Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Run to Finish. Ironman #2

Run: 6 hours 18 mins 39 sec.

The run is 3 loops of an out and back 4 mile-ish route from the heart of downtown out past the airport and passed a couple of resorts and houses.

As soon as I came out of the T2 tent, the streets are loud and people on both sides cheering everyone on. I was still getting things situated with my hat, Garmin, etc and I walked the first block. I turned the corner and Holy crap there was a lot of people there. I started running and my legs actually felt good. I took a glance at the pace and noticed I was running 9:30/min which was Way too fast and told myself to slow down. It was actually tough to slow down and must have been due to all the energy and crowds but I managed to bring the pace down but again I was running too fast and finally after the first mile I clocked in at 10:06.

I knew there was no way I would be able to hold that pace and again told myself I had to go slower. I was actually nice to be on the run with the sun still shining and seeing all the people, shops and working through the aid stations. As the second mile came I was till 10:40 and this was using my 5 minute runs/1 minute walks, I was just running too fast so the 3rd mile I really slowed it down. By this time I had already seen Liz heading back to town on the opposite side and yelled out to her but she was in the funk zone and didn't say much. Soon after I saw Luke and he gave a grimace of this totally sucks!! but was running at a good pace.

I kept up my pace slower pace and was feeling pretty good, I made the turn around and started heading back. I looked at my watch to see how far back Tuggle would be as I figured he would be coming soon. I first saw Christy about 4 minutes back and we talked briefly, she was struggling and worried she wouldn't complete the run. It was hot and so I just checked with her to make sure she was still taking nutrition in which she was. I said well your only a few minutes behind me so hurry up. I kept running and by mile 5 and 6 I started walking a little more. I had slowed down b/c I was feeling tired and I was looking to see if Christy would catch me to run together.

The sun was setting and almost dark by mile 7 and heading back into town where all the people were. Just then I spotted Tuggle on the other side and yelled out. He was doing okay but already struggling. I said just keep going no matter what! He then asked where I was on the run.. I said I'm finishing up my 2nd loop, (really it was the 1st) and the look on his face was like You Freakn' Suck! But I quickly retorted and said Just kidding, only 1st loop and then the look on his face was like.. Vigil, If I could punch you I would right now, I started laughing at him but someone he didn't find it too funny, I thought it was funny though. HAHA! Anyway shortly after it was a nice to see Norma pop out of no where from the sidelines and chat with me for a few minutes. She snapped some pictures and she said Luke was doing good. Just then Christy had finally caught up and Norma took our picture and off she went. Christy and I talked for a few minutes before we started running again but I quickly noticed that she was running way too fast, too fast for me that is, around a 9:45 pace. As we approached the main section of town we ran through all the people now even more loud and crowding the streets. It was a pretty good feeling to be there and making the turn around to head back out of loop #2 with the finish line less than 100 yards away didn't even phase me at this time. We ran back out and soon was past the majority of people and still running a 9-10min pace. I finally told her that she was running too fast for me and that I would have to slow down being as we were only at mile 9. She agreed and we walked for a while but there is where the wheels started coming off for me!

At this point I had not really taken any Gu's and was just working on water. The run at this point became almost non-existent and running from post to post was work. I just couldn't run. Christy asked what was going on and I said I'm in the funk! She asked if I would talk some nutrition b/c she noticed I hadn't taken anything in some time so I popped a Gu. She encouraged me to run and I would for 100-200 meters but then I was dropped to walking. Inside my head I am doing System checks...

Anything hurting?

Yes, the ball of my left foot. Why? Some sort of blister is developing but its okay to run.

What else? ... My butt cheeks. WTF? Ya! Why? Not really sure but I feel like I'm chaffing or something but I can still run.

What else? I'm tired and I can notice the 90% humidity now. How's the heart rate? Good, nothing crazy, actually Zone 2, your fine so run!

Anything else? Nope, I just can't seem to find the run gear.

Christy again asks me to run and so we start. I would run a little further but the walking was winning out. We are around mile 13.1 and have made the turn heading back into town and the people. I did notice that she was a little edgy and wanted to run more so I told her to go and run ahead that I just couldn't right now. She slowly took off and told me to keep running and work to catch her. As I got closer to town I hit the aid station which was around mile 16 and started taking in some coke. I was also carrying my pringles from the run special needs that I had picked up but didn't really eat any at that time b/c I just could. For some reason I was ready to eat them so I ate the whole pack of chips, downed a Gu and some Coke and headed around the bend to center of town where the streets were even LOUDER, more Crowed and Cheers were crazy. You actually couldn't even hear yourself think it was so loud! I heard people cheering that I was done and quickly flashed a #1 finger at them saying I had one more lap and they quickly said No Problem you can do it! Gooo Joun'.. I heard.. (hey its close to John).. haha.

I ran this whole section through town and back to the aid station simply because the locals were just cheering and pulling so much for you that you had to! By this time I was approaching mile 18 and finally I started to have some power to run. The humidity along with the 1,000,000 mosquito's that were feasting on every athlete out there was something to deal with. Luckily for me I found a lady on the side of the road spraying people down with bug spray and quickly got in line and I didn't really have much problem after that with the blood suckers! Finally, the infamous wall came and went as my now I was actually feeling Okay to run and walk in short intervals. Just before mile 21 I saw Christy making the final turn around and heading home. She was about 2 minutes from the turn around so total of 4 to catch her. She yelled out for me to hurry and she would wait for me but the lure of the finish line is just too strong come this point in the race and I know I didn't slow down any more than I was going and I never saw her again, she finished 9 mins ahead, I got chick'd, I guess. She did say if I had not slowed her down she would have blown up and I was glad to be able to help out.

