I didn't set PR's in any of the sports or overall even though I thought I could do so in all of them. The swim logistics were beyond my control and I know that my fitness is much better than a 1:16. Nutrition and bike comfort got me on the bike, plus I think I should have done more hill training. I didn't know that the course was going to have such steep hills like the IM Wisconsin course. My only controllable mistake of the day, I believe, was not forcing myself to get down more liquid and calories during the second half of the bike.
I feel good about how I did on the run, how I was able to pull myself out of a nutritional bonk and wanting to quit, to feeling good and finishing in an acceptable time. If I hadn't worked on my mental training and had my head able to adjust to alternative goals and ways to stay positive, I wouldn't have been able to stay in it as well as I did.
My finish time is a bit disappointing because I can't stand feeling like I am just average or mediocre and my 12:48 finish is just too "mid-pack" for me. On the other hand, I feel that I had a good race because I worked with the conditions of the moment during every part of the day and was able to let negatives go. I executed my race plan well and was able to adapt to problems as they came up.
I am sure there are many people who would find it odd for me to think that my race makes me average. I was 33 of 131 in my age group but this just isn't good enough for me. When I do things, I want to be at the top, not just in the top quarter. When I do something, I go all out. The trouble with Ironman is that in order to go "all out" on it, you need to sacrifice all your time, money, friends, loved ones, and all your other interests in life. It is just not possible to put in all that work and live a balanced life. I have tried to make that work and can't. Perhaps I didn't sacrifice enough this time around.
This was my third Ironman and I have decided that it will be my last. Ok, don't hold me to that forever, but I have no plans to do another one for a long long LONG time.