Ironman Regensburg – The Pirate Euro Outing 2011
Ironman Regensburg is where the galleon of the ship of fools sailed to in 2011! Great beer, great company, lots of food, a bit of a race, massive supporting, and an awards cermony at the end. Brilliant!
|Cougie||Garrs Mate Nige||Gladys||Happychap|
|HC’s other mate Laurie||HC’s mate i-Mac||HC’s Mate Jule||Iron Purple Maiden|
|Iron Swiss Bobby||Klepto||Lee the Pea||M-Bear|
|Never Too Late||OrangeCannon||Orca||Pugsley|
|Rio||Steve Ho||Toucs||Ultra Iron Wolf|
- Fastest Man – Orange Cannon 10:37:38
- Most Improved – Orca (with WildWill in 2nd and OC in 3rd)
- Fastest Female – Orca 12:14:21
- Best Novice (aka most piratey) – Aitch
Other Awards – the really important ones….
- Sandbagger – Orca
- Smiliest pirate – Aitch
- Grumpiest pirate – Coach Barley
- Best supporter – Holly
- All the gear, no idea – Coach Barley
- Quote of the day – Coach Barley (can you see a pattern forming here?) with
“I couldn’t sleep, all I’ve done is just lay there tossing……..and turning”
- Pirate mincing award – Gladys
- The Kanga comedy bike award – WildWill
- The Symes award for the most punctures – Coach Barthorpe
- Drowning pirate award – Lea the Pea
- Lost in Transition – HappyChap
- Try something new on race-day – Meldy
- Best young pirate supporter – James (Waffy’s nephew…all the way from Australia with his beautiful sister, Lucy)
- Iron balls (top speed) – WildWill with 58mph
- Best pirate dog – Nea
All the others are on the RW thread RW main thread
Make a cup of tea before starting this, it’s long.
I guess this whole journey began when I went to support IMCH in 2009. I had such a great time and although I’d only done an Olympic distance, I knew I HAD to do an ironman one day. And as a pirate.
That’s 2 years ago and now here I am, writing this report as an ironman!
Here we go….
Didn’t have a very restful night’s sleep and when the alarm went off at 3:55am I sat bolt upright with a feeling of fear in my stomach. Collected all my bags and went to force breakfast and strong coffee down my neck. We’d decided to get a taxi to the start to save having to walk a long way. It meant we got there in plenty of time, so lots of time to faff! It was raining and pretty cold as Waff and I sorted out our bikes in transition – tyres pumped up and things moved from one area to another. Felt very aimless in all these tasks, but it was nice not to have to rush. Waff and I did the transition walk, which was useful. All stuff done by 6am. One hour to go. Visited the toilet a fair few times and tried not to panic. Had a little cry and got hugs from various people. Before I knew it, it was time to get into the wetsuits and take a dip to warm up, get water in the suit etc. Had a calming chat with Meldy and decided on a position to start. Time ticked away and then it was 2 minutes to go. It all seemed to go quiet and my goggles seemed to fill up with water – funny that, considering I wasn’t in the water As the gun sounded I pressed start on my watch and notice that my HR was 138! Standing still! Waited for everyone to get in and start before I got in. I didn’t fancy being part of the washing machine!
The first section out towards the first buoy was a bit busy. Knocked into a few people as they all funnelled into a bit of a line. Couldn’t really get into a stroke so used it as a opportunity to have a nice warm up and practice sighting. I don’t generally panic in open water so I knew I would be fine with the swimming. Once the faster people had all shot off and I’d overtaken some of the slower people, I found I could settle into a bit of a rhythm. I was trying really hard to concentrate on technique and not swim too fast. I tried not to use my legs that much, saving them for the bike! I was sticking to Bassy’s mantra of ‘stay in the moment’. If I found my mind wandering I counted my strokes – 1 2 3 4 breathe and repeat. I kept saying to myself ‘it’s just swimming’. I’d mentally broken the swim down into 4 sections and counted them off as they went by. It was good that the men were all wearing blue hats and the women in orange. It was nice to look around in the swim and see a few orange hats about! In section 3 I was drafting a man but then he started going way off course so I got back on track. I then spotted an orange hat just in front of me and thought ‘ah, a woman, I’ll follow her because she’ll know where she’s going’. I really enjoyed the swim. There were always so many people about that it never felt lonely. The last 800m or so seemed to drag a bit, but I could see the yellow powerbar gantry getting closer and closer and allowed myself to start thinking about transition.
