And so the big day arrived on November 29th. Ironman Cozumel. http://www.ironmancozumel.com/ The last BIG event I would do for 2009.... and my chance to become an Ironman for the 4th time.
This would be my second Ironman event this year with Ironman Louisville being just 3 months earlier. I had no idea how I'd do, how I'd feel or if I'd even be able to finish! The only thing that has been consistent is my running during training for this event. Biking and swimming kept getting put on the back burner since I've been having such a blast running on the trail. I did start swimming regularly about a month before this event, but biking miles were almost non-existent in comparison to training for my first two Ironman events. I went into this event hoping that my running fitness would pull me through as it had for Ironman Louisville.
Before the race:
Trey and I flew into Cozumel on Friday before the race. The race was on Sunday... so this would give us time to check in and do packet pick-up. We went straight from getting off the plane to our car rental place and over to the race headquarters. After we were done there... we went to the resort to relax.
Raceday.... The swim:
The swim was an in the water mass start. Water temperature that day was 81 degrees... which means no wetsuit. I usually panic during the swim (especially a mass start), but I went into this one feeling much more confident since I had been taking Master's Swimming at Baylor back home. The water was so clear that it looked like the ocean floor was just one or two feet away... it wasn't though... it was VERY deep. I remained calm and just kept swimming wondering when the panic attack was going to happen. IT NEVER DID. I was so focused on the beautiful starfish, sea rays and other beautiful fish that I never thought once about all the horrible things that could happened out there. Before I knew it... I was at the turnaround and then at the finish. I came out of the water in 1:10... A HUGE Personal Record for me!
Now I test out the bike legs... LOL! Fortunately... I was riding on some borrowed Zipp wheels from East Ridge Bicycles http://eastridgebicycles.net/index.cfm ....and they had also fully serviced my ride (thanks to John Karr). The first loop of the bike wasn't too eventful. There was headwind and crosswind most of the way, but nothing like the second and third laps of the bike! The third lap was horribly bad winds. They made IM Arizona in 2008 look like a vacation. Part of the reason for this is the fact that the course goes along the coast for quite a ways and a little storm was blowing in on the third lap. Boy... was I EVER happy to get off that stinking bike! Even with all the wind... I had a nice Personal Record on this leg of the race... How did that happen?!
Ahhh.. the run.... Something I can usually feel good about. NOT TODAY!!! My legs were spent from fighting all the wind on the bike! The course was three loops (all flat). I did the best I could, but I didn't bust out the run split I was hoping for. Fortunately I was able to hold the same run time as my IM Louisville race. The third lap was awful... Between the blood sucking mosquito's and lack of humph in my legs.... I really had to dig deep to get myself to the finish line without walking too much. Finally.... I made it... and I beat my best Ironman time by 40mins!!!
This race has a great venue and I would recommend it if you are considering doing an Ironman outside of the United States. The Island is beautiful and the Mexican people were all very nice. There is much to do on the island or on the main land. We spent the rest of our vacation exploring and having fun!