I got into transition at 5am. I had to get body marked with my race number, air up my tires and check in my remaining race bags for pick-up during at mid point of the bike and run. At 6:30 it was time to start heading to the water. I put my wetsuit on and took one last pre-race blood sugar check - 164, pretty good for a race start. My teammates, Casey and Kevin, and I started walking towards the swim start. On the way we ran into 3 more teammates, Sean, Denise and Heather. It was neat taking the final few steps with some of my teammates. We shared final thoughts, compared blood sugars, and gave the last well wishes before we jumped into the chilly waters of Tempe Town Lake. It was 62 degrees and definitely took my breath away but I quickly acclimated to the cold temperature. It was still dark at this time and was really surreal. 2800 other triathletes all in the water ready to begin a long tough day. The crowds gathered around the banks of the lake and on the Mill Avenue Bridge above us. I stopped for just a second to take it all in. It was hard to believe that I was about to start my first Ironman. I'd thought about it more times than I could count over the last year and now it was hear. The MC pumped up the crowd and got one last roar out of them after the national anthem, and then without a count down or any warning...BAM!!! The cannon went off. I expected it to be rougher than it was swimming in such a large group but I was able to settle in and not get punched or kicked too much. It was definitely full contact but nothing I hadn't experienced before and to be honest I have gotten beat up much more in other races. It was pretty congested until we hit the turnaround and then it was smooth sailing back to the swim finish. I was shocked when I looked at my watch after climbing up the stairs out of the water...1 hour 13 minutes!!! Holy *$%# that is the fastest I have ever swam that distance in open water by 6 minutes. It was a great way to start the race.
I walked slowly through transition and grabbed my gear bag. I sat down in a chair outside the doorway to the tent. I didn't want to change in that dark muddy mess again. I was in absolutely no rush. Survival mode had begun. Any best case scenario time goal was out of reach at this point. My only goal now was to manage the pain, my nutrition, and my energy.
Highlights of Team Triabetes at Ironman AZ