Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Willie - IMAZ 2009 Race Report
Willie at Saturday's practice ride.
Hey – It was awesome! I did of course have a few issues…the swim was cold and gave me a headache the entire time – it really was uncomfortable and I guess the good news is I got hit hard right in the nose about halfway through and I was able to focus on how much that hurt instead of my headache – it actually made me stop and panic for a moment – but of course, they were climbing all over me by now, so I just shook it off and wanted to finish as soon as possible – actually felt great strength wise and probably could have gone stronger if it wasn’t for the headache and nausea. Not too bad, a 1:18 swim – I’ll take it! I would have been happy with 1:25, considering the circumstances.
T1 was a disaster due to the nausea and really close to spilling it – thought it would actually help – but this happens to me every time in the swim…then things got worse due to the grass cuttings getting on my wet feet (didn’t plan for this one) and then all over the inside of my chamoied-buttered shorts (brilliant!)– it took at least 10 minutes to clean everything up – but by that time the nausea had started to decrease and on to the bike….thus the horrible T1 time of 17 minutes!
Got on the bike – it was very cold and then it happened to my disgust at mile 8 the left knee pain re-appeared! I could not believe it with all the rest and the last time I biked 100 miles it did not appear until mile 80 – this really frustrated me especially since at mile 15 the hills started and we had a head wind – it slowed me to 10 mph since I was not able to push as hard as I wanted – the turnaround was downhill and I went semi-hard trying to make up some speed….I really was hurt and I knew I had to do this 3 times… I tried many different angles on the left knee the rest of the way – kept applying the ibruproen…but it really didn’t matter…another gut check bike ride…I was disappointed since I was ready for a really much better time! Time: 7:11 – I was shooting for 6:30 max, possibly even better…
T2 – no issues – just nausea.
Run…the surgery leg was inflamed since I obviously was putting more pressure on that leg instead of the left knee leg…it was swollen and shaving spasms…I walked the first 2 miles trying to get relief, but the spasm sgot worse…then, I could not believe my eyes, but there was a blister, spasm, medical aid center, and I screamed out of joy that they were there (got lots of laughs)! The surgery leg hurt so bad before I got to aid - that DNF actually crossed my mind! In the aid center, they were able to massage the spasm and left knee and applied ice for a while….I then dropped ice down the compression sock and poof – I was out of there and running!!!
I was actually running quite well for the next 8 miles, but again, compensating now for the left knee, I was rewarded with a hell of a back spasm…to the point where DNF became almost a reality! I then limped to the same medical tent, this time for treatment of the back spasm…it worked! I was back to running, and I was so totally elated that I only felt good when I was running! It’s a real shame for me, since I was really ready for this and really only wanted to do it if I was running – I hated the walking!
If I took out the stops and walking due to intense pain – I was looking at 12 minute miles on the run…so I know I have it in me….I actually had some 11 min miles in between all the drama – which for me is awesome and my training the last weeks before taper I was averaging 11 min miles… By mile 18 – I was completely nausea and sick to my stomach – it never really went away from the swim and I think I ate too much on the bike for fear I would be out there the whole 17 hours. I was not able to eat anything solid from that point – but by this time, the major pain issues were in control and not finishing was not an option!!! 6:59 run time – I was looking at 5:15 max.
The plan would have worked if not for the knee, which I guess is next on the list to have looked at… All in all – I was ready – I was coached well – the event, volunteers, the memories of loved ones passed and those still suffering, and all the training and good wishes – was just unbelievable! I really do this for many reasons…I am so grateful to be this active and an example for my kids and others…My thirst for Triathlon is greater than ever and I am already excited for next year! Have a Happy Thanksgiving! God Bless!
-- Willie 2-Time Ironman