Ironman NC Race Report

Now for a “very short” race recap:podium_imnc_2016
The day started out with news that they changed the 50 mile bike to 56 miles! I was happy, but still wanting a 200 mile bike, so I had time to shine ;). This race was different then most Ironman’s, in that the athletes were bussed to the swim start and were told to leave their support crew to see them transition. My family has always accompanied me right at the swim start so I could hand off my extra clothes, shoes, etc. This time I chose to wear a sleeveless wetsuit and had to give up my m
orning clothes almost an hour before we started the swim. After being bussed to the swim start, 2 imnc_2016miles down the road, I spent the next 45 min breathing in exhaust fumes trying to heat up behind the gas powered spot lights. It was finally time to get in the water. We all lined up, and when the cannon fired, the 73 degree water felt as if it were a hot tub! I was so relieved to get in the water and start swimming. After drinking about 4 gallons of tasty salt water, I finally reached the finish of the swim. 58 minutes! I was thrilled to make it out of the water in under an hour. I feared that, even with a faster swim, I spent so much time on my bike that my swim would suffer even more.
I was out of the water and on my way to my favorite part, the bicycle ride! I got my helmet and shoes on and pulled my bike off of the rack. Now it was time to have fun! I knew that with half of the normal distance I was going to have to push a bit harder in the beginning! The wind was relentless, giving me just under 21 mph splits for a few of the first 5 mile segments. I had no idea what was going on, but I kept passing people, so I put a smile on my face and rode as hard as I could. Once I reached 15 miles to go, the wind shifted! I showed close to 30 mph split on one of the segments and I wasn’t trying as hard! I felt great and saw my family several times during the ride! As I came to the final few miles I made it a point to stand on my bike to stretch my legs a bit. My most difficult part of the race was next.
After dismounting my bike and running awkwardly in bike shoes for .25 mile, I picked up my running shoes and entered the changing tent. I threw my shoes and bib on and took off for the run. I remember the beginning was lots of turns and rough terrain and I felt like a slug. I didn’t look at my watch until mile 4 or 5 and realized that I was a bit faster than my goal pace. I decided to roll with it and try and to run as fast as I could! The weather was perfect and there were several people cheering on the course. During the run, I remembered back to my 24 hour race and when Maggie said, “Only 35 laps more to break 500,” At that time I laughed and thought it was impossible, this reminded me that I am capable of more than I think. I then surged on to break my goal of a 3:30 marathon, finishing in 3:25. My goal times were all met, but with a shortened bike, the other guys were just faster on the run.
I placed 4th out of 58 in my age group and 18th out of 1130 overall. I am not ecstatic with my performance, because I didn’t reach my goal, but I am happy since I did better than last year. I placed 8th in my age group last year, 4th this year, and hopefully 1st next year 🙂
Once again, a huge thank you to all of my family and friends who came to watch and cheered me on from home! I could not do any of this without all of you :)!