So it's ten days or so later, I've written the race report, been home long enough to get used to the spreading fall cold, raked up about 50K leaves (yes, literally, and no I'm not sharing the math).
So what do I think ?
First I want to give props to the guy that was the real hero of the day, Force 5 Sports' Michael D'Addetta. Michael suffered a broken toe in the wetsuit stripping area, suffered an unrepairable flat about sixty miles into the bike and walked half an hour- in bike shoes with that bad toe- got a wheel, finished the bike, and went out and ran the marathon- ran it.
I thought Steve Surprise also put in an epic effort- two ironman races in eight weeks. Wow !
So how do I feel- ambivalently psyched ?
On one hand, this was a 17 minute PR, beating a four year old PR set at the same race. So I've gotten older and faster. Mostly older. At the same time, I was more than eight minutes over my 9:59:59 goal.
On one hand, I was hunched over on the cold tile of the bathroom floor with a fit of Outo-geri exactly one week before the race and spent twenty-four hours dehydrated and semi-conscious. On the other hand, I'd completely recovered at least 48 hours before the race.
On one hand, the drafting burned me. I don't think I'm a great triathlete, but did thirty-four guys in my age group beat me cleanly ? I'm going to say no. On the other hand, I'm racing the clock, and I raced it clean and put an hurt on it.
On one hand, I lost my temper on the bike and chirped and bitched at my opponents, letting them get in my head. On the other hand, I overcame it.
On one hand, I had a slow marathon at 3:30. on the other hand, most of the people out there would have been happy with the time.
Overall, I had a good race and a great time down there and I want to go back in 2010. More importantly I finally exercised the demons of Ironman Arizona 2007, and am ready to go there next year.
I'm going to take this one, both the emotion in that finish line photo, largely frustration at myself, and the rest of it- which is positive, happy thoughts about how I am making progress as a triathlete, and getting faster- I was faster than my previous PR in the swim, the bike, the run, and both transitions. That's a step in the right direction.
I want to stop taking steps and get there. That's for next year, for Arizona 2009. This one, this was a keeper.