Miles 1-40 HR Zone 1. Just ride along. Spin spin spin.
Miles 41-80 HR Zone 2. Ride the bike but keep in endurance zone.
Miles 81-110... more of the same.
Miles 110-112 back to Zone 1
Florida is flat, however with flatness often comes wind. Saturday's winds were not nearly as bad as earlier in the week, but they were present.
I had no idea on pacing this race, I just wanted to execute the plan. I made sure to keep in Z1 the first 40 miles and Z2 the rest of the ride. With headwinds and the occasional overpass or slight slight slight roller, this meant a slow ride for me. I have no idea why but my HR on the bike is really high.
Honestly I didn't even care. This is my first Ironman, and I was not going to let ego ruin the day for me. I only had one job all day and that was to stay in the box. Of course my ego was a little bummed that I had to hang back and peddle along, but I knew that at the end of the ride I still had a little marathon to run so why not be conservative and just enjoy the day?
So I did.
It was a STUNNING day in north Florida. Breezy, hot, sunny... heaven. I saw some amazing plants and of course all the palm trees. I got complimented on my calves a few times, I even got to pass some people who where having a rough go of the heat or the sun or the wind or all three.
All I knew was that I was in the right HR zone and I was not going to go over one beat if I could help it. Stay in the box, Jenn. Don't eat the paste. Let them burn out and have a rough marathon. Today is not the day for ego, today is the day to soak it all in.
I executed the nutrition just as I had in training. I kept the HR conservatively low, even lower than my plan just to make sure that had plenty of stores left. All in all there was not one issue on the bike and I was able to make the 112 mile journey out and back again with that silly grin on my face.
Every time I rode through an aid station, they would yell "Look at her smile!"
I thanked every volunteer and police/fire/first responder than I saw.
I enjoyed every moment of the bike. Tom Demerly's words stayed with me all ride... This was my graduation day, I earned it and I wanted to remember every single mile.
Soak it up Jennifer... you earned this.
By the time I hit mile 90 I could not believe it. I was having a great little ride, singing to myself both inside my head and aloud (this was especially funny to me as I would do it particularly when passing people) and realized that my ride was almost over.
Trish was so right... it was a long day that would go by fast. I was almost unprepared for how quickly the day was passing, but I knew that the final leg of this journey was just in front of me. Make it back to T2 and it would all be just a little jog then the finish line.
Holy cow... where did the time go?
*beep beep* goes the mat as I cross the dismount line and hand off Lady to the volunteers.
Official bike time: 7:05:58
Based on lab tests and training rides, I had estimated that if I maintained a solid 145 BPM for the bulk of the ride, that I would average about 16 MPH on the bike. I averaged just shy of that at ~ 15.78MPH, at ~ 140BPM for the ride. I would say that I was pretty in tune with my body!
Coach Bonnie said that we should finish and feel like we could have gone 15-20 minutes faster. I felt like I could have done that easily, if not even more, so I was right on plan if not a little conservative.
As they say - if you execute a good bike leg, you have 26.2 miles to gain speed. If you execute a bad bike leg you have 26.2 miles to feel the pain.
Heading in to T2, I took a moment to myself. I just sat on the chair while the volunteers emptied out my run gear bag. All I have left in the day is a marathon. Heh. ALL that I have left is a marathon. It is amazing who you become when you train for a race of this distance. You know that you have crossed a milestone when you think that a marathon is a short go of things.
I took off the bike shorts, tore off my shoes and helmet and threw on my socks and running shoes/visor/sunglasses. I thanked my volunteers and headed right out the door.
*beep beep* went the timing mat as I exit T2 and start on the run.
In 6.5-7 hours I would be running through the chute... but for now I just need to focus on executing the plan.
Follow the plan and the rest will come!