Ironman Cozumel - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Cozumel, Quintana Roo
Ironman Mexico
Total Time = 13h 31m 27s
Overall Rank = 1074/2700
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 15/51
Pre-race routine:

I have a superstition of always doing something new on race day. Last year it was the race itself, a new bike and nutrition. This year I went in having eaten (or kept down) virtually nothing for 2 to 3 days previous plus new nutrition, brand new shoes and lube. I have to laugh at all the RRs with folks setting alarms and eating in the middle of the night on race day. When you get to the insomnia portion of old age, you NEVER interrupt sleep. Considering I wasn't keeping food down anyway, I wasn't about to start a new practice of waking myself up to try to eat something. I figured I'd go in like a bear does winter. I have nice coat of fat to live off. Should work in theory anyway...

I really wanted to do the Saturday swim practice as I'd been off the bike and run since the previous Sunday and had not swum since the previous Monday. Pretty much I was screwed, but I wanted to see if I had anything in my arms. Dayum, but the water was rough on Saturday. Much worse than race day (at least to my recollection). I did as much as they allowed (most of the course was closed except 2 bouys) and then waited for my swim companion to finish psyching out his competitors before heading home. After the swim I completely released myself from any expectations. I knew I was going to swim slow, and quite honestly, I wasn't sure I was going to make it. Well, my ego would MAKE me finish unless I could not make forward progress, but I expected it could get super ugly. After the swim while chatting with Jamie and Zack, Jamie suggested that if the conditions were the same the next day, he could see people needing the entire 2.5 hours (or whatever they give us; I have YET to attend a prerace meeting in any language) and I thought he was crazzeeee. Those pros live in a different world and I figured he was pretty out of touch with we mere mortals. Crow does taste pretty good after all!

I had previously, before getting sick, hoped for top 10, but looking at the bevvy of fast old farts that entered this year, I wasn't sure that would happen. Yes, I had the audacity to stalk their times of past IMs and HIMs to figure out what they would likely do and it seemed that the top 20 were sub 11-hour IMs. Dayum, 50+ is getting competitive. But I still hoped for top 10. I also wanted to better my time from last year. A lady who lives on Cozumel, who is responsible for getting me into the sport by simply inspiring me, took 1 hour off her time each year so I figured I should be able to do that too. Course, she started at 15 or so hours and is 10 years younger... details, details...

Race day morning I still couldn't hold down a GU. I was, however, able to eat and hold down a banana so I radically changed my nutrition plan to (ta dum!!) BANANAS! I figured in the old days they did all kinds of crazeee nutrition and I was just going to take some inspiration from old skool. I had a banana for breakfast and a sip of Perpeteum and hoped I'd be able to drink it on the bike, ASSuming I made it to the bike. I did a LOT of ASSuming. Still do. My sister, BIL, 2 nieces, my mother and father (83 and 77), my 4 kids (18, 16, 13 and 11) and Dearest Husband In the Free World accompanied me to the swim start. I was pretty bummed because I was sure I wasn't going to finish and I honestly wasn't sure I'd even finish the swim but dayum, you have to at least TRY, right?
Event warmup:

warmup? Shiver?
  • 1h 27m 40s
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 19s / 100 meters

Water looked calmer than the day before. Ray of hope #1. I took it out SUPER easy. I didn't work hard at all, I really just wanted to finish around the same time as last year (denial again) and not get pulled out. I took about 15 minutes longer than last year but it seemed to go much faster than last year. Last year seemed to drag ForEver but other than the last stretch of however long (400m?) that seemed to take 20 minutes or so, it went pretty fast and easy in my head. I did manage to swallow water for the first time ever and rounding one buoy someone placed their hand on my head and pushed me directly down underwater (that was confusing as hell) and I must have swum constant Zs after being pushed all over by the waves and current, but it was, at least in hindsight, pretty easy as I took it super easy.
Transition 1
  • 08m 14s

