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Ironman Cozumel - Triathlon

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Cozumel, Quintana Roo
Ironman Mexico
80F / 27C
Total Time = 12h 44m 10s
Overall Rank = 789/
Age Group = M3034
Age Group Rank = 139/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3:30am and had an Ensure before heading downstairs for the breakfast the hotel put on for the athletes. Breakfast probably totaled around 1000Cal. Drank water and Gatorade throughout the rest of the morning. After breakfast we headed back to the room and got our race suits on and got our swim gear and the remaining things we needed to leave on our bikes in one bag. Then, off to the shuttle buses for the race start.
Event warmup:

No warm up, I figured I'd take it easy in the swim and that would be my warm up for the day.
  • 1h 14m 41s
  • 4156 yards
  • 01m 48s / 100 yards

What an awesome swim course! The water was crystal clear which made the whole thing so scenic. I saw 2 manta rays, a bunch of fish, some coral reef, and a few scuba divers...made the time go by quick for that 2.4mi. The crazy part was after going north and turning to head back south, we swam to deeper water and everything just turned blue!! Sorry, I never swam in the ocean so I was having a blast. I was looking around while swimming and wondering how deep the water was because I couldn't really tell. But then I saw a scuba diver way down at the bottom and he was pretty tiny! Didn't thing it was that deep but damn! The only bad part of the swim for me, which was horrible, is that I got stung by jellyfish about a dozen times. The worst sting was right on my earlobe which the pain of it seemed to linger for a while.
What would you do differently?:

I can't say yet, I'm not completely sure if I swam it too fast or not. I really felt like I was taking it easy, sometimes so easy that I wondered if I was going too slow. Also I pretty much just followed the crowd and didn't hug the buoy line...could have made a small difference, I'm not sure.
Transition 1
  • 08m 42s

Took my time here, obviously! I was feeling pretty good coming out of the swim but was a little nervous to get on the bike. Other than that, nothing special since I took the advice of some BTer's and put ONLY the things I knew I was going to take with me and nothing more. It made for a real easy transition dumping out the contents and putting my swim stuff in there, just took my time that's all.
What would you do differently?:

I can definitely do this faster.
  • 6h 40m 2s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.80 mile/hr

This was tough for me. I seemed windy for most of the course and it got stronger every lap. I don't feel I got much help from the wind except for on the part of the loop heading southwest. On the rest of the course the wind was so strong I was riding at 13-14mph trying to keep my heart rate in low zone 2. It was pretty tiring and by the third lap I think I was so tired that I was under my target heart rate and couldn't get it up much.

I was pretty amazed, though, at the other cyclists just zooming by...I have no idea how they do it! Funny thing to me was that there were still some cyclists passing me like nothing on my third lap. I was wondering how that could be unless they took forever on the swim. Just a thought I had on the course. I did feel like I got a little boost coming back through town, though. The locals over there seem to really like when the race goes on and they come out all day to cheer. I tried my best to smile and nod at most of them...some of them I saw all 3 times on the bike, that must have been a long day!

Well, I have to say that the bike leg killed me, especially with all the wind, and I started to worry about the run. Around the middle of the second lap I was starting to get some GI problems. Not sure what happened since I wasn't taking in anything that I didn't train with. I ended up skipping a few GU's and just drinking more Gatorade. I was worried that I might not be taking in enough calories from that but at the times I skipped the GU's I really couldn't stomach it. I eventually had to force a few down within the next few hours, though. Somewhere on the last lap I thought to myself, "A marathon? You gotta be kidding me!". T2 was coming up and I really couldn't be happier to get off the bike but I was also dreading the next few hours which is strange because I'm always looking forward to the run. I had already felt defeated.
What would you do differently?:

Cycling is by far my weakest sport so If I continue with this I know I would have to take at least one season to focus on cycling and hopefully maintain my running. But, I don't think this would be anytime soon. I also realized how much a tri bike would help. There were times when I tucked in and put my head down watching my Garmin and noticed a slight bump in speed while my heart rate went down every time I did it. One of these days I'll get myself a tri bike.
Transition 2
  • 08m 29s