Swim time: 1:34:52
Out of the water and a little wobbly on the feet. Looked at my watch: spot on what I expected and very happy with 1:34 swim time. Took my bag from the rack and into the change tent. I’d decided to change into my cycling shorts because they are much comfier than my tri shorts. The nice lady in the tent helped put my wetsuit into my blue bag, so that was kind of her. You then had to run right to the end of transition to go through to the bikes. It was a long way! Eventually got to the bike to put all my other stuff on. Waffy’s David was at the railings, so was good to have a chat whilst getting myself sorted. Shuffled along the matting to the end of T1, passing Meldy on my travels. Onto the bike and away I go.
Passed the pirate massive to a big cheer and gave them a wave. Looked at the watch and very conveniently it said 1:40. Helpful for me, it meant feeding was going to be the usual on the hour, 20 past and 20 to. Perfectly timed, I like to think. The bike could pretty much be summed up by saying: ‘it was long and wet’, but I think I should elaborate a little more. The plan was to not go off like a rocket, instead get the HR under control in the first 6ish miles to the hill and settle into a comfortable pace. This happened. A good start, I thought. The rain was coming down but I didn’t really feel it up the hills because I was in a low gear, spinning up. I’m not afraid to say that I really like hills. I liked the gradient of these ones and never needed to get out of the saddle to climb. They reminded me of the mountains in Mallorca, just not quite as long as those ones. Passed Rio towards the top and had a little chat with her, comparing our swims. It’s when the descents came that I really started to notice the weather. Like a fool I’d not put any extra layers or kit in T1 so all I had on was a Monaco and shorts. School-girl error! Going down hill the rain was making visibility very poor but also making me feel very cold. At one point it felt like needles hitting my arms, legs and face. Ouch! ‘Just get to the bottom and you’ll warm up when you’re pedalling’ was my thought. I usually descend quite well, but with all the water on the road, the corners and feeling so cold, I was braking and not going that quickly down hill. I think my max on the first lap was about 35mph. Onto the flats and the HR started to rise a little more. I was sticking with my nutrition plan of a swig from my gel bottle every 20 mins and alternating water and isotonic. Every time I had a swig, I thought of Waffy saying ‘good girl’ to me. This kept me amused every time! In total on the bike I had 17 gels, 3 bottles of water, 3 bottles of isotonic and a couple of pieces of banana. I made sure I took it all on so I was well fuelled for the run. On one of the flat sections on the bike I passed Barley at the side of the bike, fixing a puncture. Unlucky for him, I thought.
