Lake Time

Lake Time
Okiboji 7/2011

Friday, December 6, 2013

Ironman Cozumel 2013 Race Report

Ironman Cozumel was my last event scheduled for the year and as always my first goal was to be sure to finish it.  No matter the race finishing is always the best feeling in the world.

For me training in Iowa meant bundling up and often starting my ride in the low 30 degree area and then the wind made it feel even colder.  I followed Endurance Nation's Advanced Ironman 12 week Plan to a T.  Was looking forward to see if I could make this race a PR knowing that my father was watching from up above and would give me any extra strength and courage needed to tackle this monster.

We arrived in Cozumel on Tuesday to get a little vacation time in and to acclimate to the weather a little.  We stayed again at the Cozumel Palace which is a 200 foot walk from the finish line.  Its nice to finish, grab all your stuff, and then be back relaxing vs hailing a cab, etc.

Leading up to race day several of us trained in the elements each day to include swimming(note this was at our resort only cause the Ironman swim practices had been canceled both Friday and Saturday d/t the very rough waters by the Port Authority) the swim was hard but for sure doable.  No different then last years race but I think that was a learning experience for this race venue cause over 300 competitors DNF'd and several that needed help the boats and surf boards really struggled to get to them so I feel they were just playing it safe for everyone this round, ran a few times, and road one loop of the island just to get a feel for the wind.  Compared to last year where the wind was blowing off of the sea and striking us from the side with a sharp south wind we had a strong North wind.

The day before race day we were notified that the swim was being moved up stream, had been cut to a 1.93 down stream swim.  We were to keep all the buoys to our right and only had one left hand turn.  I was kind of bummed but knowing the bike course is long it will all even out in the end.

Race morning:

We made our way to transition and made sure everything on the bike and our T1 bags were good to go.  We then got on a bus and were bussed back up stream.

Swim: Goal was now to be under 55 minutes.  Actual Time: 48:22

I made my way to the front of the pack knowing I wanted to be stuck in their pack cause that would push me just that much harder.  The air horn sounded and we were off.  It was as clear as one could see and was just beautiful.  Lots of contact at the beginning but this didn't last very long.  I could feel that I was going hard and was hoping things would slow down a little but never did.  I was sighting every 8-10 strokes and the hardest part was the buoys were red and yep the females had red swim caps.  Seems odd but for me it made it difficult to spot the buoy off in the distance cause it was also red.  Finally after about 10 minutes that person behind be that had a been making love to my feet snuck up beside me and decided to give me thumbs up.  Well hell I gave him thumbs up back and got right on his feet where I stayed the entire swim.  He was bigger then me but damn for once in my life I was in a draft and my ass was not moving or allowing anybody else to take it from me.  Ahhhhhh it really does feel good and helps.  I remember passing a yellow and red buoy that were together and I thought to myself that must mean we are half way and the next thing I know we are making a left hand turn and making our way to the exit.  Quickly got out, ran to the showers and washed off.  My speed suit had rubbed under my axillary regions raw and those babies burned!!!!  Then got my T1 bag and into the changing tent where I then put on my biking jersey, shoes, and helmet.  Note I really took my time in here cause I wanted to be sure and get a bar and a full Gatorade in me before leaving the transition area.  I knew what was coming on the bike.

T1 Time: Goal under 10 min.  Actual time: 9:29

Bike: Goal under 5:30.  Actual time: 5:34:27

The bike course is the yellow line in the photo x 3 loops.  North we had a tail wind, west we had a horrible head wind, and headed back into town South it was more of a head/cross wind.

For me as I said last year and I am going to say it again, this is a very hard bike course for me and I was hoping to conquer this year but just didn't happen.  I was honestly so happy to get off the horse when the time came.  I had planned on eating something every 30 minutes but quickly changed this to every 20 minutes d/t the heat and wind.  I raced Wisc in Sept at 200 ave watts so I thought for sure it was possible here.  NOT!!!!!!  With the tail wind, head wind, cross wind, and heat it just didn't happen and not even close.  Note I road at a lot less watts but beat Wisc time by 5 min so still happy.

