On a side note from the race report. Yesterday morning I was wearing shorts and flip flops in Cozumel. When I got home in the evening I was wearing jeans and my IMCZ jacket and the weatherman is predicting 3 to 5 inches of snow today in Houston, TX. That is just wrong on so many levels. I want to be back on the island! And without further adieu, on with the race report...
I hit the stairs to get out of the beautiful water and crawled my way up to the top through the men. Not often do I get to crawl among fit and muscular men but I was not stopping to give anyone a pinch on the rear. I got my speed suit unzipped and ran over the timing mat. Once I heard the "BEEP BEE BEE BEE BEE BEEP" I took a look at my watch and shouted out, "HOLY CRAP!!!" I was looking down at a 8:07 and some seconds. That could not have been right! How could that be right?
As I ran down the 200 meter stretch to the gear bags I was trying to figure this out. I was having a hard time putting it all together because the crowds of people on the other side of the barricades were reaching out their hands for a high-5 and shouting at the top of their lungs. "VENGA! VENGA! VENGA!" "ARIBA MUCHACHA, ARIBA!!!" "CORRE!!!" With all of that going on I was still dumbfounded about the 1:07 that I had just cracked out on the swim. I had not hit my Polar on because I did not need heart rate on the swim and my SRM would give me heart rate on the bike. Yes, the event started at 7:00 am and no sooner or later. My watch battery was not bad and had not quit on me. I had just taken 12 minutes off of my last Ironman swim! But here is the kicker. I had less swim workouts scheduled for this Ironman than my last one and at that I probably only really swam half of those workouts because of time constraints and being able to have access to a pool. I feel slightly guilty about that rockin' swim time. Um,... no I don't.
In my slightly stunned frame of mind I did hear the man yelling out "STEP!" as I ran down the ramp from the dock to the Swim-to-Bike bags. Really, I did hear him but it did not register. I fell down the stairs and did a face plant on the AstroTurf. "F--K!" That hurt!!! I had landed on my knees and shins on the edge of those steps. I picked myself up, pulled off the speed suit, quickly inspected my knees and shins for blood, and ran through the showers and to the bag racks. Once I had my bag I ran to the change tent.
WTF!!! WHY was there carpet going into the men's change tent and none going into the women's tent??!!?? There was carpet leading out to the bike area but I had to run over gravel and crushed shell to get into the tent. WTF!!! Once in the tent I stood right at the end of the first row of chairs and got my bike shoes on, clipped on my race belt, and slapped my helmet on my melon. Speed Racer ran in and asked me if I saw a race belt and I pointed under the chair. She dove to retrieve it and was gone again. I stuffed the swim gear in the bag and tried to put on some sun screen. I threw my bag to a waiting volunteer and I out of that tent. As I ran to my bike I fastened my helmet I wondered why all those women were completely changing clothes. Yeah, it was salt water and you can chafe but there is this great stuff called Body Glide and in a pinch Vaseline will do.
I grabbed my bike and clopped my way to the mount line. I saw some dude who was trying to peel off his speed suit that he forgot to take off in the change tent. He tossed it to the side and I am sure he never saw it again. I am positive he won't ever make that mistake at his next race. The crowds were going wild and spilled out of Chankaanab and onto the shoulder of the road for a good 200 meters.
It was now time to see what the engine on top of the bike was capable of that day.
Tomorrow, Part 4: The Bike