Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Race Report

The first thing I said to Angela when I finished the race last Sunday was, "If I tell you in a couple of weeks that this wasn't so bad and I want to do it again, remind me that it was bad!"
Oddly enough, a week later and already I am thinking more about the good things then the bad things. It was a great day all the way around. As tough as anything I have ever done, but with few exceptions, I think I performed the best I have in any race. My time of 13:15:36 doesn't accurately reflect how well I did executed my plan, but for the course and the conditions I couldn't have been happier.
The Swim:
On race day I woke up after a good night's rest feeling more relaxed than I ever have for an event. After a shower and some primping I had a breakfast of a bagel and some gatorade and packed my remaining gear to head to the start. The swim start was only a 5 minute walk from our hotel, so Angela and I headed over at about 6:00 AM.
Once at the venue I went in to get body marked and then took my pump and went down to T1 to inflate my tires and do a few last minute checks. I also dropped off my special needs bags for the bike and run. After getting the last of the T1 preps done I went back to give Angela the pump and say good bye.
Back to the T1 tent and into my wetsuit for the 7:00 am deep water start. I waited until about 6:50 am before I entered the water and was pleased to see the temperature was nice and comfortable (around 20 degrees C) and the water was nice and clean. Air temperature was around 15 C and sunny so it looked like it was going to be a good day.
With only about 300 people in the water it was nice to be able to spread out and not worry about getting kicked and punched. Once the gun went off, I got settled in right away and thoroughly enjoyed the entire swim. I found a good rythm and swam relaxed for the full 2.4 mile distance.
The Bike:
After exiting the water I did a fairly decent transition. It was quite a distance from the exit of the water to the change tent and then again from the tent to the mount line for the bike. By the time I got on the bike the sun was starting to gain some strength so I never felt chilled from being wet. Right from the start of the ride you were on a hill and I should have known from there that it was going to be a long day and quite a challenge. Without going into all the gory details of the bike section, I can just tell you it was ever bit as grueling as they promised. Lots of hills of every description, long, short, steep, sloping and to add to it a head wind for the entire return. The desert scenery was awesome and I really enjoyed it. The toughest climb was just at the turn around as we had a long climb back up and then across three hills, called the three sisters. From there we went across a long section of rolling hills, a fairly good descent and then one long climb onto the Mead Valley Parkway. Once on the parkway I was certain we were through the worst of it, but I was wrong! We turned off the parkway onto a bike path that would bring us back to Henderson. It was here that I encountered some of the most insane climbs of the whole course. It appeared that they saved the best for last and I saw more than one person end up pushing their bike up the hill. Fortunately for me I was in a group of 3 that seemed to be pushing one another through this section of the course.
By the time I was coming up to T2 my legs were really starting to feel trashed, and with a 26.2 mile run yet to go that is never good.
The Run:
Once I dismounted I really was starting to wonder how I would get through the run. However by the time I got into transition and got ready to go, my legs came right back to me. I felt strong and ready to go, unfortunately it was right as I started into the run, that my poor choice of nutrition reared it's ugly head and I had some stomach cramps. After a stop at mile one and again at mile four, the cramping subsided and I was able to get into a decent pace. As with all my Iron Man races I always walk the aid stations to make sure that I am getting fluids and some food into me. When I was leaving T2 I remember some guy saying, "Just remember guys, five five mile runs." That stuck with me and by the time I finished the first loop of the two loop course I was thinking about that I only had two more miles and I would have three of the five done. On the second lap I had to stop one more time for the cramps but otherwise I was feeling strong. With the sun having gone down I was starting to get a little cold and the hills that didn't seem so bad on lap one, seemed to grow on lap two. But in the end I managed to keep putting one foot in front of the other and completed the run feeling fine.
So will I do Silverman again, it's hard to say. I certainly liked everything about the race and the venue was perfect. However it still is without a doubt the toughest thing I have ever done, so I would have to think about it.
Now to figure out what to do next?
Have a great day!


Becky H said...

Wow... not sure that one is on my list of 'to do' races- but congratulations!!

Love2Run said...

I'd be questioning my sanity about now. I'm glad you survived none the worse for wear (or so you say). Congrats on doing something I have no intention of 'ever' doing!

ps. my word verify had the word 'dead' in it ;-)

Garry said...

Thanks! It really was quite an experience, and one more thing I can say I have done.