Okay, so today I was at the training tri and I kept repeating myself with the same story about IM-CDA. Thanks to Steph, she told me I need to post my RR for it. So here goes.
After I completed IM-CDA 2009, it took me about 10 days and a regional happy hour to decide to sign up again for this race. This year would be different. I was going to do this race and raise money for Athletes Serving Athletes, an organization that enables challenged athletes to experience the thrill of athletic competition.
In the months leading up to CDA, I had run a marathon, biked a century ride, raced in the Kinetic Half and swam the 2-mile Reston lake swim. I felt good that my fitness level seemed better than the previous year. This year I was very excited to see that there were 11 other DC Tri Club members: Justin N., Andy Mac, Phil S., Dirk S., Chris V., Doug H., Marcus, Kelzie, Kevin T. (my CUA swim buddy), Liz and Mike T., who all were doing this same race. In the days leading up to the race, it was great to see every single one of them throughout the city of CDA. Seeing these familiar faces so far away from home made it exciting for me to race IM-CDA. I even made a sign for the club to see on the run course.
On race morning as I loosened up for the swim I decided line right up front. As the gun/horn sounded off, I did a few dolphin dives to get myself out a bit. As I approached the first turn buoy, I could sense that the pack just started bottlenecking towards that buoy. The next thing I knew I got kicked in the lip, then in the goggles twice! I was getting hammered all over. At that point I thought the only thing missing was a water polo ball so we could duke it out for the rest of the swim. I exited the first loop to hear that our time was around 35 minutes. I was not too happy, but I hustled back into the water. A similar thing happened as I kept aiming for the far buoy to turn. For some reason, it seemed like everyone around me had no sense of direction and would swim right into me. I don’t know if these swimmers went to the swim school for vertical swimmers, so I just labeled them as open water idiots. As I finished the swim, my time was around 1:11, very close to last year. Then, my favorite part was coming up with the wetsuit strippers. I did a quick baseball slide in front of them so they could just grab a leg and strip that suit right off of me. (1:11:59)
(T-1) My transition was not as slow as last year, but I did notice the changing tent was much more crowded than last year. My focus was to change quickly, get out of there, make a pit stop and get on my bike. (6:06)
Headed out on the bike and rode out to the first turnaround. Whenever it hurt, I just had to think of all of the WWE dvd’s I watched during my indoor training. Other than that, it was just so pleasant that I had to enjoy it. My first loop was a little bit faster than last year. On my second loop as we headed back out to Hayden Lake, I jumped out of the saddle of this climb. The next thing I saw as I looked to my left and noticed the biker next to me only had one leg and was biking with a prosthetic leg on his right side. Looking over to the other biker next to me, we both agreed that it was very inspiring. I pretty much kept it steady for the rest of the bike ride. I did get a flat after the furthest turn around. Fortunately, I was immediately helped by an IM motorcyclist who happened to ride by. That probably saved me three to four minutes. For the final 25-ish miles I remained a steady pace. (6:28:39)
(T-2) I kept this one quick. Rode right on it, had someone grab my bike and make a quick pit stop. Then, I grabbed my transition bag and quickly change into my run gear. I headed out of the tent, sucked down some gummy worms and lathered up on some sun screen. Hopefully, the lotion was no higher than my usually SPF-8. (3:20)
Run course: Last year I went out way to fast so I decided to hold back a bit on the first loop of the run. I kept my steady pace to the turnaround at mile 7-ish and headed back to town. At that point I say Phil flying up his last u-turn. I gave him a big cheer. About a half mile later, I got a pat on the back and it was Phil. I said “thanks” and gave him a few works of encouragement. He was looking strong. For the next 5-6 miles I maintained a steady pace, but then I noticed at one of the pit stops that I was not peeing much. It appeared that I had become quite dehydrated. Around mile 15 my body broke down and could not run any more. The warm weather had beaten me down as I thought to myself that I haven’t felt this bad in along time. For the next eleven miles I ended up walking slowly. About mile 17 Andy Mac gave me some salt tablets which I truly appreciate. At the next few aid stations I would take in water, coke, chicken broth and any snack with salt. It wasn’t until I got about six blocks away that I decided to run it in and look good, but only after I washed off the salt on my body just to look good for the pictures. (5:45:30)
Total time (13:35:33) 1:13 slower than last year.
As I wrap this up, I just want to add, that while I was walking those last eleven miles I started to think about the different people who mean a lot in my life. The beautiful Lake CDA helped me think about how thankful of the support I received from my family, thankful that have the ability to compete in this race, thankful for wonderful volunteers of city of CDA, thankful for the people around my teaching and coaching profession, and lastly, thankful for the great support community of the DC Tri Club. Yeah, I was disappointed in my time, but I am still content that I finished my second Ironman race. Thanks for reading. -Hugh (your club race director)
Very proud of you Hugh! You endured and raced strong under tough conditions.
Nice report Hugh. I definitely have to give you a public shout for all the help you gave me in the months leading up to the race. I must have asked you a few hundred questions about IM CDA that all helped me get through the day. Thanks man
Great job Hugh
Are you going to get something other than a toy IM tattoo this time? ;)
Great report Hugh! And, good job on the race! Thank you so much for all of your help with this race. I too want to thank you for answering all my questions...especially those I texted while we were there! It was great to see you out on the course and I'm extremely grateful for all the words of encouragement. Thanks Hugh!
Dirk and Justin, you guys did great that day! Tuan, I will get a real M-dot tattoo when you get a Pheasantman one.
Hey hugh, thanks for the great race report. It looks like you pushed through a tough day and hung in there despite some setbacks. Congratulations, because I think this is the true spirit of Ironman (or triathlon in general). It was great seeing you on that run--gave me a real boost.
Lake Placid next year??
Awe, Phil, thanks for the confidence boost. Yeah, I just bit the bullet on this one and somehow made it through. Congrats on your Kona qualifications. You earned it!!!
DC TRI CLUB!! You all are great. Phil, LP is not in the books for me. Maybe a year off of IMs will make me stronger.