Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ironman Hawaii






Ford Ironman World Championship
2010-10-09
Kona, Hawaii
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
80F / 27C
Sunny
Triathlon - Full Ironman Y
Total Time = 10h 57m 31s
Overall Rank = 967/1850
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 80/92


Pre-race routine:

We arrived in Kona on Wednesday October 6th. By that time Avis had ran out of cars even though we had pre-paid more than 3 months earlier. I had a pretty big group come with me and we needed not one, but two cars. After standing in line for 30 minutes they got us one Nissan Versa. Luckily they paid for a taxi to take my bike and some of us to the condo, otherwise I would have really been stuck.
Getting there this late left me pretty much Thursday and Friday to get registered and get my bike put back together and all my race day gear ready to roll. This was my first mistake. If I could do it all over again I would have gotten there on Saturday or Sunday before the race so I made sure I could get a look at the bike course and really settle in.

On Wednesday my friends John and Jeff decided to go for a quick run when we got there on Ali'i. We were staying down at the end Ali'i so it was nice to be a little ways away from the pre-race hoopla, but we were still close enough to see everyone out getting ready for the race. It's amazing to look around and be running amongst the best athletes in the world.

The next day I did my first swim at dig me beach with Jeff. This was one of the things I had been looking forward to more than anything! We swam out to the Coffee's of Hawaii boat and had a cup. I have to admit, it's pretty awesome to essentially swim out into an aquarium to a boat that serves up hot coffee in the morning. After that I hurried over to the underpants run. It was pretty hilarious, and a little embarrassing as it was obvious I was the palest person out there.
The rest of the week was getting registered putting the bike together and trying to soak everything in that I could.
Event warm-up:

I woke at about 3:45 and showered and got my breakfast all ready. I tried to keep things as normal as possible but, for some reason I just didn't have the same nervous excitement that I've had in Coeur d' Alene the last two years. The whole week I just couldn't seem to rap my head around the fact that I was doing an Ironman that week. I had hoped it wouldn't carry over to race day, but I still couldn't get all that pumped up for it. I think part of the problem stems from my bike wreck 6 weeks ago. My fitness never really got to the point I wanted it to, so I never really put any pressure on myself. Without the pressure I just felt kind of flat.

On the way to the car I realized that I forgot my goggles and quickly ran back into the condo to grab them. Disaster avoided. We drove down in the dark and I went to body marking. Everything about this race screams professionalism. From body marking to the transition areas to the all the volunteers. It was great to get those numbers on and make my way back to my bike to pump up the tires and get ready to go. At the transition area I ran into my friend Derek Garcia who was also racing and would go on to PR on a very tough day. He gave me some great words of encouragement and even prayed for me. Finally I was starting to get excited! Thanks Derek that helped a lot.


Swim 1:19:40

Comments:

The swim here was by far my favorite part. For the last year and a half I had pictured myself floating in the bay waiting for the cannon to go off. It did not disappoint. Floating out in the ocean with the helicopters circling overhead and the national anthem being sung it was a truly magical feeling. Looking back Alli'i drive was probably the coolest part. Imagine floating in the bluest water and looking back at the road to see 20,000 people crammed onto a road and a point all going crazy waiting for the swim start. I'll never forget this moment as long as I live.

As far as the actual swim goes I was completely comfortable the entire time. I never pushed (as you can see in my time) and I pretty much just took it easy. The beauty about swimming a 1:19 here is it puts you in the back of the pack where its pretty well thinned out. I was able to draft a little here and there on the way and a lot on the way back. I think this may have been part of the problem. I had no idea where I was time wise out there until I stood up on the steps. I'll admit I was a little disappointed when I came of the water and saw my time.

What would you do differently?:

This is where I will put a lot of focus next year. I really need to become a faster swimmer. I know what I have to do, but I just need to get my butt in the pool.


T1 5:33

Comments:

Another place I always seem to leave time. I put on socks and shoes in the tent and took the time to put on Zoot arm coolers. I was extremely worried about burning the new skin I had grown after my bike wreck and these seemed to keep me really cool throughout the day.

What would you do differently?:

Move with more of a purpose through here.


