A few days have gone by and I have had plenty of time to ponder over my race on Sunday.
I finished in sixth place,in a competitive field. This was a 22 minute PR on this course and a pay day for me. Nothing to feel bad about at all. I did not crush it as I had hoped, but it was a solid effort on a day where temperatures where unusually warm for LP and the wind was very noticeable.
All said the weather was incredible! The rain from last year still gives me shivers and the image of me racing on Sunday with a long sleeve black shirt on the bike course in 80 degree's made me laugh. I was SO hot and then I saw pro Marie Danais and she too had her long sleeve on. Her and I had both raced a cold rainy Tupperlake 3 weeks prior and Lake Palcid in 2008 and we were both determined not to freeze this year.We both had to stop and strip down 40 miles into it...lol.
So anyway here goes with the race day report!
The race morning went so smooth. From getting my bike ready, to special needs, to bath room stops...all went perfectly. I had plenty of time to get in the water and do a long warm up and take in all the excitement at the start. I felt so relaxed and ready to bring it on. As we gathered in the starting area the rain came pouring down and I laughed as I couldn't believe it was happening again.
The swim start went well and I found myself staying with the pack alot better than usual. I was however working very hard and somewhere I got my goggles knocked around so I could see very little. But I saw enough to know that I was still hanging with a good group of swimmers by the first turnaround. Unfortunately I made the decision to stop and fix my goggles. There is nothing worse than swimming for an hour not being able to see. I should have waited for the second loop as I lost the draft of the pack. I stayed on the feet of a pro guy that swam by and we pretty much stayed together for the rest of the swim until we started hitting the age groupers. I then lost him as I zig zagged through them. One of my goals for this race was to continue my sub 1 hour swims and that I did.I think this was a 3 minute PR for me on this course.
Out on the bike, I felt amazing. I settled in fast and rode the first set of hills really easy. My legs felt really good today and my Cervelo that had had a tune up a few days before felt like new. I passed a few girls before the long descent and I was encouraged by about that. Out at Hazleton (the out and back) I managed to get an idea of my position. I seemed to be in 7th place. I knew this bike course very well and I knew that I was staying right on pace and having no problems sticking to my SRM watts. Coming into town I had moved into 6th place and I was really pumped up. The crowds were amazing and the energy was very motivating. On the second loop I biked pretty much alone to Hazleton. I just put my head down and focused on staying relaxed and comfortable. It was here you could really feel for the first time how hot it was. I tried to dump water on me to keep me cool. The climb up Whiteface was quite windy and I made a conscious effort to keep things under control and feeling pretty easy. I knew I was on pace for a sub 5.30 bike. This was too a nine minute pr on this course for me. I was quite ecstatic as I felt so under control the whole bike.
I definitely was not getting too excited as Coach Paulo always like to remind me that the race does not even start in Ironman until the last 13 miles on the run. I knew there were plenty of fast runners both in front and behind me and I was going to have to work hard.
Out of T2 I felt great. My running legs came quick and I headed out seeing all my friends out on the course. I am thankful for all the good support I received out there.I was focused but really enjoying the crowds and the race in general. I reminded myself to run with little effort and that is what I did for the first ten miles. Tara who had had an unbelievable bike was up ahead and Tamara Kozulina who is a great runner was 4 minutes up too. I knew I was going to have to pick it up or just hold onto the pace to have a chance at top 5. I could see Caitlin moving in fast and Paulina not too far behind and Kim Loeffler behind her. But I kept on focusing on my race and doing what I needed to do and that was get up the hills into town. It was there that I started to feel my calves tightening up a little. Once again on the down hill my calves seemed to ache and I definitely headed out of town not feeling as chipper as before. I was slowing down but remained positive. The second out and back loop is always tough and the hills back into town painful. I could feel the symptoms of dehydration setting in. I would get a little dizzy and started with coke to give me energy. I had been sure to take salt tablets on the run but looking back I realized my downfall to this race was my nutrition on the bike. I miscalculated the amount of water I was drinking. I managed to get all my calories in as I carried them all in 2 bottles but the small bottles of water they handed out just did not give me enough fluid.
By mile 20 it was a battle for 5th. I had passed Tara but had been passed by Paulina. I got angry at myself and pushed hard to catch her again by the hills. I ran behind her all the way into town with the goal of overtaking her at the one mile mark. That unfortunately did not happen. She surged up the steep hill and I after the big effort to pick up the pace cramped. My calves were so depleted and did not want to run another step. So I ran as hard as I could to the finish but it was not enough. Running through the finishing shoot was a bit of a blur and as my friend Liz caught me at the finish line I took a few steps and passed out. My body was fighting very hard with my resting heart rate of 125 and some low blood pressure. I finally after 3 liters of IV and a few threats of being taken to the hospital started to come around.
My poor family who were so supportive all day were waiting to see me and my daughter who had seen me faint was so upset. These Ironman can be so hard on the body especially if you dont stay on top of your nutrition...but it all worked out well.
I was proud to stand up on stage on Monday with a great group of girls and celebrate my 5th top ten Ironman finish.