Monday, October 19, 2009

Race Day: Part 1 (The Swim)

Sorry for the delay but I am finally ready to give you my race report from last Saturday's Ford Ironman World Championship.4:00 AM - In that brief moment when you are waking up but your eyes are not open and you are not really aware of what is really going on ,I wonder why is the alarm going off. Oh ya. I am doing the Ironman today. Usually I am awake long before the alarm sounds on race day but not today. That was the best "night before" an Ironman sleep I have ever had. I am not sure if that is a good sign or not. I don't seem to be as nervous as the previous 24 hours prior to a race. i get up mix my bottles of high concentrate Carbopro ( 1200 calories per water bottle ), eat a bowl of oatmeal and we are off on our 20 minute walk to the start line. As we continue on we encounter more and more racers nervously funnelling toward the pier. It's still dark but you can see by the stars in the clear sky it is going to be a beautiful morning. We arrive at transition with plenty of time for body marking, and final prep on the bike goes smoothly and now all there is to do is change and get ready for our 7:00 AM start. I put on my new Point Zero 3+ speedsuit generously supplied by Guy Crawford and Blue Seventy. This swimskin is AWESOME, it fits like a second skin and you can feel your increased speed and the ease in which you move through the water. The cannon sounds and we start at the back , waiting for the main pack to move off ahead of us.
I thought it better to avoid the washing machine effect as Devon has never been in a race of this size and never experienced what it feels like when over 1500 vertical bodies become horizontal and start thrashing their arms and legs. I must admit I have experienced this and was not too anxious to re-live it. Besides holding back and waiting 30 seconds or so is not going to make much difference in a 12+ hour day . The water is so clear and it makes it much easier for me to follow Devon and the other swimmers with my limited vision. We have a plan , if we get separated during the swim I will wait for Devon at he end of the swim. Miraculously things go well and we are never more than 10 - 20 meters apart and Devon always seems to know where I am and we never really lose each other. Devon is new to swimming and our plan is to keep a steady pace of about 22 minutes per kilometer. The swim was rather uneventful. No kicks to the face or punches to the back of the head. There was some slight body contact but there always is in a race when everyone
is heading for the same small section of beach. The swim goes well and we exit the water in 1:28, right on target. Up the stairs , through the fresh water showers to wash off the salt water and into transition. Part 2 (the Bike) to come.

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