I completed the Ironman 70.3 Augusta. The swim was surprisingly fast since I had trouble starting. I don't know what the issue was but I'm assuming it was the cold water. But, I couldn't get my breathing going in the first 50-100 yards. I had to turn over on to my back several times. Once I got going though, I was fine and swam faster than last year. I had dinner the night before with Dawn and Jon Cochran at one of my favorite places in Augusta called Rhineharts in Augusta. Betsy and I loved this place when she lived in Aiken in the '90s. It hasn't changed. Back to the room, lots of prep and early to sleep.
I picked Jon up at his hotel which was just down the road and off we went to transition. I forgot my waterbottles and had to head back to the car to get them after setting up my transition area. I took a picture of Jon along the way. Yeah, he's ready!
Got my water bottles situated and could not find Jon. So, I got on the bus for transition. The bus leaves and before traveling 100 yards guess who I see walking; yes, Jon. We did meet up at the swim start thanks to his watchful eye. I lost him several times. I think I was just so absorbed in the moment that I was scattered brained.
Augusta starts in waves based on age and gender. First the challenged participants, the elites, and those over 55. Then, the men in age groups from youngest to oldest followed by women youngest to oldest. Thus, I started just before the women since I'm in the 50-54 age group. A few miles into the ride, I saw Jon and started getting passed by women. In fact, a pack of women caught up to me and for awhile it was plain NUTS. Forget not drafting, it was like riding in a 4 bike wide pace line. One guy in front of me came out of the saddle, stopped peddling on flat road and may have hit his brakes. I had to hit my brakes hard. Some woman behind me yelled "you guys are dangerous." I can say it scared the living crap out of me. I was sure I was about to be hit from behind and all hell was about to break loose. But, it didn't.
The pack finally thinned and all began to flow like normal. I saw Sophia Lai along the way. She passed me while I was messing with a powerbar wrapper and "asked if I was alright". I said "yes, just messing with this damn wrapper." I passed her in a bit and continued on the ride. All good. Got on the run and started working on some new chews I was trying and their damn wrapper was proving to be difficult too. So, I started walking while I dealt with it and guess what. Sophia comes up from behind me and says "Bob, are you alright?". I said "yes, dealing with another damn wrapper. If you see me slowed, I'm eating!". Part of my game plan, was to test my nutrition plan for my full Ironman in November, Ironman Cozumel. Thus, the focus on food. Lots of lessons learned. Forget those coke filled chew things. Power bars and sports beans need to be placed in convenient packaging.
I ate much more than I have in races in the past based on a formula that indicates I need to consume at least 200 calories per hour. I never ran out of energy, so my faith in the formula is good. I shaved off 15 minutes from last year and was faster in everything except T1 compared to last year. So, I'm quite pleased especially since I really was trying to treat it as a practice for Ironman distance and thus holding back.
On the way to transition
My bike ready to spend the night
The Run Out Line
The Swim course
The Swim Finish Line
Heading home with my medal
But, First off to Carrabas
And, ate most of it
And ordered the most important part