I always advise the athletes I coach to make "time" goals with caution. Triathlon is not like swimming, for example. I grew up swimming competitively and a 200Fly was a 200Fly. Sure, some pools were too warm or too shallow but you could always measure your race in pool A with the race in pool B on any day of the year.
Racing the Ironman in Hawaii is about the the furthest thing from predictable as you can get. I was well aware of this and prepared for it. However, I didn't realize until October 11th just how "lucky" I had been on the previous two years I had raced there.
The bike leg of last week's race is when I had to come to grips with the fact that all my goals for a PR time, would have to be put aside. It was a tough pill to swallow since I was in the best shape of my life and had been biking better than ever before. I was ready to go fast and end this streak of Ironman races with the best ( at that point I meant fastest) race ever. But, I am an experienced athlete and while I was out there fighting on the Queen K highway, I was able to accept it and continue to fight to do the best job I could do on that day. It was my only choice!! Well, it was either that or have a pity party and give up & quit. Quit? That is not one of my options, ever.
If you are a triathlete or a cyclist and you know what it feels like to ride in winds, you can appreciate this. If you aren't, it's a little harder to explain why it was so rough. To say, "It was very windy and so hot" doesn't begin to touch upon the true conditions in Hawaii that day.
The first :40 seconds or so of this video talk about it a little bit:
Let me back up--
I ran into T1 and took a deep breath. I haven't looked at the results to know but I think my transitions were a little too slow that day. I can't even remember this one but I consciously took my time ( it's all relative... I was rushing but taking care not to forget anything) to get covered in sunscreen, pull the arm coolers onto my wrists, grab glasses, shoes on ( mistake ) and.... I guess that's all. I clunked my way around the LONG transition path to my bike. ( reminder: keep shoes in Hands until you get there Or keep them on the bike, oops.)
|small part of transition on the day of bike racking|
|view from Transition to town|