Los Angeles Triathlon Club
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Club Member: Peter Brantley
Race: IM CDA 2007
Distance: Ironman
Race Date: 06/22/07
Submit Date: 05/24/08

I completed my first IM at CDA 2007 this last weekend.

All of the things that the others have posted were very true, but here is my story (if you care:)). I have never swam 2.4 miles (longest swim 2miles, I have never rode 112 (105), and I have never done a marathon (18). So I was prepared for a long day, and I just wanted to finish with a smile on my face.

I arrived on Wednesday and had lunch in town before heading to the cabin I shared with 4 friends :30 minutes away. Instantly I realized M-Dot Ironman is the real deal, and the tension was VERY thick in the air.

Thursday, Friday, and Sat race prep, I got my first bad feeling about the swim on Friday as the lake was a big chop fest.

Sunday AM 3 oclock wakeup. 5 eggs, 1 cup oatmeal, and 1 bottle of ensure! But I forgot my FRS I hope that was not a bad sign. 630 I close the seal on my wetsuit and go to the start to meet up with friends who I hope to swim with. Then the reality of a 2200 person mass start hits. Since I do not swim great I usually let the group go first and then I follow, but that was not an option today. The racers took up basically a football field size patch of beach.
Boomm the cannot goes off, and I am surprisingly comfortable swimming in the melee. Until I come up on a breaststroker taking up the whole lake who I promptly curse.

About 3/4 of the way out I started getting clean water and started to feel the chop which was rediculous at the turn. There were 4 to 5 foot swells, wind, and people everywhere. This is where my challenge of the day started, after fighting for the hardest 100 yards I have ever swam, I turned for home on the back stretch. At this point I started to cramp in both hamstrings. The whole back straight I could not get rhythm or swim straight, then I started getting COLD! as if that was not enough the pros lapped me!

Once on land I tried to regroup stretch and head back out, 5 strokes into the lake I came back to shore. I did not think I was going to make it. In short I was being a baby. After a couple of minutes to think about how hard it was to get to IMCDA. In the months leading up to CDA I experienced a divorce, selling a house, job change, and a sick father. I decided that I was being a baby and needed to suck it up and at least try before failing. Quiting is so not an option sometimes. The second lap was very uneventful, it would have been easy if not for the cold! (To think I almost gave up over nothing)
1:54 to t1
I did not realize how cold I was until the wetsuit came off, instant shivering and I could not move. At this time a volunteer pointed out the hottub. Yes HOTTUB! 5 minutes in the tub, and I was warm enough to get my bike kit on and get on with my day.
2:10 I am on the road. The plan for the rest of the day was take it easy rest often and get home. So to make sure I rested, I wore white bibs on the bike. There would be no peeing on the new race rig yet! I set my watch to ring every 15 minutes, at which time I would eat yams, pop tarts and promax bars. The next 7 hours were a blur of hills, wind, and mother natures beauty. This was a great ride. The only challenge: I will never wear an aero helmet in an IM again as it got VERY heavy at mile 55.
So after 9 hours of Swimming and Biking it is time for the marathon! Did I mention, I have never run one of these before and I have a history of cramping on the run! PANIC!

With a quick change into the more appropriate Black spandex shorts and 2 tubes of endurolites I was off. I used the :15 min timer this time for gels, 1 min walk breaks, and endurolites. The run was a LONG out and back 2 looper on the lake very pretty, but long! I did not think the first loop would ever end, but it did and the miles melted away. At mile 20 I realized I would be an IRONMAN! Even better yet, I would finish well before the cutoff and before it got completely dark.

As I ran the last 6 blocks, I understood why people do IRONMAN. It is the challenge to get there, and to complete a goal. When I finished it was all I could do to keep from crying, and I never did hear the announcer as I was so choked up!

Overall time 14:16. Yams consumed 10, bathroom breaks 15, Endurolites 20, Poptarts 4, Gramma's Chocalate chip cookies 2, Clothing changes 3, Tears 5 and most important, I had the only pair of White bicycling bibs on the course!

It was a good day indeed!

Peter Brantley

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