Sunday, June 7, 2015

ironman australia - unfinished business part one

so here goes the race report for ironman number five.

with every ironman i have done i have found myself getting less organised and just not as anal about things.   you get a little slack and because you know you can do the distance you tend to not give it the total respect it deserves.  this is bad.  i knew this so i tried to make every effort to be on top of everything.  i packed for every possibility and any type of weather conditions.  the trekky got its final run and was packed as usual with a tonne of added foam and padding.

i got smart this time and my flight didnt leave until around 8am so i didnt have to get up at stupid o'clock.  the flight was fine and i was very glad to get off the little plane that took me from sydney to port macquarie.  

i really did not know very much about port macquarie itself.  it is located on the hastings river.  it is about the same size as busselton and surrounded by smaller little towns.  it is very pretty when it isnt overcast and raining.  i was staying at the mercure which was a five minute walk from the main shopping centre, the finish line and the trek bike shop.  great location with the only downer being no microwave in the room. 

i was up early on wednesday and decided to put the bike together and get the room and my gear organised.  lucky move because when i went to put the back wheel on the shifter was no longer working and was stuck in the down position or biggest gear.  i called the local trek bike shop and got it booked in for later that day.  i then went exploring and walked over part of the course and down to the Town Green finish line area and up to transition and the swim start.  just after lunch i had an appointment for a 30 minute massage which was excellent and the guy was very good.  i had a few areas that should have been treated but to do so right then would not have been a good idea.  i probably have gotten too comfortable with my massage girl and just got stuck in the same routine and avoided some of the hard massages as they are fucking painful.

after this i took my bike to the trek shop and told the guy what the problem was and he would get back to me.  i was starting to get worried when he called me.  the right shifter was broken. it just cracked from general wear and tear. damn it was lucky it happened prior to the race otherwise i would have been screwed.  he said he would order one and it would arrive friday and it would not take too long to fix.  so no bike to ride.  i had thought the gear changing was a bit off but just put it down to a change of cassette and chain.  you must listen to your bike when it talks to you.

thursday i was up early and at the glasshouse to check in and give wtc some more cash at the merchandise store.  the expo was the best i have been to and they had another section down on the town green.  got my check in gear and for some reason got really annoyed with the wrist numbers. stress was starting to set in and i wasnt feeling that great.  there was a break in the weather so i headed out for a quick and very easy 5k run on the course.  then it was nap time before dinner and an early night.

i woke friday hoping to head down to the swim start to go for a swim however the weather was really horrible.  it was cold and windy and alot of rain.  i dont think i was too worried about the weather at this stage.  so i sat around and kept flip flopping about going.  i posted a pic and a local guy i had met in cairns said they would be swimming at 11 if i wanted to come down.  the weather cleared so i thought why not.  put the wetsuit on and three of us headed out.  it was fantastic as these two guys train in the river and so knew everything.  we headed down the course about 600 metres before turning around and heading back which was harder due to the current.  the water was fresh but not cold and visibility was okay as well.  not clear but it had some colour and a few strands of seaweed here and there.  i felt great afterwards and headed home just as a massive rain storm hit.

shower and a nice big lunch before a nap. around 3 the bike shop called.  they had the shifter and had fixed my bike.  awesome.  these guys were so helpful and did a great job.  $300 bucks (which turned out to be a very expensive fix for one ride - stayed tuned and all will be explained in the next few blogs !) back home with my bike and looking forward to a quick ride in the morning.  quick shower and change and i headed out for the athletes welcome dinner.  managed to catch up with pete and crew from coffs harbour. pete has done 24 or 25 ironman australia.  one legend has done all 30.  it was a great night and the food was okay.  very much like busselton.  mike reilly (the voice of ironman) and pete murray did a great job.  the weather forecast was a very wild saturday but then clearing by sunday morning.

woke early and looked out the window. it was nasty but i had to ride.  i put on the wet weather gear and tried to not use anything that i wouldnt need on the day.  by the time i was ready it was just sprinkling and not very cold at all.  i rode for maybe 20 minutes.  i didnt want to stay out long on roads that were wet and on roads that i did not know.  the bike felt great and everything was working perfect.  that was enough for me.  back to the room and time to get all my gear into the bags and the bike ready to go.  by now i was not feeling good.  i had this terrible stress like headache but just put it down to stress and figured that i would come good in the morning.  this had been happening on and off and i had been taking vitamins and whatever i thought might help.  i napped and tried to relax.

the weather was shit but when i thought there would be a break i headed out with my bike to walk it down to transition.  just before i got there it pissed down but i had my wet weather gear and was okay.  checked the bike in and wrapped some plastic around key bits and then dropped the bags off before heading back.  i didnt want to nap because then i would not be able to sleep.  headed back to the expo and got a couple of bargains - some spinerval dvds and a specialised bike jersey for less than half price.  decided to eat down in the restaurant and had this awesome prawn pasta.  i managed to eat a fair bit but i wasnt feeling that good - again.  damn this was starting to annoy me.  back to the room to get a few more things organised and then to bed.  hoping for the best in the morning.

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