This is a 3 loop course and we had a tail wind, followed by a head wind, and finally a cross wind and repeat this times 3.  Went from 23-26 mph with the tail wind to a daunting hard 18-19 mph into the head wind and watched my watts closely.  I was often in the smallest ring in the rear cogg I could find and spinning about 93-95 and barely making my goal watts.  Each loop I swear to you the wind got stronger and the heat got hotter....well that's because it did!!!!!!  I was trying to drink and eat everything in sight.
The ride was somewhat dangerous like most events but this one like last year was more so.  People passing on the right, 5-7 people riding side by side, and others constantly sucking your tire.  At one point the ref told me to stop at the next tent.  I then pulled up beside him and asked him if he carded me and I was pissed.  He didn't answer so I said well if I am getting carded you better damn card all 20 some people in front of me blocking-riding side by side not allowing any one to pass them.  He then stated well the entire road is open for a reason.  I then asked if we were allowed to pass and ride on the other side of the yellow line and he commented well of course now get riding.  So off I went as did the person behind me.  Well the person behind me decided he didn't want to ride in front of me at all and when I went left he went left, etc.  So I do my favorite thing and pissed down my leg!!!!  Damn, I  love doing that and I know it sprayed all over him cause the head wind was that strong.  Guess who disappeared.  BOOM!!!   Coming in off the third loop I was a bit nervous cause I had only peed once but that was the same situation as last year and I did okay.  About .5 miles I had to come out of my shoes and just pedal cause the sand that was on my feet had rubbed the soles and balls of my feet RAW!!!!  OUCH!!!!!


Duration: 5:34:50 
Work: 3489 kJ
TSS: 284.1 (intensity factor 0.715) 
Norm Power: 179
VI: 1.03
Distance: 113.878 mi
Elevation Gain: 200 ft
Elevation Loss: 140 ft
Grade: 0.0 % (60 ft)
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 538 174 watts
Cadence: 7 112 93 rpm
Speed: 0 26.3 20.2 mph
Pace 2:17 0:00 2:58 min/mi
Hub Torque: 0 31 6 lb-in
Altitude: -171 -79 -133 ft
Crank Torque: 0 937 159 lb-in
Temperature: 77 89.6 83.2 Fahrenheit

T2: Goal under 5 minutes.  Actual: 4:45

Run: Goal 4 hours.  Actual: 4:20:59

Note I change into running shorts and a shirt vs running in bibs.  The first mile felt good and then came the first aid station where I took Gatorade and a water.  Downed the Gatorade and water and in about 5 minutes I was severely nauseated and felt as if I needed to vomit.  Matter of fact I stopped and tried to make myself.  The first several miles this went on.  I was trying to down as much Pepsi as I could cause I now felt as if I was bonking.  Note this is a three loop course also and each stretch is a little over 4 miles.  So out and back is like 8 miles and something.  The 4 miles back into town on the first loop the sun was facing us and the wind was at our backs and I was getting literally baked!!!  I was way over heating, nauseated, but determined to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I was now talking to myself and my dad who was watching from above.  A couple miles into the second loop the skies just freaking broke loose and this was my saving grace cause it cooled me off and I was able to take in water and Pepsi along with a GU every 20 minutes.  Note I tried going every 30 minutes but about the 20 min mark I could feel myself getting heavy and bonking a little.  I also tried eating a banana and pretzels and that was a no go.  So a GU it was every 20 minutes with water and then Pepsi.  At mile 18 I found another runner that was feeling the same and on the last lap also so we took turns pushing each other.  I now was constantly talking to my dad and was getting teary eyed for I knew the end was soon.  Mile 25 hit and I actually had tears coming down my cheeks and this last lap I didn't care what happened I was taking it all the way.  Toward that last 1000 yards it is kind of like to Tour de France, people are lined the roads to the point where you can't run side by side and that just adds to the emotions and feelings of a Gladiator.  There truly is no other way to explain the finish line of an Ironman!!!!!!  This was my worst marathon time ever in my life wheather it be a stand alone or an ironman marathon but knowing what I had to go through to get to the finish line and who was guiding me I just didn't care.......THANKS DAD WE DID IT!!!!!!!!

Overall Time: 10:57:22 (36 min better then last year) BIG SMILE!!!

In closing I just want to THANK my wife, Alison JC Noftsger for standing by my side and always pushing me no matter what.  This was a long season for us and it was great to be on a vacation as a family to bring it to an end.  My children Keegan and Olivia-thanks for putting up with dad always being gone early in the mornings on Saturdays and Sundays :).  To my coaches Rich and Patrick and all of the EN(Endurance Nation) family, to my teammates from IM4RM, to my countless training partners, to Kyle's Bikes, Mike Foote, Tom, and anyone else I have missed.  THANKS FOR EVERYTHING.

Two years in a row in Cozumel and I have vowed not to return unless it is for pure pleasure.  Yep that means no swimming, biking, or running.  

2014 will be just as exciting for us cause we are starting in Orlando, Florida the first week in Jan and taking on the DOPEY.  This is 4 days of racing and includes a 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, and lastly a full marathon.  4 days of pure joy.  This is followed by the Market to Market relay, Drake 1/2 marathon.  We then travel to Wisc for the Wisc Dells Rev 3 and will close out the season in Tennessee for their inaugural Ironman event.  More events will be added along with way as they pop up.  Somewhere along the way I will be doing some sort of ULTRA with Mason.  That was a promise I made and it will be kept.  


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