Two years later, all I really remember about the bike ride was that it was hot, I was really glad I had put extra sunscreen and chamois crème in my special needs bag for the halfway point, it was hot, I hated my bike, I hated Wisconsin, wondering how I was going to run 26.2 miles, it was hot, and being really, really glad to get off the bike, marathon or not.
I had a nice sit (a la Tupper Lake ’04) in transition. Lots of naked and nearly naked dudes in there, so no framed picture this time.
Now here’s the big reveal about the “fast” training guys. Some of them genuinely are fast – they put in the work in practice, and rock up on game day. A lot of the other “fast” guys do the big training, kicking ass all year long, and totally blow on race day. I think it’s because those pseudo-fast guys can't handle letting the real fast guys ride away from them.
I have an ego, I’m not blind to that. When it comes to sports though, I’d like to think I keep it in check. I think it has something to do with routinely getting beaten by girls daily when I was an age group swimmer.
I have two talents in triathlon (interestingly enough, both derived from my swimming days):
1) I’m a faster swimmer than 90% of the field
2) I can go slow for a long time.
In Tupper Lake the year before, I was continuously passed throughout the entire day after the swim. In Wisconsin, I actually got to do some passing.
Another cool thing about Ironman – it’s a mass start, so if you’re in front of someone when you cross the line, you beat them. So I got to pass about 400 people that went too hard on the bike. Granted, some of those folks had honest problems with the heat that they couldn’t have prepared for, but not most of them.
See, I'm starting to pass people here.
The dude on the right is realizing I'm passing him, and is likely thinking to himself, "man, I wish I had rode a little slower, then I wouldn't be getting passed by this guy." (That, or he has an artificial knee or something.)
I didn’t have a fast marathon. At just under 5:10, that’s almost 12-minute miles. You’d be right to figure I didn’t even run the whole thing. And the bits I was running in the last half were more of a shuffle.
My personal belief is anyone can complete an Ironman with a moderate amount of training. You just have to know your fitness and race to it. (And be prepared to run past guys with weird pirate banners. Seriously, I think he was a course marshall -- that would be the "no parrots allowed on course" flag.)
Overall, it was a great experience. I don’t remember much about the finish, except I was not hungry at all for about 30 minutes, then I was very hungry. It also was somewhat anticlimactic; I didn’t realized I had moved back up through the field so much on the run, so I wasn’t really pumped at the finish.
I think I might have said I never want to do another one too, I’m not sure.