Saturday, July 31, 2010

Unspoken thoughts: 24 hours inside the mind of Ironman

12:00 a.m. – Must get back to sleep. Can’t get back to sleep. Did I set the alarm right? Must get back to sleep.

1:00 a.m. – Must get back to sleep. How much lost sleep can adrenaline cover? Must get back to sleep.

2:00 a.m. – Must get back to sleep. Did I set my goggles out with my wetsuit? Must get back to sleep.

3:00 a.m. – Must get back to sleep. Will my tires hold pressure over night? Must get back to sleep.

4:00 a.m. – (wake-up time) Ugh. Is it really 4:00 already? How many minutes did I sleep?

5:00 a.m. – Liquid breakfast. Get dressed. Is this enough carbs and calories? What am I forgetting?

6:00 a.m. – Bike and run gear and special needs bags ready to go. Bike is good to go. Relax & get heart rate down below 100. Get to the swim start and relax. Hard to relax with a few thousand spectators packed around swim start. Did the Mayor really say “no peeing in Mirror Lake?”

7:00 a.m. – Go! I hope these goggles work today. I didn’t swim enough in training. Can I still swim 2.4 miles? Is my calf cramping? Is that guy so slow he’s drafting on me? Find a rhythm. Focus.

8:00 a.m. – Will this swim ever end? I didn’t swim enough in training. Is it raining? Is Swim Out getting farther away? Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. Can too!

9:00 a.m. – I can’t believe my first hour on the bike broke 20 mph with those hills. Nutrition. Drink. Gel. She’s fast. And she’s got a great, um, bike.

10:00 a.m. – Oh, so this is why they call ‘em the Adirondack MOUNTAINS. Climbing feels good, but I’m pushing too hard. Must back off or the second loop is not going to be fun.

11:00 a.m. – There’s that 72 year-old I met at Ironman Louisville last year. Dang, he beat me out of the water by a lot. And he’s 73 this year. Papa Bear climb is like a TdF climb with this crowd and noise. Bring on the adrenaline!

12:00 p.m. – First half of bike wasn’t bad, but the second loop is gonna be tough. I pushed too hard on these hills. Nutrition. Can too! Relax and stay settled in the aero bars.

1:00 p.m. – This is definitely my new favorite downhill in the world. Glad I don’t have my GPS or I’d probably be afraid of my speed here. I am Spartacus!

2:00 p.m. – What’s my bottle count? Am I drinking enough? Nutrition. Got to keep nutrition going. Is that guy gonna pass me again? I’ll catch him on the next flat stretch.

3:00 p.m. – These hills are definitely harder this loop. What’s my average speed? Doesn’t matter, can’t go faster than I can. I’ll get there when I get there. Still have a marathon to run. A hilly marathon. Wish I had that guy’s arms. Didn’t do enough strength training.

4:00 p.m. – Must run now. Leg turnover. Cadence. Find your pace. Feeling good. Just keep it going! Didn’t run enough in training. Can! Will! Gonna!

5:00 p.m. – Walk the aid stations, but run everything else. It’s all about attrition now. Who’s gonna give in and who’s gonna keep pushing? Me, I’m pushing!

6:00 p.m. – OK, walk the toughest of the hills, too, but run everything else. Attrition. Attrition. How does she still look so comfortable? She’s got some nice, um, compression socks.

7:00 p.m. – Feet aren’t hurting? How can that be? Knees ache but not enough to stop. Attrition. Attrition. Oh, and nutrition. Keep fluids coming. Keep the calories coming in. Where’s that chicken broth for some warm sodium?

8:00 p.m. – Sun’s behind the mountains, now it’s gonna get chilly. Need long sleeve shirt out of special needs bag. Pain is temporary: quitting is forever. I’m doing OK but I have to keep pushing. Clock is ticking.

9:00 p.m. – Only two hours to make it. Must push. Don’t give up. Too close for comfort. Don’t DNF.

10:00 p.m. – Push. Push. Push. Clock is ticking. Don’t DNF. Focus. Don’t DNF. Leg turnover. Don’t DNF!

10:46:56 p.m. – Made it! Too close for comfort. What? It’s only 10:46? I thought it was an hour later! I had a whole hour and change left – glad I didn’t know.

11:00 p.m. – Food station is out of pizza? Ten minutes, yeah I can wait that long. Core temperature dropping. Serious shivering. Hypothermia. Can’t stick around for pizza. Get to morning clothes bag, get warm clothes, get moving to avert hypothermia. Can’t stick around ‘til midnight in this wet race kit. Too chilly. Too chilled.

12:00 a.m. – Solid food good. Clean teeth good. Ice bath? Core temperature to low. How about a nice warm shower instead? To sleep, perchance to dream.

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