My first Ironman was quite the experience. The place was Houston Texas May 18 2013 in the Woodlands. I only had about 4 months of training with coach Adam Daniels. With 3 major colds and flu over the winter it made training very tough. In the past I was self trained and did a pretty poor job of it. I drove myself into deep exhaustion, fatigue and injury. The day of the event came and I felt so amazing and ready to conquer. This was to be my first Ironman, my first 2.5 mile swim, and my first marathon as well. I had expectations for a great overall time. The morning jitters were nerve racking but I remained calm and anxious for the day to begin. At the swim start I was one of the first in the water to warm up. I need plenty of warm up time for my nerves. I had not swam in open water in 7 months but felt confident for the swim. I knew to just relax and take my time so I would not be fatigued on the bike. At the start I was positioned at the front line and to the left of the buoy. My strategy was to be in front on the inside and draft to help with my time. There was a lot of flailing arms and legs for most of the swim but I remained calm and just swam for myself and just relaxed. I kept a very steady and easy pace so I would get out of the water feeling fresh and not exhausted like all my other races. I exited the water feeling ready to go on the bike. My time was 1:33 which is a lot longer than I hoped but I was happy to do my first long swim non stop. T1 was rather long due to a bathroom break and really loading up on vasalene, sun screen, and Chamois butter. I scarfed 3 mini muffins and several GU packets. On the way out on the bike I ate a bagel which I kept hooped on the aero bar. I needed lots of fuel for the bike. The bike was very difficult to hold back. I wanted to do my old ways of hammering it since it is my strong point. But I listened to Adam perfectly and stuck to my numbers. I kept the first half easy and the second half I wound up repassing most of the people that hammered too hard in the beginning. By the time I was done I felt very fresh and was not sore at all.
To do a half hour faster would have been possible but not smart in this heat. My nutrition and hydration on the bike was perfect. Not one bathroom break or stop with the exception of my special needs bag. T2 went fairly quick as I watched people puking all over who over did it on the bike . I headed out for the run which I was looking forward to the most of this event. My first marathon involved a 96 degree day and within the first 5K I knew this was going to have disasterous results. I was hoping for a sub 4 hour run but the heat and pain that set into my glutes was so bad at mile 14 that I seemed to have lost the desire to fight it and push on. Every aid station I gulped so much water and Perform to not become dehydrated. Plus I had about 12 salt tablets during the course of the day. I never cought a single cramp or had any nausia from dehydration. I could not have had a better nutrition and hydration plan. The heat had just done me in and caused my run to suffer. The last quarter mile to the finish line was a sprint like none other. I had so much energy and drive. I sprinted what seemed like a 6:00min/mile pace. All the way down the chute I was high fiving and having a great time. I ran so fast that my hat blew off. All in all I was happy with the results of the day even though I was hoping for an 11+ hour race. It was a great experience and to just be a part of an Ironman made me feel very proud.