I am thinking this will be the last epic post of the IMWI 2010 saga. I think I will have one short last post to wrap things up, but I have made empty promises before, so believe what you will.
T2 was crazy in that it was fricking fast. At least as I remember it. It could have been faster had I not stopped to fill up my water bottle, but that was probably like 45 seconds even thought it felt like an hour. Everything went according to plan and visualization. I got my bib shorts off without taking my top off, got my running shorts on and my shoes on without any hiccups. Hat on and fresh, clean sunglasses (a good call on my part) and I was gone.
My legs felt absolutely fantastic! Fresh, no "weirdness," light and fast. I busted out my first mile in 7:45 WAY too fast. Reigned it in and dropped it to a little over 8:00. I kept telling myself to pull it back. My first 6 miles averaged 8:38 which was right where I wanted to be, but it meant I really dropped off. Here's what happened.
I was feeling so good coming out of T2 and on those first few miles that I kind of freaked myself out a little. I was thinking, "there is no way I can hold this pace for the rest of the race and the last thing I want to do is blow up at mile 20 or 21," (in previous marathons I've had that problem.)
Nothing hurt. There was no cramping. Nutrition and everything was going well. BUT - I decided to err on the side of caution. To make sure I got enough fuel and enough water I started walking the water stops. Quickly, just so I could get a GU in when I needed to and plenty of water. Then I would get back on the horse. Considering my 1/2 marathon split, when I was actually running I had to be on an 8:30 or faster pace. I made the turn and was still feeling good. "Hey, there finish line, see you in a couple hours."
I clicked off a few more miles and then, as I was heading up a long shallow incline, my brain showed up. It said to me, "You really need to take a nap. You're tired. See that grass. Just lay down and take a nap. You're so sleepy." SHIT! My brain believed my brain and the other part of me had to do a little negotiating. "I'm not stopping, but I'll walk." So I walked for about a block and a half - got my shit back together, kicked my own ass and started running again.
The water stops started to get longer. I wasn't walking them quite as quickly. And then I started pulling out all the stops. I couldn't eat another GU. I started shoveling handfuls of pretzels in my mouth. I started drinking the "Gatorade." And then, against my better judgment, I started to down Cokes. Well, those Cokes and the pretzels did the trick. It was just something different and something to think about between water stops. I felt like I had trouble with Coke at Honu, but I was having no problems this time. My actual running pace was picking back up.
In hindsight I realize how much I like this run. I like the two loops and all the switchbacks because you get to see people. I saw Charisa twice and Cathy twice and Ian once. The first time I saw Charisa I yelled at her even though she was about four feet away from me. She shot me a huge Charisa smile and that made me feel good. Then I saw Cathy. She yelled something like, "HEY - Todd! Looking Good!" My response was something coherent like, "Cath. hey. good......looking." IDIOT! I missed Ian on the first loop but saw him on the second. I yelled at him to - "IAN! Looking Strong!" His response sounded a bit like this:
He may have looked strong, but obviously he was feeling like hell. I saw Charisa and Cathy again on the second lap but they were both working/suffering as was I, so I don't recall what I said if anything.
Time for some pictures. Some of these were by pros. Some of these weren't.
I was coming up on mile 20 and 21 and I am starting to realize that I feel pretty fricking good. Again, no cramping, no bonking, no super speed, but I really felt like I could keep going. It was at this time I started to think about finishing time. My goal to finish in daylight was secure. Now, if I could just figure out more accurately. I didn't swim or bike with my watch so all I had was my run time with me and no idea how I done on the bike. Then it struck me. I can totally figure out my potential finishing time by the time of day on my watch.
So I started to do math (not my strong suit) based on the 7:00 AM start time. I figured I'd be around 11:15 or 11:20 at the pace I was going. I redid the math after another mile or two and realized that I was going to be closer to 11 hours. And then something else struck me - I had about three miles left, wasn't close to being dehydrated or under-fueled - if I ran the water stops I might barely break 11:00. My body had gotten used to it's little respites so I had to be an asshole to myself and not let my body stop.
Heading up State Street I got behind a woman and a man who were running about the same pace as I was. I stared at that woman's back the entire way up State Street and around part of capital square. The two of them started to pull away, but I knew I was going to easily be under 11 hours so I let them go so I could get a nice clean finish line photo. I wanted a good photo so I tucked my sunglasses in my jersey pocket and made the turn into the finish chute.
Here's my finish line photo:
WEAK! It looks like I'm the Pope blessing the crowd. WTF? I had something so much more heroic in mind, but went with something more reserved. Never again.
Just after I crossed the line. I am an Ironman! (That's pretty cool.)
I'll wrap it all up with one more post showing what I did immediately after the finish and lots of pics.