The support in the villages was brilliant. There were so many people that had made the effort to come out in the pouring rain to shout, cheer, play instruments and generally have fun. You couldn’t help but smile! Every time someone shouted something in German which I didn’t understand, I amused myself by creating my own translation and then mentally saying thank you. A lot of people seemed to tell me I was amazing, awesome, incredible and hot! It kept me entertained anyway! I was only using a HRM with the time on for the race and my bike computer, no Garmin. As it happened, my bike computer went off at 40 miles and as the K markers were so few, it meant I had no real idea of where I was in terms of mileage on the course, I could only guess. Towards the end of the first lap I started to really look forward to lap 2 for the hills so I could warm up. Loved seeing Little Sister and Swiss Mummy out in the middle of nowhere then Trogs down by Transition. Thank you! Lap 2 begins and the hills are a comin’. HR was about right. The conditions meant that it never really got that high. Spun up the hills for a second time, hoping it would stop raining for the descent. Towards the top of the last climb I could hear someone shouting ‘uuuhhh arrrgggghhhhh’ so I knew it was a pirate. I worked out that it was Barley after he said ‘it’s taken me about 25 miles to catch you’! Had a little chat before we started descending for a second time. Still raining. I started to get a bit angry at this point. I was cold, I was wet, I was shivering, it was windy. This wasn’t what I thought my IM bike was going to be like. ‘Just get to the bottom of the hills and then sort your mood out’ I thought. Back on the flats I thought about my training. I rode a lot in the rain and wind in the early stages of training and then my last long ride was 91 miles in the rain. So instead of feeling angry at the weather, I started to think that I was just well trained for it. All the people that commented that they wouldn’t go out if it was that wet wouldn’t be as prepared as me. It lifted my mood and I got on with it. Somewhere on the second lap I was clearing my nose (for about the 87th time) and a woman cycled past me and said ‘your right snot rocket was better than your left’! She was right, it was! I started to need a wee and after cycling along, not knowing where the next aid station was I very almost had to go. I tried, but I just couldn’t seem to bring myself to wee on the bike. Eventually the aid station turned up and I went for a long wee in a portaloo. Back on the bike and I noticed how tired my legs felt. Oh dear. I started to feel worried about the run so kept telling myself that they weren’t tired, they were just getting warmed up for the run. It didn’t really work and for the last 20ish miles I started to dread the run. It was around here where I started feeling really lonely. There weren’t many people about and I definitely had a low patch. I was bored of the rain and bored of being on the bike, I just wanted to get off. After what seemed like forever it was time for the turn off for T2. Tried to spin my legs a bit more to get my legs ready. It had thankfully started to stop raining and dry up. I enjoyed that last mile or so, knowing that I was almost back and the rest of the race was more within my control.
Bike time: 7:35:27
Off the bike, rack it and clip clop my way round the racks and to the bags and change tent. It was here I had a bit of a shock. The tents were all open, men and woman and no doors (lit in T1). As I’d changed into cycle shorts, I now needed to change into run shorts. Tough, I’ll just have to get half naked here! Change of shorts, change of socks (top tip from Meldy) stuffed a few bits in my back pocket and ready to go. Went for the world’s longest wee then I was on my way.
Started running and immediately felt happy. I think I was just pleased to be out of the rain and off the bike! My plan was run 4 mins, walk 1 minute and walk the aid stations when taking on nutrition and just see how it all panned out. Very quickly I was heading into town and wondering when I would see the pirate massive. I just caught sight of the yellow and black then could hear them all shouting and cheering as I got closer. I gave a Mexican wave of sweaty kisses to them (sorry) then got on my way. The run felt more like a shuffle, but I was moving. Round the corner, then presented with my first band. Yay! I liked having it on my arm and knew I would look forward to the next one. Had a gel at the aid station and immediately knew it was the last gel I was going to have that day. Ergh! Off towards the park and settled comfortably into run 4, walk 1. It was feeling very comfortable. Great to see the second mob of pirates at the weir and I pointed to my arm and said ‘look, I’ve got a band!’. I think I was a little bit excited! It was quieter in the park but there were loads of people on the course. I didn’t care that lots of people seemed to have 3 or 4 bands and I only had 1, I was just happy to be there. My mental plan for the run had to take it a lap at a time and count down the Ks as 1/10, 2/10, 3/10 etc until the next lap. I must say, this is the best thing I could have done. The K markers came quickly and it felt like I was really getting somewhere. I started to take on coke and had a piece of banana, which was working well, so I decided to stick to that plan for the rest of the run. Started lap 2 and going through town, there seemed to be even more people out supporting. I couldn’t help but have a massive grin on my face. People shouting things in German, cheering my name, telling me how good I looked (yeah right). It was incredible and gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. Towards the pirate massive and more kisses, high 5s and excitement to be had. Then it was time for band 2. Yes! Was sticking with my run/walk plan and really really enjoying myself. I was there, I was doing it, I was on lap 2. The K markers continued to come round quickly and I was feeling good. A little too good maybe. ‘I can’t always feel this good’ I thought. I started to prepare myself mentally for the pain, for the time when I wanted to walk and not run, for the time I was going to start hating it. I can honestly say, hand on heart, that none of this ever came. I loved every step of that run, I never wanted to extend walk breaks, I never wished it was all over, I loved it!
