Bike: I exited T1 alongside Peter Vabrousek & Sergio Marques. Shortly into the bike Dave Harju came flying by and took Peter with him. Sergio and I seemed both content in staying within our range as these two continued up the road. The hard rain made the 9k descent into Keene a bit sketchy at times with visibility and cornering. Sergio and I rode at a legal distance playing a little game of cat & mouse with me leading the descent into Keene. Sergio passed me as we made our left hand turn onto one of the flatter sections of the course. He looked at me and said, "f-ing cold". I smiled and was on some level enjoying the extreme conditions (kind of like when I was a kid reveling in a muddy soccer match). Through the first loop Sergio and I would continue to ride together and my focus was on fueling. My body was working hard to stay warm and ride steady. Towards the end of the out & back section on the course Mac Brown (USA) and another athlete came by and were riding strong. My buddy Pat Evoe (USA) was next to come by and he was riding strong. I made the decision to stay with Sergio as this trio rode hard up the long climbs back to Lake Placid. I went through a rough spot about halfway through the second loop as my legs began to fatigue. I stayed postive and continued to focus on my fueling even though I knew I was losing time to guys up the road.
Run: Exiting T2 I was not exactly sure what position I held as I was getting different feedback from people on the course. One thing I knew for sure though - I would have to uncork a strong run to get myself into the top 10! Within the first couple of miles my lower back and right IT band were super tight. My form felt very rough and I was unable to get into a fluid running form. I felt tight and more achy than usual for an IM marathon. Needless to say I defintely had a hitch in my giddyup. I was able to pass several guys who were in some trouble and after the first run loop found myself in 11th place. My pace really slowed during the second loop. I could tell Tim Snow (USA) was running well and would soon catch me. When he passed me shortly after the turnaround at mile 21 I used some positive self-talk and just tried to keep moving forward. With about three miles to go I passed an athlete from Belgium. He gave me some good words to continue working as you never know who might be hurting up the road and walking. Nearing the end of the marathon my body was shutting down and getting cold. I was so glad to get to that finish line and into the warmth of the medical tent!
My parents are rock stars for supporting me throughout the day in the pouring rain! I want to thank everyone who was cheering for me along the course and apologize for not giving back any love. I was simply trying to get my bum to the line! I am grateful for the gift of good health and really appreciated the emails, texts, good thoughts and prayers people were sending my way :) The support I have received from my sponsors has been top notch and I am stoked to have an opportunity make another trip to the big island for the Ford Ironman World Championship! At the moment I am enjoying my recovery in Michigan catching up with family & friends. I will get in one more race beofre Kona and hope to have that sorted within the next couple of weeks.
Keep it smooth...