Who's going to join me?
SP and PUP did you get the photos i emailed? it bounced back twice before i had the photos resized.
my race report for anyone who is interested.
CAKE PIMP your comment made me laugh out loud ....
no matter how much training i do there is no way I can compete or keep up with SP at the pub. no way. he and PUP are true professionals
lol, good point - I've seen SP drink....
What you really need though, is Barley trying to initiate you into 'Whisky Club' the night after an IM.... have to confess I bailed out on this - relatively pedestrian amounts of cider, and gin & tonic were all I could manage!
That was an epic drinking session - though I should point out that PUP had already drained a pint when me and TL turned up!! Respect!
The race report is on its way, was hoping to have it finished this evening, but I have few more words to add and jet lag is catching up with me (we arrived home yesterday evening, which felt like Sunday, glad it wasn't Monday, but it was really Saturday... it was a loooonnnng flight).
<drums fingers on table> we're waaaaaaiting!
That first pint may have been the tastiest I have ever had in my life. The next ?6? weren't too shabby either. Respect to you guys that you kept going after Chris & I had wobbled off for food!
Hi PUP & Ego - in work now and would really like to go back home to bed.
I see you're doing Nice and Western Australia Ego, you not had enough yet
PUP you entered Outlaw yet
HERE IT IS! HERE IT IS! My race report....
PUP said her report was an epic, I might just out-do her here but I should warn you that if you’re of a squeamish disposition, you may not want to read any further! Imodeum featured heavily in my race day though I suppose I should really start this report at the pasta party on the Thursday night before the event. TL and I had already met up with PUP and Egoman during the week but, possibly wisely as it turned out, they had opted not to attend the evening. The food was good and the organisers had put on quite an evening, but on Friday morning, my old belly was feeling decidedly dickie…. I spent much of the day sitting on the loo and thinking I was losing much of the carbs I had consumed in the last few days as well as vital hydration.
Racking the bike on Friday I was feeling unusually calm. Unlike IMCH in 2005, I now had 5 years of swimming behind me, not just 6 months and I had no doubts about covering the distance on bike and foot, my winter running training had been very specific, working with a run/walk routine; I had every right to feel confident, even if my head was constantly reminding me of the demons I have with the water…
TI, 5am Race day morning, Saturday 6th March
It was dark. Very, very dark. I realised I had forgotten to place a towel in my T1 transition bag – the organisers were allowing us to put stuff in our bags which we had to hand in the previous day, so this was the first thing I did. I checked my tyre pressures and met PUP doing the same thing - we then milled around waiting to get changed and met with TL and Chris and then Egoman outside the transition area.
After a quick loo break (the first of many!), I got changed into my wetsuit and made my way down to the start area. The lake was still looking very dark, even though a training swim during the week had proved it to be very clear, but I was shitting myself at this point as I have a deep fear of the water. A Maori group were performing a haka and it was all quite surreal.
I met with PUP again just before the off and we made our way to the deep water start area. This was my first DW start – we wished each other good luck and then PUP went towards the front to get into the mix. I was quite happy (respectively speaking) at the back to wait for the start. At least I thought I was at the back…
BANG! They had a field gun to fire for the start. I started my watch and started swimming. I very quickly realised I was not at the back. In fact I was far from it and probably somewhere in the middle, I had rubber-clad beings all around me and quickly fell into a panic. My breathing was all over the shop but I persisted in driving myself forward. I occasionally stopped to let groups pass me, I had a few choice words thrown in my direction, though a few did ask if I was ok. On one occasion a safety canoeist came towards me, but I signalled I wasn’t in need of help. I was surprised to see how quickly I was passing the buoys. They were 150 meters apart and numbered and I was soon counting towards the first turn point at 1775 mtrs. This was helping me settle my breathing and by the time I reached the first big buoy, I was in clear water with only a few swimmers around me. Then disaster struck. There was this ejit with a camara sitting on the bottom of the lake, others waving at him in a friendly greeting, my wave was more of the frantic panic-stricken type as he’d freaked me out – I really wasn’t expecting it. Think the scene in Jaws where the head bobs out of the boat at Richard Dreyfuss…
At that point there were no safety boats near me which sent me into a bigger panic – a female swimmer asked if I was ok and got a mouthful of colourful language – I hope she wasn’t too offended! I got to a boat and held on for a few minutes. Another swimmer was feeling tired and also held on, but the guy was struggling to keep his boat upright with us both holding on and as my breathing had calmed down, I decided to go on. Again the buoys were counting down remarkably quickly and I was soon facing the final big buoy to turn towards the swim exit. I couldn’t believe my time – 1’32”, slow by many standards, but this was 20 mins off my IMCH swim and well ahead of schedule. TL was at the exit line and looked equally as shocked! More importantly, whereas I could hardly stand after the IMCH swim, now I was feeling strong and able to run the 400 mtrs to T1, though I did walk up the hill.
My now legendary long transitions continued in true SP tradition. I excelled myself here by taking 17 minutes. How the hell I managed that I will never know… Contrary to forum speculation, I did not have a brew up and a bowl of porridge, though the thought had occurred to me!
The bike, 1st lap.
