Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cedar Point

I arrived in Ohio on the Friday and was snuggled in at the Knights Inn. I was feeling good and excited to race especially after a crash in Lake Placid I wanted to show that I could do Ironmans.

I was training prior to the race with Sean and was feeling good, no pain, except a burning in my neck, which I shook off because that's what we do. I got out on my bike on the Friday and Saturday and again had a little burning in my neck but felt great! I have to thank Wheels of Oakville for hooking up my newly acquired P4 with Disc and it is fast!! Saturday came and went and I was ready to race Sunday morning.

I knew a lot of the guys were fast swimming so I was either going to get on some feet in the front pack or be in no mans land with the slower guys behind me and me somewhere in the middle. After 500m of dolphin diving in my Xterra Vendetta I was off swimming. My stroke felt good and within 1500m I feel off the front pack and as predicted was sitting in between the fast and slow pack. I was ok with that, and really focused on lengthening my stroke and staying focused on the task at hand! I came out of the water in exactly 60 minutes, not bad but was ready to bike.

Got on my P4 and was off! I settled in real quickly to 230 watts and got some gels and water into me. Around 10km the burning started again in my neck and really started to hurt, like really hurt. I figured I would survive, I was with a group of guys and wasn't giving up my position! Around 120km I was in pain, and finally sat up from my aero position. The last 60km was gruelling I had a ton of thoughts going through my head and mostly was around if I was going to pull out. I kept saying to myself I can do this what is a little pain in the neck and every time I tried to move my neck I told myself it is over.

So here it is. I rolled into transition with a surprisingly fast bike split of 5:10 and called it a day. I knew what I was feeling and after getting x-rays and talking with my sports doctors they all agreed I did the right thing and could have caused some serious problems with my neck.

So the issue:

I have always had neck discomfort and as most people know when I run I usually need a big 'back crack' after because I am in discomfort. I attached an x-ray that shows my c-spin, which shows a 'stacked spin'. What this does is causing 26lbs of pressure straight down on my spin. After I crashed in Placid my neck muscles weakened and I could support my neck. Your neck should look like a fan and as you can see my neck does not do that. So it's all about fixing my neck in the off season and regroup after a disappointing DNF.

Thanks to my sponsors: Saucony, Wheels of Oakville, Xterra Wetsuits, Cera Sport, Sable Water Optics

It's been a great year and next year will be a bit different. I'm hanging up my Ironman belt and will be focusing on half ironmans, my family and my golf game;)