Saturday, November 3, 2012

ironman 70.3 mandurah race report 2012

this went better than expected and  at some point i am going to have to start believing in myself a bit more.  so the bike drop off was easy.    the merchandise was terrible.  all they had was a grey t-shirt or hoodie.  i actually asked if they had sold out but they said that this was the total range.  very weird.  i thought ironman loved to make money.  there was virtually no expo at all. i checked out the course and then headed back home.

i had a terrible nights sleep and was up at 3.30 am.  drove in record time back down to mandurah and arrived by 5.15am.  i got a good parking spot and into the porta loo before they had been destroyed by the men.  got my gear set up in transition and had a good chat to alana who was two bikes down from me.  also caught up with scotty from work who was doing his first bike leg as part of a team.  rick (from my physio/massage place) was directly across from me and wished him luck too.  conditions looked to be great and very little wind.  water temp was 19 so wetsuits optional.  

i headed over to the gear drop off and got my wetsuit on.  met a couple of girls doing the same thing and we walked over to the swim start together.  i had bought a $2 pair of thongs so made the walk a bit more comfortable.  we were all in wave 4.  i was starting to feel a bit nervous.  not sure how the wetsuit would feel, i didnt know if the legs would be there and i had physio on my shoulder on thursday and saturday and while it was feeling pretty good who knew ?  it was my favourite deep water start and we climbed down some stairs and into the water.  it was quite fresh but we had a few minutes to adjust and float down to the starting buoys.  this swim course is in the canals of mandurah and you are surrounded by very expensive houses and very big boats.  you get to see how the other half live and i have to say this is the easiest swim course EVER.  

we headed off and it was all very polite and so much room.  it was easy to sight as you are in a friggin canal.  my first point to point swim.   with each breath you got to see another house and people sitting out on their balconies watching the action.  i was a bit breathless and really struggled for consistency and rhythm.  i had one patch where i felt okay but then lost it.  i am not sure but i think the wetsuit is a bit tight.  its the big guns i am now sporting.  you also swim with a slight current and the water was very smooth with no chop at all. i probably wasted a very good opportunity to set a pb.

it did seem to take forever but it was only 32 minutes or so before i climbed up another set of steps. a very quick swim.  i walked while getting my wetsuit down.  training session remember.  then i felt bad and had a bit of jog into transition which was about 300-400 meters away.  i did hear that some guy got a DQ for getting naked in transition.  for the first time ever they actually had changing tents so i guess no excuse.  i took my time and had a chat to a guy taking official photos.

the bike heads out over the old mandurah bridge and out onto mandurah road for a straight ride for 20 odd kms.  this was into a bit of a head/cross breeze.  most of the road is very smooth but there is one section that  is course and a bit bumpy.  turn around is at stakehill road and on your way back there is a little side detour down paganoni road.  this is very smooth but has a couple of little roller hills.  amazing how many people attacked these small lumps like they were climbing the biggest hill in the tour de france.  i took it easy for the first out and enjoyed seeing the professionals heading back in to town.  they never lapped me either.  the ride back in was very quick and i dont know why but i turned at the very first roundabout thinking that even though there was no sign this was it.  fuckwit.  so i did a little lap of that roundabout before heading further into town and the correct roundabout.  heading back out was a different story.  the wind had picked up and it was going to be a slog to get to stakehill road.

i took it steady and easy and just made sure i was never in a position to get busted for drafting and i tried to avoid the constant surges to pass people.  coming back in was quick and at times i was doing over 40 km per hour.  yeeehaaaaaa.  i passed a few people and put in a bit more effort to get it done.  back into transition and again i did not rush things.  put my compression calf socks things on and then my socks and shoes.  grabbed my hat and my little special needs snap lock bag and headed out. the legs felt NORMAL.  the bike time was around 2.50. 

the run course took you back over the bridge and into town for a small loop past the finish line and main town centre.  the atmosphere here was wonderful.  you also collected your first band before heading back out on the first loop.  kilometre number one was way too fast at 5.20 so i nipped that in the bud.  lots of great support out on the course and luckily for me quite a few people i knew - either cheering on the sidelines or running and so i never felt lonely. including coach paul from swim smooth who always gets you going.   the first lap felt pretty good and everyone looked great.  second lap it was a different story.  and i passed quite a few of those people who smashed it up out on the bike course.  even the pumped up guy in the fluro speedos.  he raced past me on the first lap and then i ran past him as he was walking the second.  the course is a little cramped in some spots and the section up to the headland is a bit of a challenge but i really enjoyed things.  the legs felt good most of the time but i did start to get a blister on my left foot at the 10k mark.  this is new.  i just ignored it.  towards the end i was just plain tired.  nice final run past the crowds before crossing the finish line.  i got a great welcome from the volunteers and a big fat medal.  i will do anything for a medal and a t-shirt and i got both.  the finisher shirt was pretty good too. run time was approx 2.14.

so the wrap up.  at the beginning i was worried that my ego would not let me set the right pace.  i didnt want to go over the six hour mark as my previous two races were under and this had become a little bit important to me.  then i really did not know if i would have legs in the swim or even for the whole race.  i think you will always be happy with a race if you achieve beyond your expectations and this may have nothing to do with your time.  i had fun at this race and the most fun in awhile.  this was because i really had no pressure and because of the great support on the day.  and i think some of that great fun feeling comes from the fact that i exceeded my goals.  i felt great all day and it was only at the very end that i felt a bit tired.  i was disappointed with busselton last year as the weather prevented me from getting the 5.30 time i believe i am capable of.  this raced proved that i do have a 5.30 in me.  i just need the weather planets and a few other things to align at the right time.

so with a pb at a training race things are looking good for the full.  i will be back for this race next year and there will be no holding back and i will be nicely tapered.  total time 5.50 something.


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