Monday, October 17, 2016

Ironman Recap Part 3, The BIKE

Well, today is the one year anniversary of my Ironman, which mostly just reminded me that I never got around to recapping it.  Which is relatively unfortunate because I'm sure I have lost some memories by now.  But, better late than never, I hope? 

(Important note: there are several great videos in this post - if they are not showing up in your feed reader or email, you may want to go to my blog directly to read this post to see the videos:  )

Also, make sure to read part 1 and part 2 first if you missed them! 

After the chilly but otherwise uneventful swim (ok, there was that wipeout at the end), I had my first experience with wetsuit strippers, and then jogged through transition to my bike gear bag.  I saw Justin and my dad cheering for me on the way.  :) 
Because of the cold temperatures, I opted to wear my swimsuit under my wetsuit and do a complete change of clothes, rather than wearing my tri kit wet throughout the day.  
T1: Swim-to-bike00:16:59
I had put warmers in my shoes prior to the start of the race because I knew it would be freezing.  I also bundled  up pretty hardcore.  When you get cold on the bike there's no coming back from it, at least for my feet, so I figured it would be easier to strip clothes off than add them on! Shoe covers and everything! 

("I'm Overdressed!")

My plan for the bike was basically the same as my plan for the rest of the race, which was: Go by feel.  Ignore my watch.  Consume some calories every five miles.  Hope and pray that my achilles doesn't act up.  It started out fine, the bike course was perfectly flat, and the roads were in great condition, and after the first couple of miles it actually started getting warm enough to take off all my layers.  Unfortunately, by about my five my bad achilles was already starting to hurt.  I had anticipated that and packed rolls of tape (pre-cut and rolled onto straws for easy application) for both the bike and the run.  I pulled over on the side of the road, took off my left shoe and sock and applied my tape.  It helped immensely, but unfortunately wouldn't stay on very well.  I had to stop once more to put a piece of a sock over it (like a sleeve), which helped keep the adhesive from slipping off.  I'm actually kind of grateful for my achilles injury because it kept me from going too hard on the bike, which I have done at pretty much every triathlon since then.  I just kept a steady effort the rest of the way.  I took a good long break at the aid station.  My feet had gotten cold again since it was starting to get windy, but I wasn't able to get my shoe covers back on in any kind of timely fashion.  I also tried to eat the bagel I had packed but it was dry and gross so I gave up on that.  I pretty much ate half of a protein bar every 5 miles (I think).  Plus gatorade and water.  There was definitely some structure to my consumption, based on miles, but I don't really remember what it was!  
Halfway point/aid station

(aid station)

Stretch & go! 

After about mile 50 or 60 on the bike the wind got insane.  It was the windiest weather I have ever biked in for sure.  At one time I literally thought I was going to get blown off the road or have the tires swept out from under me when it blew hard from the side.  I managed to stay upright the whole time though.  The headwinds were of course bad too, but at least they weren't scary, just depressing.  Working harder than I was before and barely struggling to hit 12 miles per hour.  Ugh.  I swear the last 20 miles never ended! 
(TyLady coming in finish)

(the House)

Official video.  Bike finish at 1:09.  Don't watch the finish yet! ;) 

I was definitely glad when the bike was over, just because it took such a damn long time, and I was sick of the wind.  Otherwise, I still felt fine.  And my achilles miraculously behaved the entire rest of the ride, after that initial tape job at mile 5.  I was pretty happy with my bike speed, considering I had made so many stops (clothing drop, tape job, tape adjustment, aid station, pee break) and the headwind, and an injury that could have been a deal breaker.  Actually, I would have been happy with my speed even without all those things!

My favorite part about the bike leg was that I don't really remember it being very crowded.  At some races, I struggle to stay out of people's draft zones, and up passing when I don't really want to, just because there are people everywhere.  At this race, possibly because it was rescheduled, or possibly because it's so long that you get spread out, I felt like I had space to breathe a lot of the time.  I wasn't constantly making decisions about whether to pass a person or not.  There were definitely some moments, but not the ENTIRE race, which I find mentally exhausting when it (frequently) happens).

BIKE DETAILS | Division Rank: 34
Split NameDistanceSplit TimeRace TimePaceDivision RankGender RankOverall Rank
Total112 mi06:49:5408:02:5116.39 mph34215946
Originally from:

 Now for the part I was REALLY nervous about.  The run.  I hadn't run more than 2-3 miles at a time (unless you count aquajogging....I did a lot of that!) since the first week of August (more than 2 months before the race) because of my achilles, and I had NO IDEA what kind of running shape I was in, or if my achilles would handle it.  Stay tuned.....

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