Also took my time here, drank some water, toweled off my feet...stalling really. I wasn't particularly looking forward to running after such a tough bike ride that I almost didn't want to leave the tent. But, of course I sucked it up and headed out there.
What would you do differently?:

I had everything set and had nothing that would waste my time in my T2 bag. The only thing I could have done was simply do it faster, but I didn't really want to this time.
  • 4h 32m 16s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 23s  min/mile

This is where the race humbled me. I actually came out of T2 feeling pretty decent as I ran. The problem was my heart rate was way up where I didn't want to be but I was thinking that at the pace I was running it might go down a bit and level off. I was going about a 8:30-8:40 pace which in training, even after a 100mi bike ride, would have been in upper zone1. Not today though, it was hard to even keep it below zone3 which should have told me to slow down but I was still waiting for it to drop.

Right after the that first lap and about a half mile into the second feeling pretty good the whole time, I seemed to have hit a wall. I stopped to walk briskly a little bit to regain my composure and to get a few good breaths in...I was breathing funny at this point, really shallow and quick breaths. I started to run again but decided to slow down a good bit, maybe to about a 9:10 pace. That lasted for the way going out and some of the way coming back until I had to walk again. It was at this point I knew I couldn't make it under 12hrs. While on the beginning of the 2nd lap I figured I need to stay under 9:30/mi to get right at 12hrs but later that lap after walking a bit, my average mile pace was dropping quick...I think above the 10's.

So, at this point I decided to let's just finish this thing...that would make me happy, no time goal needed! But rounding the end of lap 2 and beginning the 3rd my stomach started to turn, I was feeling nauseous, breathing was hard, and I felt a little dizzy. I ran past most of the crowd until I saw a gap in the wall that went below the street and met with some shallow ocean water. I vomited there still feeling a little dizzy, went back to the other side if the street and sat down, took my hat off and put my head in my hands.

Not getting back up to run sounded like such a good idea at the moment, I so wanted to quit. I also wanted to cry...not because I thought I might not finish, but I've never endured this much physical effort. I wouldn't say pain because it didn't exactly hurt. I was just so amazingly exhausted that another 8mi seemed like another marathon to me. But then, I thought of the finish line. I thought of all the sacrifices I've made to get there. I thought of all the people and reasons I am doing this for. I thought about what Timmy (my son) would think if I told him I couldn't finish even after all the time I was gone on those long training rides and runs. After thinking of every one of those things I honestly shed a tear and realized that I only had a stupid 8mi run to do and giving up was suddenly completely out of the question.

I got up and started walking and feeling for my pulse. Even the pulse at my carotid artery was faint so I think my blood pressure may have been low but who knows. The next aid station was up ahead and I decided to get some water and a pretzel since I haven't eaten anything solid in about 5 hours or so. I started running again, slowly, but running. I could only keep it up for a few minutes at a time but I didn't care since I was moving forward and with each step forward, the finish line was that much closer. About 2mi in I saw a guy out there, his name was Chris. He was walking as I was running up to him and I stopped to walk, too. I asked him if he was almost done and he tole me he was on his last lap. I said "good, me about I run/walk with you and make this time go by quicker?" That was a good 2mi with company. He ended up feeling really nauseous and having to sit down and I kept going.

I got to the last turn around that meant 4.5mi to go. I did more running and less walking at this point. I even looked at my watch to make sure I didn't walk for more than 30sec. It was funny because there were people that were just running easy and I was keeping up with them doing a run/walk. I actually wish I had their pacing because I have a hard time running too slow and out of my normal gait. I don't think that when I was running that I ran anything slower than 9:30/mi but I'm guessing I should have tried and maybe I wouldn't have walked so much. Well, 2mi left came about and I decided to up the pace just a little and try not to walk. It was a tough 2mi, but I got through it. Even upped the pace again at 1mi left and finished that last one in 8:50.