Onto lap 3 and feeling better than before. I was keeping a close eye on HR, keeping it at 155 or below on the run sections. I was really trying to make sure I didn’t have a repeat performance of Cowman, where my HR was high, I was dehydrated and suffered with heatstroke. At the aid stations I was squeezing sponges on my head and I’d got electrolyte tablets in my back pocket which I was popping in my water bottle. Lap 3 was when I was joined by a guy who was doing his first IM too. He didn’t feel that great and was moaning. Strike 1. He stuck to my r/w plan with me and we were ticking along nicely. He started to tell me how many miles we had left to run and how far it felt. No, no, no, I’m not doing it like that, I like counting down K markers on the laps, I thought. Strike 2. We were then talking about targets and I told him and I was trying to work out whether I could go under 15 hours. On the next walk break he was trying to work it out and was saying he didn’t think it was possible. Strike 3: you’re out! I knew I had to get away from him and his negativity so I told him I was going to push on, as he wanted to extend a walk break. Felt better on my own. I neared the end of lap 3 and back through town. The noise is even louder. I started to well up. I felt like the most important person there, like every single person had come out just to support me. It was amazing. Saw my brother and gave him a kiss and told him one more lap to go and I’d be back there. Time for the last band. Got handed a glow stick at the aid station to run with, which I liked. It was on the last lap that I started to think about the day and about the training and how far I had come. I had a few tears. Not because I was hating it, because I was enjoying it so much and was feeling happy with how it was going. I started the day thinking ‘what the hell have I signed up to’ and I spent most of the run wondering why on earth I’d not done it sooner! It got really dark as I neared the 5k marker in the park. Aside from some glow sticks on the floor and the one I was carrying, between the aid stations it was pitch black. I quite liked it. I had decided to r/w to that 5k sign and then run as much of the rest that I could to try and get under 15 hours. Hit that sign and started my run only mission. I felt okay and I was passing lots of people who were walking. This was a nice feeling, it meant that I had paced it well and could finish strong. The K markers were a bit slower in coming on the last lap but I was edging closer to the finish. With about 3k to go I was feeling a bit odd and couldn’t work out whether it was because I was running with a glow stick in the dark, or because I was actually feeling dizzy. I really didn’t want to mess it up so close to the end so I took half an electrolyte tablet out of my pocket and munched it. It was pretty disgusting but I felt better. I started to get closer and closer to town and I could hear the finish chute. I was so excited to get there. Up over the cobbles and to the turn off. Cougie and a crowd of pirates were on that corner all making a lot of noise. I threw my hat and bottle at them and started my run towards that finish line. The noise was deafening and as I ran up the chute, I couldn’t help but cry. The feeling of euphoria and pride I had in those last 30 seconds was indescribable. I crossed the line and I’d done it! I was an ironman! It sounds cheesy, but aside from getting my degree, it was the proudest moment of my life so far. I worked so hard in training and had so many ups and downs, but I’d got there and achieved something that I only thought really really amazing people did.
