So I did it! I did my first full IROMAN race. Ironman Louisville on Sunday August 30, 2009.
It's hard to explain what exactly I feel about it. What a HUGE accomplishment... I am so proud of myself, happy, excited... I could go on and on.... and sorry, but after this I can brag as much as I want! :)
I haven't been able to write here... it's been way too long.... It's just hard to find the time, with familia, work, training, etc..... it's just craziness. (not that a lot people read this but anyway...)
Ironman Lou was a great race. I just can't believe the weather, it helped SO much! Last year when I registered for it, everybody said "be ready for a VERY HOT race". In fact Triathelte magazine, in their Ironman races review, stated it is the hottest IM event in the US (with out counting Kona). Little did we know race day's weather was in the 60/70s, very very low humidity and some sun.... it was just perfect!
We arrived in Lou on Friday afternoon and went straight to athlete check-in. Got my race bibs, chip, swim cap and special need bags. I immediately noticed how amazing the volunteers were... extremely nice people. Sat morning went to the swim practice, saw a few St. Louis triathletes there as well. I did a 20min swim. The water felt great. After that met my friend Paul who was also doing IM Lou and we rode about 12 miles. Went back to hotel, ate and took Diabla to bike check-in.
The atmosphere in the city was powerful... I could feel this energy which I assume was from all the athletes (close to 3,000) racing on Sunday. Everywhere you'd look you'd see people in bikes, people running, car with bike racks..... It was definitely Ironman time. Plus all the preparation for the race, cops, athlete's families and friends.
Dinner was pasta of course and then bed. Unfortunately the pasta didn't make me feel too good, that and nervousness were not a good mix. Woke up a couple of times and my stomach was hurting. Took some Peptobismol and that probably helped.
Race day I woke up at 4:15am... went to the bathroom.... it was... eh.... don't wanna go into details. : P But I thought it's all part of it. Had 2 powerbars and gatorade for breakfast then wifey and girlies took me to TA (transition area) where I dropped some of my stuff. Checked on Diabla, got her ready and walked .75mile to the swim start. Thank God I saw some of my STL friends, walking and chatting with them helped me to get a bit distracted.
We got there and got on line. I peed one time and at 7AM the race started. It was still dark. I jumped in the water at around 7:15ish... of course, typical me, had to pee again so before I started swimming I peed really quick. And off I went 2.4 miles swim. The swim was uneventful, water felt great again and I just took my time, stretching, bilateral breathing, all good. Swim time: 1hr 17min.
Got out of the water and jogged towards TA. A volunteer handed me my bag with my bike stuff and I headed to the tent. Another volunteer came and asked me if I needed anything, grabbed my bag, got my stuff out and passed me whatever I needed. Put my helmet, bike shoes and bib on, swim cap and goggles in the bag and left. The volunteer took the bag with him. Course I had to stop to pee again. Grabbed Diabla and got out of TA to start my 112mile bike ride.
My T1 time was loooooong.... I didn't care. Wanted to take my time, make sure I had all and ready. T1 time: 6min 05sec
The bike ride was fine.... the course was hillier than I expected. At mile 30ish I needed to pee again, I waited for a while and tried to pee in the bike (which I never done before) but man, I just couldn't... tried and tried.... not possible. Next aid station was where I peed. Didn't want to stop but I had to. Got back in the bike and kept going. Nutrition worked just as planned. Every 20min I had a drink or two of Perpetuem and the next 20min gel. I also did some Endurolytes. At mile 60ish I needed to pee again.... this time I was determined to pee in the bike.... and this time I was successful!! it was interesting to say the least.... grabbed some of my water and washed it off. At mile 80... ouch... I was hurting... knees, back and ass.... I wanted to be done! I put on an easy gear and spinned until I got back to TA. It started a huge mental thing. I kept talking to myself... it was like the little Patricio Devil talking to the Patricio Angel on my shoulders:
P Devil: Dude, you're done! how the hell are you gonna run a marathon after this???
P Angel: STFU!!! you are doing great! you trained for this, you'll be just fine!
P Devil: Rrrright.... if your legs hurt like this right now, when you start the run they will be completely trashed.
P Angel: No way! You use different muscles, no worries, you got this mother!
(then the P Angel proceeded to beat the !*@&#^ out of the P Devil and that was it)
Anyway.... got to TA, a volunteer grabbed Diabla and I jogged to the tent. Another nice volunteer helped me again. Took helmet and shoes off, grabbed socks, my Newton racers and visor and off I went again.... no wait... I peed and then I was gone.
T2 time once again was L O N G, sat there, got ready, took my time and left. Official time: 8min 17sec.
And just like that I started the 26.2mile run. The run was ok, started fine, saw my familia right after I left from TA. My first 3+ miles were 8:30ish min/mile... a bit faster than I should have gone, oh well.... it was all the excitement and all. But from then on it went to 9, 9:30, 10, 10:30.... final avg pace for the marathon was 10:47min/mile. I'm good with it. I walked in several water stations and this time I had to stop to go to the bathroom.... and no, it was not to pee... had to number 2. About 3 min later I was running my last 4.2 miles. At that point I was in pain. Feet hurt, knees hurt, quads hurt, back hurt, neck hurt.... But was so close..... so kept going. I got closer and closer to the finish line and started hearing the crowds, the music, the cowbells, all the noise.... I have no idea where I got the strength but I sprinted at the end (at least it felt like I did). Run time: 4hrs 42min
I crossed the finish line and heard Mike Reilly going: Patricio Cordero from O'Fallon, MO.. YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!! I did it! I freaking did it!!!!!!!!!!
Final Ironman(and official) time: 12hrs 30min 33sec
What an amazing and unique feeling. Got my medal, got the pic taken and found my family. Hugged them and celebrated with them.
This has been one of the coolest things I have ever done. Would I do it again? absolutely! hopefully next year! : )
I have been resting and eating like crap this past week... Enough for now... It's time to get ready for REDMAN in Oklahoma City in 2 more weeks.