Monday, December 9, 2013

becoming an ironman for the second time

I have been very quiet with my reports for the last few months and even with the lead up to Ironman Western Australia 2013.  Work was chaos and I was tired.  My family are going through troubled times and the stress has been pretty bad.  Almost to the point where I felt like I needed to just walk away.  And amongst all this I was trying to train for my second ironman and falling short most of the time.  This of course just makes it  all the more stressful.
After last year I was really disappointed with my result.  I have always believed that I had a decent race in me but aside from a couple of 70.3 races and parts of races I think I have always under-performed.  I am not talking about competing against other people because basically I don't.  I compete against myself because at this point in my life that is more important and relevant.  so I said awhile ago  that this time I would do just about everything differently.  I did however use the same coach who gave me  an 18 week program that took into account my fitness level and what I wanted to achieve.  there was a lot more repeat hill climbs, shorter but more intense trainer sessions and the running was all on the road and slower paced for the long runs.  because this time I wanted to be faster on the bike and I wanted to run the WHOLE marathon. 
in the lead up to arriving in Busselton I was tired, stressed and not very confident.  however my taper felt great and no matter what sessions I had to complete I felt fresh and quick.  the bike was awesome, swimming was easy and I had to hold myself back when running.  BUT I didn't get carried away as I started to think that maybe I had peaked too early.  while I had a great training plan I hadn't always followed it.  the weather fucked things up and the key is consistency.  I had even missed some sessions and I mostly only swam twice a week.  maybe this is a hint that I shouldnt take it all so seriously.
i arrived in Busselton on Wednesday and unlike last year my choice of accommodation was awesome.  the room is just beautiful with a nice little kitchen and a massive bathroom with a SPA !  this will now always be my choice of where to stay and worth every penny.  i don't know why but i think the stress just gets to me sometimes i felt really sick that night and really thought i was coming down with something and that i just wanted to spend Thursday in bed.  instead i went and checked out the merchandise and bought my stash of ironman gear.  this was easy considering the huge improvement on last years choice.  i then went to the shops and got some supplies before returning to check in.  this year i decided i wanted to go into the race lighter and i had dropped a few kilos down to 56.  i think this helped on the day.  after that i returned to my room for a spa bath, a very bland meal and bed.  best decision ever.
on Friday morning i headed down to the jetty for swim practice.  they have surf lifesavers and the water is patrolled.  i found out after that the helicopter had spotted a 2m tiger shark heading toward the jetty just as i was getting out.  then i just bummed around.  drove out to dunsborough and bought some soaps. i left my swim cap on them again so i had that lovely smell during the swim.  then i went to the bakery and pigged out.  that night was the welcome and pasta party.  it dragged on a bit but the food was great and they had some super stars to interview - namely luke bell and andreas raelert. 
 by this stage i was getting very nervous.  i thought after one ironman i would be done with this but in fact i think i was much more nervous.  it was hard to eat and hard to relax.  my body did not feel great.  Saturday morning i took my bike for one last ride down to the jetty and then i went out for some last minute supplies.  i  put all my gear together and checked the bike in around 2pm.  even now i can still feel the nerves playing up.  i really have no answer for this.  that night i went to the restaurant next door for some pasta before getting into bed by 8.30pm.   i hardly slept.  i woke about four or five times and i could not get my mind to turn off.  i did have a little nap earlier on in the day so this may have helped make up for the tossing and turning.  by 3.15am i was pretty happy to get up and get a move on with things.   

i got a great parking spot and then set things up on my bike.  spoke to pip and alanna before the race and wished them well.  then i went off by myself, got my wetsuit on and headed down to the beach.  i felt terrible but took comfort in the thought that once i got going the stress and nerves would go away.  i was right.  i will be back with the final race report. 


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