Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2013 Ironman Lake Tahoe Race Report - Part 1 - Reader's Digest Version - 9/22/13

So, I'm sure everyone is dieing to know how it all went down... 

Right now, I find myself just trying to catch up to reality of being back home, kids and work. Luckily training is non-existent while I recover. Hammies, quads, gluts and calves are mighty tender. That leaves me time to tackle kids (who inadvertantly knee you in the thigh while climbing on you causing immense pain), catch up at work and unpack.

But, to tide you over until I have time to relate all the excitement, I'll give you the reader's digest condensed summary.

I posted about the highs and lows of being at race location. We arrived on Thursday morning for the Sunday race. It gave us time to acclimate, get checked in, get settled in and be less pressured with time constraints. Read part 1 and part 2.

As race day approached, it got more real with check-in, spending too much on Ironman gear, packing transition bags, special needs bags, bike prep, checking the bike in, dropping bags off and the athlete dinner Friday night. The food wasn't anything special, but Mike Reilley talking to the crowd and hanging out with a couple thousand triathletes and supporters was pretty awesome. They had some good inspirational videos to distract us from the forecasted rain on Saturday and cold temperatures Sunday.

Before I knew it, race day was on us. It started at 26 degrees and moved up marginally from there until the high of maybe 60 in the afternoon. As soon as the sun set, it was COLD again. I planned on this and had everything I could think of to keep warm, and in reality that plan worked. What caught me off guard was a broken spoke on my rear wheel race morning. Luckily bike techs had a spare so I didn't have to subject myself to finding this out on the race course. I was having issues figuring out my athlete tracker device and my front bottle holder for the aero bars snapped a zip-tie that caused some frustrations.

The swim was a rolling start, which meant we were in a corrall and funneled through the starting arch crossing the timing mat in the water. The swim was cold and physical. I didn't comprehend how much sighting for 2.4 miles would affect my back, arching up out of the water. Paying for it now. By the end I had lost feeling in my hands and my muscles were contracting to the point of cramping until the heated transition tents, naked bodies and full wardrobe change.

I started cramping at mile 70 on the bike, heading back for round two of the mountain climbs from hell. Everyone knew it was going to be rough, and the course didn't disappoint. I rode easy trying to save anything for the run, but it took everything I had, anti-cramping supplements, bananas and stretching off the bike to get to the run.

Cruising along until mile 8ish, GI stress started in. My gut stopped working and I was left with a sloshing stomach and bloated. It finaly subsided enough after special needs at mile 13, gloves and an emergency mountain dew to run 0.5, walk 0.1. That was my race strategy to the finish. Every 0.5 was a little trot with quick steps to keep moving, keep the body temp up and KEEP GETTING CLOSER TO THE FINISH LINE!

It was great to be done. I didn't hit any of my time "goals", but I hit my goal of finishing, which 20 percent of people that started the race did not. I wasn't in too bad of shape. I was wobbly and it was hard to find my wife, but after some food and sitting for a minute, I was back to packing my bike and gear to TBT back to KC, back to the condo, sleep for a bit (only 3 hours til we had to get up, pack and drive to Reno to fly out), get up and head for home.

Officially I finished in 14:25:02.

Swim : 1:22:08 - 1141 overall
T1 : 26:13
Bike : 7:40:29 - 1237 overall
T2 : 7:01
Run : 4:49:11 - 928 overall

Will I do another Ironman Triathlon? Yes, already signed up for IM Chattanooga 2014! Will I do Lake Tahoe again? Not in the immediate future. This probably was a one time thing to go out to Tahoe. Never say never, but it will take a while before I think about that bike course in a positive way.

Also, I have sent out the challenge to friends and family to match my time per dollar to kick off fundraising for IM Chattanooga, Ride to Give and Mended Little Hearts. Please consider donating $14.25 to the cause to get my going and spread the word. I'll be writing more on that as I get past recovery and back to "normal".

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