I ran to transition. Last year I was beat up by the swim and too tired to run to transition and honestly, for us old, slow farts, you gotta just wonder, WHY? Stroll and smell the roses! But this year I ran. And felt good. I had gotten hungry on the last stretch of the swim and hoped that would be a good sign. I asked the guy I was running with (at Cozumel the changing tents are a fair piece from the swim exit) what time he had and he very graciously hit buttons on his watch to figure it out. He had 1:28. I was a little bummed because that is really slow but the water was rough so I justified it that way. What ever works. Hey, I got out and made it through one event! I had a GREAT time in the transition tent - the volunteers were so helpful and brought me some Gatorade concoction I had remembered from last year that was like nirvana and this year did not disappoint either. I got 2 more and dumped the nutrition I had (chomps and bars) as I knew they weren't going to happen. Saw the family as I left and headed out on the bike.
  • 6h 32m 54s
  • 180.25 kms
  • 27.53 km/hr

The first loop of the bike was pretty easy. I had an envelope of Gatorade in me and I was just trying to keep my HR down around 120ish and keep it easy. I'd read that the first loop should be easy and I was surprised how I had to CONSTANTLY reel myself in and go slower. I saw 2 ladies in my AG pass me and it KILLED me not to go after them but I kept thinking that my goal was just to finish and I had to think of the run afterwards. So I reluctantly let them go. But dayum, that was hard. Saw the whole famdamily at the swim start on the 2nd loop and stopped to chat with them and hug the kids. DH stuck a banana in my jersey and off I headed again. This time my friend who lives on Cozumel caught up to me and I used her as a rabbit and kept her within 7-10 meters (I guess). Unfortunately after the great success of the banana and the Gatorade envelopes of sweet nectar, I was done with intake. I kept drinking water though and I was constantly DYING of thirst (yet I wasn't hot). I think that when the humidity drops like it had, we get super thirsty as the air is SO DRY. So I was adding NUUN tablets to water and drinking like a fish. I knew I was risking bloat but I couldn't figure a way out. I had to drink, I couldn't keep nutrition down, so it had to be water. Wish I had a coconut then though. Wish I'd brought 10 pesos like I did last year to buy one as they were open for business on the east side.

Second loop of the bike a guy passes me and says "(unintelligible) pelo" and my head is still in a fog of trying to make myself eat and mental math and roar of the wind in my ears and I look at him, register it was Spanish, and ask "mande?" to which he repeats that I have very beautiful HAIR! WhatTheEverLastingFUCK? I thanked him and figured he was one of those long-hair-liking guys but I have to say I was a little sad he didn't mention his awe at how I was CRUSHING the bike for an old fart! I mean, throw me a bone here! I'm dying on the course, can't get nutrition in but I'm holding a good pace for an old lady and he complements my HAIR? Maybe I wasn't crushing the bike after alll....Hmmm... Same lap. Lady (nice looking from the rear and very tall, I have to say) complements my braid. Ok, this IS getting weird. Did the kids paint it tri colored? Is there a sign stuck to my back saying "tell me how lovely my hair is?" Third lap. Same lady. Same complement. At this point I've forgotten I'm in a triathlon and am planning my hair modeling career. My head swells from the attention and bursts.

Last loop of the bike I knew I was getting in trouble. My legs NEVER let me down but they were failing fast. I knew I had to get some sugar in me but my stomach just recoiled at the thought. I finally remembered Jens Voight's "shut up legs" and said "shut up stomach" (maybe I needed Jens to say it as my stomach didn't even pause to listen) but I downed, very slowly, 2 GU and hoped that would do it. The winds picked up laps 2 and 3 on the east side but the transvasal (from the east side to town) calmed down to just cross winds so that was helpful. Only got the really helpful tailwinds in town and towards the swim start so I knew my bike was not going to go as I'd hoped. I had hoped I could do a 6-hour bike (before getting sick) but watching my average speed hovering around 28kph I knew that wasn't going to happen. I then thought maybe 6:15 to 6:20 at the slowest but I finally dragged in at 6:30. I think lack of nutrition really made the last lap the hardest. Maybe. I remember thinking there was No Way I was going to run a marathon after that. But, well, with all the families here, I certainly had to TRY, right? My stomach was uncomfortably bloated and I knew I would not be taking much in on the run.

