This is the review about my self-supported Ironman (2.4 mi swim, 112 mi. bike, 26.2 mi. run) with pictures, as best as I can provide. It's called the Iron Baby because I had to skip an actual sanctioned Ironman-distance race last year due to the birth of my son, so I did one on my own. Twice makes it a tradition!
Results - Total time without the transitions is 15:32:00. Transitions were insanely long because I had to drive long distances and unpack/pack my bike. Since I did this event on my own, I was able to document it pretty extensively. I've attached lots of photos. Click on them to see them enlarged.
First, here's the weather conditions for the day. I started at 5:30 am, finished around 10:30 pm. The predicted 5 mph winds max didn't quite turn out to be true (14 mph!) Sensible temps at start and finish were 37 and 35 degrees, respectively.
The swim was in an outdoor pool (Bryan Aquatic Center). I swam at a very casual effort, covering nearly twice the distance of swim practice in the same amount of time. I measured the distance one 500 yard effort at a time. Distance: 4225 yds. Time: 1:05:27. I wish I was that good at biking and running. My watch has the ability to store workouts and recall them later, which is a very neat function.
The bike ride was very cold, but I had great equipment. Most often, I was wearing a long-sleeve UnderArmor shirt under a cycling jersy, cycling tights, fleece gloves, armwarmers, plastic bags as windproof socks, and a skullcap. On rare occasion, I put on a cycling jacket, but that was just a tad too warm. Here are some photos of the bike cockpit and the bike at halfway point (you can see my mp3 player hanging off my bento box) Check out the two-tone grip tape, it's all the rage ;) -
I finished the bike in 7:30:03, but actually spent 6:59:06 moving. I stopped by my truck several times to refuel and pick up/shed clothing. Moving average was 16.0 mph. I had to cross a deep and muddy gully six times because a bridge was out. Here are pictures of my ghetto windproof socks, the mud and leaves stuck to the bottoms of my shoes (NOT very aero), and of my bike computer's results. I find myself riding in crazy places a lot and prefer the Eggbeater pedals and cleats because absolutely nothing stops them from engaging -
I used Cody as a moving aid station on the run since I was only coming by the house every three miles. He was good for about half the run, but then he got bored and I was having to drag him some, which is not good. I ditched him and went on with just the Garmin 201. The Garmin was incredibly useful, allowing me to go anywhere and even letting me know that my pace on my last mile would allow me to walk to the finish line and still make the run in under seven hours. This is the time where I had serious ups and downs. I would feel great for a while, then absolutely terrible, then great again. Since I was walking a lot, I had time to read all the great comments that the Zentri Army was posting to help motivate me. This really helped when it started raining at mile 15. Comet's "finish strong" comment is what helped me the most. And I did!
I suffered a nasty bought of hypothermia after finishing, which included me violently wretching and howling on the living room floor and Emily dragging me into the hot shower where I stayed for 20 minutes and even ate a bowl of hot soup while under the water stream. Sorry, no pictures of that. I took plenty of audio during the event, especially as I was on the "run" (walk). I'll publish that as the next show as soon as I'm able.
This has been a wildly successful demo of how technology can assist one person and also how technology can bring together so many people from around the world. I'm pretty sure nobody's done a self-supported Ironman, documented it on a blog as it was happening, and was receiving feedback from spectators, all while being alone. Might be one of the coldest Ironman events ever as well. I want to thank the Zentri Army for all of their support before and during; it was invaluable. Other important items and fuels include: Garmin forerunner, Danger Sidekick for allowing me to post and read posts on the fly, Clif Bar and Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips on the run (yum!), Cody the Moving Aid Station, Emily, sleep, and ibuprofin. Let's do it again next year!