My lovely wife's blog post explains all the relevant details of my undercover Ironman debut, so you can read the details there. Allow me to add a little more input.
After the race someone asked me what age group I'm in. I responded "now, or when the race started?" It was a long, humbling day. I've never had so many mixed feelings about a race. Normally if I get my butt kicked I'm angry and disappointed, and there are no positives to be found. In this case there are. (Or at least I'm telling myself that). I'm proud that I didn't mentally give in even after my body began to crumble, but still disappointed that I didn't put up a faster time. Going into the race I knew that I was underprepared, and that unlike a shorter race where I can fake it based on experience and guile, there's no way to fake 140.6 miles. I was doing everything that I told my athletes not to do; most notably, racing undertrained and worrying about time in my first Ironman. Despite recognizing the folly of my plan, I knew that with a baby on the way, and NSQ not racing this season, this may be my only opportunity to race an Ironman so I chose to do it anyway. Plus, I suppose that in a circuitous way, by ignoring my advice, I proved that it is good advice.
I also got to race for the first time with my good friend, 25+ time Ironman Larry Lewis. Larry briefed me on the course, and we got to spend a fair amount of the race together. When Larry caught me with two miles to go, he refused to go ahead (which he could have easily done), instead insisting that we cross the line together.
My body and mind are both better suited for short races, but I'm glad I did this one. And I'm glad it's over.