Ironman Florida 2014

Just one day away from the BIG DAY and I have something. Something that kept me in the bathroom. Not good. Praying that all of it was literally flushed away.

Warning: THIS IS A DRAMATIC RACE REPORT. 

BIG DAY is here. As usual, woke up multiple times thinking it was time. Alarm went off and I am up. My stomach is quiet. (Yes, thank God!). The clock says 4:30 am and I walked to the balcony. The winds are strong and noisy. I can hear the waves breaking into the shores. Right then, I knew it would be a long day.

It was 40F. I wore sweat pants, sweater, beanie, gloves and sneakers. My brother was up and if you have ever met him, you know that is some kind of miracle. He is a sleepy head. We all know that miracles do not happen quite often, I knew that wind was not going anywhere. I had used my miracle card for the day, maybe year! So time to get all set up. Left all bottles, nutrition and extra arm warmers at the bike. All ready.

Almost 6:45am. My brother had my wetsuit. So we traded goods while he laughed at me. I gave him all my warm clothes and shoes for my wetsuit and googles. He had just flew from Brazil and was freezing, so I sent him off to the apartment under the condition that he would cheer me on the start of bike course. It was a good deal for him, he could warm up and see the race from the balcony. However, plans changed pretty quick. About 3 minutes after he left me there freezing, the swim got canceled and I had to run ½ mile barefoot to the apartment. The race would only start at 8 am.

By the time I got to the apartment, I could not feel my toes. But as good Brazilian that he is, the apartment temperature was set at 85F. It was beautiful 30 minutes. Leaving the apartment was tough. The race start was windy and cold. I was warm on upper body but wearing shorts. A good friend of mine gave me hand warmers and I cannot thank him enough. It kept my hands warm for a long time. High five for that!

The race was a time trial. Pro men, pro women, charity slots and then everyone else started. I started at 9ish, I stood in the cold for over an hour. Waiting. Some people waited for 2 hours. Insane. The first 35 mile ride was really tough. There were 30mph headwind and lateral wind. I ran a little behind on my nutrition. It took me some time to get comfortable to reach my bottles on the back cage. I ate more shot blocks than I predicted. Luckily I had extra. The following 10 miles were tailwind. I paid the price for those nice miles on the following 50 miles that were again head wind. I decided not to fight the wind, I wanted to have a good run. The last 10 miles were no wind and I pedaled like I stole my bike. Made it back to T2 (or would it be T1?!?!). Toughest Bike ride ever. And I did not see my brother.

Run. It is a 2 loop course, pancake flat (my favorite!!). I started good. Coming back on the 1st loop, there was strong wind blowing in your face. I ran as much as I could for about 10-11 miles, with 3-4 stops. It was cold meaning no sweating. However, lots of hydration and that makes you pee like a pregnant woman. Btw, did not see my brother again. The second loop was my worst nightmare. The sun was starting to go down. I had to stop at every single mile. The faster I ran, the more GI issues I had but the slower I went, the colder I was. I will not deny I thought about quitting but I wanted that t-shirt SOOOOO bad. I managed to finish. Yes, my body had to agree with my mind at some point and I got done.

I hear from so many people so many times this year how boring and flat Ironman Florida was… Well, Mother Nature just proved you all wrong.

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