Port Mac 70.3 – Race Report.

Ready and nervous!

Ready and nervous!

As of Sunday, I am officially a triathlete! I have always shyed away from this term leaving it for people much fitter and better looking in lycra than me! However, after Sundays effort I feel like I have now earned this title!

We headed into Port Macquarie on Saturday morning to scope out the bike course as I had read the roads were rubbish and the course quite hilly. On the drive in I kept saying to Nate it can’t be THAT bad, I mean we have ridden around Mudgee – how bad could it be?

ha!

There was one section of hot mix that lasted around 300m and the rest was dead road with a spattering of pot holes that had been filled and refilled.

It was going to be a bumpy ride.

My main goal was to try and stay down on my bars for as much of the ride as possible – I have never felt really confident on them so this was going to be a bit of a test. I knew the best way to approach it was to just not think about it.

We headed to registration and off we went to rack our bikes in transition – with me stopping at the Shimano mechanics to get them to check my tyre pressure. LUCKY – apparently my front wheel wasn’t done up properly and it would have most probably fallen off mid ride… I will ALWAYS stop at the Shimano tent.

Afterwards we jumped in the swim entrance and had a quick swim to get a feel for the water before heading home – sunburnt. Not exactly ideal but there was nothing I could do about it now!

I slept terribly on Saturday night, after tossing and turning for a few hours I bit the bullet and set myself up on the lounge so at least poor Nate could have a peaceful sleep!

I flicked on the TV, watched The Hangover and fell asleep about 12ish.

My alarm went off at 4am (VOM) and I jumped straight up. Coffee, breakfast, quick check of the bag and off we went.

Nate looking pro as exiting the swim!

Nate looking pro as exiting the swim!

Swim Leg (33:31 – 15th AG):

Nate headed off in the wave before me, as soon as the horn sounded we were hearded to the start line.

One girl yelled out “Goodluck Girls” then we all wished each other good luck. It was a nice way to start the race as we all encouraged each other.

Horn sounded and away we went.

It was a relatively uneventful swim. I found some space and just swam. Nothing flash (my swim is nothing flash!) focussing on controlled breathing and long smooth strokes. I have realised that I am better off swimming slightly slower for a lot less energy than expending a significant amount more for probably 1minute or so gain. I am putting this down to no  poor technique.

T1:

I exited the swim feeling fresh and relaxed.

I spotted The Meat Trays and my family and gave them a wave… downed half a gel, quick sip of water then Sirius and I headed on our way.

Bike Leg (03:07:03 – 3rd AG):

As soon as I jumped on Sirius, 1 of my water bottles came loose and spilled all over my foot  before eventually falling out completely. Not ideal!

Loving the bike leg!

Loving the bike leg!

My aim for the bike was to stick around 30km per hour. I knew I was strong on the bike but I had no idea how I would fair for 90km on a hilly course. I didn’t want to go too hard on the bike so I thought this pace was achievable while still leaving enough in the tank for the run (ha!)…

I was overtaking people on the hills and took a lot of confidence from this. I was being over taken on the downhills however, so I decided on the 2nd lap to not think about falling off unless it happened! I couldn’t afford to overtake people on the uphills just to have them come flying past on the downhills!

I hit the first turn around feeling good, keeping a nice high cadence and settling into a rhthym. I took my first gel here – well about 3/4 of it. I just can’t stand them. As soon I had it I felt quesy.

Heading back into town on to Matthew Flinders Drive AKA hill of death, where they lay out carpet so people can clip out and walk up. The first time up it took me by surprise – I had really underestimated just how steep it was. I grit my teeth and got through it though telling myself I only had to do it one more time.

Getting it done!

Getting it done!

Nate once again looking like a pro!

Nate once again looking like a pro!

2nd lap – relatively uneventful, at the turn around we came into a headwind that made the ride a little tougher! I was still feeling good however, I had a feeling I hadn’t eaten enough… at about the 75km mark I started to tire and knew I had left it too late to get enough food in before the run. I told myself it was too late, if I ate now I would be sick on the run (oh Brooke – you have no idea!).

Climbed the hill of death 1 more time and made my way back into town.

T2:

Scored some bindies in my feet as I ran through transition and lost my bike rack… ugh! After a minute if searching I found where I was supposed to be. I had even taken note as I ran INTO T2 but for some reason I ran away from my transition area?!

I thought about popping a gel here but thought it would sit funny in my belly and hurt my run (oh Brooke – you have no idea!).

Out of T2 and into the run…

Run Leg (02:16:48 – 12th AG):

I knew coming off the bike I hadn’t gotten my nutrition right but I really underestimated how much this would affect me! I had underestimated just how much this leg would hurt too!

I started with a 5:08/km pace and very quickly that dropped to 5:45/km which very quickly hit about 6:02/km and walking through every aid station.

Nate passed me just after the first aid station – I told him I was struggling as he zoomed past. I thought he must’ve been on his 2nd and final lap and felt really deflated. Little did I know he actually got a flat at the bottom of the hill at Matthew Flinders Drive and I had beaten him home on the bike leg!

