Friday, June 17, 2011

IMTX Race Report – Quick(ish) and Dirty

Doing an IM at home town was a very different experience from traveling to race.

When I travel, it is easier to leave behind day-to-day life and just focus on my travel plans – and in the case of a race – focus on the race. When traveling for a race, my Iron Sherpa is with me every step of the way and we are usually situated close to the race site.

Racing at home means commuting back and forth (minimum 45 minutes each way) to the race site for pre-race activities, not having my Iron Sherpa with me for pre-race stuff (he was working) and multi-tasking until nearly the last hour the night before the race (unloading the dishwasher among other fun things).

However, racing at home also means that I am at HOME! I enjoy sleeping in my own bed, not having to disrupt everyone’s schedule and routine because I am racing and having my own cheering section at the race is icing on the cake.

For those of you who just want the race highlights – here is a quick(ish) and dirty race recap. I have a lot more to say about the race, the experience, my nutrition, etc, but this will give you the highlights and focuses on how I performed time wise and in comparison to the field.

To compare IMTX versus other IMs, check out RunTri’s analysis. IMTX currently ranks as one of the top 5 most difficult races on RunTri’s Toughest Ironman Index (based on finishing times).

Swim - Did not wear a wetsuit – wore TYR swim skin. First 15 minutes were brutal, tough to get into any sort of rhythm thanks to the endless slaps, hits, kicks and punches. Toughest mass swim I have done to date. That being said, I was thrilled with my time, given how little I had been swimming in the two months leading up to the race. I’ll take it!

Swim Time: 01:27:56
100M Pace: 2:18
Overall Place: 1230 / 2156
Gender Place: 256 / 537
Division Place: 46 / 78
**Overall and Gender includes Pros!**

T1 – Easily found my bag and an empty seat on the bench outside of the chaos of the change tent. The only disadvantage I saw here is that my bike was at the end of my row so I had to run down the row and back to get my bike whereas people in my AG racked on the end did not have to do this.

T1 Time: 00:05:02
Overall Place: 449 / 2156
Gender Place: 129 / 537
Division Place: 23 / 78

After T1
Overall Place: 1057 / 2156 ---- passed 173 people in transition!
Gender Place: 221 / 537 ---- passed 35 women in transition!
Division Place: 40 / 78 ---- passed 6 women in my AG in transition!

Transitions are free speed!!

Bike – The beginning of course had great spectator support. Easily found my rhythm and a good pace. I was thankful that I had ridden a good 55 miles of the hilly section of the course because I knew what to expect -- when to push hard on the down hills, when the pavement was going to change, etc. Saw many friendly faces on the course – another perk of a hometown race. At the half way point, I saw that I could break 6 hours on the bike if I kept my pace up and I decided to go for it, even it if would cost me a bit on my run later. I only had to stop twice on the bike. Once to pick up a bottle of nutrition that was ejected going over railroad tracks (unfortunately, it broke and I lost the nutrition) and once for the porta-potty. Thank God I brought a flask of First Endurance Liquid Shot in my tri top, just in case, so I was still ok on the nutrition front. My feet started to hurt during the last 10 or so miles, but adrenaline took me to the bike dismount line. I was thrilled with my bike performance.

Bike Time: 05:59:56 (hell yeah!)
Average Speed 18.7 MPH, or 30 KM per hr for my Canadian friends :)
Overall Place: 891 / 2156
Gender Place: 134 / 537
Division Place: 21 / 78

Getting off the bike, I was 07:32:54 into the race and my standings were:

Overall Place: 915 / 2156 ---- passed 142 people on the bike
Gender Place: 142 / 537 ---- passed 79 women on the bike
Division Place: 25 / 78 ---- passed 15 women in my AG on the bike

T2 – my favorite part of T2 is handing my bike to a volunteer and taking off my bike shoes before running to my T2 bag and the change tent. Again, easily found my bag and went into the shade of the change tent to change. It wasn’t very busy and I had help. Switched out my nutrition and changed socks, shoes, put on my Garmin and visor and I was out the door.

T2 Time: 00:04:25
Overall Place: 288 / 2156
Gender Place: 71 / 537
Division Place: 12 / 78

I’m not sure why I am faster than my peers in T2 than I am in T1???

After T2
Overall Place: 850 / 2156 ---- passed 65 people in transition!
Gender Place: 133 / 537 ---- passed 9 women in transition!
Division Place: 22 / 78 ---- passed 3 women in my AG in transition!

Starting the marathon, the race clock was 07:37:19 …

Run – On a “perfect” day, my goal would be to break 12 hours. All I had to do was run a 4:22:40 marathon and I would be set. I am 100% confident that my body is capable of a 4:22 Ironman marathon … it was my mind that was not capable today. 3 lap run – first lap was really tough and hot, second lap felt better but was still hot and the third lap felt even better and it was actually not as hot. Crowd support was a major boost and I rocked the last 2 miles (sub 9:00 pace). This was not the run I am capable of, however, even with the heat, I felt pretty good and I’ll take it!

I rev’d up the crowd during the last quarter mile and high-fived as many people as I could in the finisher’s chute.

Run Time: 04:42:44
Average Pace: 10:47
Overall Place: 474 / 2156
Gender Place: 104 / 537
Division Place: 18 / 78

Overall Race: 12:20:02 – a PR by 3 minutes and 55 seconds!

Overall Place: 586 / 2156 ---- passed 264 people on the run
Gender Place: 109 / 537 ---- passed 24 women on the run
Division Place: 17 / 78 ---- passed 5 women in my AG on the run

For those of you who are not keeping track, I ended up passing 644 people throughout the day after getting out of the water, including 147 women and 29 women in my AG. Clearly I need to learn to swim faster!

Overall, I am really happy with my performance and results, especially since I had to cut back on my training volume this IM training cycle. I was just outside the top 20% for women overall and in my AG. I was just outside of the top 25% of the overall field and my time was nearly an hour faster than the average finishing time of 13:19. This is a huge improvement in my comparative results from IMFL, so I feel great about the strides I have made in the last 18 months!

Stay tuned for a segment by segment detailed race report to follow soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Back from Paradise

You may recall from this post that directly after IMTX, I planned a 10 day second honeymoon to Belize for me and my amazing, supportive husband of 10 years.

Well, 6 short days after PRing the IMTX with a time of 12:20:02, we left for Belize and 10 days of rest, relaxation and not a minute of S/B/R! Ok, I did swim but not in a training fashion. I drank, I ate and I didn't feel a hint of guilt (ok, maybe a tinge once or twice).

The trip was amazing and I am back feeling energized and refreshed and ready to figure out what my next challenge will be.

IMTX race report to follow soon ...