DJ standing in front of a low Lake Tahoe

I’m still struggling to spin this, I’m super disappointed in my performance and result. The best part of this is I’m still in love with Ironman. I’m still excited to see what I can do, how I can learn to dose out the self inflicted suffering, to have the most satisfying race possible.

table of results
My worst placing since 2012. I always try for the top 5%(I haven’t done it yet) or top 20, so 37th of 212 in my age group falls short of the goal.

I had a really good block of training in August and the first weeks of September. My shoulder was feeling better so swimming was easier. I was hitting all my pace goals on the run, they all seemed doable, usually easy. My bike training was going well too, my watts were always obtainable I was climbing well though I did gain 5 pounds since June 28th when I did Ironman Coeur d’alene. I knew going into IMLT I wasn’t going to have a fast time and I would not have my best race, coming off Ironman Canada July 26th, 7 weeks prior isn’t a great recipe for a great race. I knew it was a long season, I was due to break, but with the training going as well as it was I was optimistic.

My coach Dave Ciaverella held my enthusiasm in check, he kept me from over training, the constant corrections, much like open water swimming one has to look up and see where one is going. My Thai Massage therapist Anni Hunt kept my body injury free. Lisa Sullivan was a constant help in keeping me on track with my calories and nutrients. The plant based diet I have slowly adopted has been huge for me, I still have plenty of empty calories but more and more I’m getting nutrient dense calories.

My work as a self employed Massage Therapist is fairly seasonal, my business had started to really pick up since May and seemingly each week I was a little busier, which is a fun! But it does make it more diffulcult to schedule workouts with freinds. Many of the usual suspects had finished their IM season in July, or earlier, so there were less teammates and freinds to call on. Bob and Judd went beyond what they needed to do a few times to keep me company. I was able to ride with Dave a couple times, Whitney was a constant. I did not have the dread or anger many people report in an overtraining or even worse a burnt out stage of training. I did have to rally myself to start many workouts but once 20–30 minutes in I was always fine.

The Swim 1:03:39

The drought has been felt everywhere, I know very little about all the consequences of the drought. It’s easy to see the mountains have very little snow, the lakes and rivers have lower levels of water. I do know the lake was very low and we had to walk a long way ankle then knee deep water before most of actually shallow dove in to the water to swim. My swim time was surprisingly fast, I was sure it was short but my Garmin did indicate it was correct. Once I did start swimming I found feet right away the race had low numbers so the crowding wasn’t much of an issue. I did get kicked in the chest, but it could have been kicked in the head, so it’s was good.

T1 10:18 the worst ever

I’ve been spoiled the past two IM’s with volunteers than have raced and know what has to happen and have gone above and beyond , at IMLT the volunteers in T1 did everything right, but it did take me a long time to get all my stuff on without help. The run up to the changing building was far as well. I should have hurried but I wasn’t in race mode for whatever reason. Maybe I was cold.

Bike 6:11:22 I nailed my watts ! Almost anyway I did fade a bit.

The bike could have been a lot faster, it would be easy to go hard on the flats, I resisted the urge to ride at my normal IM watts, the plan was to keep the watts low mid zone 2, at least a few factors went into this, the elevation, I had no elevtion training or adaptation time. The race was my 3rd Ironman in 12 weeks. The overall riding goal for all this Ironman lifestyle is to be healthly which includes not injuring myself, this idea helps me stay in check on Saturday rides, I generally have a Sunday run. It also helps in me on race day knowing I have a Marathon to run after a 112 mile bike.

My heart was broken when I saw Whitney walking her bike I slowed enough to ask if she was ok, maybe she just needed a co2. She said she had crashed and waved me on.

T2 4:33 it was ok

The Run 4:33:37 not awesome at all. I exited the tent and saw Lisa I let her know Whitney had crashed we exchanged a few sentences and she waved me on. The plan was to go out at 9–9:30 pace on the down hills take the ups at 10–10:30 I was able to do that for a while. I never blew up my decline was fairly steady and was mental for the most part, I conceded to discomfort too often, there are places in the race when I as an athlete need to decide to suffer and I chose not suffer. Once I started making the easy decisions I folded. Post Race and the next day I was mostly fine, tired but walking about normal. I certainly have felt worse.

At mile 18 I saw Garren at the time I didn’t know if he had finished or decided to opt out, later I found he decided to drop.

All in all it was simply a rough day, a shit show, a big disappointment. Not all races are going to go well, I have lots of room for growth as an Ironman athlete and I’m excited to continue growing my excitement and joy for the the sport is still alive, I’m taking a prescribed break and just going to have fun! I’ll do my rehab exercises, swim, bike, run, do some strength training, without much thought for the next day or the next few days, if I’m tired or am not into it. I’ll have another cup of coffee or make more pancakes.

The screen shot below are the objective results, It’s pretty clear where I have been finishing in my age group, and of course I’m trying move up. It’s also clear I’m far from the podium so I’m certainly in it for the passion, there is no glory at 37th place, 23rd place or even my all time best 19th place.