I had one issue going into the race that I couldn’t come to grips with – right foot pain. I had gone to the podiatrist last winter and felt I really had the situation licked with some great orthotics he had made me. Everything went well until Oceanside where I got a bad blister and I didn’t use them since.
I tried probably 1000.00 worth of shoes in the last month trying to find a neutral racing shoe (most seem to be posted for over pronation when cushion is added) and I finally went with some that had worked in the past. They hurt me this time though and it definitely cost me some time.
The swim went well. Best swim I had ever had here. I started in the middle left with Trevor. He said he would take us out controlled but I was flat out in his draft getting dropped so I immediately let him go. I saw a pack about 10 -15 meters up ahead and buried myself to catch up. I kept telling myself for the few min that once I caught I could rest. I seemed to not be able to finish the catch until I finally did. WOW! In the past I get dropped in the last ¼ of the swim here. Not really sure why but I paid close attention this time and had to swim pretty hard a few times to stay with them. I did though and was able to swim 55 which is my best swim probably ever for an IM swim. While I have gone fast this was the first non-wetsuit swim that fast.
I thought Trevor was up the road but I guess I had passed him in the water. I chased for a few miles to the first turnaround as we wanted to try to ride around each other to help mentally break up the day. I saw however that he was behind me so held up a little bit. He wanted to use me as a pace guide as he knew I had been here many times and wanted to see how I paced the bike.
We rode to 40 miles being pretty conservative but still averaging over 24mph. On the climb to Hawi I pushed a bit and rode up the field pretty well. Trevor thought the pace was getting to hot and wanted to stay a bit conservative so he held back. I got about 4 min up the road on him but being conservative and coasting through some “natural breaks” coming down he eventually re caught me. I didn’t see him the rest of the day as he said I started to leave him again, plus he was getting swallowed up by a pack and needed to let them through. It was hard to stay out in front of all the packs out there, again, it’s too bad people chose to ride that way but I have learned long ago I can’t control that. The last 20 miles was pretty darn windy but it was set up to be a good bike split regardless so I was cool with that. I rode about 4:46 combined with the 55 swim I was sitting in a good spot.
I felt fine starting the run, never OUTSTANDING, but fine. I was running about 7:10 pace for the first 10 miles but was still getting passed by a lot of guys. It was crazy how fast some of these athletes can run now. Very impressive. At about 9 miles my foot was killing me. It was so painful and I knew I had some heavier shoes in special needs, but I also knew I had another 10 miles to get there. I tried to ignore the foot pain, but it seemed to only call to my attention the fact that my legs were getting tired too. I went through the halfway in 1:38 so I thought I could still PR but I knew my foot was going to be even more of an issue. I got it changed, Trevor ran by me about mile 16 or so I said just go, my foot was in a bad way and he had an awesome race 9:14 on first Kona. I got some different shoes on and was able to still run 3:30 on a day everyone seemed to run slower (except the girls ironically). I finished in 9:23 and am pretty proud of the fact I was under 9:30 on a day I had to struggle a bit on the run. Super pumped Trevor who I had coached got a 9:14, and I am so impressed with my Dad, Kelly Hansen, and Ashley.
At the end of the day I did everything I could have done. Some days are going to fall your way, some wont, and most days will be some combination. Its part of the reason I love doing this. There are no guarantees.
Scott had another flat tire so his day was done (although he finished impressively 10:01) Now he and I will go have a crack at IMFLA. Or maybe not. LOL