Wednesday, December 31, 2014

the inevitable race report - busso 2014

I have all my race wrist bands !
i finished. we all have our own personal expectations but in reality and keeping the whole ironman thing in perspective then finishing is a pretty good achievement.  my training wasnt great and i made some dumb decisions on the day but when it comes down to it i think i went okay.  there are alot of people who would not complain about a 12.48 finish time and i am not going to be one of them.  as i have said to everyone it wasnt my best effort but it wasnt my worst either and i will always be happy with anything under 13 hours.

i am really not sure why but this year i let my nerves really freak me out.  i had dinner with my friend daniel (who was also racing) the night before and as i headed back to my room i told him that i felt so bad that if i woke up like that in the morning i would not make it to the start line.  my stomach was playing up and i felt like i was going to throw up and had the shakes.  i had been pretty good at cairns and thought that experience had helped me calm them down.  i think i was putting more pressure on myself as i had walked away from the group training thing and i only had 2-3 long runs in my legs. so i think the fear of failing and then being given the i told you so looks was freaking me out.  i need to not worry about what other people think and trust in my own ability.

anyway i woke in the morning and felt fine.  maybe a little low on carb loading pig outs but otherwise okay.  i had slept reasonably well so that was a surprise bonus.  i was pretty organised so i was out the door early and got my usual parking spot directly across from transition.  i set things up and then wandered around and spoke to a few people i knew.  eventually i headed over to the same spot as last year to get into my wettie.  turns out i was next to a guy who did the whole race in a santa suit.  it was awesome, he had a really tight one that went over his wettie and then changed to another one for the bike and run.  he even had a small beard for the swim but i dont know how that would have gone.  he was raising money for the smiddy charity.  as i am getting ready daniel finds me and we head down to the water.

the swim

i start at my usual spot.  out wide and to the right.  i let most people head off before i start swimming.
this is truly the best swim in the world. it is clear with some chop which gets worse as you get close to the end of the jetty.  i end up swimming way too wide and have to head back closer to the jetty. even the surf lifesavers are telling us to get closer.  i think where i went wrong was the larger field this year.  there were 500 extras competitors due to the changed bike course and so i think i just got pushed out a bit more.  after turning around the end of the jetty i noticed that my wetsuit was starting to rub badly on the back of my neck.  i put a tonne of glide on but not enough it seemed.  i was also wearing my compression sleeves on my calves but they still started to cramp with 1k to go.  it started to feel uncomfortable.  i really tried to speed things up towards the end just to get it over with.  my wetsuit is close to 5 years old and moves around on me a bit so time for a new one.   when i get out i have no idea what time i have swum but i dont see anyone i know and i just have this feeling it is not good.  time 1.15.33 (ha ! turns out it is the same as last year in more choppy conditions so okay after all)

again no one helps me to get the wetsuit off so i am left to fight with it again.  the womens change tent is a quarter of the size of the mens and very little room to do anything.  i manage to get my arm coolers on, food in pockets and head out the door with my shoes and helmet.  the time i seem to waste here is no longer funny and is starting to piss me off.  time 9.33

the bike

i feel good to start and head out at a quicker pace than in the past.  after my 'terrible' swim i feel like i am chasing the pack.  there is some wind but not bad.  in the past this has been 3 laps of 60kms.  to get more people signed up they have changed it to 2 laps of 90kms with a promise of a new road with freshly laid hotmix.  the bike went pretty good and not that eventful really.  usual draft idiots out there.  the new section was a mix of cross winds and was not smooth at all.  it wasnt terrible but compared to the old part it was rougher and i think i had expectations of this super smooth road.  i think i found it frustrating too as you just wanted to get to the next turnaround and be done with it.  on the way out for the second lap i stopped at special needs and grabbed some extra glide for the chaffing.  so worth it.  my back had played up a bit and my neck was a bit stiff and i had a few other niggles but i did feel better on the second lap.  the wind changed as is usual in busselton and coming back in was a tough headwind on tired legs.  on the first lap i averaged 32.53 over the last 29k but on the second i only averaged 30.84. still not a bad effort with the wind.  my bike is the highlight of my race and i managed to get a PB in tougher conditions than last year and fifth in my age group.  this makes me happy.  time 5.52.47.

i just went through the motions. porta loo stop then compression and socks on. more sunscreen and some vaseline for the skin missing from my neck after the swim.  i grab my hat and race belt and head out. time 8.12.

