Sunday, November 8, 2009

Richard's Ironman Race report

Race day was a great experience. We were surprised by the increased choppiness of the water compared to the days before the race. Still it was nothing compared to Utah in 2002.

Everything about race morning went well, got a solid 8 hrs sleep both the night before and the night before that. As with Mel I was grateful that we weren't ill.

Melanie and I both lined up on the extreme right, the current and swell pushed us slightly away from the line but I quickly found the perfect person to draft off of in the water. She was just a bit stronger than I so tucked on her feet was perfect for me. Bonus was that she sighted a clean line, went just enough wide that we avoided traffic. The far end of the course was pretty choppy with swells and the return trip to shore was enough swell I had to breathe only on the left side. I completed the first loop in 31:30 and was happy due to the amount of chop. I had a strong second loop in 34:00 and was able to follow the same girl out to the turnaround. At the far turn she was too fast for me so ended up coming back on my own. Final time 1:05:30 only 84 seconds behind Bernie.

It was a longer transition zone than last time and I was taking it more casual than usual. In the end I was only 6:30 so I was happy. Transition went without incident and I got out on the bike.

The bike started with a huge tailwind. Everyone as usual was flying by me but I was happy with my pace so let them go. After 10 km we turned north had had a cross wind but again pace was fine for me and I let everythone go. I used my HR zones from last time and focused on staying 130-135 HR. When we made the eastbond turn we had 50K of headwind and the very soft rollers. I saw a number of peletons go by me but not as many as last time. When we finished the long stretch I knew it would be mostly tailwind / crosswind from there. We had the 7 km headwind on the out and back stretch. I made sure that I sat up only on the tailwind sections and stayed focused in profile in the headwind positions.

We hit a rough bumpy stretch a few times and in the last 30Km or so I started to fade again. I couldnt figure why I was working so hard and people were going by me, I thought I was bonking but just hunkered down. At 10K to go we had a strong left - right S curve and I skidded out sideways, fortunately I stayed up but realized I might have a flat. The guy who went by me said I didn' I kept going but when I got to the end of the bike I checked my rear tire and it was completely flat - still need to chek the rims for damage. Considering how the last 30 km went I may have flatted on the rough section.

My final bike time ended up as an Ironman Bike Split PR at 5:38 but it came with a cost. I ended up being very slow in T2 for me (6:57). I had to stretch, massage my feet, refuel and get focused. I was really concerned with my run with as beat up as I was but thanks to Ross's advice over the year I had hope I could rebound on the run.

The run started somewhat ugly but I made sure I stayed under 150 HR and got lots of fuel and walked through everything 3rd or so aid station. I kept my feet dry and as much as possible my shirt and shorts. I averaged about 5:24 / km a lot of the run but in the middle took a couple longer walk breaks. I was gaining on Bernie slowly thruogh the first 25K but at about 25K I got a second wind and started running VERY well, averaging under 8 min / per mile except walk breaks for about 5K and then about 8:20's from there in with scattered aid station walks. Overall I negative split by about 3 minutes (first time I've done that in an Ironman, mostly due to a lot of patience through the first part of the run. Overall run time was 3:57 (only 3 minutes slower than 2007).

Final time was 10:54:28 (less than 6 minutes off my PR with a lot less overall prep). 39th place in age category in swim compared to 70th in 2007 and 70th in age category at race end out of the 420ish compared to 75th of 362 in 2007.

End result - VERY HAPPY


Richard's Ironman Race prepararion

Ironman marks the end of my years racing schedule. Compared to 2007 I didn't have the same overall base this year. At the pre-race meal they said the average training week over 7 months is 48 miles (77K) running, 250 miles biking (400kms) and 7 miles swimming (11km).

By the numbers over the first 10 months of the year

1801 km running
5510 km biking
102 km swimming

1360 km running
4209 km biking
72 km swimming

But in the last 4 hard weeks of hard training

196 km running
581 km biking
11 km swimming

290 km runnning
1222 km biking
11 km swimming

Next post will be the race report.

Bernie's Ironman Florida Race Report

The swim was like a washing machine,thought I would take the bouy line,but it was a complete cluster,hoping to swim under 1hour but failed to do so.

Still ok with outcome of swim. Had a good T1,Florida tends to have a long T1.(5:00minutes),happy with that.

Jumped on the bike,rode the 1st 40km at 1:03(too fast)slowly started to go down from there.

Everything went well,had a PB on the bike(5:20) still lots of people passed me. Had a good T2(3:00)felt good but slow on the 1st 18miles,had stomach issues - dry heaving(cant seem to get nutrition right on the run,walked a bit(400 meters at most).

Ended up with a blistering 4:13 marathon(wow)oh well to say I'm happy with the end result is a understatement, I had visions of a sub 10 hour Ironman ,but did achieve my Pb in the distance,so I should be happy with that(NOT)


Melanie Florida Race

Guess what - I am an Ironman. I know that because the announcer at the end of the race told me so. He yelled into the PA system "Melanie Rush from Calgary Alberta you are an Ironman!" However, for now I will give you some highlights.

First of all, Richard and I couldn't have asked for better weather since we got here. It has been absolutely beautiful.

I chose to walk down the beach to the race start in the morning because we are only about 1 mile away. It was still a little dark and other that 4 other people down the beach I was pretty much alone. I had my little conversation with God thanking him for everything he has blessed Richad and I with to allow us to come to this event. At the top of the list was that both of us stayed completely healthy dispspite the illness that made its way through the rest of our household, some of which I am sure was the all dreaded swine flu. My only request race day was that Richard and I would both perform to the best of our abilities and that I would really enjoy the day ahead. Both of which happened. I so love Heavenly Father for giving us that too.

Now that I made the prime acknowledgement of my success I had a really really really great race. I totally blew away my expectations. I finished in 12hrs 21 minutes. My best estimate was 13 1/2 hrs. I passed over 400 people in the marathon which was like so much fun I can't even begin to describe it. I had my best marathon ever, and it was at the end of an Ironman. Way Cool. I was 22nd out of 96 women in my age category and finished about 1080 out of 2500 competitors. So in the top half. Not bad for a 45hr old mama!

A few interesting items. The swim was like navigating through mayhem! Bodies swimming over you, into you, elbows and flailing hands hitting your head, some good swells, jellyfish below, and may I just say growing up near lakes not the ocean, salt water makes me gag! The swim was the easiest part physically, but most brutal from a logistics point of view.

Ok, I hate energy gels now. I must have had over 20 on the race. The last 10 k of the run I litterally had to force myself to ingest the stuff, but it is what kept me going.

Best support on a race you could imagine. Lots of spectators, especially on the run. The last mile leading up to the finishe line which you passed 4 times because it was a double loop course was like so much fun. People dressed up, music blaring, crowds lining the road. It was full of so much energy I loved every second of it. On the dark more remote part of the run on the second loop out I envisioned coming in to the finish line that last mile and said to myself "You are going to own it" It was amazing!

So overall, I am glad I did an official Ironman race as my first full ironman distance. It was an amazing experience every step of the way. From the crowds lining the beach at the start to the incredible finish line and all the little details experienced in between.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Quiet Night before the Race

It is a quiet night before the race, everything packed and ready to go. Bikes were delayed a day in arriving but everything is all good now. See you tomorrow! Looking forward to racing with Melanie in her 1st Ironman and Bernie in his 20th, and this will be my 5th. Hard to believe.

Hoping for tomorrow's 79 degrees and 10-15 mph wind from the east to be doable.