Coming back into town the streets had thinned out with spectators and even athletes as many had already finished. By mile 24 I was happy knowing that 2.2 miles left was pretty much a done deal and it was just a matter of getting there as fast as possible to avoid staying out on the course any longer. My foot was completely blistered and burning by now, my butt cheeks were burning by now and I was just ready to be done. Not only that my Garmin had died out and my Timex was not longer keepn' a tickn' it took it's lickn' in the ocean and slowed faded out the whole race so I had no time and I just kept running with a few others around me all working to get to the end. Finally, the last mile more crowd and spectators and the final cheers as I headed to the end.

I hit the final aid station, took one last drink of coke and water and started to run. It's about a 1/2 mile to the finish and with all the people I knew I could run it in. I started running and as I got closer the crowd noise got louder! More people were cheering and saying "you made it Ironman".. "You're an Ironman" This only made me not want to stop and with the smiling faces there was not way I could. I waved and high fived some as I hit the mile 26 marker! I started running a littler faster and as I passed that final turn around spot I knew I WAS DONE, that I was heading for the finish line, unlike an hour and half ago! There were some volunteers there and they marked my number in some book they were tracking and told me to watch the curb/ramp. I jumped up on the curb as I made the short left turn and OMG! the Finish Line, I could see it! What I also could see what the stands on both sides of the chute that was filled with people, the big JumbO Tron over head as you ran in, the lights, the cheering. It was amazing. I could hear the announcers calling out names as the few others ahead of me were finishing. Being about 50 yards from the finish line I looked around and could just see smiling and clapping people! I raised my arms and enjoyed the energy! I thought to myself, this race was tough, tougher than Coeur d'Alene. Different demons, different obstacles. I couldn't really hear if my name was announced but I am sure it was, I crossed the finish line at 15 hours 3 mins and I applauded even my self! I was done.

As I started walking past the finish line I got my Finishers Medal and some shell necklaces they were giving out with the medals. I walked around this bend and some guy took my chip and then continued to walk past the medical tent where it seemed full with IV'ers, people just laying around and who knows what else. I was glad not be in there or need there assistance especially being in these conditions. I then saw SpeedySpeedRacer laying on the floor to the side and asked if she was Okay. Yes, she was just resting but that Liz was in the medically tent. I went to the med tent and found her wrapped up in towels and sleeping. I checked on her and she was okay just needed to rest and recover. I left and went to get some pizza and a sprite along with my finishers t-shirt and towel. The Hat guy was supposed to be around here but I never saw him and didn't get my hat till the awards banquet the following night. I sat around for several minuets and then went and got my finishers photo taken. I then started feeling dizzy and just wiped out so I had to leave but still needed to grab my bike and gear bags. I walked, if you call it that by know because I had stopped the blister on my foot was screaming about me and it was more like a one legged limp. I got my Pre-swim bag, then walked to get my bike where they had the bike gear bag. I checked out and hopped back on my bike to pedal the 3 blocks back to the villa. Let me tell you, it was not a fun thing to crawl back on the bike with my butt cheeks burning! but I made it back, threw everything down and jumped in the shower b/c I was stinking myself out.

Overall I learned a couple of things for this race.

1), I will not slow down and wait for anyone again as I think it took me out of my rhythm and later cost me in performance and I got Chick'd hahaha.

2), even though I rinsed off at the water showers after the swim, I would changed clothes completely for the bike and run on any Ocean swim!

3) Even though we had a great villa with a kitchen I would choose an all inclusive resort.

4) Bug Spray for Special Needs bags, both of them.

5) My Nutrition worked and had no issues.

6) I still felt under prepared for the run, even though I had a huge run base coming off of Headlands 50, I thinking dealing with calve issues and being sick hurt my run overall. Bike and Swim training was good.

I am sure there are others but those come to mind rather quickly. I can honestly say that I like the Iron distance. For me, I like the feeling of being out there and just working at it and seeing how things play out. The half distance doesn't give me the same feeling and of course Olympics is more about the speed, of which I have none and doesn't seem to be my forte. I can't wait to do another one where ever it may be. For 2010 I am not foreseeing any Iron distances but Vienman and Silverman are always around. I actually entered the lotto drawing for the NYC Marathon so if I happen to get lucky and get selected that will be my big event next year, if not, I won't know till March when the drawing is held what I want to focus on. In the mean time, I am recovering and taking it easy.

Thanks for following along in the race recap.



Tea said...

"funk zone". I LOVE that! LOL!

Congrats on #2! I've considered Vineman and Redman. I've heard Redman is nice and flat. :)

Coach Liz said...

Congratulations on your PR. I feel very honored to have been with you on both of your Ironman adventures.

I will do my best to stay out of the Med Tent next time.

John Tuggle said...

Nice job Vigil, thanks for getting me into the sport. It was fun to take it all the way. I am glad you came to my FIRST IM.
On another note, I was trying not to quit and not really picking up on your joke, so my look was more out of despair on my own physical condition.

Mike Russell said...

I guess your last paragraph means you didn't register for St. George. That's too would be great to have someone so experienced out on the course.

Speed Racer said...

Wow. I'm a bit jealous. You had people helping you through, but most of all I'm jealous that you got to soak up the finish line. I can't remember running down that chute for the life of me. Can't remember the crowds, can't even remember if they pronounced my name right.

You had such a solid race, and it was so great to meet you. Hopefully our paths will cross again soon. Hope you're enjoying your offseason!

lindsay said...

congrats, again! i can't fathom running a marathon after the swim and bike - ironmen are always incredible to me! :)

Josh said...

Congrats again John! Great job pushing through the pain and funk zone! Loved reading the race report and look forward to hearing about your plans for 2010!

Formulaic said...

Good Race report on your second IM! Welcome to the club.

That would be awesome for NYC!