Oh, and I remember the last lap of the bike I could NOT see straight. I could not focus and my vision was horribly impaired. For some reason this was only very mildly concerning. I could see enough to get to transition and that was good enough.
Transition 2
  • 05m 42s
  • 5h 16m 56s
  • 42.16 kms
  • 07m 31s  min/km

I had amazing volunteers again in the tent and headed out for the run, not sure if I'd finish it. I had planned to do the first loop walking every aid station, the 2nd loop walking every other and running the 3rd loop if all felt good. Leaving T2, however, it was a nonstop constant aid station all along the malecon so I quickly changed to run 10 min, walk 1. Yes, folks, I AM YOUR DILUTER! Without me to dilute your races, you would have no-one to make you feel good about yourselves, so You Are Welcome. I consider it my contribution to the sport. Well, that and my $1,000,000.00 hair. Coming to a theater near you soon! For some reason again (was I delirious?) the run laps seemed to go by faster than last year. Maybe because I was expecting them to be so long, I dunno. However, by the end of lap 2 the day had caught up with me and I was in good pain. My stomach, diaphragm, inner thighs, hammies were cramping and my calves were threatening succession. Where was my nice hair guy now??? I got some ibuprofen and headed out. I figured I could walk the thing and finish but dayum, I wanted a good time. I had NO IDEA where I was but figured I was looking at 14+ hours. I could deal with that but 15 would have been disappointing. I wanted to lie down and just go to sleep so badly I can't believe it now (in retrospect). I just wanted to stop but I knew I had 1 more lap to go.

My BIL's sunburnt face was bright in my mind and he kept telling me I could do it, so I just kept running (in retrospect I should have kept to the 10:1 as I was faster at that) until I though I shat myself. Yes, folks, I was SURE I was going to give poopman a run for his money and clenched whatever muscles were not currently cramped to SHUT THAT DOOR until I could find a portapotty (which, at Cozumel, are few and far between). I was SHOCKED to find Nothing in my shorts afterwards and honestly, quite confused as I was SURE I was holding back a load of crap but the only thing coming out was air. Sweet relief.

Again, finishing I had NO idea of my time (one of these days I'm going to get one of those new fangled wrist things that count time) and was SHOCKED to see a 13 on the clock. Somehow I managed to take 20 minutes off last year's time. I totally missed my girls in the stands as I was watching for them in the area they had said they'd be previously and my sister has a picture of them holding out their little hands as I bypass them, completely oblivious. Medical took me away as I couldn't stop dry heaving but since This Is Mexico I simply found the right person and lied myself out of the tent and walked back home with the family.

This year felt like an accomplishment. Last year was good but this year was different. I really felt like I Did something.

So now the training starts for next year. Just before IMCOZ I found out you're supposed to do INTERVALS on the bike! WHO KNEW? I want to see a 12 on that damn clock and really prove Herbert wrong that IM is a Bucket List item for me. Hmph. :)
Post race
Warm down:

med tent?

What limited your ability to perform faster:

being sick as a dog

Event comments:

pictures of the swim - I saw the famdamily and was waving to them, kiss for my most ardent supporter (other than the hair guy), some of my kids running with me on lap 2, after the race (attired in Med Tent attire - yay! Scored another shirt and ENORMOUS boxer shorts!!???!). last picture is snorkeling the day after - I had to go for a swim in the calm seas to allow it to redeem itself. ;)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-05-10 12:00 AM
01:27:40 | 3800 meters | 02m 19s / 100meters
Age Group: 8/51
Overall: 956/2700
Performance: Below average
Suit: swimsuit?
Course: rectangle.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: High
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 08:14
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:32:54 | 180.25 kms | 27.53 km/hr
Age Group: 14/51
Overall: 1037/2700
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: 3 loops around the island.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 05:42
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:16:56 | 42.16 kms | 07m 31s  min/km
Age Group: 15/51
Overall: 1074/2700
Performance: Good
Course: 3 loops
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]