I guess this is what Ironman races are all about. The things that you have to deal with that cannot be controlled. I woke up early morning with lots of positive energy, I jumped into the shower had a Banana with oatmeal with a cup of hot water on my balcony overlooking mirror lake and enjoyed the moment. I headed straight to the transition area as soon as it opened in order to experiment on how cold it will be going out of that water. It was very cold, I know myself very well and I had to think smart on putting additional layers. I knew I was ready for this, I worked so hard to get to this point that I knew nothing should stand in my way so I made the race fear me.
About 45mins to one hour before the swim I had my first gel. I jumped into the water and it was not the same as the last two days. There’s was a lot of condensation (smoke) coming out of the water and visibility was close to zero as it was such a cold and gloomy day. The yellow cable was nowhere to be seen, sighting was harder than usual and people were aggressive in the water trying their best to reach that damn cable. At the end of the swim, I used the wetsuit strippers, very efficiently took my wet suit off, wrapped it around my chest and ran to T1 (the coldest moment during the race).
Another gel, and off on the bike. My layering was probably twice the average person during the race but it was exactly what I needed. I was still shivering, I concentrated on drinking water and sports drink (I had about 3 water bottles of sports drink mixed with base salt and a bottle of water). As the day progressed it was getting slightly warmer but I still couldn’t have handled the cold if it wasn’t for my face mask. I was even so cold at one point I peed myself so I can get warmer haha!! The only negative issue I had on the bike was my leg warmers kept slipping down and I had to keep pulling them up every once in a while. During the ride I had three more energy gels and two bananas. I switched to more solid food by the end.
T2 was smooth, I had a banana chocolate cliff bar, took off leg warmers, cycling hoodie and two base layers on top of each other and ran straight out.
For once I was feeling great, the weather started to settle in and I kept the same strong pace and fought up those hills. I concentrated on base salt licks, tiny amounts of water, coke or sports drink at every aid station and had to stop for ten mins at the beginning as I had a rock or something weird in my shoe that I had to let out. I had another banana and cliff during the run and didn’t want to overdo the food so I ate when I felt like I had to. One more energy gel about 75% off the run. The last hilly bit came and I fought hard through them. I didn’t walk once but jogged when I had to.
I crossed that finish line with excellent form, I was glowing and could have ran even further. I savoured every moment during that race and have never felt so proud of my achievement. I was out my element most of the time but I sucked it up and enjoyed every second of it. It showed me that I’m alive and what it means to live.