Second, thank you to Coach Sergio. While he doesn't make my training plan, he kicks my butt every Thursday and some Tuesday's. Without that kick in the butt I wouldn't have learned how to compartmentalize one mile to the next. I feel a lot stronger while running and I owe that to his workouts. Thanks Sergio. (And I big thank you to Blair for bringing me to his workouts.)
Third, thanks to my parents. Their support always means the world to me. I know Jamie was keeping them well informed the whole race.
Thanks to everyone for their text messages and calls. Best text goes to my cousin Charlie though; "good luck with your [half-ironman] today! you're a crazy SOB if you ask me". Don't worry Charlie, I was thinking the same thing the whole race.
Early wake up call as always. Check myself over, feel good. Blood sugars....fabulous! Wonderful, not having to start a race morning dehydrated. O yes, and a check of the SDSU Football score from the night prior. No good, a loss to Fresno State. Injection with a needle to make sure I get the insulin, wait fifteen minutes for the insulin to hit then eat and off to the race.
Transition set up was a little unusual at this race. Lance Armstrong was in it which means... a circus.
A year ago I couldn't have done this swim. Well I would have lived but I would have swallowed so much salt water that going on would have been pointless. Thanks to my trusty swim coach on Team Cassidy, my swim has improved a great deal. The picture below is from the Slowtwitch website during the race, Jamie said this is exactly what it looked when my wave went out.
|Surf during the swim.|
|Lap 1 heading to lap 2.|
In true honor of the Navy Seals it was a rough swim. Never once however did I think "I want this to be over". I feel like I've truly made it in triathlon swimming. The swim, even a hard one like this didn't bother me. It was the first time I looked around and thought "get out of my way, I can go faster than you".
Getting out and back in this surf twice was rough. However, it never really bothered me. I felt like I liked the challenge. I keep going on about this because it's such a change in my reality. Almost unbelievable.
They say an Ironman swim is like a washing machine. If that's true then this was a blending machine. Maybe not as many people but don't over estimate the power of the ocean.
Total time: 38:25
Out of the swim. Up to transition one.
Transition time: 2:14
Onto the bike. First blood sugar, 160. Perfect! Eat a Fruition bar. Holding pace excellent, right between 80-85%. Take my next blood sugar, error. Take it again... over 400. What? Then my CGM buzzed, double arrows up. Yup, that's right, it's high.
|Throwing my empty bottle to Jamie,|
which ended up in an argument between
her and the guy next to her for it.
Long story short, I spent the next ninety minutes of my bike trying to get my blood sugar down. The entire time scared that I would cramp from the high blood sugars.
What happened? I diverted from my diabetes plan last minute with a low, I could have stacked too much food together until it collided. My diabetes plan called for an injection of over three units right before the swim with eighty grams carb. Having just drank coke before the swim to get my blood sugar up, I decided to only have about 60 grams of my mix and not give an injection. Should have followed the plan looking back.
Either way. I got my blood sugar down. (With an injection on the bike I might add, "don't try that at home" as they say on TV.) And I kept a smile on my face the whole time. I kept a very positive attitude through the swim and bike. The $12 I spent on The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training was definitely the best $12 I've spent in a long time. Just putting a smile on your face when things hurt can change everything.
Throwing away the Fruition bars I went to my own Brown Rice Syrup/Honey mix. I loved this bike course, flat and fast. The way it should be. You can't ever just put your head down on an open road and let it fly.
O yeah, and then there was Lance Armstrong in a speedo. He beat me by just a tiny bit.
Bike time: 2:38:32
Off the bike to transition two. Off the bike, running shoes on.
Transition 2: 1:27
|Start of the run|
I took that first blood sugar about a mile in while running, 160. Alright it's down but would I crash? I decided in that moment I would not test until after the race. If I ended up feeling hungry I was going low. Just do everything as planned and don't get scared. If I over analyzed the diabetes I would forget about putting one foot in front of the other to finish.
The first two miles of the run were on soft sand. The kind of sand that you sit on during a honeymoon. I haven't ran on a beach since...I think when I visited Northwood University in Florida when I was a senior in high school. The beach might be a mile from my apartment but I sure as heck don't run on it. On the run it was easy to see the athletes that knew how to run on the beach and the people that do not. I was definitely one that didn't.
After the first two miles it was up to an area that we would make two laps around. Water/gel every two miles and singing to myself to keep running. I also held a gel flask in my left hand and a Fruition bar in my right. I held it like a blanket to keep my mind off running.
After the laps it was back to the sand. A little longer this time though. First south then back north, the soft pack going south slowed me to what seemed like a walking pace. Once the course hit the actually beach it was back north but this time closer to the water line where the sand was slightly harder.
I was able to stay positive until about mile eleven. That's when my break down happened. I kept going but that 18 minutes seemed to take forever.
Run time: 2:01:48
I'm pretty happy with the race. I have no complaints. I ran the entire run and held my bike power exactly.
And, best of all. I had ZERO stomach issues. Real foods are the answer, not some weird syrup mix that a marketing company tells us all to drink. If I had to go back and do anything again it would be to stick to my diabetes management plan. Not change things up at the eleventh hour. But live and learn. I never cramped from the high blood sugar and raced a hard race.
I PR'ed by nearly 40 minutes and have only faster half-ironman's on the horizon. Speaking of time, I didn't wear a watch. This was part of my "mental game" for the race. Once I was out of swim I couldn't go back and make up that time so why look down at a watch that tells you what you have already lost? Time is the only thing in this world you can never get back. On the run I didn't want to do anything stupid to "out pace" myself and blow up. It all worked. I compartmentalized the race exactly how I wanted to and know I need to in the future.