Struggle street shuffle!

Struggle street shuffle!

After this I knew I had to get fuel in – whichever way possible.

So I scoffed watermelon, electrolyte drink, water, banana anything I could get my hands on!

The irony is that I couldn’t stomach gels and I hadn’t wanted to eat solid food towards the latter half of the bike because I thought I would struggle to run with food in my belly –  and here I am on the run course having a bloody sit down meal!

I really struggled through the first lap. I passed a guy who was being helped by an ambulance and thought, I could just stop here and they would help me too. I had doubts I would make it, but I also knew I didn’t want to give in!

A little girl handed me Vegemite on a stick – life saver! As gross as it sounds, after so much sugar it was exactly what I wanted.

2nd lap – still struggling and walking through every aid station. I stopped to walk a bit further down the road and an older guy ran up beside me and told me we were going to run to the finish, we probably had about 4km to go. This was exactly the kick up the bum I needed! We ran together for a while until he pulled away as I just had nothing in the tank.

We hit the final hill and I caught up to Jan (the guy who told me to run) and he was walking. C’mon I said – you told me we were running until the end so that’s we’re doing!

I think the Coke must have kicked in at this stage, as I managed to run the last 2km (downhill) in a much more respectable pace of 5:33/km.

As I hit the red carpet I saw my family – gave them all high-5’s and shuffled over the finish line!

That’s when I saw Nate waiting for me – I gave him the biggest hug and cried tears of joy. Which I have never actually experienced before! It’s a weird sensation but kind of cool!

Finish Time: 06:02:59 – 8th AG

Our faces say it all!

Our faces say it all!

Not quite the time I had hoped for but for my first long distance triathlon I am still stoked.

I had a great, relaxed swim, crushed the bike and fell apart in the run.

I know that my nutrition (or lack of) had a big role to play in my awful run. After the race I realised I only had 1 bottle of sports drink, 1/3 banana and 2 gels on the bike and I know this wasn’t enough.

Aside from this I also need to get used to running on tired legs,  I know this is as much mental as it is physical.

Overall I am stoked with mine and Nates  effort and I can’t wait to see how much I can improve next race.

FYI Nate crushed it:

Overall Time: 05:34:45 – 31st AG

Swim: 00:32:26 – 40th AG

Bike: 03:16:45 (with a flat!) – 52nd AG

Run (SMOKIN’!): 01:40:37 – 14th (!!!) AG

The greatest cheer squad known to Ironman!

The greatest cheer squad known to Ironman!

I promise I will have more recipes soon too!

Brickie.

xx

I would also like to say a MASSIVE thank you to my family and friends for making the effort to come and stand in the sun just to watch us come past every hour or so! You guys made the day that much more special! THANK YOU!

Race Week – Port mac 70.3!

It’s race week!

Wow.

Well haven’t I just jumped on one hell of a roller coaster this week?! At the start of the week I was overcome with anxiety and nervous excitement. Up and down – waves of excitement followed by panic as I teetered on the edge of putting too much pressure on myself.

As the week has progressed, I have relaxed somewhat and feel like I am in a much better headspace! I am still riding a roller coaster of emotions however it’s more like riding The Beastie, not The Demon at Wonderland!

At the start of the week I was really stressing about times and how disappointed I would be if I didn’t get certain times for each leg. Then I realised that I have absolutely NO idea how I am going to fair in this race being my first 70.3 so I should probably just calm my farm and enjoy the ride.

I am going in blind – which means I am guaranteed a PB. If I want to race harder next time, I will adjust my training to suit and have a crack at those goals I set earlier in the week. But for now, I want to enjoy it all – reward myself for my hard work rather than berate myself for feeling like I haven’t done enough!

My race suit arrived on Tuesday and I got a proper bike fit too!

photo 5

The Meat Trays away shirts arrived this week too – I know what I will be sporting pre/post race!

Not ideal in race week but I ran out of time and have been getting really bad knee pain which I have never experienced before, so it had to be done.

I jumped on Sirius yesterday, and felt great. I am in a much better position and more aggressive too which hopefully means a bit more aero for a lot less effort!

Sirius is shining after a clean and service – I can’t wait to see how we go together on Sunday!

photo 2

All smiles after our 4000m swim!

All smiles after our 4000m swim!

Nate and I practiced transitions last night which also helped with the nerves.

We are so lucky to have a couple of The Meat Trays coming up to cheer us on (I cannot wait to hear you guys bring me home on the run – Lou, Lou and Brookie!!) along with most of my family.

I have scoured the internet looking for information on the Port Mac course, through my research I have found the following points of interest:

  • The ride is hilly (crap! A massive shout out to Russ Dawg for taking us through the Royal National Park – all of those hills will come in handy on Sunday!)
  • The road surface is terrible (double crap! Luckily, I am fairly experienced riding on a mix of lovely smooth hot mix and rough pot holey roads – so I am hoping it’s not as bad as it sounds)
  • The run course is generally flat (YES! I will be thanking the organisers on the run for this after 90km of hills on the bike!)
  • IT WILL BE FUN (running down that finish chute is apparently one of the most rewarding and emotional experiences and I am ready to lap it all up – there will be tears and hi-5’s!)

