Well, it's taken me a bit to finally get around to writing up my race report. I guess it's not important to detail why that is so. Instead, let me get into the report.
I set my alarm for 4AM and I think I was lying awake in bed from about 3AM. So, when the alarm went off it was no problem getting out of bed right away. Getting myself ready to head out the door went smoothly. I had packed my gear the night before and I had put my bike in transition the afternoon before. I arrived at the race site somewhere around 5:50AM and was directed into one of the parking areas. I made my way into transition and got myself set up with about 10 or so minutes to spare before we had to leave the area at 6:30AM. My swim wave was not until 8:00AM, so I knew I had plenty of time for another bathroom stop. I got in line for the Port-a-Potties outside of transition and things went quite smoothly (pun intended ;-P).
The weather was just perfect. It was a bit chilly in the morning. So, I was able to be quite comfortable wearing my wetsuit and swim cap while I waited for my wave to start.
The water was 67 degrees, which was quite comfortable in my wetsuit. I thought that I swam pretty fast, but as it turns out I think I was just about at my usual pace. Maybe the issue was how much time I had to spend doing siting, which interrupted my swimming. It might be worthwhile to invest in a pair of prescription goggles and see if that helps. Anyway, I did enjoy the swim.
I must say that I took quite a bit longer than I expected to in transition. I did struggle a bit to remove my wetsuit; it got hung up around my ankles. I put sunscreen on my ears and the back of my neck. But, I didn't take the time to put it on my arms or legs. I don't think I will repeat that mistake again. I'm glad that I had thought to bring a couple Clif bars. I ate one on my way out of transition / as I started the bike.
The first ~11 miles were actually easier than I anticipated. Mile 5 came up quite quickly. Mile 10 felt like it took a bit longer. But, I had no need / desire to get off my bike at the first aid station and I kept on rolling. Mile 15 came up quickly. That was the last time the marker came up quickly, unfortunately. The remaining miles were much harder than I expected; I thought they were all basically down hill. I was careful to keep my heart rate low and my cadence around 90rpm. My legs did feel fatigued (maybe even crampy?) at times and I did the best I could do to stand up and drop a heel to stretch and then drop the other. I held up well enough that I also decided not to stop at the second aid station. However, by the time the third aid station came up I was definitely ready to get off my bike for a bit and take in a bit of gel and cold water. I was so relieved to see mile markers 45 and 50 and even more relieved to make it back into transition. I definitely need lots more time and miles in the saddle. I would never have made it through 112 miles at any pace.
I was quite happy with this transition, although I probably should have made sure to put on some sunscreen.
I was able to immediately get into my run. However, I was quite tired and had to focus strongly to be able to make it through the first loop without walking. Having successfully completed the first loop, I gladly walked for the next three miles. Between mile 9 and 10 I ran three minutes and walked one minute. Between mile 10 and mile 11 I ran two minutes and walked one minute. Between mile 11 and mile 12 I ran one minute and walked one minute. After mile 12 I ran one minute and walked two minutes. The timing worked out well for me to finish running.
I crossed the finish line truly happy to have just finished.
While I knew it was going to be a long day, estimating my time at around 7 hours, I ended up taking 7:13:44. The swim took almost exactly what I thought. I would say that the bike was right around what I thought and maybe even a little bit better. The run was the big surprise to me. I had figured that I should easily be able to maintain a 10:00 pace and perhaps a 9:XX pace.
Here are the actual results:
There's no disputing that my finish time was extremely slow. But, as I already stated, I was truly happy to have finished. Not too long ago I wasn't even sure that I was going to be able to be at the race. The fact that I started to feel scratchiness and hoarseness in my throat on Thursday afternoon wasn't a welcomed omen, either. I can say that I was glad that I didn't push myself through a suffer fest.