IMSG yesterday was my first Ironman ever... and I finished!
Are they all this tough?
Holy crap it was gnarly out there!!!
About 10 minutes into the swim the wind started blowing, hard. By 20 minutes, I had waves coming over my head from behind. My wife at the start line said sand was blowing all across the lake. At the 2nd turn when you start heading back, I only saw 1 buoy the entire 1.8km return trip. The Salt Lake newpaper reported winds were 40mph and waves up to 5'.
In the water, we could see nothing, but more waves. Maybe another swimmer every few minutes. I would pause and try to spot the rock island since I knew we passed off to the right side. That was my only guide for the entire return trip. There was no cutting the course BTW. A guy who exited the water at the same time as me and was being told he had to swim back out and go around the final red buoy. Must have cut inside it. Harsh...
I thought I'd do a 1:15 swim, but I think it ended up around 1:40. Had fears of not making 2:20 since I didn't have a watch. You couldn't stop and catch a breather because the waves were in your face and you'd just be pushed backward. Couldn't side stroke or breast stroke because the waves would just pour over your head. I literally felt like I was fighting for survival. Made it though, and VERY proud of that.
Then onto the bike. Same 40mph winds on the bike. When I was passed by the 2 leaders, riders were pushing along at a blistering 6mph on a 'false flat' into canyon headwinds. The leaders BLASTED by probably doing about 10-12MPH... like 12MPH is "blasting".
The run sucked. Zig-zag-zig-zag, etc, etc. Great for spectators I guess, but having to cover all those back and forth's really just made it an uninteresting and therefore psychological challenge.
At the awards this morning they said 28% DNF... does that qualify this as the most difficult Ironman in history? Sure as hell felt like it should be.
I give mad props to anyone who survived that swim. It was 'survival' out there, bottom line.
This is ten percent LUCK, twenty percent SKILL
Fifteen percent concentrated POWER OF WILL
Five percent PLEASURE, fifty percent PAIN
And a hundred percent reason to be IN THIS GAME!