YAHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! I am an IRONMAN!!!! I MADE IT!!!
Many thanks to all you watching and cheering me on! It was a long day but I got the job done in 15 hours 26 mins.
Once getting there on Thursday night, it was simply check in in to motel and get to sleep. Friday, morning I was up and down at the Gatorade Swim. As I got in the water it was really cold, temp. then was 55*. As my hands were totally frozen, I realized this was going to be more of a problem as my body and face adjusted quickly to the water and I was able to swim a little. I was in the water about 30 mins and was fine. The rest of Friday I basically put my bike together and did packet/registration pick up. Later that day in the afternoon I meet up with S. Baboo and the gang and had waited so long to eat that I was Starving and we all stopped in at Outback and had a great dinner! Afterwards, I went back to the motel and I feel asleep from 5:30-9:30pm! I woke up for about an hour and slept till Saturday morning.
Saturday, I was back down at the Gatorade swim with the water a little warm, about 59* which was better. After swimming I found S. Baboo and Misty and was able to meet TriGreyhound, a fellow Texan and area Houstonite. Soon after we were walking around and ran into Bigun/Di and a few of the other New Mexico Outlaws. After a hanging out for just a little, I had to head out as I was hungry again and I had to get all the stuff ready for checkin.
I got things ready and I headed down to bike check in and once all situated I headed to catch the WORST MOVIE EVER!
so do not waste your time or money on The Happening, because it was NOT! Worthless. Enough said. After the bad movie we got some noodles for dinner and it was off to bed around 9pm.
Sunday, morning I was up at 4:30am eating pre-race PBJ's. I think I have done this so many times that I was kind of burnt out on eating them. I got down to the race site about 5:30am and of course it was busy. I got body marked and went to get my bike settled in and repack a couple of things in the bike and run bags. Then it was off to get ready for the swim. I got my wetsuit on and had minor freak out when I thought I forgot my Neoprene head cover but then found it on the bottom of my triathlon bag, whew.
SWIM: 1 hour 56 mins
I got in the water and got used to it with no problem. I then came out of the water with about 3-4 mins before the start. I aligned myself WAY Right of the swim buoy, I mean I was like 100 meters off the main swim line and let me tell you it was the best thing! The gun goes off and everyone crashes into the water! Amazing! Music going, Mike Riley calling the scene! It was truly amazing, I only wish I could have seen it from the spectator side. As I went into the water I started swimming and aimed for the "v" in the mountain side and just kept swimming. I didn't really run into any other swimmers or them into me. I was actually an easier swim than some of the sprints or Olympic I have done! Once making the turn to come back in I was thinking, Hey, not too bad. As I approached the shore and stood up, Mike Riley yells "John Vigil from Las Vegas, NV" and I make the turn and head to the 2nd loop, which I wasn't able to swim as wide b/c the kayaks kept the swimmers a little more close together and therefore created a little more bumping at the turn points. Overall not bad at all though, I've had way worse Sprint and Olympic swims. (I talked to a few guys on the plane and they swam the main line and said it was a complete Washing Machine Effect with the ability to Survive!) As I approached the shore the Ford Ironman Arch could not come quick enough. As I got out there again was Mike Riley yelling, "John Vigil from Las Vegas, your on your way to becoming and Ironman!" and as I went past him on the beach he leaned out and gave me a Knuckle bump! Yeah!!!! My Swim time was right within my projected time frame. I would have like to have been about 10 mins faster but I figured with the calf cramp I swam with on the 2nd loops for about 1000 meters slowed me down but no worries, I am happy with my Swim!
T1 was great with wet suit strippers. Just lay down and yank! Off the suit came and I was off to get my Swim-Bike bag which was already waiting for me as the volunteers saw me coming, had yelled down the line to others and had the bag ready. I grabbed it and headed to the tent only to notice several people sitting in the Hot Tubs trying to regain warmth from the swim and unfortunately they did not look good. As I got the entrance of the change tent I heard Jenn yelling at me! It was great to see her there and I smiled and went it in. Again another volunteer was there who grabbed my bag, asked me about my swim and basically dumped everything on the ground and started handing me stuff. It was Great! "Anything you don't need leave in the bag and leave right here, we will pick it up and put it back for later." How great is that? I got dressed and headed out to my #8 rack where my bike was. As I was almost there I heard Jenn, Di, Dwayne and others all yelling!! Go Johnny, Hurry Up. I was so excited I saw the #8 rack and turned in and next thing I know I am on the wrong side of the rack looking for my bike, LOL. So I ducked under the rack and grabbed my bike with everyone still yelling and LOL at me, HURRY!!!! I take off to the mount line and I am on my way, Kinda.
