one foot in front of the other.
Just after the turn around on Alii Drive (about mile 4) I started to feel a good bit better. I didn’t change my plan, but I could tell I was running better. Things were still pretty rough mind you, and I tried to force myself to smile at times, and did a lot of forced positive thinking. On my way back into town before heading out to the energy lab, I saw Duffy for the first time in the race. It was great to see her, but it made me really wish I was moving better. I ran out of town and headed up to Queen K for the run to the Energy Lab (I walked up the hill out of the hot corner to keep my heart rate in check). On the run out to, into and out of the Energy Lab I felt about the same.
I tried to pick up the pace, but I could tell I didn’t have the energy to sustain it and I was overheated. I was sipping on my Hammer Gel and drinking water at the aid stations. I continued putting ice down my jersey every aid station (every mile). On the way out of town I started to do the math on my pace and figured under 10 was really likely, 9:50 was probable, 9:45 was the target, and 9:30 was out of the question. Out of the energy lab and with 5 miles to go, I tried to pick up the pace. I was running so low on calories that it was a case of working harder for very little change in pace. I did what I could and held it together to the finish to roll in at 9:41:10 after a 3:19:55 marathon.
Final thoughts: Having done two Ironman distance Triathlons now I think there are a few key challenges:
1. Eat as much as you can on the bike.
2. Beat the heat and the sun.
3. Get out of the swim early to be with the fast guys on the bike.
Notes from Duffy:
By key challenges, he means, what not to do NEXT TIME, as in, there WILL be a next time. Given that Ironman Danish is a type A++ personality, I do not think (despite his initial statements on the topic) this is our last time to Kona for this event…in fact, I am guessing next year we get to spend MORE time there–since I know he wants a crack at winning the double…