San Juan Ironman 70.3.
A 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run.
Yesterday the kidlets and I watched my husband complete this feat.
Here is the basic timeline of our day (from the spectator perspective.)
4:20 am. Alarm sounds.
5:00 am. 4 kids and 2 adults hit the road. With tri gear, lots of snacks, 2 cameras, books, sunscreen and multiple phones. It was still really dark out.
5:05 am. Prayers said that we will be able to sneak into the parking garage at the host hotel, rather than some random parking garage miles from the action.
5:15 am. Prayers answered. Good parking spot.
5:23 am. First of numerous bathroom stops.
6:00 am. We set up along the banks of the start and take in the sights.
the Caribe Hilton as the sun comes up
6:34 am. The Cool Ranch Doritos make an appearance.
6:40 am. Supply check.
Swim cap ready! (note smiley face to help us spot him in the swim.)
6:50 am. Time to start heading toward the start. Final hugs.
To the swim area.
tall green head to the right of the Wave 11 sign
7:35 am. Husband begins the swim.
Once the swimmers make their way around the lagoon…
They pass under this bridge.
The kids watch the swimmers.
8:00 am. Spotted! Just coming out the other side of the bridge.
8:08 am. Caitlyn catches a glimpse of him during the swim-to-bike run. Yes, transitions aren’t usually this far apart – but the athletes had a good 1/4 to 1/2 mile run – barefoot in the street to get to their bikes.
8:20 am. The pedaling begins, sporting his TX jersey.
8:30 am. Snack time round II.
9:00 am. Time for Mass. Conveniently, every week we attend the Caribe Hilton’s English service. The timing worked out great. There’s not much to see during a 56 mile bike ride, so a few prayers sent out to the roads were perfectly fitting.
10:00 am. Time in the nature sanctuary. Alright, so we are veering off the Ironman details, but 3 hours is quite a lot of time to kill, so we spent some time in this beautiful location at the hotel.
10:30 am. Support crew refuel: chocolate for the kids, Starbucks for Mom.
10:35 am. Taking in the transition are, kids look hot and less-than-excited.
10: 36 am. Shade found. Sunscreen applied. Waiting to see our runner.
To lighten the mood let’s talk t-shirts. My favorites of the day: TRI SHERPA (I could use that one) or IRONMATE (I could do that one too) and the kids’ favorite: SWIM like there’s a shark behind you, RIDE like you stole the bike, RUN like you can see the finish line.
11:20 am. Runner spotted. The TX Jersey is easy to see from a distance.
11:21 am. He seems positive and feeling good.
11:30 am. We hydrated and headed to a new viewing spot. Before we spotted our athlete again, he had a scenic run.
The run headed uphill, just along the coast.
The run went by both Forts, you can see El Morro in the distance.
Just beside El Morrow
Through a tricky portion of the city of the on cobblestones.
An out-and-back along the fort’s wall
12:15 pm. We are set up and ready to cheer.
At this point, if you can hear the background soundtrack of “I’m tired, I’m thirsty, I’m hot,” just ignore it, I did.
12:30 Mile 6-ish we see him!
12:40 We see him again at mile 7 as he heads out to do the run loop again.
The kids are on their last wait stretch. Grace and Harry each find some shade.
1:30 pm. Here he comes into the final stretch. Can you hear the mathematics clicking away in his head?
Cruelly, there is an uphill bridge to the finish. (note – fellow Diva 1/2 marathon runners, does this look familiar? No boa, tiara or champagne on this one.)
1:36 pm. Heading into the finish!
So – if you aren’t already impressed enough by the amazing athletes that take on this challenge, I can’t fail to remind that this is his first endurance event since October’s surprising Diabetes diagnosis. So proud of this guy who has tackled the challenges of this disease, yet never missed a beat in his Ironman training.
9 weeks until Ironman Texas!
Now, I know you would love a blog entry from the athlete’s point of view. He is a man of few words and even less writing. So let me see if I can paraphrase his words and thoughts:
- I am pleased with the swim. My goal was 40 minutes. I expected to do 45 minutes. I was really surprised with 37:23. I hated the transition run from swim to bike.
- I went out too hard on the bike at first, otherwise good.
- The run was hot. I didn’t like all the cobblestones. I hated the out-and-back along the fort’s wall. The heat was just radiating off of it and there needed to be an aid station out there.
- Happy with the overall outcome.
So proud of Dad!