Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ironman Florida Race Report

So this is going to be a long one. I figure it deserves it since it is an Ironman.

Wow. What an experience. This is unlike anything I have ever done in my life. People whine about the cost of the entry fee, but NA sports put on an event worth every penny.

The volunteers were epic! So supportive, and at every turn on the course! I really appreciate the effort they put in to make this race so easy for us athletes.

As for my race week.

I was staying with my parents that winter in PCB so it was all spoiling for me! My mom asked for the menu that I wanted to eat that week and all the food magically appeared! I love my mom.

Jenn (my wife) was awesome as well taking pictures of everything for me, and just generally putting up with a stressed out athlete.

Landed on Tuesday, had a relaxing evening with the family.

Wednesday morning I woke up and headed out to the swim course. There were no bouys set up yet so I just swam what I thought might be the distance of the loop. I love swimming in the ocean in a wetsuit. You feel like Ian Thorpe!

After the swim I headed in to get registered and pick up my race wheels that I rented through The Zipps where fantastic, and it really sucked giving them back at the end! Better than dumping $3000 on them though!

Went home, and headed out for a short bike to work out the kinks in the bike and me. A little run revealed what felt like a tear in my calf muscle. This was concerning me a bit so I headed to the massage dudes. Lee (head massage dude) worked on it for 20min. and told me to come back the next day.

Thursday. Another swim and bike/run. Massage. Also had the banquet that night. Kinda fun.

Friday. The last massage before the race followed by a bike/run and the calf felt OK. My mom cooked up a big bowl of pasta in the morning that I snacked on all day. I think this really helped on raceday. Set up the bike in transition along with transition bags.

Saturday Morning (Race Day!) Woke up at 4:00am and ate around 800calories. Full!!!

Headed out to transition around 4:45, pumped up the tires put a few more things into my transition bag, and went to wait!

Got to the start line around 6:30. Took a little dip in the ocean before the pros headed off to get away from the nervousness of the pack.

Swimming is my best event, and I really wanted to get out in front to avoid all of the craziness behind so I seeded myself right at the front. This was a good move for me.

The gun went off it was a mad dash for about the first 300m. We were pulling pretty hard until the second bouy, and then the pace seemed to let off a little. Caught a few small drafts on the first loop, but it seemed easier to swim in open water for the most part.
First loop 26min.

The second loop was real easy. I was able to find my rythym right away, and just cruise the second 1900m. I was out of the water in 55min. A really good swim for me. A couple of minutes quicker than I thought I would go. We managed to pass a number of the pro pack as well which was kinda neat.

T1. Found a stripper right away, and then handed my suit to my wife who was near the swim exit.

Changed quick and onto the bike.

This is what I was most nervous about. I was worried about the risk of a mechanical or that I would go out to fast.

Started out and my heart rate was really high. I tried to drop it down but it felt like I was not working at all. So I figured that the excitment and coffee I had was jumping it up. I was feeling fantastic so I added 10 beats per minute to my goal HR and kept going. The bad thing about being a good swimmer is that you get passed a lot on the bike! This happened alot!

The entire bike was a blast. I felt like I was flying. Besides continually getting passed by huge packs of drafters the bike was awesome. I was averaging around 36kph the whole ride. I blew my goal of a 5:30 bike out of the water doing it in 5:09. At no point did I even feel that I was remotely pushing my limits. I think the faster riders got off the course before the winds really picked up because we didn't really see them much.

Onto the run. Felt so good off of the bike that I was a little worried about going out too fast on the run, so I really tried to limit my pace to around 5:30/min. Until I settled in. I really felt awesome for the first loop. No troubles at all. The support on course was great, and it is a really neat run through the neighbourhoods and park. My first loop was 1:45.

As soon as I headed out on the second loop my groin on the left side started to cramp. It would really cramp after about 2min. of straight running. So I was left to do a run/walk for the second loop. The cardio was excellent so I wasn't really that tired at all, but the muscle wasn't going to let me run straight. Eventually I got so that I only had to walk about 10m every time, and then I could run again. I really didn't care, because at this point I new I was going to finish, and I was pretty sure I was going to beat my goal of 10:30. So I was just enjoying the race.

Second lap was 2:15. Right on the top end of my 4:00 marathon goal.

Finish 10:13. The last 2km were like a dream. I couldn't believe that I was going to be an Ironman. Coming into the finish line with my parents cheering like mad and looking very proud allways makes a guy feel good!

Crossed the line with my hands in the air, and heard those words I had been dreaming about for a year. Syd Trefiak you are an Ironman! Then my wife and family were there. Probably one of the best moments in my life!

Did a little stumble accros the finish line because the one volunteer didn't let go of the finishing tape. There was a catcher there immediately to help me through. I really didn't need one, but they weren't going to be told no so I just went with it. Got my hat/shirt and medal!

At this moment it felt like the weight of the earth had been lifted off of my shoulders. No more worrying about whether I could do it. I had done it and I did it well!

Thanks to all of you that supported me! I have never felt so much love from the people around me. I think this is what made the whole thing mean as much as it did. Your all great, and I couldn't have done it without you!

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