IronMan Cozumel - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Cozumel, Quintana Roo
75F / 24C
Total Time = 14h 12m 29s
Overall Rank = 956/1928
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 23/55
Pre-race routine:

I slept very well... I actually didn't want to get up when my alarm(s) [James' phone, the wake up call, and the alarm clock] went off at 4:00 am. I ate breakfast -- 2 chocolate poptarts, one banana, and a gatorade.
We headed to the hotel lobby and got on the 5 am shuttle to the park. It was totally pitch dark outside... dawn didn't look to be breaking anytime soon. We got to transition at, oh, 5:10, and waited around until 5:30 when transition opened. There was a lot of nervous, excited energy in the air !

Oddly, I wasn't nervous. At all. I was just excited and so ready to start the day.

When transition opened we all swarmed inside. James went to get a good spot at the swim exit, and Saltz and I headed to transition to pump up are tires [and oil our chains.. performance. it's the name of the game].

The pros went off at 6:45 and we were scheduled to go at 7. Close to that the race officials started yelling "let's go! everyone in the water! we need everyone in the water now!" people started running and jumping off of the pier. It was madness! ... I have no idea where I ended up in the start... I didn't even hear a gun shot or a cannon - but once everyone started swimming, I started too ! I'm somewhere in that group:
it's like a giant school of fish !
Event warmup:

Dancing to the prerace music
  • 1h 14m 21s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 58s / 100 meters

The swim was pretty uneventful. Unlike the practice swim I did not meet any jellyfish ! I did see a ton of starfish on the ocean floor, which was awesome. The water didn't look very deep - mayb 10 feet - but judging by the SCUBA divers standing on the bottom - and waving! - I think it was probably closer to 90 feet. I didn't come into contact with a lot of other swimmers, except around the buoys - see photo above! it was madness around them. madness !

I kept glancing at my watch and was shocked to see it say 1:10 ish when I was so close to the exit. I finished strong and ran up the steps to T1. 1:14 and I was out of the water. awesome start !
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 10m 4s

It took me a minute to find my gear bag [I have no idea why - they were in numerical order!] and stumbled into the women's changing tent. I heard "Trish! Trish" It was Saltzy! She, of the "I will be ecstatic if I get out of the water in 1h 30m" was out in 1:13. My volunteer helped me change into my bike clothes and sprayed me with sunblock. I headed out of the tent and then panicked - where are my sunglasses?! .. and then the volunteer found them under the rest of my stuff. I headed back out, grabbed Bella, heard some cheers of "GO TERPS!", saw my family, and headed out on the bike course for a little 112 mile ride.
What would you do differently?:

Pick it up a little? Ha ! I wanted to make sure I had everything for the bike.
  • 7h 19m 54s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.28 mile/hr

as soon as I got on my bike I knew something was off. I felt like my aerobars were too high when the bike mechanic put them back on, so I lowered them. and then apparently thought it was a good idea to not RIDE it with the newly lowered bars. smart. it started bugging me and I thought "if you don't fix this now, it's going to irritate you for the next 7 hours." I hopped off of my bike, got my park tool, and raised the aerobars. it took 6 minutes. whatevs.

the bike course was three loops (well, 2 and 3/4) around the island. I started out pushing a nice comfortable pace of 20 mi/hr. Then we turned... then my speedometer: 18, 16, 15, 13, 12... yikes. Headwinds and crosswinds were really slowing me down, but I was okay with it. My main goal was to enjoy the day. The east side of the island is almost totally undeveloped - it has no electricity. And it was absolutely stunning [photos later in the rr]. Huge waves crashed into sandy beaches for miles and miles. Breathtaking.I finished the first loop and came into town - amidst cheers of Vamanos! Vamanos! and a lot of other things in Spanish. I was having a fantastic time! I was Hola-ing! and Muchas Gracias-ing ! all over the town. People had moraccos and all sorts of noisemakers. The whole city was out .. it was fantastic. I was smiling and cheering.

The second loop was not quite as great - I knew I had to face the winds again, and I had the most pain ... in my FEET. My shoulders, back, and legs felt fine, but my FEET - OUCHIE. It felt like they were asleep, only with more pain.. like they were hot and wanted out of my shoes. I came to bike special needs wanting a tylonel... and no one could find my bag. Awesome. At least I didn't have anything in there I really needed.. and another athlete gave me an advil. Moral of the story? Use your SN as "it would be nice to get it here, but if I don't I'll be fine." Here I am coming into town at the second loop, getting off my bike to tell my mom how much my feet hurt:

By this time some of the fasties were finishing their bike, and I was heading out to do my third loop. Boo. By this time I just really, really wanted to be off of my bike. my feet were throbbing. the last stretch along the water felt like forever. I kept thinking I saw the turn off ... and then: more water, and more headwinds.

