Ahhhhhh Ironman.....You are so much longer than a half that's for sure! Interestingly, my body feels much better and less sore than post Hawaii 70.3, probably because the Ironman shuffle doesn't pound you to the ground as much as the go go go of the run in a half... Anyway...
I started the morning with some coffee and a couple big bowls of cornflakes & soy milk & a banana. I try to keep it gluten and dairy free for a week before a big race which is pretty dang hard in France when all you see are baguettes and croissants and yogurt. Their yogurt aisle is twice as long as ours in the supermarket...Anyway, pre race all was good and I headed to transition at about 5:15 for a 6:25 start.
Swim-2.4 miles- 59 high
|Mass swim start (pros avoided the chaos 5 minutes earlier)|
T1 is very very long. They need to cram 2500+ bikes onto a beach path and this takes more than 1k of real estate. So T1 is a mini race in and of itself and I was determined to drop a solid Ironman transition. I spent maybe only 30 seconds grabbing my things (helmet, food, watch) then I booked it to my bike.
Bike-112 miles- 5:44
|bike with a view|
|me & Slice...|
Oh, the bike. It's funny. I had the MOST fun on this Ironman bike course than I have had anywhere else except maybe Kona. It is truly breathtaking, so hard and so very interesting. There are constant twists and turns and switchbacks and rolling though all the villages is just exquisite. Sadly, despite having a fine time and having a perfect bike thanks to Cannondale, SRAM, Race Day Wheels (& Sonja!!!), & my Blaze, my bike tactics and technical skills were just not up to par yesterday. I was hoping for a 5:30 bike split, but rolled in at 5:44. I lost some time in the beginning of the ride as there were officials riding all around me & a French local pro. She was clearly a favorite and at one point, I passed her and was riding in front of her. The official came up and whistled at me and started speaking quickly in French. Now, I speak French, but had difficulty understanding this speedy-over-the-rumble-of-the-motorcycle French. I think he was telling me I couldn't just pass her and move right in front of her. But honestly, it felt like he was just trying to slow me down so she could get away. I spent a minute or two figuring out that he was not in fact giving me a penalty...And when I finally got back on track she was gone. Anyway... nothing too crazy, but after that, i was again probably overly conscientious of drafting, etc - the penalty here is 6 minutes and I didn't want one!
The middle of the ride is punctuated by some beautiful climbs, most notably the Col de L'Ecre which lasts from about 50 to 70k and is a long long grind. But I loved it.
The last 50k of the bike is nearly all descending and this is where I lost most of my time. Martina was behind me until this portion of the bike and then passed me at the start of the descents. Looking at the times- she put 8 minutes into me over the last 50k and I'm quite sure the other girls put more. Live and learn. As much as I LOVED this bike course and am dying to do it again....It's just not suited for me at this time and I'll choose better in the future...Anyway, getting off the bike I felt ok. Nutrition was good. no real low spots and it was time to run.
Zoot Ultra tempo 5.0s, visor, change glasses & GO!
Run- 26.2 miles 3:08
|Spectators having fun....|
|note to self: Top 3 have Rollerblade escorts! Must. Get Faster ;)|
Although a flat course is nice to get into a rhythm, it doesn't allow you to have much variety which can be pretty draining after 20 or so miles. It was just a get-er-done kind of day. Nothing dazzling, everything painful but I kept moving. Wah wah wah...enough with the complaining! I just had one of those "I'm sticking to 70.3s!!" runs for about 22 of the 26 miles ;).
I think I ran the first half in about 1:30 and the second half in 1:38. I was only able to pass one pro girl on the run as most had put some serious time into me on the bicycle ride. I was closing in on 5th place but ended up 2:30 back from here. The last few kilometers, I just focused on breaking 10 hours since I knew it would be close. I squeaked in round 9:58. Looking at the splits, I'm happy with a 3:08 run, but was secretly hoping to run around 3 hours. But let's face it. Signing up for an Ironman 3 weeks ahead of the game and throwing in just one 2.5 hour run 2 weeks out is not exactly meticulous preparation. Lesson learned, but I'm happy that I was able to eek this one out on fumes. I'm not even too hemmed up today but that may be because I visited the med tent and got a couple IVs...
I finished in 6th place in a time of 9:58. Cheers for a paycheck to pay for some of my travel expenses ;)
First 30 seconds of my finish caputured by Thierry Sourbier, race photog extraordinnaire
Didn't get in too much IM celebrating post-race as I needed a nap, but I did have some frites and a glass of rosé later on!
|Congrats to women's podium : Gina Crawford (2nd), Tine Deckers (1st), Kristin Moeller (3rd)|
Thank you to all those who support me and help me follow my dreams. Thanks especially to Cannondale and to the Ironman France race organization who helped me so much in making this last-minute trip possible. Also a huge thank you to Tino from SRAM in France. He took amazing care of my bike and made some important adjustments and made sure my SRAM red was perfect.
*Thank you to Zoot for taking on the local girl and supplying the best gear & shoes out there. I'm in love with my Prophet wetsuit and I finally broke an hour in the swim!!! Cannondale- my Slice is the perfect ride decked in SRAM, & the perfect Zipp firecrest carbon clincher 404/404 pair of Race Day Wheels (& one from my Zipp pal Sonja!) . Thanks to Nytro for keeping it all in working, blinging' order and Studeo DNA for my bike fit & so much more.
*Thank you to Dan Selstad, Rehab United, & MRM for helping me build my chassis, recover quickly and stay healthy-.I use so many MRM products, but I couldn't function without my Hydration Factor & Reload. Rehab United- functional strength 2x/ week, ART with Selstad every other week...the secret sauce!
*Many gracias also to ISM saddles, Betty Designs, & Beaker Concepts for making sure I'm comfortable, stylish & fast. I never race without my Adamo racing 2, my betty designs wrist band or my Beaker Concepts Blaze.
And last but very much not least, thank you to my family, my training partners, and James for always believing in me and being there for me. I hope (& promise!) that the best is yet to come!