Wow!!! Wow!!! Wow!!! The first word that comes to mind is “Unbelievable”. I could feel the support and prayers for me all the way along the race.
My times were 1:01 swim, 5:13 bike (21.5 avg/mph), and 3:57 marathon (9:03 avg/mile) with an overall time of 10:23:49 including my transitions between events!! Not only did I accomplish my goals I demolished them!!
Below shows my rank in the race (about 3,000 participants) and my age group (527 people).
Rank Age Group
Swim 164 24
Bike 133 20
Run 166 27
I felt good almost the entire race. During the swim I only got elbowed four times and kicked in the face once. The toughest was the bike. It was a long time out there and the wind was tough. My coach told me not to ride the course alone but not to draft (which is against the rules and can result in a four minute penalty) meaning I had to be at more than four bike lengths behind the bike in front of me. With about 40 miles to go during the bike, I had a group pass me that was drafting. I heard my coach telling me “Don’t ride this course alone” but they were about 50 yards from me now. I decided to try and catch them and I did but I relaxed too much and they were slipping away. My mind said I can’t keep up with them because they were drafting and I would not be able to stay with them. Where did that negative thought come from? My coach told me I would have them on the course but there were about 75 yards away from my now and it was windy. I changed my thought process and decided I could and would catch them and wouldn’t let them get away this time. I also made a “mind bet” with myself that I wouldn’t get a sip of Gatorade until I caught them. I did catch them and was able to stay with the group the rest of the ride even though I wasn’t drafting. I was concerned about the run because the furthest I had run was 16 miles in training and was in an air cast for almost two weeks last month. My coach told me to build my pace during the run which means he wanted my first mile to be my slowest and the last mile to be my fastest. It paid off. I felt good the entire run compared to my half Ironman’s when I hit the wall at mile six in my first race and mile nine at my second. The feeling running down the finish chute was unreal and then the announced “From Gainesville Florida, Rich Blaser , YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!”. What an experience!!
What is one thing I learned? That we can accomplish way more than we believe we can. The mind is powerful and can help you and hurt you but the absolute best part is it YOUR decision. It is your decision if you have positive thoughts or negative thoughts. “What we think we become” Buddah.
Thanks again for all your support, accountability, and prayers!!
I AM AN IRONMAN!!!