The pressure started to mount about a week ago. I was having moments where I couldn't wait for the race, and then other times where I wished I hadn't even registered. My training for the last few months hadn't turned out like I planned due to some sickness and a bit over over training. To top things off the weather was not going to be too favorable. The forecasted air temps were in the low 60s, overcast and the water was going to be about 58 degrees. Come on...I picked San Diego because the weather is suppose to be sunny and warm .
Friday came and we loaded up with the Stubbs for the drive down. When we arrived in Oceanside it was definitely cooler than I had planned; I couldn't stop thinking about how cold it was going to be coming out of the water and getting on the bike. It was at this point that I thought....the upside of the cooler weather is that maybe I'll be hypothermic half way through the swim and not have to finish. I'm pretty sure everyone could tell that I was a bit nervous.
Race morning came and I was surprisingly calm. Once I got to the transition area to setup I had forgotten about being nervous and was now super pumped. There was rad music playing and over 2000 competitors hustling to get ready. My swim wave started at 6:50 and to be honest I didn't even think about the 58 degree water. In fact most people said I was crazy for wearing a sleeveless wetsuit but I was plenty warm. The swim went well but I wished I hadn't been so conservative. Finished the swim in just under 40 minutes.
Then onto the bike...I started out feeling pretty sick with a belly full of salt water but my stomach calmed after a few miles. The first half of the 56 mile course was fairly flat and I was averaging around 22 to 24 mph, I started to get kind of excited because I thought I would beat my expected time. Then I hit the 2nd half of the bike course and it was all downhill (my performance, not the course profile). I was behind on my hydration and had to force myself to eat. On top of the course being a bit more hilly the wind had picked up. My average speed dropped and I ended up finishing the bike course in a little over 3 hours. This is not meant to be an excuse for not riding faster but I was blown away by the other competitors bikes, most of the bikes I saw had wheel sets that were more expensive than my whole bike.
The transition from biking to running was interesting due to the fact that my stomach was not happy. Nothing went down easy but I kept drinking and eating so I would have enough gas to finish. I pretty much suffered through the run and only averaged about a 10 minute mile with a run split of 2 hours 13 minutes.
Total time with transitions was 6 hours 11 minutes. I was slightly disappointed because I was hoping to break 6 hours but hey it was my first one and I learned tons. I did have some interesting thoughts while on the course; I had a few moments of intense gratitude that I was capable and had the opportunity to participate in an event like this. And even as much as I suffered at different points during the race I found myself feeling almost sad that it was over towards the end.
Anthony sure has had some good exposure on the Harber's blog lately; I fully expect 10% of his earnings if he's discover by this photo:
This one's even better because it makes him look like a giant:
It may not be for a few more years but I do see a full Ironman in my future. I would like to leave you with my opinion that racing and/or suffering in any epic event such as this will bring much joy into your life. Now get out there and find something to register for! Oh yeah http://www.active.com/ is a great place to find all kinds of events in your area.