Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Andrea Reports on IM Melbourne!

WOW what a day Andrea had at IM Melbourne, Having only coached Andrea for a short amount of time, we can say your potential hasn't been reached!! You will go even faster. scary!! We are very happy you achieved your goals (detailed in Andrea's report below) and we're already excited for the next block of training!!
We are very proud of you and love having you on the team!

Big thanks to Stef at WITSUP for the photo's you see below.

Ironman Melb race report

After watching a friend finish Melbourne IM last year in 2013, I was inspired to run down the finish chute myself at Melbourne IM 2014. I wanted to experience the amazing atmosohere!
The atmosphere was amazing! I'd already entered Busselton IM in December 2013 but my thoughts were, that all going well I should hopefully be able to have a good couple of weeks rest after Busselton then hit another 12 week program to get ready for Melbourne in March 2014.

After supporting some fellow athletes at IM Melbourne 2013 I went to Witsup's 1st birthday party (and if you haven't liked this page on Facebook do yourself a favour and check it out - , Stef Hanson is doing an amazing job promoting women in sport and talking all things triathlon!). Some ladies from Tour de Cure, a charity partner with IM Melbourne, who fund-raisingraise for cancer research were there and I jumped at an the opportunity they offered to partner with Tour de Cure and fundraise for this worthy cause - a personal one for me after losing my dad to pancreatic cancer. The deal was I pay my entry fee and once I've fundraised over $2500 my entry will be released. With great support from friends and family and I hit the target early on and my entry was confirmed.

After Busselton IM I was found myself without a coach, but subsequently and saw a post by Kate regarding GKEndurance. Having a great deal of respect for both Kate and Guy I contacted Kate and enlisted her coaching expertise. I had a goal for Melbourne and that was to qualify for Kona.

I took two weeks off completely after Busselton and then holidayed in Bali for two weeks. The 12 week program was to start whilst I was still in Bali, however sickness hit. I was still able to run and swim a little but this hampered me for the first two weeks of the program. Not the best start but I knew my fitness was there and for the next 10 weeks I was focused and determined. Not only did i I want that Kona spot, but this one was for my Dad. I wanted to get to the start line in the best shape possible. I was so grateful as so many people had donated along the way and I didn't want to let anyone down by not getting on to the start line. I had a consistent training block and went in to the race the fittest and strongest I'd felt for a long time.

I caught up with Kate and Guy on the Friday before the race. They definitely calmed my nerves and offered some great advice and positive energy.

The race itself:

The swim: The swim start is the most anxious part of the race for me. I knew it was going to be rough out there with so many people. This is also an area I've been working hard on, joining a swim squad on advice from Kate, as well as undertaking other sessions on my own. I don't think I found any clear space for at least 2km. I was kicked, swum over, hit in the head so many times. I kept telling myself to stay calm. When I did find some space I settled in to a rhythm and reminded myself - feel uncomfortable and push a little harder, this isn't suppose to feel easy. I felt I was making good time and was very happy to exit the water in a PB time of 1:02:28 and 9th in my age.

The bike: On to the bike and on to the Eastlink. From previous half Iironman events I haven't got my nutrition on the bike right, and today and I was going to follow my race nutrition plan as it should be. I wanted to nail the bike leg, after being disappointed with my performance on the bike in Busselton. A slight tail wind on the way out and I was feeling good taking in my nutrition. By the first turn around I'd passed a few girls and it was a lonely road back in to town. Riding back in to Frankston the atmosphere was buzzing and it was great seeing some good training buddies cheering loudly on the sidelines. I was feeling good and pumped for the second lap still sticking strictly to my nutrition plan. I was looking forward to hitting the tunnel for the 2nd time, that was so much fun!! I was pushing hard, feeling uncomfortable but I felt good and was enjoying it. The ride back in to town the 2nd second time seemed much harder with the wind that had picked up.

Bike result - 5:05 and into 1st place in age.

The run: I felt great running out of transition and to be doing a different motion to the cycling. I liked the first km or so of the course where you double back and I was able to see a couple of other people I knew heading out for the run too. They offered some great encouragement! I saw my family and friends and they told me I was in 1st place for my age group. I now hoped I could hold on to at least get a top 3 performance.

By the 10km mark my quads were already sore and I knew that this was going to be a hard long run to St Kilda. In hindsight I knew I'd I’d taken off to quick, but even if id I’d pulled back those first couple of km's I'm not sure how much of a difference it would have made. Either way I knew I shouldn't be feeling like this until at least in the early 30kms!! I even had a fleeting millisecond thought of “I don't want to go to Kona anymore” - my quads were screaming!! I can't remember experiencing so much pain while running. I wanted so much to start walking, but I didn't. I slowed and then slowed some more but didn't walk. I had friends along the course that were offering so much support and later after the race I told them that although I may not have given them much back at the time they really helped me along.

Riding Beach road so many times over the last year I was familiar with the course so I just kept picking landmarks and suburbs to tick off. Then as I ran into Elwood I kept seeing people I knew all the way to the finish line. So much encouragement!. I could hear and see the finish. The finishing chute of Melbourne IM is unreal!! I was hurting but couldn't wipe the smile off my face. Then finally, I could stop running.

Run result - 3:42 and 2nd in age.

Final result - 9:55:20 and 2nd in my age. I was spent. I was elated!! I couldn't believe it - a sub 10 hour Ironman. All the hard work had payed off.

I took a moment in the recovery area to myself. A small tear. I was happy. It was so special that my mum and sister had flown over to watch. They definitely kept me honest during the race and it was great to share it with them. I wanted them to be proud. To have so many friends out on the course offering encouragement and support was fantastic. Home town racing definitely has its advantages!! I knew they were all waiting outside so I grabbed some ice cream and left the recovery area to go and find my family and friends.

Now I can't wait to start my next journey with Kate and Guy on the road to Kona! That moment of doubt was so fleeting on the run. I am so excited!! And only driven for more! I always pick my races apart and although I am so excited and happy I know there are areas I can improve on, especially the run. But for now I'll just enjoy this result. For all the pain whilst racing, it's worth it. It's a good pain. I love this sport!!

Aloha :-)

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