Finally - finally! - we came in to town. I was so happy to dismount my bike. So happy. I was surprised to see James take my bike, and I think I said "no, no, you can't touch it - that's outside assistance." James laughed and said "I'm volunteering now." He, my mom, and my sister ended up as bike catchers !
What would you do differently?:

um, check my aerobars before I ride ?
Transition 2
  • 11m 57s

I was so flipping happy to be off of the bike that I would have gladly ran 50 miles. And who did I see in the change tent? Saltzy ! I just passed her at the dismount area of the bike. I changed out of my smelly bike gear - and bike shoes, tg - and into my running gear. At this point I knew that I would definitely be an Ironman by the end of the day. I had 8 hours to finish and unlike the bike, I didn't have to worry about mechanical issues or flats. Running is what I do. I was so ready to do this.
What would you do differently?:

Pick up the pace, but I don't really care !
  • 5h 16m 13s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 04s  min/mile

I was so flipping happy to be off of the bike that I would have gladly ran 50 miles. And who did I see in the change tent? Saltzy ! I just passed her at the dismount area of the bike. I changed out of my smelly bike gear - and bike shoes, tg - and into my running gear. At this point I knew that I would definitely be an Ironman by the end of the day. I had 8 hours to finish and unlike the bike, I didn't have to worry about mechanical issues or flats. Running is what I do. I was so ready to do this.

The run course was three out and backs - each lap 8.7 miles, each "out" 4.35ish miles.

I underestimated how hard running would be after the swim and the bike. I started at a 9:45ish pace, and slowed down from there. I didn't care, though. I made some friends - met a guy who lives in Mexico City and was recently at an arbitration in Washington as a CPA, a woman with three teenage kids, a man from England.

Here I am coming in from the first loop. My mom "you're almost done!" Me "I am nowhere near done." Mom "you are a lot closer than you were at 7 am." Touche, ma, touche. I was so happy to see them, but not so happy to make the turn around right in front of the finisher's chute, where some of the super fasties were making their finish.

The second loop was hard. I knew I had two more laps and it was getting dark and humid. The mosquitoes were out in full force, and even with the buy spray I doused myself with I was still getting eaten. The aid stations left something to be desired: all they had was gatorade, water, and tangerine and green apple powerade gels. barf. I mentioned this to some guy who kindly gave me one of his strawberry-banana gels - so nice ! I really could have used some cookies or crackers/ pretzels. I hit the halfway marker and wasn't sure how to feel. Yay - I'm halfway done! or Oh god, another 13.1 miles. I trudged on. At this point I was doing a shuffle run/ walk thingie. I was also laughing at my plan to keep a 10:15 pace ! I hit run special needs just after the halfway marker and grabbed my GUs ... and about 12 little pieces of paper I had forgotten about until that moment. James told me he was putting notes in my run SN bag. I stuffed the notes in my shirt, re sprayed myself with bug spray [and left it on the table for anyone else who was a mosquitoes dinner], and headed back on.

I opened one note every so often.. they were silly, touching, heartfelt notes from my parents, my sister, my BIL, and J. Some that stick out: "you'll never meet a judge as hard as this course!" [from dad] ; "don't worry about your hair!" [my mom, reference to me as a little one in an open top jeep, yelling about my hair getting messed up] ; "the longer you're out, the drunker we're getting" [james] ; "do it for the cats" ... they were so, so appreciated.

at the end of the second loop, I yelled to my family "see you at the finish line!!" and headed out for my very last loop. the third loop was definitely the easiest, mentally -- I knew that there would be no turn around .. just the glorious finish line. At mile 19ish I started chatting with this girl. We were telling stories about our days. I asked her for her name, and she said Janelle.. I said "RUNNERGIRL?!" .. she said "TRISHIE?!" It was my friend! we had been exchanging inspires and chatting for several months, and to meet her on the run was a gift from the tri gods. we kept each other moving -- mostly running and only walking through the aid stations. When we got into town we started cheering and getting the crowd riled up.

then: the finish line. the lights and the music and the screaming and cheering and yelling.

I was soaking it all in, enjoying the craziness and the thrill of the end of a 140.6 mile race.. although, really, it's the end of years of training, the culmination of 6am swims, of 100 mile bike rides on the eastern shore and 18 mile runs in the city, of countless orders of Infinit and packages from, of exhuastion and 3 hour trainer rides and a little dream, the whisper that said I can do this.


What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

medal, pizza, family, photos.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-12-02 12:00 AM
01:14:21 | 3800 meters | 01m 58s / 100meters
Age Group: 35/55
Overall: 1040/1928
Performance: Good
Suit: Speedo endurance bathing suit
Course: rectangular
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 80F / 27C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 10:04
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
07:19:54 | 112 miles | 15.28 mile/hr
Age Group: 31/55
Overall: 1107/1928
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Course: three laps around the island
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 11:57
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:16:13 | 26.2 miles | 12m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 23/55
Overall: 956/1928
Performance: Good
Course: three out and backs.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4