This is now my 3rd attempt at writing a race report for Ironman Lake Tahoe. On attempt #1 I wrote a detailed account of how I injured my calf pretty bad 9 days out from the race only to make it worse because I was too stubborn to skip my long run two days after the injury. It was only after I reread the first three paragraphs that I realized that I could only hold people’s attention on this topic for about 2-3 sentences max. So I decided to start over.
Attempt #2 focused on the race itself – my thoughts, my nutrition, my performance… All the typical things a typical race report encompasses. The problem here was my goal for this race was much different than my normal goal of crossing the finish line in the shortest amount of time possible regardless of how miserable I feel. Ironman Lake Tahoe was about finishing and having fun and in order to do this holding back on the bike was key so there nothing really eventful happened on the bike worthy of writing about. So once again I deleted the report and decided to start over yet again.
So here I go…
When you are out on the race course for 12 hours there is ample opportunity to think about just about everything. Here are the top 10 things that I remember thinking along the way in order from start to finish.
- The sleeveless wetsuit was a great idea for about 40 minutes. The last 20 minutes were a bit chilly.
- There is no such thing as personal space in the water in an Ironman.
- Don’t forget about your feet when you are layering up on the bike. Cold toes for 40 miles is a less than stellar way to start a long day on the bike.
- Lobster gloves are great for keeping your fingers warm but challenging for finding food in your back pockets.
- Holding back on the bike does not mean your legs are going to feel like running 26.2 miles. I remember standing in T2 thinking I can’t move!
- After being on the course for over 8 hours I found that I totally did not care how slow I was running or what other people thought about my run pace.
- The one mile distance between each aid station seemed to last forever.
- Sprinting in an Ironman is slower than my easy run days.
- Starting a race with a reasonable goal and a positive attitude makes for a very enjoyable day.
- I will do another Ironman even though I said this was going to be a “One and Done” experience.
When is your next Ironman?
I am not sure. I have some other endurance events I want to focus on for a while before jumping into my next one. I know I want to do another one but I need a break from structured triathlon training for a bit. There are lots of great events out there and I want to enjoy some of them as well.
What was your nutrition like?
Anyone who knows me knows race nutrition is not my forte. I had 3 bottles on the bike (mostly water), Mike and Ikes, Nature’s Bakery Bar and a half of PB&J sandwich. On the run I had water and Gatorade at the aid stations and about 10-15 grapes and a few pretzels for the whole race. Total calories were about 950.
Did you cramp?
I did not cramp on the run but I did walk and I was more than okay with that for my first IM. I also didn’t get sick mostly because I didn’t have enough in my stomach to throw up. 🙂
Did you really finish with a smile?
My finish line pictures may not show a smile but I was definitely in a good mood at the finish. Not only was I happy to be done, I was proud of myself for getting through the 140.6 with a positive attitude and the desire to do another one!
Look for me finishing this year off with some cross country racing. I am looking forward to running my first cross country races as a masters athlete and participating in some big races in San Francisco!
A big thank you to my coach, Carrie Lester, for getting me ready to take on my first IM, Vince Hoffart for helping me with my injured calf, and Rudy Project, Salming Running, HUUB, Temple Coffee, Nature’s Bakery, XX2i Optics, Fluid Sports Nutrition and of course Sean Dulany for his never ending patience!!