One of the few guarantees with racing (and a major attraction for me) is that you will be taught a new lesson or six, between toeing the start line and, if all goes well, crossing the finish. With this ironman game I am learning that so many things have to go right for you to see the finish and especially to finish well. There are so many variables and you have to nail them all if you want to have a great day. Some (like punctures for example) are mostly a case of luck, others (like swimming off course as I did on Sunday) are a case of human error. All the while, the ultimate goal I believe after each event, should be to take the lessons learned and grow from them.
I have probably raced too much in 2016. Three iron-distance events in 3 months is a lot. But I am always keen to test the boundaries and think I came close this time. I felt flat at IM Aussie on Sunday. Not awful, more I felt like a training day, I felt ok but didnt have that extra spring that I always cross my fingers for on race day (after a taper etc).
My swim actually felt great. I am certain I was on target for a PB but I turned too early at the top of the course. By the time a water safety volunteer alerted me to the fact I had to backtrack and probably lost a few minutes. I admit it pissed me off, but I was proud of how I put it to the back of mind as quick as I could.
The ride felt ordinary. But on reflection I rode quite a consistent 180km. My 90km splits were about identical. My power was slightly down, but it was probably about where it should be if I want to run a quick marathon. While it wasn’t a goal or a factor in my mind, I did suspect I might have broken the bike record, unless Clayton Fettell had as he looked strong off the front. As it turned out I got it, by about 3-4 minutes.
The run started well and I was on target. But my body decided to shut down to a training pace at about 10km. Oh boy, a long way to go. I believe I had paced myself through the day to run well, but I suspect this was where my ambitious race schedule caught up on me. I finished 5th. Next year I would not race all three: Wanaka, Taupo and Port Macquarie and expect to nail them all. Lesson learnt.
I really enjoyed this event and will be back. Time now to rest and recover before the work continues in the pool and I look to get back to the grind through the Wanaka winter from June onwards.
Thanks for following my summer.