Run time: 5:32:39
Overall time: 14:56:25
After a shower and a mouthful of food it was straight back out to the finish chute to a hero’s welcome and lot of tearful hugs from my pirate friends. A great end to a wonderful day watching everybody else finish. Another amazing highlight was winning best novice at the pirate awards ceremony. Such an honour, so thank you for everyone who voted for me. I also won smmiliest pirate. Apparently I looked a bit happy on the run course
I don’t know where to begin in saying thank you to people. This whole experience starts and ends with pirates. I would have never have imagined I would be capable of completing an ironman had it not been for the pirates. You believed in me. Since Christmas I have had so much daily advice/support on Twitter (and on the forum) from people I respect but also consider my friends – thank you. Thank you so much to all the pirate supporters on the course who spend 17+ hours on their feet cheering all day – Holly, Jj, my brother, Goose and all the others out there. You have no idea how much it lifts you. I looked forward to seeing you all on every lap and my experience would not have been the same had you not have been there. Thanks to my mentor Bassy for all the help, support and belief you have given me over the last 7 months. You have been ace. And look, I didn’t f*ck it up! To my wonderful friend and extra unofficial mentor Waffy, with whom I have shared this whole journey. Your continued support and friendship has been so special and so beneficial that I don’t know where I’d have been without you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart girlie. I love ya!
Whoops – that really is l-o-n-g. Sorry!
Ironman 2011 – Germany 2 Meldy 1
As most of you are probably aware I had a few issues last year and was hoofed off the course with 10k to go (not that I put up much resistance at that point)
This years race was to be the big improvement that the year before failed to produce and another year stronger would see me running away with all the trophies except the mincing award.
We had a long and mildly eventful journey down which included a cyclist in a red jersey, horror at the price of a wee and a lorry driver with enough dream catchers in his cab to make several feather dusters, that said we arrived, we drank beer and registered and racked and all those bits that you have heard about. Remembered what I had forgotten and raided the expo for a new bento box which I duly stuffed full of gels kindly donated by Grinning Aitch
Saturday night I am quite used to not sleeping the night before the race so I laid in bed just focussing on nice shallow breathing, thinking of nice long swim strokes and kept my HR to an acceptable level. Up before the alarm and downstairs to the hotel to grab coffee whilst I faffed with filling water bottles and convincing my eyes that they should give in and take the contact lenses!
Waiting for the prebooked taxis was a little stressing as none of the drivers spoke English and no one knew who had booked what but eventually we managed to manhandle our way into one and headed off (via the Industrial Estate) to the lake. Tyres pumped (as in inflated not psyched!!) Banana scoffed with photographic evidence (thank you Gladys!!!) Queued for the loo to pass time and then queued again. I never find that much to do in transition of a morning so there is a lot of waiting around. Wetsuited and stood on the beach ready for the off looking like a herd of migrating beluga whales.
The first turn point was about 1k up the side of the lake, I had intended to wait until most people had gone before swimming off to avoid any repeat of last year. Started off fine but it was still a lot busier than it should have been due partly I think to a narrow beach start, a few people got in my way and I felt the familiar rise of panic starting as I missed a few breaths and failed to get into my pattern, I did some breast stroke and then floated on my back all trying to slow the heart rate to no avail, I think it was at this point some bloke was desperately trying to flag someone down to do up his wetsuit for him and I am sorry I couldn’t help. In the end I managed to attract the attention of a canoeist and gave myself a good talking to, remembered the shallow breathing techniques that I had done before and by some miracle I started swimming and continued that way to the end, it was exactly as I had planned to swim and if anyone got in my way then it was my choice of path through them and I overtook a lot of people from the very back of the field.
I was very happy to be out in one piece and with a respectful time given the initial issues
Feck me that transition was long in more ways than one !!
Made the decision to put my gilet on as it was chucking it down with rain and looking at the sky that was not about to change!!
