The swim went steady and reminded me of the obvious truth (I am a slow swimmer), but I am steady. For me, there is a special joy exiting the swim. Yes, I think "Thank God that is over, Now, I can move!" I immediately begin passing people as I run up the chute to transition. Shoes on (skip the socks), helmet, glasses, belt, and GO! The ride was comfortable and good. I passed a number of people for the first few miles and then settled in. I had my usual pass someone going downhill, get passed by them going uphill. But, they dropped me good between mile 28 and 30, a good long steady climb. Towards the end of the ride I got stuck with two women riding side-by-side (you are not supposed to do that). I didn't care that they were breaking the rules, but on the downhills when I would ride faster than they were, I had to squeeze between the yellow line and the outside edge of the line filled by the woman on the left. ANNOYING.
There was one bridge that was marked well as having a dip with bright paint. It was littered with water bottles and the road side was littered with people with flats. Fortunately, I have ridden this route quite a few times and was familiar with a good line and had no issues. I did have an issue with the water bottles distributed. They did not work well for filling my Aquacell on the go. I had to stop and take the lid off the bottle and open the top of the cell to fill. Typically, I am able to bite the lid on the water bottle, remove it, and poke it into the top of the Aquacell. I think squeeze until it overlows, toss the bottle, all before leaving the water stop area. I was annoyed at first, but after reading the race info site, I would say that the bottle pretty much matched what was described. I should have been more prepared.
The run started off well except for my urgent need to pee. I left transition and immediately turned to the right. The volunteer attending the transition exit said, "no, the course is that way". I said, "the potty is this way." He said, "yes, it is GO!" I met Al Schlosser there. We ran near each other for the whole run. Cathy Pagani was with us for most of the second half too. I saw two people end their race in the run. The first was having trouble on the edge of the road ahead of me and was being attended to by two other runners. They stopped traffic and encouraged a driver to take her for assistance. He was very happy to. I thanked him as I passed. The second was a person Al knew and I am familiar with [name left out as I wouldn't want my name mentioned]. He apparently accepted a ride from a police person due to exhaustion. As for me, I ran through the first few water stops, grabbed a cup, pinched and drank. I began stopping and drinking several cups of water, coke, and gatorade. Right choice! I ran a slow, but steady pace. With the exception of the water stops, I never walked. I have to admit though, that I NEVER thought I could run this slow. I'm not sure what to think. I remind myself that this includes time in the water stops and without the hydration, I would have had issues.
Post race, I hopped in the ice cold baby swimming pool. The Travis's (Self and Sherman) strongly suggested it and it was a good idea to aid recovery. Then, I chin-wagged with a couple of other IM Chattanooga trainees for 10-15 minutes. Then, I spent some quality time with Travis Sherman, Travis Self, Sophia Lal, and Cathy Pagani. At one point, I was really ready to leave, but the posted times did not include my total or run times. So, I waited. I witnessed the awards ceremony. Travis, Travis, and Sophia won podium spots as did Janie Davis. We all ride together in various rides and I see them a lot. I think Janie has podiumed at every race I have seen her at. After awards, I asked about the times and was directed to where the timing person was. She was very nice and wrote down all my info for me.
|August 16, 2014: Toughman Alabama|
|Swim||Distance: 1.2 miles|
|Cycle||Distance: 56(ish) Miles|
|Run||Distance: 13.1 Miles|