I guess it was bound to happen eventually. If you race enough times, there's going to be a time when one of your biggest fears comes true - getting sick right before an Ironman.
A couple of days before IMWI, I felt a cold coming on. I hoped it was nothing and that I was just being paranoid, but by the day before the race it was clear. I was sick. It was a pretty good cold, but still just a cold, so I thought maybe I could still manage a good race. I wasn't in my best shape ever, but I felt like I'd had a pretty good 6-8 week block of training leading into race day so I thought maybe...just maybe...I could still have a decent day.
Swim - 1:07:18
I lined up toward the outside hoping to avoid some contact and get through the swim without too much effort. The outside worked for avoiding contact, but I'm not sure it worked out well time-wise. I came out of the water a few minutes slower than expected, but I felt okay. I had been doing a lot of coughing the day before the race and I got through the swim without issues and felt like I didn't waste too much energy. All things considered, not a bad start to the day.
Bike - 5:25:24
The bike is where my cold caught up with me and everything started to fall apart. I went out a little below goal power holding about 210 watts for the first 3-3.5 hours. The next hour I struggled a bit and my power faded to around 185. After that, I had nothing left and my power dropped to 135 for the last 60 minutes of the ride as I soft pedaled on the way back to the terrace, debating if I would even head out on the run.
"Run" - 5:12:08
I didn't do much running. I was walking within the first 2 miles and just had no energy. I had little desire to continue and every time I thought I had found a good place to call it quits and turn in my chip, there was someone I knew cheering me on. I guess that's the problem with a local race. :)
So I continued and eventually figured out that I could still break 12 hours so I used that as motivation to keep pushing myself to get to the finish line.
My final time was 11:55 which makes this my slowest Ironman. It's fitting, I guess, considering how this year went. Knoxville was my slowest half ironman. In 2014 I set my fastest half ironman time and 2015 was my slowest. What a difference a year makes, huh?
With my injury, my struggles with training and racing and losing my dad to cancer, 2015 is a year I'd like to forget.
My plan post race was to take a full month off, my longest break since getting into triathlon in 2007. 4 weeks....nothing but rest and recovery. Unfortunately, my cold got really bad after race day and ruined about 10 days of my break, but after that I got to enjoy some of the best fall weather we've ever had.
Then the rebuilding began.....