This was my best training year so far. No real injuries, other than a knee that was bugging me on the bike, but never on the run…
Talking about the knee, I decided to get my tri-bike fitted again, since after Roth it, when I re-assembled it in Canada, it never felt the same. Anyhow, I was very worried with my knee because everytime I rode my tri bike (I trained mostly with my road bike) I got a stupid pain on my right knee. I know that doing that a week before the race wasn’t the best idea, but I didn’t have much to lose, since I knew my knee would hurt in the second hour.
Turns out… it wasn’t that a bad idea, the cleats had moved and I my left foot was 3cm off the right one!!
So the race!
Swim: 1:05 hours
This year we had a wave start, which contrary to my believe, helped me. I’m a relative good swimmer and a 1:05 IM swim is a really easy pace, which was exactly the plan. What I liked about the wave start is that it allowed me to keep the same pace (1:43min/100m) the whole race. Normally I would sprint the first 300m and then fall back into my pace, which works too, but it is much harder.
Right on the money! My plan was 10min, which isn’t too bad considering how far the exit of the swim is from the tent. Other than my gels falling on the floor, it was pretty uneventful. Pretty well organized I have to say!
Bike: 6:05 hours
I worked hard on the bike this year. In fact I rode all winter outdoors and it payed of! Joining Morning Glory Cycling Club was the best thing I could do for my ride. I went from 270W FTP to 300W! Last year at the end of the first loop when I hit the hills, it just took the wind out of me. This year I was actually enjoying the change of pace. I actually found it easier to go through the hills than keeping a constant pace on the flats. I finished the first loop with a 208W average (goal was between 200 and 210W), but unfortunately I could not keep that power the second loop, which fell to 189W, but overall I average 199W vs. 170W last year! That equated on a 30min faster ride!! I was thrilled at the end of the bike, feeling good and ready to run!
Oh, I had two nature breaks on the bike… otherwise I would actually be on 6 hours! 🙂
T2: 5:22 min
Not much to tell. I had to get another nature break just as I exited T2, which is a great because it meant I was hydrated.
Run: 4:36 hours
The run is really where you know if you had a good bike. As soon as I started running I was feeling some stomach pain, I had side stitches on both sides, but lower than usual. Something wasn’t quite right. So I started the run “walking”, which was not a good start. Fortunately by the time I got to the first aid station and had a coke, the stitches were gone and I could start running, slowly, but surely. The sun and heat on the road was horrible, the forecast the day before was calling for 28C, but it definitely felt 30+.
Once I got past the hills of the village and made my way into the path (oh, what a nice part of the course!) there was shade and it is flat!!! At that point I started to run pretty well at 5:30min/km pace. I maintained that pace between every aid station until hitting the hills again back to the village.
The heat was taking the best out of me though. I was taking salt pills as if they were M&Ms. My hamstrings were starting to cramp, and I had to walk to get them under control. The worst part was when I ran out of salt pills. I was drinking “Perform” (the race drink), eating bananas and begging for pills for everyone that passed me.
My goal was finishing at 12 hours, and as my hamstring were getting worse I could see that target slipping away, which was VERY frustrating… Fortunately, two good souls gave me some pills (5 in total), which brought me to the end of the race running “most” of the time, which was ALMOST good enough to break 12 hours… 3 minutes short of it though.
I had an awesome time, despite the heat, and I’m looking forward for next year. Perhaps I’ll finally break 12 hours… and if I’m setting goals, 11:30 is what I want to finish next year!!! 🙂
As always, there is no Ironman without an Ironwife. Ironman is hard, but not just the race, the training, the time it takes away from your family. I’m very lucky to have a great Ironwife and Ironbaby! 🙂