the run

i felt okay actually and the legs were alright.  i think if anything i just felt tired.  i started out well but that slowed quite quickly.  it was going to be a long day.  i just tried to keep running and walked the aid stations.  i really wanted to get it done and i really wanted those race bands you got for each lap.  i had lap band envy whenever i saw someone who had one and i didnt.  i saw some familiar faces and tried to stay ahead of them.  the crowd around the finish line area was huge and very vocal.  it was the one part you made sure you were running.  the most exciting part was when i was heading back out to the furthest part of the course and a snake crawled out in front of me.  it was about 1.5 metres long and a light green yellow colour.  scared the fuck out of me and it was the fastest i ran all day.  it was between the path and road that i came from so very strange as snakes do not like noise and usually would be miles away.  i hate snakes.  i didnt feel good coming in for the last couple of kms but i tried to run as hard as i could.  i had all sorts of things hurting.  my knee was sore.  when i run long sometimes i get this terrible pain in my groin.  well that hurt.  i had a stabbing pain in my chest and so then started worrying about having a heart attack coming down the finishers chute.  my feet were not great and the back of my right leg was playing up.  still is and i am trying to decide if it is my glutes or my calves. time 5.21.57 (yuk)

the finish

i was very happy to turn down the finish chute at the end of the four laps.  all the pain seems to disappear  and you begin to realise that very soon you can rest and it will all be over.  i never know what to do when i run down the chute.  i dont see any familiar faces and i have no clue how to celebrate.  i do remember simon beaumont saying that i wasnt smiling and i wasnt.  i was relieved it was about to be over.  not just the race but the training and the stress and the worry.  but when he did say that i realised how stupid it all was and i smiled and gave a fist pump and crossed the line.  the volunteers took me away.  they were all awesome and seemed to know me.  one guy knew it was my third IMWA.  i got my towel and medal and standard photo opportunity.  i then realised i didnt know my time.  the volunteer told me 12.48.  the volunteers took me to the recovery area and asked me what i would like.  i didnt want anything to drink and the food looked terrible.  i did have some watermelon and that was awesome.  daniel came over. he had been waiting for a massage.  he had a very good day and made sure to post it on my facebook page which to this day i still find strange.   in the end i didnt hang around very long.  i grabbed my ugly and manly finishers shirt (again it doesnt fit - i am getting quite the collection) and headed off to get my bike and bags.  it was then i bumped into alanna and this was a reminder that it can all go peared shaped so easily.  alanna is a much better athlete than myself but she didnt finish.  she collapsed on the run and they took her off course.  she was very upset and i dont blame her.  just shows how lucky i really am.

got back to the hotel and i unloaded the car and got cleaned up.  i actually felt quite good.  i had a choc milk in the fridge and it was fucking delicious.  i wasnt that hungry but ate some salted chips and a few other snacks i had.  a nice shower and then into my skins compression gear.  i slept better than in the past and it looked like i wouldnt lose any toenails this year YAH !  in the morning i was up and out the door to get my two bacon and egg burgers and another choc milk.  i then hit the tent for some finisher gear.  it was kinda crazy busy.

that night i went to the awards dinner and really enjoyed it.  daniel came with me and the food was just fucking awesome.  they had this chicken curry that i think was the best i have ever eaten.  they also had little plum sticky date puddings.  i had two.  and a glass of wine. the food was much better than at the welcome dinner.

this is truly a fantastic event and i am happy with the way things panned out.  however i have learnt my lesson and i will not be back next year.  i have recovered and now i am focusing on ironman australia.  some exciting things in the pipeline so port mac here i come.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

getting ready for ironman number four

farout.  who would have EVER thought that i would be up for ironman number four within two years. well i am and who knows if it will be my very best or not so great and does it really matter ?  i will be out there trying my best and that is all i can ask of myself.  i recently posted on facebook that this ironman will be for the people who do support me rather than me proving the naysayers wrong.  i also want to make the time i gave up to live this ironman dream rather than hang out with my molly dog worth it.  it is time i stop giving energy to people who do not have my best interests  at heart.  there are two big things i have learnt so far from this ironman.  firstly stick to your own plans and do not be swayed by what other people do and secondly i do not like training in groups or with people.  i am not a fan of triathlon clubs.  well not the ones i know anyway. i do not like to be made to feel that what i am doing is not valid or has no merit just because it is different from everyone else.  i get the feeling that some people are more comfortable when they think you are all on a level playing field and you are not sneaking off doing something that may actually make you faster.  i not only like riding on my own i LOVE it.  dont get me wrong.  i enjoy social rides but i like to train on my own.  people may find this strange but then i find it strange that some people will not head out the door unless they have someone with them.

i love coming to busselton.  it is just a beautiful place and a nice little town.  i love race week.  the whole vibe and atmosphere of it.  it is almost worth the training.  i really dont know how i will go.  aside from the usual nerves i am feeling good. my legs are feeling fresh and the taper has kicked in.  i have done enough swimming and my bike is great.  but i am way short on the running which when it is your weakest leg then that is not good.  i will give it my best shot and it  will be what it will be.  the weather should be pretty good at least.  i will  head off shortly to the welcome dinner.  here are some pics i took yesterday and after my warm up swim this morning.  this is the best swim in the world.  crystal clear water.  you can see everything and i just love it.