Collateral Damage - stiff back, sore legs, swollen feet, blisters, lost big toenail, sunburn, large serving of humble pie
Swim (1:00) - This was perhaps my best swim start as I was determined to keep my head down and swim hard the first 300 meters. It was a typical IM race start with a lot of body contact as I swam over and around other athletes. I did not sight at all until well into the swim as I had successfully secured a good draft. Through the turn-around I was feeling comfortable and swimming with two others. From my sighting it appeared a large group was about 100-200 meters ahead of us. The currents seemed stronger coming back towards the swim exit, but I still felt pretty good about things.
Bike (5:21) - Ughh! This was my second slowest IM bike split. My friends thought I was haivng mechanical issues or crashed. There was some hearty headwind along the Queen K and the final climb up to the turn-around at Hawi. My lower back began to bother as I rode through the wind gusts up to Hawi, but I thought it would loosen up as I made the descent with a good tailwind. My friend Billy rode up to me along the descent and I stayed with him briefly. He soon rode out of my sights. Making the turn back on the Queen K I was passed by numerous athletes and with 30-35 miles to go I was in a world of hurt. It was a VERY long ride back to T2. I had serious thoughts about pulling the plug with the amount of pain and inablity to stay aero. I just reminded myself to keep moving forward, but it was not fun to have soooo many athletes pass me with ease including JZ, Heather Gollnick, Hillary Biscay and others. My buddy Brandon rode by as I was out of the saddle in an effort to stretch my back asking, "You alright." "No, my back is jacked" I responded with frustration. Heading back towards T2 another Boulderite (Jeff Keill) caught me and encouraged me to run well.
Run (2:53) - Fortunately my back did not bother for the run and I was able to have a decent go. My focus was on keeping hydrated, cool and fueling. While I don't know my splits, I probably went out a weee bit too hard as the final three miles were ugly. It was great to have family, friends and Zane along the run course encouraging me to keep working. With no cloud cover I knew once I left town it was going to be pretty toasty along the Queen K and into the Natural Energy Lab. I simply told myself to keep moving forward. Coming down the hill on Palani I was feeling pretty well spent. The positve energy from the spectators pushed me to the finish line on Ali'i Drive to a 9:21:07 and 78th overall.
Boulder was well-represented within both the pro & age-group ranks and congrats to those who finished in fine fashion!
While this was not my ideal race I am grateful for the gift of good health to be out there competing in such an incredible event. Nutritionally, I felt good throughout the day. My body feels like it was just run over by a truck, but I will enjoy a relaxing week in the islands with a visit to Maui and Ohau. Someone asked me after the race, "Is it worth it?" Yes, without a doubt!
A HUGE thanks to everyone who was out on the course encouraging me, tracking me on-line and sending me positive thoughts. My efforts would not be possible without the support of my family, friends, coach and sponsors!