Settled out on to the bike course past the noisy rabble now known as the PSOF Support! The course on paper looked a fairly decent one, nice flat start and then all the hills in the first quarter before a flat run home to make a loop of about 50 miles. I had asked PTLs hubby what the time was when I came into T1 as I had forgotten my stopwatch to get a total elapsed time, I never really remember anything significant about bike courses, villages and names and such like and this one was much the same, the hills were fine no real problems apart from just settling myself after being unnerved again in the swim, the rain battered down for hours upon end and it feckin hurt!! I am not the most confident of cyclists at the best of time but being aware of wet roads and debris that had been swept out kept me a little cautious on the downhills but not overly so. There was an extraordinary amount of slugs on the road which amused me somewhat, a few shouts of ‘crap swimmer’ in the first few miles and I played a game of ‘spot the silly name’
‘Hello Uwe’ made me smile more times than a sane person should
Having failed to beat my ‘wee in the swim’ record it soon became apparent that I was going to need to get rid of several pints and the irony of stopping in the pouring rain left me with one choice … yes Ladies and Gentlemen: I pissed all over £1000 worth of carbon bling, new socks and bike shoes. My mother would be horrified, I have no doubt that would be instantly diluted by the continued monsoon.
Lap 1 in about 3.34 looking at my bike computer which was slower than expected but not for the want of slacking, from looking at other reports I think the rain disguised the wind and vice versa but it really was not a nice day to be on a bike, lap 2 and I passed a few more people of the sick, lame and injured variety on the hills (a kill’s a kill right?)
Having lost all the goals I had hoped for I think I took the easy option and decided to have a sociable run, it took a while to get through transition and out, I had forgotten to put my garmin on while we were there but it picked up a signal quicker than it does at home!
I wont linger on the run bit as its pretty inconsequential, I did discover however that defaulting to the Ironman shuffle is not always needed and that I could actually run properly ! I also have had previous issues with not sleeping after an event and as such have tweaked my nutrition a bit to be mainly water and gels on the bike and the run gave me an added option to try something else, I had only bananas and cake and had just as much energy as I would have done on gels and coke and all the rest of the rubbish I consume!
The pocket piratical support out on the course was great, every corner you turned there was a flash of yellow!! I walked and talked with Swiss Bobby and Waffy and Rio and Barlos, I ran a fair bit and paced pretty well if a little sporadic, I like a 4 lap course as it breaks down nicely, I overtook a few more sick, lame and injured and tootled on through.
Very soon I was on the last 10k, I had enough time but still ran most of it and it was my turn to take the right turn to the finish, it came quicker than I thought and I fully intended to make the most of the chute and the pirate support … well until I saw 2 blokes in front of me that is, well, it would be rude not too!!! Ralff (2 x f for effect I reckon) was not happy at being chicked at the end but he should have visited the hurtbox a bit sooner then J
All that feckin effort at the end and the bliddy live feed was off!!
Sorry, this has been long but hopefully someone will benefit from dealing with expectation when conditions change, this was supposed to have been the significant improvement year, on paper it was all there, the training, the speed and the course, on the day it didn’t happen and not just because of the swim. It would be easy to chuck the towel in and believe me it crossed my mind in the swim and on the bike!! You have to have flexible goals, you have to have sheer bloodymindedness and you have to want to get to the end any which way.
I am happy to conquer Germany at last, I am not happy with the time but as a wise man once said ‘a kill’s a kill’ and I have the shirt and medal to prove it. Mr Rose, your contract has been extended, next year will be different.
Aaaand lastly, so many people help to make this annual beer fest (Oops) possible, the PSOF support is legendary and enviable, you guys ROCK. My very good friends, the Twitter girlies (and boysies), the long suffering Admiral (although I have a feeling that might be me next year), and anyone else who knows me.
Thank you for making this continued journey a pleasant experience.
Firstly just to set the seen … last year I had the worst Ironman race ever taking over 14:51 and just making the cut off, this year i was out to banish these demons once and for all (plus Mrs WildWill said i wouldn’t be allowed to play anymore unless i had a PB type outing this time)
The day didn’t start well for me, considering how well i had been swimming i was expecting to do around the 1:05 mark to give me a decent start on the bike (where I am crap, i may have mentioned this before).
I placed myself in a good racing line … the gun went off and in i went .. within a couple of minutes, i had my goggles kicked off … quickly replaced … then a took a smack in the nose and blood was everywhere, i pulled up to clear the flow and promptly got swam over … lots … to a point i couldn’t get up for air ,.. i finally managed to break surface, gasping for air … finding myself in a panic attack … i couldn’t calm my breathing and thought my race may be over 10mins after the start.