At this point I was doing fine, the imodeum I had taken earlier seemingly doing its job. The outward section from transition was through large crowds, so for a bit of show, I did an out of the saddle effort to get some speed up, exactly what I had told myself NOT to do! I soon settled into a good pace and found myself passing several other crap swimmers (assuming that they hadn’t taken quite so long in transition!) and a few crap cyclists. On the hill out of Taupo I felt strong and I reeled in several more before the turn into Kiddle Drive. On to the top and then the long downhill. I got onto the drops (having decided not to use extension bars) and this was great. I wasn’t pushing hard, but my speed was good and I was constantly passing others, in fact I think in the whole first lap, I was only passed three or four times, two of those on Cervelo’s whom I caught and dropped on the climb back into Taupo! I saw and cheered on Egoman, he was going well and really appeared to be in the mix. After the turn, the wind was noticeable and a pain but it wasn’t a big factor as the outward leg had been quick. So I had my first band and I was still feeling good, getting a mention on the tannoy from the “voice of triathlon” as I swopped down through the town towards the 90k marker (which was a little beyond our hotel on the lake front). I recall my time was around 3’20”, which was just a little short of what I was aiming for though I can usually pick the pace up later so I wasn’t overly worried.
The wind had risen noticeably and I started the climb again in a strong manner. The story was very different at the top. I desperately needed a loo. The next feed station was still a way but at least it was downhill. When I stopped, I don’t know if it was the stench from the portaloo, the yuk gels, or whatever it was I had eaten the other evening, but I also heaved and lost a load more fluids. I stopped for nearly 20 minutes here. When I came out one of the support station guys asked if I was ok. I mentioned I was having a few issues, but other than that I was feeling strong and besides, I was still passing riders, so I was in better shape than a lot of others. So I popped another imodeum tab and got back on my bike and that was what the 2nd lap was all about. stopping at the portaloos, I got it down to fine art!. All I could do was chuck water down my throat (with Nuun tablet) and hope for the best, I wasn’t able to hold down much else – there was some energy drink which I drank in small sips, but I could no longer stomach the bananas or gel bars.
It was by now quite a drag in the wind and it seemed to be getting stronger by the minute; in several places I felt I was nearly at a standstill
To compound things, my back gave up (I had strained it a little on the way out to NZ with heavy luggage), but I was able to stretch it out a little when I stopped so this wasn’t a major factor.
It was a big relief to finish the bike leg, but having not eaten anything other than a few oranges for the best part of 3 ½ hours, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the run.
I was feeling a little washed out by the time I reached T2, but on the positive side I was well within cut-off and I kept reminding myself that I had been going far stronger than many otehrs. I didn’t take so long to get changed this time. I had decided to use specific cycling and running gear, so on went my shorts and vest, cap, tapped my feet up and put on copious amounts of sunblock.
The run – 1st lap.
Oh dear. Most competitors talk about running between support stations. I was running between portaloos! My plan had been to run 2 mins/walk 2 mins. I had trained this to perfection and knew I could do a 4’45” time – about 11 min/mile. I used my garmin during the run so I could keep tabs on my pace – at the end I found that my actual run/walk time was about 5 mins outside my anticipated overall time, the rest had been lost – quite literally - sitting down!
I found the crisps to be fairly agreeable with my stomach, probably due to the salt content, so my nutrition strategy switched to crisps and water. So that was my concession to pirateyness and trying something new on race day! I couldn’t be arsed with a special needs bag, but at this point I was wishing that a) I had taken the packet of imodeum that was still strapped under the saddle of my bike in T2, and b) I had a special needs bag with a packet of imodeum in it!
The worst bit was getting caught short between two support stations. A group of Kiwi supporters correctly identified my predicament by the rather severe look on my face and offered to let me use their Hotel room loo – I didn’t need asking twice, I was in bit of a state but I wasn’t going to disgrace myself and do “a Paula”.
I saw Egoman on his return to finish and we high-fived, but he was looking quite shattered, I saw PUP as I was returning into Taupo - she already had the blue band so was going very well and was very focused on what she was doing to become an Ironman. Yeah, well focused, so focused in fact, that she completely ignored me when I shouted at her from about a yard away! J
So I finished the first lap. My running had been surprisingly strong considering I hadn’t any substantial energy intake for several hours. I was constantly overtaking the same runners, so without my issues, I could have been miles ahead of these guys. Several commented about how well I was running but were perplexed as to why I was always behind them… One was the guy who competed in the very first Ironman – Dave Orlowski, who finished 3rd in the 1978 Hawaii Ironman.
I got the first band, but what was going through my mind was whether I was doing any long term damage. I had a very nasty experience of food poisoning in Mexico 18 months earlier which had taken me several weeks to properly recover from.
I met TL just after the turn along the lake side, up until this point she had no knowledge of what I had been going through, only that I was taking a lot longer than had been talked about. She walked along side me during one of my walk breaks and asked if I should continue. Around me were others in a shittier state than I was in, no way I was going to quit!
Then it started to get dark. It was evidently getting colder as others were putting on plastic ponchos. A medic on a bike kept asking if I would like one. I explained that I’d just been training for 3 months during the coldest winter for 30 years and this was feeling tropical! They gave us glow sticks. These were quite pathetic as you couldn’t even read your watch by them! I kept using the light on my watch to determine when my next two minute break or run section started supporters kept shouting at me “plenty of time mate, no need to look at your watch….”.
The second lap seemed to go quite quickly, at least I don’t recall too much of it – I spent most of it on my own and with plenty of loo stops. The outer reaches of course where it was quite dark proved quite a mental challenge. I remember passing the 10k marker and then it seemed I was finishing, I was on my own and had the finish line to myself – excellent! “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN”. Egoman was at the finish line taking photos and also had my medal to place around my neck, I wasn’t expecting that, but it was a nice jesture. Someone else put a towel around me and then I was herded into the recovery tent.
And that was it. IMNZ was all over. I sat in a chair contemplating what I’d just gone through having some chicken soup and thinking that it was the best thing I’d had all day!
It was great doing this with a few fellow forumites. Interestingly, we'd all had several set backs during our training (none more so than PUP) so it was great that we all made it to the start line and, more importantly, made it to the finish line - that's the best bit!
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