I did Hawaii Ironman and all I got was this lousy sunburn

photoMan I hate writing blog posts when it aint good news.  But, as a dedicated blogger of the last two weeks I feel obliged.  By the way, i did lather up with 50 SPF but I’m guessing it wasn’t waterproof.  I’m quite sore today.

Hawaii Ironman take 4 for me.  Started out well, swimming has been feeling good.  Still missing a bit of snap at the beginning but it’s coming.  Ended up pulling Norman Stadler around most of it.  Upon exiting the water he declared “I shall give you half of my prize money if I win”  At least that’s what I heard.

My goal this time was to simply play out the race smart, stick to my pace and the effort I knew I could handle and have a solid day….get to the finish in a respectable time and see what that ended up being.  On a whole I managed to do this very well.  It takes a significant tempering of the ego at a race of this calibre…..continually getting time updates that seem impossible and when you are more factored into the womens race than the mens.  Nevertheless I stuck to the plan and was content.  Up to Hawi, definitely way back of the leaders but still in a position to run myself into a top 20.  Chrissie Wellington is incredible…..as much as I hate to admit it, by Hawi she had sunk 5 minutes into me.  Theresa Mecel, in second for the women was my riding partner for most of the climb and down from Hawi…..another woman who has shot up in the last year.  She is riding incredibly well.

When things go south in Ironman you can start going backwards in a hurry.  At 130km I started coming apart at the seems.  Nutrition and fluid were not being absorbed and by 160km it was starting to come back up.  The last 40km of the bike were the longest of my life, it was demoralizing and humiliating.  I rolled into transition and despite the efforts of a very enthusiastic and encouraging ART guy (thanks by the way), I ended up in medical dry heaving into a garbage can and feeling very nauseous.  Diagnosis- Intestinal shut down- nothing being absorbed, stuck in the gut.  Hadn’t urinated all day and desperately needing to take a dump or throw up.  And that was that- day done- mission not accomplished.

My theory: I think I just wasn’t acclimated well enough to the heat.  I thought I was, 10 days here prior to the race and feeling good with every session- I think I simply reached a threshold point of heat and hydration and my body packed in my digestive system meaning no calories or fluid getting to the right places.  It’s a frustrating thing because it’s an easy fix- get here earlier.  I have no mechanical or injury excuses- felt great coming into the event, great head space great physically, super fit, super rested, ready as ever.

Significant mentionables:  Chrissie Wellington- 8:54:02- new course record, third win in a row- 23rd overall just behind some big names in the mens field- incredible- absolutely incredible.

Thereza Macel- Wins Lake Placid….6 weeks later wins Canada…..6 weeks later 4th in Hawaii…..bloody awesome

Marinda Carefree- 2:56 run split- 6th fastest among the pro men- wow!

Craig Alexander- 12 minute deficit, runs to second win in a row on a very tough day.  Good dudes can win!  I’m in awe of how fast these guys go.  The only pace that makes sense to me is the running- the rest of it seems like a mad sprint.

Chris Lieto- Going for it- 7 minute lead off the bike- 12 minutes on Craig- gutsy and so close to a win.  How anybody can ride that fast eludes me.

Mike Neill- Tough day but gutted it out for another solid finish.  Sometimes conistency is only really rewarded if it is top 10 consistency.  Fact is Mike has shown up every year in Hawaii and been 20-30th and always runs himself in there.  Yesterday wasn’t his best day but he hung in there, good on ya Mike

Rich Pady- Sick as a dog all week, hung in there to finish under 10.  Good on ya Rich.

Brett Favre- Turned 40 yesterday- October 10th and is about to go 5-0 on the season

Judith- Turned 36 yesterday, not to be outdone by Brett Favre

My respect for this race grows every year I do it.  I’m in awe of the top men and women and how fast they go.  Respect, respect respect.  I’m disapointed no question, yesterdays outcome totally sucks!  I was ready to have a good day.  In 4 attempts I’ve finished once, DNF’d twice and DNS’d with a stress fracture…..definitely not the track record one aspires to.  Good thing is that now I have an opportunity to have a good race at Xterra Worlds in two weeks.  And Finn didn’t really seem too bothered by it so I can learn from that.  Thanks to everyone for the high fives.  Now it’s time to rock out the Mtn. Bike.

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  1. Followed you through the race…worried…e-mailed Heather and found out through Jude that you were sick and remaining in the medical tent…glad it was not an accident. Disappointing but another day “at the office”…not all are good.
    Happy Birthday to you and Jude…older and wiser as Finn will tell you some day. Loved your pictures posted.
    GO at Xterra we will be thinking of you.
    Mum Pady

  2. Saw the quick commment on Mike’s blog that you’d had a tough day so I came over here to your blog. Wicked sunburn…yuck.
    No I didn’t track you…you can ask Mike about this…lol!

    Race Hard and Race Happy at Xterra.

  3. Jasper, congratulations on the attempt. Last year was my first Kona shot and my day ended at mile 10 of the run, much the same as yours did. It was my 6th Ironman, and my first DNF in any race. I left Kona feeling totally lost like..”what the F#$! just happened??” Like you i was fit, rested, keen (well, obviously not FIT like you, ha)..and my body gut just shut down.
    Reading your blog helps me understand that it wasn’t necessarily poor planning, poor execution, bad race management etc….knowing that the pros can have those days as well, really helps us age groupers out. I’m not thanking you for DNF’ing…but i am thanking you for posting the story of how even a professional’s day can end the same as us age groupers. It is a learning opportunity for me to read blog’s like yours and see how you evaulate the day. Ironman is such a mystery, but that is why we do it i guess. I am hoping for much success for you in Maui, and i know your trip to Kona next year will be the great success you have dreamed of.
    Keep pluggin away!

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