I decided to swim out towards the side of the lake where i found others in the same situation as me and i tread water for a while focusing my attention on someone doing the same finally bringing myself under control.
By now i had been in the water 10-15mins and had only reached the 2nd marker buoy and been passed by most the field, i tuned my hearing in to the steady beep of my tempo trainer and sett off to pick my where through the field
As i progressed my rhythm quickly returned and i started passing people, and by the midway i was feeling quite good
I exited the water an was totally shocked that my time was not as bad as i thought it would be…
SWIM TIME = 1:14:58 (last year 1:25:08)
The bike has always been a struggle for me, i get out the water and then 90% of the field that exit behind me seem to pass me on the bike … this is an are where i had focused a large chunk of training .. so i hoped not to die en-route
I also had a new TT bike, this was both good and bad as On the hand full of occurrences i had rode the bike i had suffered from cables jamming and not been able to shift gears (not good if it happened early in the race) … but it did look nice.
As we hit the rather wet roads i tried to control my pace, as i normally shoot off to quickly and burn out.
As we hit the first main climb i was in a bit of a shock, although a fair number of people were passing me as usual, it was not as rapid as normal and i was even passing other riders, even on the climbs (SHOCK!) i had took a risk in moving from my normal triple chain set to a 53/39 double and this was paying off, i spent most of the ride (apart from the climbs) in the areas had hit some good speeds, especially down hill in 53:11. on the 2nd lap I even yelled at a guy that i had been locked in a battle with for sometime “BREAKS ARE FOR WIMPS!” and screamed passed him .. it almost ended in tears though is a just missed the curb at the bottom of the hill with my @rse rapidly going 50pence/ 20pence /50pence (if you know what i mean)
It was about now my front shifter started to stiffen up … please hold together, i thought to my self … but it continued to stiffen as i racked up the miles, climbing the slight rises in a 53, then not been able to get back into 53 was proving a pain but i just focused on turning the cranks
With about 45miles to go Cougie passed me, then i passed him, the he passed me and so on … we hit the 30miles to go point and i was feeling good so i yelled and off i shot feeling the best i had ever felt coming into T2 (with gears jammed on the 53)
BIKE TIME = 6:34:17 (last year 7:08:40)
Getting off the bike feeling so good paid dividends, i was able to run the run .. my plan had been originally to run 9mins/ walk 1 min but i adapted this when i spotted there were to be 6 aid stations on the loop to run between then walk the aid stations.
I also took the plunge to dump my normal cushioned runners to a pair of (loud) lightweight racing shoes … i had tried them out before hand tho in a 5k training run
I stock to water for the first 2 laps with just a hand full of jelly beans but is i started the 3rd of 4 laps i started to struggle a bit so switched to coke and other goodies (read cake) at the aid stations … but i struggled … but then i started counting running 100 steps walking 10, running 200 and so on until within a couple of aid stations i was back on plan. seeing my wife and dog at the end of each lap helped loads
Even though i was running slower i felt good on the last lap and manage to stick to my plan … a couple of miles from the finish i looked at my watch and noted that to make my target time i need to significantly up the pace … i was currently running at 11:30(ish) per mile but needed to be at 9:00s for the last 2 miles
Off i set ignoring the pain … ignoring every thin but maintaining 9:00s for these lat 2miles.
I rounded the last corner i spotted MrWildWill with the dog, she looked at the clock and screamed RUN! and i picked up the pace again not knowing how close i would be to my target and crossed the line with tears of joy in my eyes … the pain forgotten
RUN TIME = 4:57:07 (last year 6:07:37)
TOTAL TIME = 12:58:25 (last year 14:51:08) … almost 2 hrs faster than last year … plus a PB by almost 40mins
SUB 13 … a very happy WW (and i can play again next year)