A quick race report to tide you over until I get all the power meter and Garmin numbers :-)
The word of the day was "hot". Just about everyone remarked on how damn hot it was.
I saw Jill Fry at the start of the race, and of course I had my whole family and my daughter's friends and Danny along, all wearing their matching shirts. I did feel very relaxed, and it was the first Ironman where I had more than 3 hours of sleep the night before. :-)
I saw Jill Brandon at the start and we hung out a bit, calming our pre-race nerves. Jill and I discussed how it's never the actual race that makes us nervous, it's the worry that you forgot some critical piece of equipment... very OCD.
I had a great swim. I drafted a bunch of people and came in 4 minutes faster than last year at 1:20.
I start out with high hopes on the bike, given the low wind forecast. Well, that just wasn't true. The headwind was brutal, not because it was super strong but because it was strong and steady. Unrelenting is the word. On the back half of the first loop it was an amazing tailwind. I hit 34mph steady on the slight downhill, then steady 31 on the flats. I had an 18.2 mph average on the first loop, about the same as last year.
The second loop was even tougher than the first going out, but a bit less of a tailwind coming back. The third loop had a lesser headwind, but by then my legs were starting to fade and my neck was killing me from the aero position. I was chafing, too, so I kept squirming around on the seat trying to find a better spot. And on the return, the wind faded way back, so I didn't get to enjoy a strong tailwind. I finished the bike in 6:33, about 22 minutes slower than last year.
This is pretty much what I expected, since I knew I was coming into this undertrained on the bike. I was crossing my fingers for good conditions to make up for that, and didn't get it.
The good news was that my nutrition plan of "fuel bottles" of water & Carbopro along with 1000mg of sodium every hour worked really well. I had no stomach problems at all on the bike, and except for exhausted legs I was fine.
Thus I started the run hopeful for a 3:50 marathon and maybe a sub-12 finish. But alas, the heat did me in. I ran the first two miles, then started to get dizzy and had to walk an aid station. Then I ran maybe another mile, then walked a bit more. My stomach was a bit borderline, but I was trying to run as much as possible. I saw Jill, and I was confident this would be like IMAZ06 where I got stronger every loop.
Somewhere around mile 9 I fell apart. I suddenly got very dizzy, and I felt very chilled - I had goosebumps on my arms, and that shouldn't happen in 92 degrees. I also felt very sleepy. I sat on a curb under a bridge (shade), head on my knees, waiting for that to pass. Several people asked if I needed help, which I declined, and of course I wanted to dodge the medical people because I didn't want an involuntary DNF. I wasn't all that bad, I thought, and that was proved true because after several minutes the dizzyness and chills were gone and I started moving again.
After that I stopped using ice and sponges so much, and just ran most of the time at 10:30 to 11 minute pace. Pretty much as fast as I could go until my heart rate hit 150, which seemed to be when the dizziness would strike and I would have to walk a while. I also walked the few short hills on the course (climbs up to the bridge decks, mostly).
The sun went down (finally!) at 6:57, and now I had an hour to run the last 7 miles or so for a sub-13 finish. But after some thought about my running pace, I figured I couldn't do the 30 seconds per mile faster that would take so I set my goal at a sub 5 hour marathon. Without the blazing sunshine, I pretty much ran the entire last loop, walking a few aid stations. I haven't checked my Garmin, but I think the pace was 9:45 or so.
I came in with a 4:58 marathon and a 13:05 overall time.
Overall, it was by far the toughest of the three Ironman races I've done. Last year was windier on the bike, but I was better trained and it wasn't as hot. The run last year and the year before were cakewalks compared to the run this year. According to weather.com, I ran all but the very last part of the marathon in the low 90s.
Plus, nearly all my race time goals were going by unmet. Last year, I was on a PR pace in all three sports and overall time. It's a totally different mental game to be out there on the course suffering without those types of goals for motivation. You have to dig deep and really bring it to keep on running on a day like yesterday.