While I’ve title this post “Race Report” you’re gonna get a whole bunch more because without the supporting story this post just won’t be the same. So hold on for the ride…literally.
At the crack of dawn on Thursday morning, the Annachrist and I packed up her Team Car and headed up meet up with John, Christine, John’s father, and the CREW Shovel. 8hr rode trips are so much better when done in a caravan with friends, so that’s exactly what we did. It was the usual road trip with jokes, shannanogans, and plenty of coffee stops for those of us that were non functional without coffee in their hands while driving (they will remain nameless, but you know who you are!!). As we were basically pulling into Sandusky I took a peak in the passenger side mirror only to see John’s car making a right turn into the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant. I thought “That fucker! Going for mexican and didn’t even tell me.” oops, turns out his car overheated. The drive to and from the mechanic turned his 8hr drive into 9.5hrs. While he was handling that, Anna and I headed to Hotel Breakers to check in and get settled.
Hotel Breakers is definitely an old school hotel. It’s been around for over 100yrs. We stayed in the old section of the hotel and thankfully we didn’t have to pay peak rates (over $200 per night) because it was barely worth the $90 or so we paid. The only good part was that it kinda felt like a dorm with the whole place filled with racers and their family.
As soon as we started unpacking the car and Kate came out of the building which was a totally awesome welcome party. They had got there the day before and set up a mobile version of the HFWT. Spot on guys! You two know how to travel to a big race. I was definitely taking notes.
It turns out John really did want mexican food after all and the CREW headed out for nice easy dinner Thursday night at a local mexican joint.
Friday brought a morning swim in some rough waters. The wind was kicking on Lake Erie which make the lake swim feel more like an ocean swim. Friday also brought the arrival of Bobby (IMB) and his gf Katie. After some errands, lunch, registration, and a spin on the bikes thru the run course it was time for COASTERS!!!!!!!!!! The race was located at Cedar Point Ammusment Park and all the racers, volunteers, and family got private access to the park from 6-9pm for $15. There were only 6-7 rides open for us but the private access meant no lines. If you wanted the front car, it was yours. IF you wanted to ride again, sure! You could even stay in your seat unless there was someone waiting for it. If that was the case, they just asked you to choose a different seat. On one ride they even asked us to run up to the departing car. We sprinted. We rode Top Thrill Dragster 3 times (daylight, sunset, and in the dark). Very cool to be shot up 420ft at 120mph in the dark. This was the greatest 3hrs of coasters I’ve ever had. A highlight of the weekend. A quick and deliscious dinner in downtown Sandusky at Water Street bar & Grille and then it was time to shut down the day.
Saturday we all met for a swim but decided that it was a bit cold and opted just to ride and run a bit. Our warmup tunred into a photo shoot. Then it was time to eat my face off!!!! pancakes, eggs, potatos, whatever I could stuff in me. Time to load up for Sunday. After breakkie we dropped off bikes in trasition and started to pack up our transition bags. This was the first time that I’d filled up plastic transition bags for ironman racing. It was a different experience. Thanks to Anna and Bobby for guiding me though the process (especcially Bobby for his desaster prevention advice). With everything packed, we headed to a local Japanese steakhouse to load up on chicken and rice. Yummy pre race dinner.
Sunday: RACE DAY
4am: Alarm. Up. Is anna up? No. Shit. Is her sugar low? I think so. FUCK! Wake up Anna. crap, nothing. Tried to force her to drink juice. no, crap again! 3rd attempt. Juice. Chugg, sweet! Phil and Kate’s room for coffee (first in over a week). Damn that’s good. Check on Anna. Juice kicked in and she is alive, good. 2 gluten free bagels, a banana, and a bunch of peanut butter. Pack it all up, let’s head out.
5:20am: in the car and over to transition. Line for weigh in? what is this? why not yesterday? patience. body mark. scale, 164.5lbs. Damn you ate a lot in the last 24hrs. hang transition bags. load bike with bottles and fuel. Take a crap. relax.
6:30am: Everything is set, let’s head to the swim start. This right about where I got hit with the reality that I had 140.6miles to cover today.
7am: Swim starts in 10min or so. relax. Swim, bike, run. One at a time.
Swim: relax. Find a rythm. Be aggressive. Stop touching my feet!!! Get outta my way!!!! It’s getting choppy out here. I think the wind is picking up. Out of the water and on to lap 2. Danm, still choppy out here and getting worse. Will the guy in front of me swim a straight line please? Tired of pushing you out of the way every time you cross in front of me. Ok, done! Don’t lally gag. get to the bike.
Bike: easy does it. it’s gonna be windy so get you’re head around that. relax into the wind and then ride the wind when it’s in your favor. your speed will all average out in the end. 99miles to ride on my bike, 99miles to go, take one down, toss it around, 98miles to ride on my bike. yes, I did sing that once I was under 100miles to go. 25mile in I taught myself to pee on the bike. gross, I know, but peing at 13+mph is so much more efficient than stopping, getting off the bike, going to the bushes, geting on the bike, get back your momentum again. At mile 50 was special needs (which was a lot earlier than I had wanted it). reloaded the bike and headed out again. I didn’t take in as many calories as I had wanted on the back have of the ride as the wind started to rock me and I needed to keep the hands on the bars to keep the bike from blowing off the road. This made the last 30mi really rough, but I managed to keep myself from a bonk.
Bike 5:55:30 (18.90mph)
Run: I headed out on the run trying to take it easy but that’s not what happened. I took a split at mile 1 that was 8:17. WAY too fast. I backed off a bit and found a groove which I guessed was around 9mi/miles. I hit the half way turn at around 2:08-2:09 which was right on target. I knew things were headed south, but it was just a matter of when. If I could run the 2nd loop in around 2:20 I’d have a 4:30 marathon and stay under 12hrs. I didn’t realize what was really ahead of me. Around mile 16 I realized that I was getting parched. I had to start walking aid stations to make sure I got plenty of fluids in me. Walking was the last thing I wanted to do because I knew it would be like breaking the seal when you are out drinking. But this was necessity. I started thinking “did I ride too hard into T2 and skrew myself on the run? did I bike race in the heat of the moment?” The answer was clearly “no”. I ran the first half marathon spot on target and just hit the wall around 16. I shuffled my way to mile 20 and then the wheels really came off. I started walking. I’d run a cone, walk a cone, repeat. I forced myself to keep some sort of constant run/walk formula. My the time I hit mile 25 I could basically see the finish line so I decided to give it a go and run my way in. To my surprise my legs felt a little better than they had just 2 miles back. As I came through the finishing shoot I started to see all my friends out there chearing me on. I crossed the line and held the finish line tape high above my head (totally cool touch from Rev3). There were a bunch of volunteers in the finish shoot but the only person I really saw Coach John snapping photos. He was right in the middle of the shoot waiting for me with my finisher medal. thanks dude, that meant a lot. The next few minutes are a blur of hugs, high 5s, congrats, are you ok’s?, do you need anything?.
Run 5:05:16 (11:39min/mi)
Total 12:21:56 (145th overall, 20th in age group)
I’m not really sure how to sum this all up. Honestly, not sure if there is really much to say. The whole was an out of body experience. It hasn’t sunk in yet and I’m not sure if or when it will. I’m not sure if I want to sink in. But, I can tell you I do have a great sence of accomplishment.
Rev3 Full Rev Cedar Point Finish