Bike: 7 hrs 8 mins (avg.15.7 mph)
As I hit the mount like I clipped in and pushed off only to notice the chain fell off! So I quickly fixed it and was all greasy. I pushed off and went around the corner only to realize that I had not put my Garmin on my wrist as it was hanging on my aerobars so once again I stopped and put it on my wrist and took off. Once on my way I was began drinking some Gatorade and tried to settle down into my rhythm. I made the turn around was back in town heading out to the far end of the course where the fun really begins. I was steadily drinking and eating my Fig newtons but they were just going down smoothly so I switched to all the shot blocks which seemed to be working. Once the rolling hills started I tried to make sure to keep drinking Gatorade on the recovery part as I knew the next one was coming. There were a couple of really climbers and made you work to get the top or crest of the hill but only to find it somewhat levels off and begins a gradual climb to the actually crest, yikes! After the first round of rollers I was heading back into town and feeling great as I made the last little dog leg turn by transition and came upon the TriBlogger Group which included Jenn. I am glad they all wore the same shirts as this made it easy to find them on the course during the day. I yelled at them as I passed, made the turn and quickly came back upon them as they all lined the street taking pictures. It was nice to see them and hear them cheering but it was quickly back to work on the 2nd loop. Once at Special Needs I stopped and ate my Pringles, basically took a couple of minutes to eat and stretch. I had to goto the bathroom but there was a line so I went up the road where there was a couple of port o cans on the run course and a couple of volunteers held my bike while I ducked in and went, no lines, no waiting! I was off and pedaling again through town and back to the hills. By this time my legs were a little more tired and I noticed the hills were not coming as easy as they were the first time but I was still hanging in there. On the nasty climber hill I could see some people walking up the shoulder and as I approached I told myself I was not walking/pushing my bike up that hill so SUCK it up and crank it. Whew, it was work the 2nd time but I made it and then started counting the last of the little climbers till I was back heading into town. At one point around mile 80 me and others got passed or lapped by the leaders like we were standing still. It's amazing how fast they bike!! As I enjoyed my last few miles on the bike I was working on the fig newtons and a couple of gels to make sure I had enough going into the run. I made the last little dog leg turn and was looking for the TriBlogger team but they had moved so I pushed it to get off the bike. It was really interesting how on the 2nd loop my HR had came down and I was running in my low Z2 which was great going into the run. At one time I even thought about pushing my HR up to the top of Z2 and riding faster but the legs were comfortable working at that pace/speed. End of the bike and glad to be done as I had to use the bathroom again.
Pretty easily in and out. Used the bathroom and changed. The volunteers once again were right there to help with EVERYTHING! I took just a little time to clean my face and as I started walking out of the change tent my right foot was numb and not wanting to walk but more of that on the run.
RUN: 6 hrs 9 mins (pace avg. 14:06/mi)
The run course is completely beautiful along the water and through a little part of the town, it's amazing. I started down the park right out of transition and my right foot was basically asleep but hurting while walking. I tried running and it felt better but coming off the bike my legs were not really ready to run. As I went by Special needs on the run I say TriBloggers all sitting on the wall and they started cheering. I continued to run and made the short turn around by the park and picked up my special needs run stuff; sports run, red bull, band aids, and Pringles! I came upon the group again and everyone cheered! So right before this I hit the aid station and you catch this first station fast and twice as its a short turn out of T2. I was pretty hungry coming off the bike and so I grabbed a lot of stuff through this aid station but only to realize I over did it and started to pay the price for the next several miles. By now my foot was working fine but the stomach was not. It wasn't bad really just a little upsetting as I ran, so I would run for a short period, than walk, and run. I did this for basically the 1st half of the run. I saw Bigun and we were both playing the stomach upset game but making head way. As I finally made the 13.1 miles I decided to drink my red bull as coke was working for me. Just after drinking the Bull, my stomach settled and I was off and running at a nice steady pace. I felt great! Miles 14-21 were really good. The sun went down and it was totally beautiful on the run near the lake. I really looked around and I remember this well as I knew I was going to finish so I wanted to remember as much as I could. After mile 21 I had to start really thinking about running and keep moving. By mile 24.5 I came upon a group of partyers that were in the middle of road, drinking beer, dancing and having a blast cheering us back of the packers on. I was excited to be this close to the finish so I stopped and said "Hey, you guys have a beer I can drink? The guy goes, are you serious? I said hell ya! So he hands me a beer and I start drinking it right there! It was so GOOD! They are all yelling and saying, this guy is an Ironman!!! I go to hand it back to him and he said to just take it so I said thanks and started running. Just around the corner there was an aid station and I finished up the beer and pitched the bottle with a couple of the volunteers asking Where I got that from and laughing! with a Way to go! Just after this I caught up to a gal I had been playing the run-pass game with over the last few miles and we decided to walk a little and then run the last little bit to the finish line, however, by the time she was ready to run wasn't so I told her to press on and I would be coming slowly. At mile 25.75 the volunteers were saying "Just around the corner and there's pizza at the finish!" I even told them, you better not be lying or I am coming back to get you, lol.. I was so FREAKN` Hungry!! As I made the left turn I could see the Finish Arch but it was still a little ways off. I walked just another block and then started running!
As I started running I could hear Mike Riley yelling and the crowd cheering. It was exciting but almost like a dream. I have watched it several times via web cast and remember the lights, the people, the cheering, the voice of Mike and now it is all so REAL. As I approached the end of the chute where everyone was lined against, it go so LOUD! I mean really loud! I started smiling and was feeling amazing, someone stuck there hand out on my left side and I went to slap hands and next thing I know EVERYONE DOWN THE ROW had there hands out!! Amazing! I looked to my right but there was so many people I the cheering group on the edge yelling at me as well. I saw the finish line tape and just completely smiled as I crossed. I was so excited about everything I didn't even hear Mike R. say Your an Ironman but I remember the volunteers grabbing me, giving me my finishers medal and saying how great I was to be an Ironman. I then got my finishers t-shirt and hat and was at the end of the finishers area. I then walked straight to the FOOD! I grabbed a lemon lime soda and 2 pieces of veggie pizza and a couple of cookies. I was so happy to see the fellow bloggers at the food area. They gave me lots of big smiles, high fives and hugs! I then was able to meet Duane and take some picture and then had to leave as I headed for more pizza and my bike run gear.
I am sure there will be more thoughts but Overall this race Kick ASS!! The course is beautiful and the volunteers are wonderful. The area is amazing and I would definitely recommended this race as a first time Ironman for many reasons!
I Want to Thank everyone for being out there all day! The Triblogger crew was up at 5 am and was there at the finish. They Rocked!!
Below is another pictures that Duane took, more to come as Di took some as well.
I'm tired, gotta go nap..