Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ironman Florida 2013

It has been a long time since I made an entry.  I am still raising money for Team4Hope wounded warriors project.  On November 2, 2013 I completed the Ironman Florida in 12:46.
My goals were to finish, finish smiling, in less than 14 hours and hopefully less than 13.  Easy to say now but that is the truth.
I signed up a year in advance after working the med tent the year before as a volunteer.  I am self coached.   I followed the the plan in Don Fink's book be Ironfit for the most part.  I  did a my long runs and rides according to mileage and not time.  I figured I needed the extra volume.  My peak week was 22 hours of training.  I felt comfortable with the distances by the end and did several open water swims as well to get used to the ocean current.  My nutrition has remained 100 percent plant based.  I believe this has allowed me to recover well from the workouts.  I did not have one illness during my training.  I did use a heart rate monitor and trained a lot in zone 2 for the long runs/rides.
I was most fearful of nutrition as I do not seem to tolerate the gels after about 17 miles of running.  I had success with Powerbar perform concentrate and rice bars on the bike.
Two days before the race I went for a swim on the course which was good.  I practiced going in and out of the water like race day.  That afternoon I went for a bike ride which was very windy.  The wind was blowing my bike so bad I had fears of being blown over.  I got back to the condo safe after 10 miles.  The day before the race, the weather was awful: windy, rainy and damp.  I did nothing but drop off my bike and transition bags.  Micheal had come up the night before and was very calming and helpful.  Leigh showed up as a surprise to watch the race as well which was much appreciated.  My Mom cooked the pre race meal of pasta and salad.
The morning of the race the weather was much more calm.  The Gulf had not quieted down so much and was choppy to say the least.  The gun was off and in the water we went.  Green and pink hats dotted the gulf like chips in a cookie.  Bodies side by side rolling in the surf.  I kept telling myself just get into the steady rhythm.  The first 4 buoys it was hard to find more than 7 stokes without body contact.  It seemed every buoy there was a jam.  My sighting was good and I stayed on course.  I kept thinking if I get this first loop of two completed I will be on my way to a good day.  I was so happy to get back to shore and make my way around for the second loop feeling very energetic and excited.  It was a great adrenaline rush.  The second loop was much less body contact and went by fast.
I elected to change completely in T1.  Bike shorts and jersey was the style.  I figured I may as well be comfortable for the 112 mile ride.  It was crowded.  There was a lot of packs but I did not feel unsafe.  I stopped to fill my water bottles three or four times and got off once to use the Porta Potty.  I finished ahead of my 6:30 guess and was happy to get finished with the total time so far of 7:49.
I changed into my running gear.  Most comfortable and out I went.  So happy to see my crew(Michael, Leigh and Mom) on the course.  It was a party like atmosphere which made the miles go by quickly.   A little over six miles to the park and back twice.  Second time better than the first.  I started to get a little nauseated on the second loop.  Decided to try orange slices and coke for my nutrition which helped a lot.  I did 8 minutes run and 30 seconds walk for the whole marathon and was able to finish without a major bonk.
The finish was spectacular with the lights and all of the cheering.   The crowds make you feel like a winner.  I still can't believe it is over.  Ready to go again.

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