 

Wooh! Now a member of TA!

Wooh! Now a member of TA!

As I mentioned before, I have really tried to strip it back and take the pressure of myself in terms of “performance”. I am hoping for anything under the 6 hour mark, I think this is reasonable but again I am going in blind so I really don’t know how I will fair on the day but I am excited to test those limits!

Getting inspired by everyone racing at the ITC Club Tri on the weekend - I was BUSTING to race too!

Getting inspired by everyone racing at the ITC Club Tri on the weekend – I was BUSTING to race too!

 

…I am also looking forward to the beers afterwards!

Brickie xx





An ode to Nate Dawg.

As I write this, there is currently 15 days and 22 hours and 37 minutes until I  begin my journey to complete my first Half Ironman.

To say I am excited is an understatement, to say I am nervous doesn’t do it justice!

Looking at our wave start times and bib numbers fills me with fear and butterflies! EEEK!

Nate’s number is 322 and my number is 347 for anyone keen on tracking our progress throughout the day using the Ironman Athlete Tracker http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/coverage/athlete-tracker.aspx?race=&y=-1#axzz3F1cvLnHC

Last week I was beginning to question if I was going to be ready to take on the race. I think this is a normal part of any preparation, there are going to be times when you question yourself “Have I done enough?”. It didn’t help that I was struck down by a strange illness last week and my glands ballooned! Luckily, I have made a full and speedy recovery and the time off training was probably just what my body (and mind) needed.

While resting, I got stuck into Chrissie Wellington’s book “A life without limits” which I highly recommend, for both triathletes and non-triathletes a like. She is one tough and amazing woman! I have been trying to channel some of her mental toughness in my training this week.

An interetsing and inspiring read.

An interetsing and inspiring read.

I had my first experience of the Magpie swooping season last weekend when I rode to Jamberoo and back and got swooped 4 times! It surprisingly wasn’t as bad as I had expected (due to the feeling of being somewhat protected by my helmet!), however I definitely provided passing drivers with some entertainment as I was riding and flailing my arms in an effort to shoo these Magpies off my back!

All smiles halfway through my solo Jamberoo loop!

All smiles halfway through my solo Jamberoo loop!

This was my longest solo ride to date and as much as I would have loved to share it with Nate, I came back feeling a strong sense of accomplishment having completed it on my own.

Nate didn’t accompany me on this ride because my little sister (below) was staying with us and he offered to stay and be there when Clare woke up and bring her down to the beach to meet when I was done so I could still get training in.

Clare with her first "Mocktail" (we told  her mum it was a cocktail)

Clare with her first “Mocktail” (we told her mum it was a cocktail)

Yep, he is most definitely a keeper!

Throughout this whole journey Nate has encouraged me, supported me, put up with my grumpiness and ridiculous amount of stressing over the logistics of fitting in training and I am so thankful for him.

I found this “Prayer” that I thought was amusing it sums it up nicely.

First, Endurance Gods: Thank you for the fine specimen I call my partner.

He is nice to look at.
And thank you for making him faster than me,
so that I may have a constant view of his firm rear end.

But you have led us to a 2013 schedule
with a combined total of six half-Ironmans, two Leadmans, and four Ironman races.
I beseech you for divine intervention.

Keep us safe when swimming, riding and running, Endurance Gods.
Guide us, protect us and let us not anger the motorists with their big SUVs,
so that we may return home in one piece every day.

Let him remember to wear his ID, for I am sure
he is sick of hearing me nag him about that.

May we remember to stay on top of the chores during peak training periods.
When we fail (and we will fail),
may the neighbors not call the city to complain about the overgrowth in our front yard.

Bless us with a bountiful harvest of gels and nutrition drinks.
And when he finishes the peanut butter,
grant him the wisdom to not put the empty jar back in the pantry for me to find after a 100-mile bike ride,
For I will not tolerate that. I will not.

Lead us away from hanger, but deliver us some pizza.

Should I choose to skip a 4 a.m. workout in favor of sleeping in,
break all the light switches in the house,
so that I may continue my slumber without the interruption of
his profanity-laced search for socks and iPods.

And should he decide to sleep in, too,
let me be aware of this rare event,
for I will cuddle the stuffing out of that man.

On race day,
when things start to get tough,
let him lap me when I need it most,
for a pat on the butt and a “good job, babe” is the best thing in the world.

That, and watching the view as he runs off ahead of me.
Mm-hmm, yes.

Amen to that.

You can find the original here: http://triathlon.competitor.com/2012/11/features/triathlete-love-a-prayer-for-the-two-triathlete-household_66932

 

Indeed – AMEN to that!

 

Brickie xx