Sunday, November 2, 2008

IMFL - A mixed bag of emotions

What a beautiful day it was. AM preparations went as planned and pretty soon E and I were down at the beach ready for the cannon. This yr there was a sandbar about 20 feet from shore so it made the swim start rather interesting. I stayed to the inside until the corners (totally legal). Corners were typical mayhem. elbow thrashing, wild kicks, etc. Winds were about 10mph for the start so it made for some waves and chop as you got inland. For the 2 loop swim I got toward shore and was able to maneuver right to see Erik. But soon after me.... E noticed a guy slyly (word??) take off FLIPPERS and let them float to about where he would be re-entering the swim. For those who don't know... THIS IS NOT LEGAL. So E snapps pictures of the wave runner totally catching him in the act, pleading his case and they let him continue his swim. HAHA!!! (click on photo and check out his left hand... those are big flippers!)

Soon I'm out of the water in just over 1:10:?? 26th (?) in my AG. PR swim over Kona's 1:17 and right on goal. A quick change of clothing and I'm getting on my weapon. I love the bike. We are like one. This was beautiful. First 50 miles were pretty much into the wind, but still holding 20mph or so. Around mile 30 I had a little distraction... dropped my bottle of salt tabs while trying to get out my clif bar. I was pretty solo at that point so slammed on the breaks, turned around and walked back to get it... on route dropped the clif bar too. Oh goodness... then while trying to mount the bike my right toe warmer came off. "Come on Julie" So I'm about ready to mount when this 20+grouping was coming up.... I know from time trials I can go from 0-20 fast when I need to. I tried to get out ahead and got sucked up. Oh goodness, I don't want this. I signal to try to break out and feel i did when only seconds later was caught by the pack - all men - interesting. Well this then goes on thru to about mile 50 where the special needs bags were. some of the hills dropped a few people out, but it was crazy. I dropped back some, but have to admit it kept coming back together. I had a couple guys say nice comments on my riding after they realized I was just as strong as they are and are not on for just suckin somebody's wheel. The real (finally!) breaking point was mile 75ish where there was a u-turn - finally we got the tail wind and it broke up the pack. It was a NE wind and we were going E for miles. Some pushed it some probably lightened up. Thanks to the Ynde-disk (Sweet sub-9) I was flying with a sail with mild effort... after all there is a marathon to do. well about mile 100 I start to cramp in my left aductor - not easy to stretch while biking. I tried, but continued to loose speed and get passed one by one... no packs, but recognized all of them. Tracking my progress along the way I hollared to E at 78 that I was right on track, for around a 5:05ish bike. I continued to do the math... and was elated to be coming in sub 5:15... final in time 5:09, 2nd fastest AG time. A quick change, biffy stop (I had to pee... no gut issues at all) and I was running.

Coach Jared's advice for the start of the run was 10 min at a very conservative pace - slower then planned for race pace. GPS said right around 8's and I was hoping to hold a 7:45 pace. I thought I was ok; this is what I trained to be holding. Well as those who have done an IM know, you're leg reality hits and for me it was only after a couple miles. You feel things, Pain no, discomfort YES. GREAT! No cramps but I was running what i could and would check GPS and see 8:30's. Walking the aid stations for nutrition was a must and I would watch my min/mi avg drop. E said to me at mile 3.5 that he thought I was 5th in my AG so far (had just gotten passed by some speed demon that ran a 3:20 - hhhmm drafting perhaps???) Well as it turns out I held 5th for the majority of the time. Around 22-23 I saw a gal pass from my AG and was hoping that she was on her first lap.... well no she wasn't and I ended 6th out of 141 that started.

I'll go to the Kona roll down and see if any of the top 4-5 declined their spot. Cross your fingers.

Overall, happy with the swim, ecstatic about the bike and dissappointed in the run. But I did give it all I could and even gutted out a finish line cartwheel (my signature) with no cramping, but no adreneline rush either.

I crossed the line and was immediately carried to medical as I was so out of it. I was only down 5 lbs, but had a temp of 92 and was very cold. At some points I had the attention of 5 people getting vitals, charting, etc all the details - very organized. In my 11 yrs of triathlons and 5 previous IM's I've never set foot in the medical tent. no crashes or anything. I had nothing left in me, it was all spread out over that course. That, I am proud of. BUT could I have saved 2 min somewhere to hang onto 5th??? maybe, but it is what it is and I finished in 10:32, an hour and 1 min PR over my qualifying 2005 IMWI. PR swim, bike and run - probably transitions too.

A HUGE thank you to E, for being the best most supportive hubby. He took some 400 pictures, capturing the day - thanks to getting a media pass, he was right in the thick of it all! Super fun to see him. Also THANK YOU to all of you who were thinking of me throughout the training and on race day. You mean so much to me.
Oh the doc just called.... precsciption today is pool side R&R!!!
Thanks again huge hugs to all!!! julie :)