Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ironman Pocono Mountains 70.3

Here’s the quick and dirty of my Ironman Pocono Mountain 70.3 form Sunday:
Tri-bikes on the Jetta after the race.  Ryan's is the "Blue" one that he got only 2 weeks ago.  Mine, the trusty Sommers Titanium, has over 17 years worth of miles (probably close to 50,000 miles.
 Personal Best!!!
Total time: 5:34:26

1.2 mile swim: 30:54 12th of 121 204 of 1329
1: 5:04
56 mile bike: 2:54:36 27th of 121 322 of 1329
T2: 2:28
13.1 mile run: 2:01.24 35th of 121 375 of 1329

· Air temperature at start: 48 Burrrr degrees. After loading our morning clothes into bags and buses we stood for an hour in our wetsuits and bare feet at the beach. I hate that they “close” transition in these races. Swim start 7:34

· Swim start at abandoned resort, complete with weeds and trees growing where they should not, broken buildings and patios; at very eerie lake with fog (kept looking for “Jason” to rise up from water)

· Water temp: 64 which felt warm as we entered because we were so cold

Tri-friend Ryan Clift and I standing at Second Pond Lake on Saturday, the day before Pocono 70.3.  Notice our long sleeves and that no one is doing warm up swims behind us...yes, it is cold.  Ryan's time for the race was 5:22; he passed me on mile 48 of the bike and started 4 minutes behind my wave.

· Michael in lead pack gasping to settle into swim 2 minutes into race. Swim panick is close.  Just remembered that there was an Elvis impersonator at the timing mat who shook my hand as I entered the beach.

· After some mental struggle, Michael settles into swim half way to first buoy. Fog is a factor but my goggles stay clear and I can always see the next buoy but not the one beyond. I am 12th out of water of 121 in my division, but I don’t know that at the time, but, do know that I swam into 4 waves ahead of me.

· Its cold, so Michael takes his time dressing in T1 for bike; smart to be warm on bike, long sleeves and hat; long T1 at over 5 minutes.

· Michael feels very good during whole bike over very hilly, very technical course dodging potholes, road washouts, bumpy intersections, medical crews, orange cones in center of road, and hairpin turns at 35mph. Saw 2 wrecks including stretchers and neck braces, many flats.

· Michael nearly scares the piss out of himself while going 44.6 mph and stops at mile 36 aid station and visits the bathroom.

· One section of road is so rough there are dozens of water bottles scattered from falling off competitor’s bikes; more dodging

· At T2 the sun is out and temps are in the 60’s. Michael strips to his CMS tri-suit, wearing the green proudly!

· Michael forgets to wear race bib on run. Two minutes up run-course Michael returns to T2, takes off timing chip before mats, retrieves bib, puts chip back on and continues on course; probably lost 5 – 6 minutes on run

· On run after hitting the Porto pot at mile 2 Michael meets 33 year old woman, Kelly, who talks for 8 miles (yep, over an hour) of the run and helps Michael forget the pain of what he is experiencing. She left me while I was gobbling my last gel and water at aid station mile 10 and I never catch her again.

· Michael finishes in downtown Stroudsburg, PA feeling strong to the cheering of throngs, finishers medal, space blanket, water, and hug from Kelly

· Chicken broth, bagels, and chocolate chip cookies

· It starts pouring rain as we’re collecting gear bags from the buses and bikes out of transition; it is a melee….freezing too. Picture rain, a school bus with windows open, volunteers throwing identical, yet, individually numbered, gear bags out the windows to other volunteers who mostly catch the bags except for the few that explode spilling shoes and personal items on the wet ground.

· Definitely missed the friends and comforts of Eagleman’s simplicity and WARMTH.  Poconos helped me love hills; it was really a fun and exciting bike course through gorgeous country roads.

Pro triathlete, Jesse Thomas, whom I met at bike racking on Saturday, won Poconos on Sunday.  He was back in California for his wedding anniversary dinner with his wife the same night.  He said his race to the airport was nearly as tough as the race.

· Michael registers for Osprey Triathlon on Monday morning.  Michael does not know why he did this whole race report in the third person; will do better next time.

· See you at Snowhill on Saturday.