Bike 5:21:04

Comments:

If you feel like your bike isn't quite up to par at your qualifying race, take that feeling and multiply it by 100! The old aluminum yellow Cervelo was looking pretty ghetto in Hawaii. Everyone there was on a $5000 $6000 bike. I really need a new bike!
Anyway, I came out of the change tent to see my bike looking pretty lonely on the rack next to my other age group competitors. It honestly kind of deflated me a little bit and I made the decision to just enjoy the rest of the race and not try to kill myself on the bike to make up time.
The first 10 miles on Kuakini are extremely packed! There isn't really any room to maneuver so you just stay in the packs and wait until you get out onto the Queen K. By the time I got out there I was itching to go! I actually hit the road feeling great so I decided to go at a pace I thought was reasonable go as long as I could. For the first 50 miles I was flying! I was passing people like crazy, and I felt awesome! At that point I started seeing the pros coming back. That was another one of those times where I remembered "Hey, I'm in the Super Bowl of triathlon right now, and I need to enjoy this" About five minutes after that I hit the wind climbing into Hawii. Wow! I've heard about these winds but this was insane. I was doing everything I could to stay on the road all while climbing uphill into the wind. At that point I was averaging 23.1 mph according to my garmin. By the time I made the turn around I was down to 22.0 mp9h. Mentally I was even worse. That was demoralizing. At that point I made my first nutrition mistake. I had a powerbar that I normally eat at the halfway point but I couldn't get it open. I ended up throwing it away and not eating. I think this played a major part in my mental state. Food tends to cheer me up when I go through rough spots. Oh well you live you learn.

The rest of the way back was filled with my trying to get back on track, but never really getting there. At mile 90 I made another mistake that resulted in me not having anything on the bike to drink for 12 miles. As a result of this at mile 108 I had two terrible cramps running from my groin to my knee. Luckily the course is mostly downhill from there so I was able to coast at about 12 miles an hour for 2 miles.

I starting really feeling sorry for myself and I looked at the guy next to me and told him how I was feeling. Luckily he was a very nice guy and explained to me where I was.
"Look around you man, there are a thousand guys sitting on their couch wishing they were in your shoes right now."
These words really spoke to me. I should feel grateful to be where I was. From that I point on I rededicated myself to enjoying every part of this experience. I lost the competitive fire but I could still have fun!

What would you do differently?:

Execute my nutrition plan. I can't let my fragile mental state ruin my whole day. You spend a lot of time out there and little mistakes can end up costing you a lot of time.


T2 8:33

Comments:

I came off the bike barely able to walk. My bike shoes have been killing my feet lateley. I think my feet tend to swell on the bike causing some horrible pressure points.
The run around the bike racks is long! Mine was more of a hobble and it cost me a lot of time. By the time I made to the changing tent I was starting to feel a little better. I had a volunteer help me get my CEP compression socks on. It took awhile, but they were well worth the trouble. I refueled and sun screened up, and I was out the door.


Run 4:02:51

Comments:

I knew coming out of transition that this was going to hurt. However, to my surprise it wasn't all that bad. I started off running 7:15-7:30 for three miles. Then I slowed way down. Now I was sure that this was going to be a death march. I continued to try and take in calories but nothing seemed to help. I hit the first port-o-potty at mile 6 and ended hitting about 6 or 7 more throughout the race. My one complaint about such a huge race was the complete lack of port-o-potties. There was one per aid station and it was always 100 yards off the course.
Anyway, back to the race. The support on Ali'i was awesome and seeing my family friends really gave me a boost. Everyone on that stretch was great! Heading up to the Queen K and out to the energy lab I had pretty much settled into that 9 minute pace with 3 or 4 minute bathroom stops. This continued for the rest of the race until I made it to the bottom of Palani. From there its only about 1 mile to the finish. It was time to soak it all in and try and look pretty for the finish shoot. I came around the corned and I could hear the crowd going crazy. I quickly realized that a woman was sprinting behind me. I made the decision to not get into a race with anyone coming down the shoot. I wanted to enjoy it and try and find some space so I could be by myself crossing the line. The problem is that girl that sprinted past me was now stumbling about 20 yards ahead of me. Then she went down. I had a real life Gatorade commercial happening in front of me. I ran up to her and tried to pick her up as she tried to struggle to her feet. I could see in her eyes that she was absolutely gone. Luckily some other medical people came to her aid and I was able to continue on to the finish. I looked back to make sure I was clear of people and then all of the sudden two more women came sprinting to the finish. This is where I feel the need to say if you have the energy to sprint the finish shoot you didn't pace that well, and your missing the point of finishing this race. Oh well. I have a couple of women in the shoot with me, nothing I can do to control that.

What would you do differently?:

I guess sprint the finish shoot.


Post race

Warm down:

Massage, Pizza, Pizza. I visited with my family and told my wife if I ever signed up for an Ironman again to punch me in the face. The next day I was already planning my way to get back to Kona and race again. It's amazing how Ironman does that to you.
Next year the plan is to race in the 70.3 world championships in Vegas. I feel like I'm ready to race these big races, not just participate. In 2012 I will be back and I will be a lot faster!

4 comments:

  1. HOLY COW! this is incredible. Congrats over and over! Morgan, you look absolutely beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice report Scott. I suspect those women sprinting were attempting to get a podium slot. We have the same plan for the next 2 seasons. Hope to see you out there. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're awesome Scott. Now take care of your adorable wife.
    Congratulations

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome report man, I appreciate the details! I felt like I was right there in Kona too!

    ReplyDelete