Race report: Ironman Maryland
Written: 7 October 2017
I went into this race very calm and with perspective. Monday before we left I tripped and didn’t think much of it, swimming and driving to Columbus without major issues. The minor ache turned into pain, which turned into limping and eventually no walking by Monday into Tuesday middle of the night. I visited Dr. Briggs, who got me into Dr. Walrod – Xray said no fracture – GOOD. I was in a boot and I thought (with Dr. Briggs guidance) without pain I should at the least swim and bike! At this rate thinking my race was a no-go, I was excited. I could do SOMEthing which was better than NOthing.
So I kept the boot on religiously, and my workouts leading up to the race were just bike/swim stuff. No running.
I entered the day calm and full of gratitude with the idea that I just was excited to participate and for the record I think this is the best possible way to enter any race like this. I was calm, happy and thrilled to be there no matter the outcome.
The swim was in the Choptank river, with tiny sea nettles (aka jelly fish). I don’t think they were a big bother. My first lap seemed a bit slow to me and staying on track was difficult because it did get a bit choppy. My second lap seemed more efficient and with no major smacks in the face or the gut I was happy to be out around 1:17!
I took transition slowly, making sure I was dried off and had my kit read with all of my nutrition and sunscreen on. I walked to my bike (no pain! YAY!) and started the ride. This is where I think I had such a good day mentally and physically.
I started the first 20 minutes just getting my legs moving, nothing too hard, wasn’t focused on speed at this point. Then I was going to attempt to get some calories in and that was in the form of a pumpkin spice Nutrigrain bar. Perfect. I discovered I do much better getting in calories when they aren’t just sweet candy chews. I like granola and less sweet stuff. I tried to get in a bar of some form every hour, with Gatorade and an occasional Clif shot chew in between if I felt sluggish. (Interested sponsors, please feel free to send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org)
I focused on getting to different milestones, I wanted to get to 25 miles and then focused on the 56 and getting half way. Then my next goal was each 10 mile marker after 60. I focused and stayed positive even with the heavy wind that almost knocked me off my bike!
I got to transition and looked at my time (for the first time) at about 7:18 I was very happy since the previous year it almost took 8.5 hours.
And now fingers crossed, I walked to my transition bag, took off my helmet etc. and concentrated on a ‘low dye’ tape technique for my foot that supported (I think) my cuboid bone in my foot. NO pain walking out and then I started to run and I had NO pain. So at this point I was ecstatic. Imagine: usually starting the run is mentally tough because you’ve already been through a lot and getting through a marathon seems like hell BUT what if you didn’t think you were going to get to do the run at all? Well now all of a sudden you’re excited and running is fun! I made it about 5-6 miles before needing a walk break and the walk breaks didn’t get too long until miles 15-16 and that’s when true fatigue set in. There was NO pain though – So I can’t use that as my excuse! 😉
Take homes: Be positive, appreciate the journey and always keep your perspective
Get Better: practice that back end run, increase power on bike and swim your heart out for a really great PR next time
Pumpkin spice Nutrigrain
Peanut butter crackers
Clif shot chews
Almost 3 gatorades, some water
It’s fun to see how excited I was to race even with a potential to DNF due to a clumsy fall the week of the race! I see how much my love of racing and even training is in this post.
Although it still pains me to see how slow I can be on the bike and the run, it’s definitely good to see almost a 45 minute PR for the full distance.
This was a cool race too, because my love of this race location was really solidified after doing this race. Gerry Boyle (sadly he is no longer with us since passed suddenly in mid 2019 right before my most recent race June 9 2019- Ironman 70.3 Eagleman. Gerry was honored by renaming Great March Park after him and the race participants collectively clapping and cheering for Gerry before the race started).
We stayed in Historic Easton, MD and drove the 25 minutes to Cambridge for the expo, bike racking, organization and race itself. Cambridge is wonderful and running right on the river is beautiful, especially when you are still racing during the sunset. 😉
Easton, MD is the real gem. It seems to be filled with some families but also a larger retirement community. We found wonderful restaurants and the Tidewater Inn apparently has an outstanding brunch on Sundays. Shoutout to IM MD for being on a Saturday instead of Sunday. This was wonderful!
Right before the swim, an anonymous person also handed me a laminated quote that had IM Maryland on it that read, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is just beyond
the finish line, now GET THERE!” This was really cool and something I really felt was special. I put it in my wet suit and it came with me for the entire race. & I got to the finish line! Maryland was a race I KNEW I’d be back again. I love this place.