This was my first Ironman and it was a great experience. I figured I would share a few tips that I picked up throughout the day.
The Swim - 1:18
Not very fast. I wanted to finish sub 1:15 or even 1:12. I thought maybe I would get lucky since most people go the edges I would start right in the middle about 3-4 people deep. That was a good strategy if I could swim sub 1 hour. My first 200 yards were good. I could see open water ahead of me and a "U" shape of people to my right and left. Then reality hit and I was going too fast. Once I slowed up I was crushed with people from all sides. I was pushed to the bouy line where I continued to be beat on for most of the first half mile. When I made the turn at the end it was a block wall of wet suits doggy paddling in the first turn. It was your basic nightmare. Once I pulled up from freestyle I got a cramp in my calf that ended up bothering me most of the day. Thank god my goggles did not fill with water. Then I swung out wide and got into my pace. If I had to guess my second loop was much faster than my first. And yes the water was cold. Advice: Stay away from the bouy line!
T1 - slow 11 min
Wabbled out of the water got my bag, put on my helmet and sun glasses and was ready to hammer the bike. Broke my water bottle holder on the back of the bike so I had to use rubber bands to hold on my drinks. Also found out my GPS and heart rate watch is not working. Time to go old school.
Bike - 5:56
Steady climb out of town to Hayden seemed really fast (26 mph or so). When coming back into town I realized how wind aided that 26 mph was. I kept a strong steady pace throughout. My first 30 miles was 19.26 mph and I slowed up to conserve energy for the run. I was given some good advice about the hills. Spin up the hills and let people hammer past, then at the crest increase your pace and hold it on the down hills. You will pass most people on the downhill sections while they try to recover from going to hard up the hills and you will have much more energy for the run. I ended up very happy about the bike time and exceeded my goal of 6:10.
T2 - 6 min
Volunteers were great. I took a couple of bites of a frozen turkey wrap I put in my bag, and used the restroom before starting my run.
Run - 4:33
As soon as I started running I could feel the pain in my calf and now my right knee. I had my doubts whether my body was going to hold up. My conditioning was fine, and so was my race nutrition. Thanks to the Hammer products for no GI problems. The pain would go away in town. The streets were lined with people cheering you on. Then I saw my fiance and my kids and I started to tear up. I am really going to finish this thing and do it pretty well. Once I got out of town about 4 miles into the run I realized it was time to call an audible. My calf and knee are not going to sustain the run without breaks. I decided to run station to station from mile 4 on. The strategy worked! It was not my fastest marathon, but I did not bonk or get injured.
The finish was amazing. The sun was out over the lake and you can see the finish from about 1/2 mile out. As you come down the hill through main street the crowd gets bigger and louder. It was awesome. My daughter was waiting for me to run in with her and then I heard the voice I was waiting for all day. "David Stibor from Simi Valley - YOU ARE AN IRONMAN"!
Finish time 12:05.
Had I had my watch I may have pushed it a little harder to break 12 hours, but I guess that is a goal for the next one...
Thanks for reading.