The finish line comes up and that left me with a decision. I promised friends at home that I would Gangnam Style it across the finish line. As it got nearer, I looked behind me and I wouldn't be in anyone's way. The first thing I did was raise my arms in celebration and then, up the ramp, I did what I could of Gangnam Style. It was fun...I think the crowd got a kick out of it since the cheering got louder for a second. But right after crossing, I was done and I actually told myself outloud, "never again".

They gave me a towel, my finishers medal (the only one that I feel has some real significance) and this small handmade piece made with seashells. There was an area just around the corner under the recovery tent that I spread out my towel and laid down. I had almost cried right there, but I was just so tired that a really short 10min nap hit me was definitely a most welcome nap. Afterwards I got up to wait around a little bit for my brother to finish...couldn't miss him becoming an Ironman!
What would you do differently?:

I have no idea...and at this point I actually don't really care. I'm glad to be done and to actually have some time in my life to make up with family and friends so I haven't thought much on how differently I could have done the run. Especially since I was having GI problems that I'm not sure where it came from.
Post race
Warm down:

10min nap!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Cycling fitness...definitely need to put some work on the bike.

Event comments:

It's my first Ironman and I'm quite impressed on how it turned out to be. It definitely sets a standard for other Ironman races IF I choose to do another one.

Last updated: 2012-02-22 12:00 AM
01:14:41 | 4156 yards | 01m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 83/
Overall: 454/
Performance: Good
Course: 1 rectangular loop.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 80F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 08:42
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
06:40:02 | 112 miles | 16.80 mile/hr
Age Group: 161/
Overall: 981/
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong
Course: 3 loops around the lower half of the island.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 08:29
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
04:32:16 | 26.2 miles | 10m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 139/
Overall: 789/
Performance: Below average
Course: Out and back course 3 times, about 4.3mi one way.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-11-30 10:54 AM

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: Ironman Cozumel

2012-11-30 1:08 PM
in reply to: #4516393

Subject: RE: Ironman Cozumel
Very nice job. I really enjoyed your report. Awesome effort, Ironman!
2012-11-30 4:35 PM
in reply to: #4516393

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PaaMul QRoo, MX
Subject: RE: Ironman Cozumel
Way to go on teh run!  Great job!
2012-12-02 11:14 AM
in reply to: #4517076

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Lancaster, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman Cozumel

Great Job! finishing your first Ironman and enduring all the obstacles along the way!

2012-12-02 9:36 PM
in reply to: #4516393

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Subject: RE: Ironman Cozumel

Congrats on a great race. A 4:32 after 100 + miles on the bike is something I keep aiming for!

Way to go.

2012-12-03 6:30 PM
in reply to: #4516393

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, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Ironman Cozumel
Well done! Congrats.

2012-12-05 10:27 AM
in reply to: #4516393

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Subject: RE: Ironman Cozumel
Awesome job! Do you think living/training in Chicago prepared you for the ocean swim? I've always wondered if that would be an issue. Salt water freaks me out a little bit!
2012-12-07 8:21 AM
in reply to: #4522899

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Cozumel
Thanks everyone!  It was a race I won't soon forget!
2012-12-07 8:26 AM
in reply to: #4522899

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Subject: RE: Ironman Cozumel

doxie - 2012-12-05 10:27 AM Awesome job! Do you think living/training in Chicago prepared you for the ocean swim? I've always wondered if that would be an issue. Salt water freaks me out a little bit!

If you do a lot of swim over at Ohio St., even on some of the choppier days, I think you'll be fine.  It was actually the first time swimming in the ocean for me but I was fine with it.  I did worry about it prior to the race and asked some questions about it here, but now that I did it I didn't find it a big deal.  The only thing was the taste (which is pretty bad!), but you forget about it after a while.

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