Ironman Kansas 68.1
by Brenda Bolding
The day started with so much promise…….and with me just about missing my swim start. Normally when you start a race it feels like you’re waiting forever just for your heat to get in the water; Sunday my heat was lined up to get into the beach start when I got over there after talking with my support crew (Hotzie, Jeff, and Aaron). I made it, though, with literally minutes to spare and my heat kicked off promptly at whatever time we were scheduled to start.
I had really hoped to be able to get a 37 minute swim but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. It felt as though our heat caught up to the slower swimmers in the previous heat very quickly and it’s always difficult to fight your way through people in front of you as well as those in your group trying to get through. Somehow I ended up very close to the buoys which I normally try to avoid; I can keep a more solid stroke when I’m toward the outside where there are far fewer swimmers vying for space. All in all swim went well: no goggle leakage, no severe kicks to the head, no near-hyperventilation from starting too quickly and not having enough air. The run to T1 went by really quickly and I could hear Aaron cheering for me as well as Jeff and Hotzie (who, incidentally, had the lens cap on the video camera…can’t win ’em all.)
Came out of T1 to the mount line, straddled my bike, put on my sunglasses, and dropped my bike. Wouldn’t have been that big of a deal but ¾ of the water in my aero bottle came out (the only water I had with me) as it was falling off my bike. With shaking fingers I put the bottle back on, attached the Velcro, and was off.
I really like the layout of the bike course out there in Lawrence but what I didn’t like were the lack of aid stations. We rode all the way out leg one and were almost back to the Iron cross before there was an aid station on an uphill. Not sure who’s idea that was but I’d have to say I disagree with it. I failed to practice the oh-so-important skill of “shift, grab water and try not to veer, shift, pour water in aero bottle, shift, throw bottle”. I was completely out of water by the time I got there, though, I was just glad to have it no matter what part of the course I got it from. Only other issue I had on the bike was dropping my chain and having to get off to fix it…..oh, and the fact that my cassette was loose enough that Megan Mansfield commented on it when she caught up to me on leg 2. “Uh, Brenda, it sounds like something is about to fall off the back of your bike”. Luckily nothing did fall off and I will more than likely fix that before Ironman Louisville.
No aid stations on leg 2 at all so I was out of water for about 30 minutes which means I couldn’t take in any nutrition (have to chase that stuff with water or I’m pretty sure that thick, sweet mixture will cement your mouth shut). The hills were pretty tough and my legs were starting to lose their juice but I focused on riding and decided that I wasn’t going to let it bother me.
Leg 3 was uneventful with the exception of the bad, bad headwind all the way out. I just kept telling myself the tailwind on the way back would be awesome and I was not disappointed. Really noticing now how the heat and humidity were affecting me; it would feel refreshing on the run.
Run: 1:48:10 (per my Garmin. Add 20 minutes for the 2.2 miles I had left)
Felt pretty decent heading out on the run as I usually do. From start to mile 2 I felt good and didn’t pray for complete bodily shutdown until mile 5. I got really, really hot, couldn’t get my heart rate to drop below 174, and started to feel that first twinge of “oooh, I could possibly pass out”. I slowed down (didn’t help) and had to walk for about ½ a mile, which did help. I also ate a gel (I had forgotten to eat on the run til this point) downed an entire cup of Gatorade, a cup of wate