Bike is checked in. Transition bags are hanging. Compression is on and I am waiting to pick-up my favorite pre-race meal - OUTBACK!!!
The nerves are building but what I am feeling is to be expected. I have known about this race since Sept 2011 when I qualified. I have dedicated the last 14 weeks to prepare my mind and body to be in the best possible shape for this event.
I can't wait to enjoy this experience to the fullest. Every mile I will be thinking about the past 5 years and all the obstacles and exciting moments that have occurred in my life. Knowing that there were many times in the past 5 years when I could have given up on pursuing my athletic and personal goals, makes me proud to have this opportunity.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate the emails, text messages, facebook messages and kind words that I have received in the past week. More than that, I am so thankful to have so many supportive people in my life, who have believed in me no matter what I set my mind to in life. Thank you.
For tracking/watching the event tomorrow, links to the race will be on this page:
IM World Championship
BIB NUMBER: 1846
Last name: SUMBAL
Age group: W25-29
You can watch the entire race, which will start around 12 or 1pm EST on Ironmanlive.com. I highly recommend watching as much of the race as you can online (especially the swim start at 6:30am for the pro's and 7a for the age groupers - Kona time, 6 hours earlier from EST as well as the run). The pro race will be extremely exciting and there are always nice stories on featured athletes.
You can follow along with the pros and the age groupers by putting in the information that I listed above (that is my info) as there will be several check-points along in the race.
If you are new to IM tracking or Kona tracking, there are a few things to consider while "watching" all of us athletes on the course.
The swim course is a mass start...this makes for an exhausting but fast swim for many of us.
The bike course has a quick section in town with a few short climbs and an in-town out and back section, before we head out onto the Queen K hwy. We hit HAWI around mile 53 where we will have a 6 mile climb to the turn-around point. At this point, we descend down 6 miles in what is typically the start of some brutal crosswinds. Typically, the winds pick up in the late morning but that doesn't mean it won't be windy for all 112 miles. However, it is typical and not unusual to have crosswinds and headwind, with gusts up to 60 mph, for at least 40 miles, heading back into town. Pacing is extremely important on this course (thank goodness I have my power meter!!) so bike check-points may vary along the course. I will be focusing on my average pace, not necessarily trying to hold a certain "speed" throughout the entire 112 mile ride. Today when I was warming up I was soft-pedaling at 23 mph with watts below 90 but on the way back into town, I felt the wind and my power was in the upper 160 (watts) and I was holding around 18mph.
The run has an out and back section in town where the crowds will be cheering like crazy. Both the bike and the run include a super steep climb up Palani drive (out of transition and leads up to the Queen K hwy). There is a turn around at the church on Ali and then once we make our way on Queen K, we have 6ish long miles until we reach the natural energy lab. I think this section is a short 2 miles out and back, but then we have 6 long miles back into town..where we then feel the energy and get that much closer to the long-awaited finish line.
(almost set up!)
The Queen K hwy is NOT flat and there are many gradual climbs. The entire run course has ZERO shade so ANYTHING can happen on the run.
Thank you again for tracking. This has been the most wonderful experience and I am really looking forward to crossing my 5th Ironman finish line.
Best of luck to the Jacksonville Hammerhead tri club (shawn, tony, kevin, kerry, don, susan, libby) and I'm wishing that all the athletes have a safe, fun and memorable race..I'm hoping that we can all have the race of our life...the race that we have dreamed about while pouring our heart and souls into every training session leading up to Kona.