I did my first IM in 2007. It was my second year in the sport. Had an abundance of time and a coach. Then I started residency 2.5 years ago and got lazy. Working 80 hours per week will do that. Signed up for IMWI to get some passion back in my life. However still working crazy hours my prep wasn't exactly as organized as last time...
Prep: Did what I could when I could. There were days/weeks where I did next to nothing. There were good weeks. No real peak weeks because work got hectic 7 weeks out so I considered it a 7 week taper. It's what all the pros are doing these days, right?....
Race plan: No power meter. No HRM. No bike computer. No watch.
Swim: Swim. Not drowning a bonus
Bike: Try not to ever breathe hard. Take the hills easy. Not crashing a bonus
Run: Get to the finish any way possible (crawling acceptable). Not getting carted off on a stretcher a bonus.
Detailed nutrition plan: Drink lots of what the nice people at the aid stations hand out. Eat when hungry and what the nice people give out.
Race report as a list (because residency has made me attention deficit)
1. Swim was mass chaos. Started in the worst possible position (middle). I attribute my survival and lack of drowning completely to the Kung Fu Panda moves I picked up in my year playing water polo in college. Seriously, I could press charges for some of the things that were done to me by super testosterone charged neoprene wearing tri geeks. And who the hell are the people you always see swimming perpendicular to traffic?? Total time 1:13:39. Approximately 3 hours less than it felt.
2. Bonus pre-swim observation. I saw a guy walking to the start wearing 2 (TWO) garmins and a HRM on the opposite wrist. I came SOOOO close to asking him what time it was.
3. Coming up the helix from the swim to T1 was one of the best minutes of my life. I now know how rockstars feel leaving concerts. Minus the sex with strangers part.
4. The first loop of the course was amazing in every way. Except for the 1688 competitors that I'm pretty sure passed me. Maybe it was 1689. Anyway, the hills were the best part. Holy spectators!
5. Loop 2 sucked my will to live. I have a bike shoe problem. I think the nice people who design shoes at bontrager were hired from the company across the street that manufactures vices. Every pedal stroke of the last 40 miles I was pretty sure there were bones in my feet snapping. Note to self: buy new bike shoes next year. Hills however were still the best part. There is one flat straight section that made me want to spray sunblock in my eyes. I don't know how people can stand IMFL.
6. On the way back to town saw a sign that said: "Someday you will not be able to do this". My internal reply: "thank god". Total bike time 6:31:17. Which surprised me since I was sure the sweeper was behind me and they were closing the course.
7. I walked through T2 like a 90 year old woman on her way home from a colonoscopy. Still made it out in 4:15. What the hell do people do in there for >10 minutes?
8. I learned first hand how to do the Ironman shuffle. For those of you not in the know, it's jogging at a speed barely faster than walking and trying to find any excuse to stop. My best excuses were aid stations, hills, wind hitting me wrong, seeing people wearing polka dots, and my internal clock telling me it was probably a time ending in an odd minute. This went on for 23 miles.
9. Mile 23. I turn to my neighbor and ask for the time. 7:30 she tells me. Oh F&%K. Here I was thinking I was going to do a 13-15 hour Ironman. Now you're telling me it's 7:30 and I have 3.2 miles left??? Shit. Like I'm ever going to forgive myself for coming in over 13 hours now. Damn it.
10. The ironman "sprinting" commences. I'm blowing through aid stations, pushing over small children, yelling like Rocky. Every step hurts but it doesn't matter. I was going to break 13 hours goddamnit. Sonsofbitches. Run time: 5:01:06
Total time 12:57:18. A little less than 20 minutes slower than my last one. And way better than I ever expected with my training.
Aftermath: It took 3 days for my kidneys to start working again. Finally today I'm peeing. Probably up 10-15 pounds from race day. Damn rhabdo. Drove 16 hours home yesterday. Miss my family already. The side reason for me to do IMWI was to spend a week back home. It was great.