So almost a month after Kona and I am racing again. I know… “this guy is crazy” were several of the comments I received. But anyway my plan was to do Miami Man ½ Iron distance after Hawaii, I mean if Leanda Cave (current Ironman World Champion) 3 weeks after Kona could do it, why not me? The answer is simple… I’m not a pro.
The funny thing is that actually I asked her about this. Thanks to Mickey, the Kona Crew, some friends and I had the opportunity to have dinner with the champ and watch the TV broadcast of the 2012 Ironman World Championship. She was racing Ironman Miami 70.3 the day after. She is super cool and funny. So I asked her about racing so close from Ironman and she said that it depends of the body, but eventually the body gets used to it. She mentioned that after her first Ironman she couldn't even walk for a week LOL. Thanks Mickey for the very nice surprise you gave us... probably it was the best Ironman Party EVER!
My case was different. Certainly I’m not a pro or superhuman like these guys. Kona took a lot of me, more than expected. After the race I had a week off and then jumped start training on the second week. While I was happy to be back, my body was not responding. I came to realize this on Wednesday’s track day. After some laps, all my body started to ache. My right hip, left knee, right ankle and stomach started to flare up. Certainly that was not good. To think that I would have to do a 70.3 later on the month started to give me second thoughts.
Third week after Kona and still the same on the run. Warning signals all over the place and couldn’t finish my laps on the track… again. Some people noticed my engine failure and suggested to skip/drop/downgrade/postpone the race. In my stubbornness I was telling myself, “I can do it! I just did Kona, this will be a piece of cake”. But when you come to a certain age, you have to think more intelligent. If I would go and do the race, what if I really get injured (again!)… then I would have to full stop (again!)… and go to rehab (again!)… Mmmmm…
So I made a choice, and I downgrade the ½ iron distance to International distance. I just imagined myself in physical therapy again and it was a big no-no for me. But then again my desire to race again was not there. Is like this “fire” that you have within you and I completely lost it. I left it somewhere in the lava fields of Hawaii. So I took it easy, felt no pressure, just swim once after Kona, and would take it easy on the rest of the workouts.
The day before the race I watched a movie and have burgers, fries and ice cream for dinner with a friend. I moved to a friends place and went late to sleep. Got to the race site late, and although the race was wetsuit legal, I didn’t carried mine (and I didn’t care really). Just wanted to get the job done and really start my down time.
The swim was weird. I was reeving to much on the first meters and cost a me bit to calm down. I saw the advantages of the wetsuits since I saw a lot of people ahead of me. Other than that the swim was good, I love lake swims since you don’t have that salt water feeling afterwards (specially in your mouth!). Got out and headed to T1. Something that the organizers STILL have to work on is the mounting area after T1. The path to mounting area is filled with little rocks. People with their shoes on doesn’t have a problem, but people that have their shoes in the bikes (LIKE ME) is a different story.
Mounted and headed off on the bike. The course was quite windy but on the good side it was flat. The only thing that I could think of was that Kona was waaaaaay much worse than this. I finally had the good sensation of passing people like crazy on the bike. I love it!, felt like a pro!
Got back and headed into T2. Started running and in a certain way started to cruise. Trying to get back some of the legs that I left on the bike. Andrew and Bernardo caught up to me and said hi. I was just thinking that I really need to work on the run for next season. I started to suffer when I saw people in my age group flying and passing me. I saw a total of 4 people passing me in the run. Passed mile 3 and little by little started to push like I always do. Weather was perfect for the race, and running thru the zoo is always nice, since there are the actual visitors from the zoo seeing you like you are a weirdo or something (running in spandex… thru a zoo… really?). Too bad I didn’t even notice the animals.
At the end I heard from a mile a way the voice of Mickey cheering for me, although I didn’t even see her. Her voice really transcends the boundaries of time and space… is just incredible! Activated turbo with whatever I had left and sprinted to the finish line. Died there on the finish and people poke at me with a stick to see if I was alive or something LOL.
So an unexpected turn of events happened. Almost a month after Kona and finished Miami Man Intl Distance finally breaking my evasive 2:30 time barrier and almost breaking the 2:20 with a PR of 2:21, that's almost 20 min from my best race!!! This put me in 6th place out of 39! I was 4th out of the bike! I really should have used a wetsuit to drop even more time, but I am really impressed and satisfied with these results. As said before, I really need to work on the run next season.
Total Time: 02:21:43
Swim Time: 0:21:01
T1 Time: 1:30
Bike Time: 1:02:30
T2 Time: 1:37
Run Time: 0:55:06
6th of 39th
So that was the last use of my Ironman powers, a closing to the Kona Saga and the end of triathlon season. Now is time to recover from injuries, be a little unfit, and catching up with friends :)