Friday, November 23, 2018

Ironman Cozumel

The goal was run well, nail my nutrition and KQ.  Well I KQ'd!  But did not run well and as for the nutrition, the win was I did not puke or have diarrhea (which I have at every other hot humid IM) the lose was I had severe leg cramps for 23 miles, likely an electrolyte or salt issue.  So that is STILL a work in progress,

Let's break it down. 

SWIM- point to point with the current, advertised and reported to be "amazing, like an aquarium,  #1 Ironman swim"    Due to a NE storm we had a lot of chop, the marine life I was was mostly plastic bags and trash and the sea life were jellyfish.   I was tangled up twice in lobster pot ropes so I suppose that was a bit of a challenge.  It was fast for sure but not "amazing"   52:33

BIKE- 3 loops, lots of wind as promised.  I actually loved the bike courses.  9 miles protected with a tailwind, then 9 miles crosswinds, 9 miles headwind - paying for the tailwind.  I felt great on the bike from start to finish.   Sure the wind was tough, sure I got tired but each lap was consistent and I did not drop power towards the end.   

My nutrition plan was nearly spot on, other than forgetting the GF jelly sandwiches and having to sub gu's, the rest was as planned.   Each lap was progressively warmer 78, 86, 89 degrees and with increasing winds.   The big rides in Ocotillo primed for this long hot windy bike ride.    Aid stations every 10 miles and well stocked with bottles of ice water which I poured over my head, down my back.   I got a new helmet  The Giro Vanquish Aero Helmet and I love it. It is not the most aero helmet but its super light and has a lot of vents for cooling.  Knowing I overheat I am willing to sacrifice a bit of aerodynamics to keep my body cool.   I finished the bike feeling strong and happy with the bike split 5:34:46.  I rode at 70% and VI 1.01 so I SHOULD have been set up for a strong run.

RUN  I headed out feeling great!   light on my feet, cooled down with my long sleeve cool shirt, hat and running shorts. Holding back and feeling like this was going to be the run I have been working towards.  At mile 3 it felt like someone grabbed the inside of my thigh just above my knee, as in I nearly buckled. Wow, what was that?  I tried to shake it off and kept running.  By mile 4 the pain had traveled up to my groin and I was trying to figure out what the heck was happening. It occurred  to me this was cramping, something new and it was not fun.  By mile 6 it was both legs and WOWZA this was going to be interesting.  I was miserable and it got real so fucking fast that this was going to be a mother of a run.   I knew I had a solid lead but with the pain, I was in I began to worry.  My focus became run aid station to aid station and just survive.  John was amazing, supportive and all over ( in fact he ran 30 miles that day) but I was in the hurt locker and was trudging along.  I was worried I was going to get passed.  This is the part of Ironman that is so mental, it was staying in the moment, using the mental tools (many of which came from The Brave Athlete- Calm the Fck Down and How Bad Do You Want It ) So much of Ironman is mental.  I have an arsenal and I used many of the techniques, thumb tapping, counting to 100, visualizing Roo running, knowing that my body can go further and on and on.  I have 0 pictures of me running because John said I just looked miserable.  Even the final 2 miles when I knew I had the win, it was so fcking hard.  The magical finish line which was up a giant ramp into lights that were blinding was a struggle. I crossed the line and was heading down the other side and could see the catchers like 50 feet away and then it got dicey, black spots, weaving, I hit a barricade and lights out.  Wheelchair and med tent.  They were quick to tap the IV and I was panting like a dog so out came the O2 and the cramps were seizing up so then came some magical Mexcian spray that was lidocane, anti-inflammatory and who knows what else.   You could see my legs still working it was crazy.   The added something to the IV and finally, the cramping stopped.   My temp was 102 so my core was hot.  

To say I am disappointed with my race would be an asshole thing to do as I punched my ticket to Kona.  So yes I am happy with that but am so disappointed in my run but I am damn proud of persevering.  It was awful but quitting was never an option, it was about survival! 

Would I go back to Cozumel- NO.    Did I have fun ? Yes with John, Monica and Cindy we had a blast- lots of laughs from the 3 ft salmon to the 9th meal of rice, to the swim cap on the water faucet to be sure we did not accidentally use the tap water, the lack of building code in Cozumel, the post-race nachos and beer and the AM spiked smoothie-, Marty the 3ft iguana in our backyard, the compound we lived in with metal gates and bolts....  we had fun! Racing with friends and in this case also my athetes is a double win.   

For the race- my recommendation is to rent a house-  it is crazy inexpensive, near the finish line so you can walk to reg, walk from the finish.  We rode to bike drop off and taxi to swim practice. I like to eat my own food pre-race, especially in a 3rd world country,  and it's a lot of fun to have a group in a house.   We stayed in hacienda sombrero!    No car necessary.   Fly into Cozumel NOT Cancun, even if you save $$.  Taking the ferry over is a pain and with the storm, we had people we sick as dogs.  I used Tri Bike Transport as it was only $100 more than on American Airlines and I did not have to worry about my bike not making it due to weight on the plane.  On Cindy's flight, 15 bikes did not make it.  Also, you run the risk of damage in when you are on an Island there are fewer resources to fix it.   Post race we ate and drank on the town- which is probably fine all the time as tourism is their survival.   I am thrilled to say NONE of us got sick!!  Thank goodness...  

And now.... eating gluten, drinking alcohol, eating cookies.  A much-needed offseason or really some nonstructured time.  Today I rode 2.5 hours on my road bike and did not care about power, nutrition or hydration.  I had leftover pie for breakfast and a PBJ on the bike.  When I am regimented for so long I need a "pass" for a bit to just not care about how many g of protein I am getting, how many electrolytes, micronutrients....blah blah blah!  

December will be great- tons of travel!  First up is a very cool conference next weekend! Outspoken - Women in Triathlon Conference next weekend.  Outspoken is an opportunity for women in triathlon to connect with like-minded women, hear from industry leaders, and develop leadership skills related to their role in triathlon. The summit will provide a rich forum that will develop strong voices, inspire others and advocate for change in the sport you love. Together, summit attendees will work to elevate women's triathlon and women in the business of triathlon through partnership, community, a focus on solutions, and skill development.

From there to Reno for my other job.  Home for a few days then to Tucson for Johns marathon!  Then 2 days in Coronado for work and then to Boulder for the holidays!   Fun times... As for 2019- more on that later