Feeling the nerves I head north to Napa excited to honor my commitment to Ryan and Ian and race my last Ironman. (At least that is what I am telling myself now)  Truthfully, I had no intentions of racing another Ironman, however; I had such a good ride during the chef cycle and I am newly equipped with swim gear, I thought why not. Blessed by timing I was cooking in San Francisco at Quince the same week so I figured it was fate. 

Vineman experience…..

It is so easy to forget how hectic the bike, run and drops of the day prior can be. I wasn’t in Windsor long before the race energy started to hit me. It is basically a constant buzz of gear, nutrition, and aerodynamics.

I was staying about 30 min away from the swim start. YIKES those 4 am wake up calls hurt. I’m usually up on the early side but not 4 am! One and ½ hrs before the race started I saw so many people ready and geared up… stomach drops again. It is that same feeling as a long travel day. You get there early with nothing to really do but wait yet you don’t want to leave your spot. Basically the hurry up and wait game because I wanted to be ready to take off.

With a little more experience under my shorts, I did not allow myself to check my bike a hundred times or bike drop bag as I covered that the day prior.

The swim was much more controlled than I thought, worrying again for nothing.  I couldn’t comprehend how all 1500 people would swim in a river with only 2-6 feet deep. I tried to swim the best I could even though my Roka Maverick X wet suit probably did it all for me. After swallowing a good amount of river water and some seaweed I actually felt great getting out of the water.

Loved the biking… just pretended to chase a few of my Chefs cycle buddies, Jeff Mahin and company which seemed to pass the miles quickly. I had Skratch labs hyper hydration for the heat. It was a two loop course and I really was trying to stay on a average pace of 20.5 mph. It started to drop around mile 98 and then I just could not wait to run.

Off the Bike into the running mode and I managed to rip open my tri suit. Feeling silly until a girl commented,  “wow you are ripped” I let that comment blow up my ego and head and hit the run. Passing 33 people in my age group, I felt good….race completed with a PR.

Vineman 2016 Full 11:30