Monday, October 13, 2008
the kona report.
Two days post race. I have taken some time to reflect and enjoy. The only thing left is the race report:
This swim is known for how brutal it can be so I decided to opt for a longer swim, slightly off course in lou of being right in the mix. I think this was a great decision. I started waaaaayyy to the left and barely touched another soul until the turn around. Even though I may have taken a longer line, I believe I saved time and energy by not having to fight with hundreds of others trying to do the same.
The turn around was rough, no way to avoid it. Took in enough salt to replace what I may have sweat out and choked a couple of times, nothing new. The way back seemed to move along quicker until my googles started to leak and the water was burning my eyes, causing them to tear up and fill the googles. Total swim time: 1:01:37. Slowest IM swim time by over a minute, but comparatively probably my best IM swim (no wetsuit).
Nothing too eventful on the bike until the Queen K, when the legendary cross winds started to pick up. Pretty intense on the way out but manageable. Dropped my chain once, having to pull over to correct the situation... Got to the half way point as planned in 2:39, with wattage averaging 155 - not taxed at all. Since I was hoping for a ride in the 5:20 area, this was a good sign.
I was somewhat dissappointed to be passed by the eventual second place woman sitting tightly in the middle of a pack of men, but I guess you will always have to deal with that in this sport.
The turn up to Hawi slowed things down. Head and cross winds to the turn around.
The way back to Kona was exhausting, physically and mentally. The cross winds were so strong I was actually frightened for my safety. A few times, I was blown clear across the road and almost into the ditch. I was gripping my handle bars so hard my arms were cramping. The return trip on Queen K was all head wind. Very slow and I watched my goal time move out the window while trying to keep my watts manageable.
I was able to pick it up for the last 30 km, trying to walk the line between giving up too much energy and not pushing hard enough.
Total bike time: 5:39
My second transition was not good. I got in there and sat down, needing to collect myself and pull myself together. I'm not gonna' lie, I did not want to run a marathon. I had done the training and had been looking forward to this run, but the bike had broken me. My mind was having a weak moment and the only thing I could think to do was sit on the potty. The wind was so brutal on the bike that I was unable to pee while riding. As a result, this pee was easily over a minute long. But during that time, I pulled myself together enough to head out to Alii drive.
The first couple of miles were painful and full of self doubt. I had visions of walking the marathon. The temps were close to 100 and the humidity was high.
The internal mental battle was familiar, and I made the choice to enjoy the day, do my best and deal with whatever that ended up being.
I took the first few miles slower than I normally do and gave up the idea of holding 7:38's as planned.
I turned my energy outward and began to cheer on others and have fun with the spectators. Something clicked and I began to feel better and better with each mile and then each step. By half way, I was picking up the pace and picking off people. At one point, a spectator told me I was 8th amateur female, fueling the fire. I had no idea where I was in my AG, but I knew Rachel was in front and looking good in her Splish. Once I hit the turn in the energy lab I knew there was just over 10 km left and that was manageable.
I think I negative split the marathon, running my way into 5th for my AG, 6th Amateur female and 30th Overall.
Run time: 3:24:54
I crossed the line feeling great (maybe a little too good) and even though my time was slower than 'planned', I was glad it came together the way it did.
Time for some R & R, then Clearwater in 4 weeks! (yikes)
Thank you to the best sponsors in the world: Splish, Zym, Jaggad, Saltstick, Blackwell. I could not have done it without you!
** An update on Ryan: He was in a bike crash on the Queen K and ended up with a broken hip. He has had surgery and is already ahead on his recovery (of course!!). He is strong and will be back next year!