Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ironman Recap Part 4: The RUN

Catch up on pre-race, swim, and bike recaps first if you missed them.  

Okay, after the bike I once again took my time in transition.  I did a full change of clothes (I see no need to run with butt pad in an Ironman!), and geared up.  I had opted to carry a running hydration pack, sans bladder, to use as a mini-backpack to carry everything I could possibly need.  Included:  headlamp, reflective tape, athletic tape for my achilles, a variety of food selections (a few Gu's/chews, but mostly candy: M&M's, paydays), chapstick, bandaids, a long-sleeved shirt etc!  There is a run special needs bag, but you can only access it once during the run, so I didn't want to be needing things from it at the wrong time.  I actually can't remember what I had in my run special needs.  I know I stopped and used it, toward the end, but I can't for the life of me remember.  That's what happens when you wait more than a year before writing a recap.  Actually, maybe the long-sleeved shirt was in special needs?  I don't know.  :P 

I was really nervous for the run, because of the lack of run training in the two months leading up to the race, but I felt surprisingly good out of the gate.  My initial pace was "too fast" for sure, but it was a good confidence builder.  I started out around 9 minutes a mile, and quickly dropped to 10 minutes per mile, which I hung on to for quite a while.  My plan started out as just walking through aid stations only, but it quickly became walking briefly at each mile marker, and at each aid station.  Mentally it was very easy to only run for one mile at a time.  I stuck to the rule religiously, because I knew if I started walking extra, it would be harder and harder to start running again.  

Still feeling fresh, running by Justin and my dad. 
After mile 10 was when my legs started to feel very fatigued, but mentally and overall I still felt really good.  Because it was a pancake flat run course, I was able to keep running with very little effort.  A high cadence and short stride with a good body position on a flat course makes maintaining an easy paced run almost negligible on my leg muscles.  I would have been screwed if there were hills, or if I had had to maintain a fast pace, but as it was, it was just a matter of continuing to pick up my feet and let gravity take care of the rest.    After mile 10 was when my pace dropped to 11 and 12 minutes per mile, but I was still running and still felt strong.   I was eating basically whatever sounded good at each of the aid stations.  At the beginning it was mostly peanut M&M's and paydays and water; toward the end it was more soda and fruit.  

The run course was in a way was like a double out & back, that you did 2.5 times through.  On the other hand it, it was nice, because your spectators could stand in one spot and see you 6 times out on the course.  You also got to run through the booming downtown area, and run by the finish line, several times.  Running near the finish line and not actually finishing was kind of a bummer, but it also helped with motivation to hear other people getting the "You are an IRONMAN!!" line and hearing the cheers and knowing that your time was coming soon.  

By some miracle, my achilles didn't bother me at all during the run, at least not any more than niggle.  Nothing that got progressively worse, or every tempted me to stop because of it.  Also, the weather was downright chilly, and windy.  I think I would have had a much more difficult time, and enjoyed myself much less, and probably had a drastically slower run if it had been hot.  

At some point when it got dark, I put on my headlight and got out my reflective tape.  I had cut it into strips to put on my shirt, and when I started putting them on I had the awesome (in my opinion) idea to spell my name on my shirt with reflective tape.  ("T-Y" is one name that is easy to write with a few straight lines, haha!)  I did it while I was running, so it isn't perfect, and it's not like I could really see what it looked like, but I thought it was a funny touch.  I figured it might help Justin and my Dad see me too.  

I was able to give them a pretty good estimate with about an hour to go, of what time I would be at the finish line.  When I finally got to come down the chute, I gave a whole lot of high fives, and got to see my dad and Justin in the spectators.  I love the video my dad took, you can hear how excited he was!!! 


The only bad part was that they said my name wrong (both first and last), which was a bit of a bummer.  I had even discussed with the announcer how to properly say my name the day prior, but I think there were two people sharing the duty, and the one I spoke to wasn't the one announcing when I came through.  

The time on the clock that you see in the pictures is the time of day, not the "race time".  We had a late start to the race so I think that messed everything up for them.  My final race time was 13:02, with the shortened swim.  If I had gotten to do the full 2.4 mile swim, I would expect my time to have been 13:17.  

The swim pace is not accurate.  I think it was 1:41 per 100 yds, or 1:50 per 100 m or something like that, given that the actual distance we swam was short by about 800m.  

And here is the official video one more time!!

After the race at the house I got really sick.  I was puking and had diarrhea and spent some time lying on the bathroom floor.  I was miserable.  But also thankful that all this diarrhea and vomiting was kind enough to wait until I finished to show up.  

The day after the race, I could hardly walk at all, my muscles were shot and my achilles was very angry.  But again, at least it all waited until I was finished.  

All in all, I had a great experience and I think it really couldn't have gone any better.  Would I do it again?  No.  Maybe.  Probably.   More on that in the next post.  

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