I stayed quite focused on keeping a solid performance and speed on the part of the course I knew best. I decided once I got to the unknown part I would have to vary my riding tendencies a bit. I have always been a masher and knew I would have to switch up to spinning some so I wouldn’t wear out my legs. Overall I was happy because I felt great, was in good spirits, and my nutrition plan was working. I couldn’t be more stoked. It was hard at times to watch people I played leapfrog with be tended to by medics and eventually driven away from the course. It was a very hot, sunny, cloudless day. We had higher humidity then we normally do, as well. I tried to keep eating some nutrition every hour, even when I didn’t want it. I was not as faithful about my salt capsules on the ride but made sure to eat salty things on the course. My first bottle pick up I was a bit wobbly, but I recovered from that experience and had no trouble after that. I just didn’t connect well with the person handing the water off. As time went on, I transitioned over to using their sweet Power Bar drink so I didn’t need to dig my Nuun tablets out. As our ride continued, I was a bit nervous I wasn’t hydrated enough because I never peed on the course. I did stop and step off my bike to eat from my special needs bag. Those were the best tasting Pringles potato chips I can ever remember eating. I had to stop and savor them. Once the chips were gone it was time to start the unknown. Overall, I was happy with my bike performance. The unknown was a bit challenging at times, but I just kept my eye on the prize. About mile 80 I started playing leapfrog with a gentleman from the Chicago area. It was nice because he was very encouraging. We never violated the biking rules but we would get to talk for brief moments, as we would pass each other back and forth. I had disclosed to him at one point I had finally ridden the longest I had even been on my bike. Once we hit the 100 mile mark, he welcomed me to the century club. He then asked me a bit about the Three Sisters, the worse hills on the course. I let him know I had only done them once on relatively fresh legs. They seemed worse when you have ridden your longest ride but I need to conquer them. I am happy to report I was able to drop down and spin right up!! The last 12 miles seemed pretty long but I did finally get back into the groove and push a bit faster. I must say I was very happy to finally round the corner and see Boulder High School and the bike finisher’s chute. Boy, did it feel awkward to stop my bike at the dismount line. It took a second to feel comfortable to stand. We were encouraged to walk through the chute. I completed the bike in 7 hours, 27 minutes 32 seconds, which was a 15 mph average, 1989 out of 2814 people, and I was happy for that!
Once I handed off my bike and picked up my changing bag I struggled to get my helmet off. My hair was stuck in the part were you tighten it. A nice volunteer helped get the hair out of the turn knob and I was into the changing tent.Time for the next leg of my journey. I am happy to report I finished my first Ironman in 16:35:39 and the worst thing that happened were some blisters!
Thank you for sharing your story Jennifer!
LongsCycle - August 2014