Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ironman Western Australia 2012

Photographers know that the first and last hour of the day is always golden. But add in the warmth of a young girl comforting her father to not quit after racing for 14 hours in the West Australian Ironman Triathlon, and you get a special image that tells a special story. From The great Delly Carr's Facebook Page Pic taken by Delly Carr
Finishing ...Pic By Dennis Tan
On the run coated with sunscreen ...Pic by Dennis Tan
Before the start with Clifford Lee , Kona Finisher 2012

What a difference a Day makes particularly when it falls on 9 December 2012 .For a triathlete it is Ironman Western Australia 2012 . The weather was great one minute with mill pond water and windy and rough conditions next. Anything can happen and it does often.

It is a day that usually brings out the best in everyone.From volunteers , to competitors and the many who come  to support family and friends. It is a hard day .There isn't ever an easy Ironman race regardless of the conditions.

For me , it was a hard day with the swim setting the tone for what has been a difficult year . But as they say if it was easy everyone will be doing it. Having said that , I was hoping for a better result but they are what they are. At the end of the long day , I crossed the line at 13.10.53

HH : MM : SS
HH : MM : SS
HH : MM : SS

My slowest at Busselton yet but every race is different and in every race I learn something new possibly not profound and not Life changing.

I don't plan to provide an in depth analysis of a lack lustre race other than to say going into the race I was quite under done and lacked the preparation I needed .

I had not really got my swimming back to early 2011 levels and that is something I will have to work on. I assumed I could get by with the minimum of work and the shoulder injury demanded I rest it but I will have to work on strengthening the left shoulder . I will also need to work on swimming in all conditions I swam a few hundred meters extra which was just silly.

That really set up the rest of the race and I pretty much just did not have the strength to sustain myself on the bike and run .It was just trying to survive the rest of the race . I really had some slow times and unfortunately with the extra weight I was carrying , I really just wasn't able to maintain any reasonable pace.

The really good points were , I did not panic and had my best start ever .I stayed away from the main groups and did not have any real issues other than drinking a bit of seawater and the choppy conditions which I find hard to swim in but that just slowed me up and did not really cause me any concern as past swim legs would.

I followed my nutrition plan to the letter and ate all the time and finished my gels and had at least 6 bi don's on the bike and lots of lollies and dates . On the run , 2 gels , coke from the 5 km mark  at every aid station and electrolyte as well , lots of water 2 cups at least per aid station and lots of ice . I did not feel the heat other than my legs were just cactus. I had no intestinal issues and had only 2 pee stops ...one on the run and one on the bike.

It was just a matter of toughing it out.The brain was screaming for me to walk and I just had to focus on getting from one aid station to the next and from one lap to the next. I walked each aid station and shuffled in between . In most races if well prepared I would usually be able to maintain my race pace up to the 20km mark on the run , at about 6km I was already struggling , but in all this , I never forget that it is a race , it is about finishing , and it isn't the end of the world if you don't. Like everyone there are goals and times and all the sacrifice etc but in the end , S@#t happens . I survived and I will move on.

What was enjoyable was the crowd support , the many volunteers I knew and the great atmosphere. I was in far too much pain to truly appreciate it all but I am thankful for the support from total strangers .As I finished my last lap , I thanked some of these total strangers and the response no worries all we did was just cheer you on.Well it was more than that , it uplifted and encouraged me and I am sure 1500 others. On the positives I raced at my heaviest weight and probably my least fit state and still made it so there is hope yet.

Despite the results , it is still an experience and whilst many had hard days , I know of many ,whom I won't mention who had a spectacular day . They not only guts it out but really had the results they deserved . Ironman Western Australia Age Group Highlights . First off the Bike

I will mention one story in thousands told on the day .My blog is about training, about triathlon and about my experience but it is not meant to be a "look at me " story  but more so the experience and wonder of this sport many love. A colleague whose sister was entered for her first Ironman ,  tore her calf muscle on the bike leg ( I don't know at what stage ) and still finished with 20 minutes or so to spare. I don't advocate killing yourself to prove you are an Ironman but  that is partly what is so inspiring about the race .Ordinary people testing themselves. There are many stories of sacrifice , tears and goals achieved and goals just slipping through or missed by miles .The true nature of the race is to be able to survive that and move on.

Entries opened today for Ironman WA 2013 . Whose up for another bout with the IronGods.