Sunday, December 15, 2013

Justins race report from IMWA

This has been a huge year moving/selling a house, beginning the building/designing of a house, a huge work load and two Half and two Full Ironman’s planned.  Here I was lining up at Ironman WA for my second Ironman for the year. Mandurah 70.3 had been about 4 weeks earlier and it had not gone to plan and leaving me feeling a little stressed going into Ironman WA. Kate had told me not to worry, Mandurah it had just been a training day. So now two weeks out from IMWA and a visit to the Dentist with troublesome wisdom teeth I was feeling even less confident. I did minimal training as the antibiotics were knocking me around and then the last week before Ironman work also went crazy! But if getting to do an Ironman was easy, everyone would be doing it!

Thursday morning before race day and headed off to the physio for some trigger point release and then packed my kit, wife and baby daughter into the car and we headed to Busselton to register and relax.

Coach Kate checked in and organized a ride /run for Saturday morning. During the ride we discussed race plan and went over how my new running program was working for me. I am a heavier set guy trying to loose some weight (15kgs this year). Kate had suggest a 10 min run, 1 min walk plan to minimize/prolong me fatiguing. The couple of long runs I had done leading up to Ironman had worked a treat. We also discussed the rest of my race plan  and I intended to follow it. I had never   had a race plan previously. I also had unfinished business with IMWA as the previous year I had not made the start line due to a prolapsed disk.

The Saturday morning ride and then 10 min run off the bike with Guy, Kate and Lisa was was just what I needed to clear my head and focus. Bike was all checked in mid afternoon along with my 

transition bags and all I needed to do was get some sleep and sort myself out in transition Sunday morning and keep hydrating.  

Sunday morning I was up at 4am with a broken sleep and was in transition by 430am. Loaded my bike with nutrition, checked everything over (literally took 5 minutes) and then put my wetsuit on and sat looking out of the bay for a while. The weather was perfect. A quick warm up swim, watched the pros get off and it was then my turn on the start line! I was strangely calm and composed and positioned myself mid field. My wife and daughter had not made it to the start line as we have discovered the logistics of travelling with a little person has changed things dramatically. Finally the announcement, “In starters hands” and before I knew it I was off. I planned to go hard for 400meters to get some clean water, find someone to draft behind and then settle into my own rhythm. This ended up being more like 1klm before I settled into a good rhythm and before I knew it I was at the end of the jetty heading back to shore. I finally exited the water in 1:15:12 and 807 place. My best 
swim over this distance although my Garmin after the event showed 4.31klms, my track line however was perfect and I swam the jetty as Paul Newsome from Swimsmooth had suggested. Transition was not great at just over 6 minutes but I was onto the bike feeling comfy with Kate’s words echoing in my head to pace myself and not go out to hard to fast! 

The bike leg was steady and I averaged 28 klms an hour over the 180 klms. The wind was there although not unmanageable.  Although nutrition didn’t go to plan with my normal product not working for me at all. So two gel shots and a bar were all that I took on the bike.  I just focused on getting through each lap and on the last lap counted riders heading the other direction to take my mind off things. I  climbed off the bike in 6:27:38 followed by a better transition of just under 4 minutes and onto the run course exactly on the schedule I had given my wife! Legs felt good and I settled straight into my run plan feeling comfortable for a PB.

Kate and I had discussed my run plan as this is definitely my Achilles heal. Kate suggested 10 min run, 1 min walk for the first lap; 8 min run, 1 min walk for second lap; 6 min run, 1 min walk third lap and then 5 min run, 1 min walk on last lap. I was pushing for a 14:30 finish as my first Ironman had been 15:49 at IMWA in 2011 and my second this year in June at 15:08. My first two laps went okay although I felt a little tapped of energy due to my lack of nutrition on the bike. I was taking coke on every drink station with watermelon and water. This was helping and exactly as Kate had told me;  once you are on coke stay on coke. Third lap and the wheels were coming off until I walked past the “Break Your Limits” and “Fremantle Triathlon Club” tent clubs. A good friend  of mine was telling or yelling at me (not quite sure at this stage) that all I had to do was run and a PB was in my hands. I dug deep and although couldn’t quite manage a 5 minute run 1 minute walk, I was able to  run the distance between three power poles and walk for one.  Whatever it takes I thought!!! The sun was settling onto the horizon and I pushed harder to finish before the sun went down.  My wife met me at 2 klms out of town which was perfect and gave me the final boost to push me to the finish line.

Before I knew it I was in the finish shoot and I literally sprinted  across the finish line with a 14:03:02 and a 1hour 5 min PB - Super happy.  I have already registered for Ironman WA 2014! Two days after and my legs still feel trashed – stairs and hills are very daunting. I feel happy with my race day and and feel content that I left nothing in the fuel tank! I cannot thank Kate enough for getting me to the start and finish line and with a great outcome.    All the little bits of information and suggestions Kate gave me along the way helped so much on race day and made sense! Really have enjoyed the journey so far  as Kate has only been coaching me since June. I am so looking  forward to seeing what next year will bring!

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