In the few days before I thought things were going as planned, I was well rested and hydrated and concentrated on fueling, I got a tub of opti from the expo on Wednesday night, and it was almost gone by Saturday, including the stuff for the race.
Friday was not ideal, I went for th last training session at 7am, and we had to leave the place we were in and move which meant we couldn’t get in to the other place until 2pm. I ended up being stuck outside for most of the day and got a bit too much sun. I wont let this happen again. I got into the new place and had a bit of a sleep in the afternoon, but woke up with a bit of a panic attack!!
I was a bit worried about getting through the run, but I had to just put it out of my head. I slept well on Friday night, woke up on Saturday feeling good, but still quite nervous.
Had a banana sandwich and an opti for breakfast and then just drank water until the start.
Got my special needs in for the bike, 2 bottles of endura and a bottle of opti, and started on the bike with the same. I didn’t put anything in special needs for the run, I had 4 bottles with one scoop of opti and a salt tablet in each bottle on my fuel belt in my run bag, with 4 gels in the fuel belt too.
Got everything sorted in transition, then put my wetsuit on and walked to the swim start. I couldn’t see anyone from aqua shop fitting wetsuits, and couldn’t see anyone from my squad, so I asked someone on the beach to zip up the wetsuit, that was a mistake. I ended up with a massive rash on my neck and under my arms, which was quite painful through the second half of the swim. Although my body glide ran out on the day too, so I probably didn’t have enough on which wouldn’t have helped.
At the start of the swim, even though I had been given an orange cap, I started to the left in the middle of the white caps. I found the start to be pretty good and not too much aggro from anyone. Tried to keep myself calm and make sure I was loose. My arms felt great, very loose and felt that my technique was good. I decided to split the swim up like it was a Saturday morning squad session. Warm up was to get to the end of the dog leg, then to the end of the pier was a drill session, main set was from the end of the pier back to the turning buoy, and cool down was to the swim finish. This worked well for me as I could focus on the next small goal without having to think too far ahead. I was able to swim with the pack to the end of the pier, but after turning at the end I seemed to be on my own. Swam parrallell to the pier but was alone all the way to the turning buoy. Started to think I had blown the swim and was going to be seeing 1hr 20 or worse when I got out. At the turning buoy it all came back together and the aggro was back on right to the finish. I kept swimming until my hand hit the sand then stood up. Looked at the watch and was relieved to see 1:03. I was surprised at the amount of people who stood up and waded as soon as the water was shallow enough to get their heads out of the water!
Washed my face off in the shower then started to peel the wetsuit off as I got to my bag, found it with no problems. Into the tent and no spare seats so stood up and took the wetsuit off, put my helmet sunnies and number belt on, stuffed my swim stuff into the bag and tossed it to the side. I think I passed about 60 people in transition!! T1 was 2:44
Out on the bike got my feet into my shoes and got going. Heart rate was a bit high so took it very easy until it dropped to about 140. Just took off at what felt like an easy rate and my HR was sitting on about 142. I was still passing a few people but made sure not to chase anyone. First lap was uneventful, took it easy but towards the end of the first lap I needed to pee. Tried to just do it on the bike but it just wouldn’t happen. I was losing concentration here and started going backwards a bit. I think I lost a bit of time here as it really took my concentration for about 20km, in the end I just stopped at the aid station and used the toilet. This was good in one way as I could stretch my back which was getting a bit sore before that and once I got back on the bike I felt as fresh as I had starting the first lap. I had drank all my endura and opti with about 25km til the special needs so I took a Hi5 and a water and diluted the Hi5 so it was quite weak. I was taking a salt tablet at the first turnaround and in the town which I did throughout the bike, had 6 on the bike. I had 4 gels with me but only ate 2, probably could have done with more but was conscious of not overfeeding.
My back was still a bit sore so I was trying to stretch it often but it didn’t make much difference, so whenever I had a tailwind I sat up to give it some rest. With about 50km to go I started to get a pain in the back of my right knee which I had been getting in the past few weeks while running. It wasn’t too painful on the bike but I was worried it was going to get worse on the run. I tried to keep rubbing it but it wasn’t going away. Apart from the pain in my back and knee, my legs still felt fresh and I felt that I would be good for the run. The knee pain went away on the run and I never felt it again. At the final turnaround my feet started to hurt a lot and my toes had gone numb. This got worse towards the end of the bike and was really quite painful. I sometimes get this on long rides and is something I will need to get sorted. My average heart rate on the bike was 145. My bike time was 5:12.
I jumped off the bike and ran to the bags, the volunteers had it there for me. In the tent I sat down and emptied my bag and put my socks and shoes on while the guy put sunscreen on me. He said "your neck is bad, its very red", I said, just put the sunscreen on it. I double tied my shoelaces and got up and out of there. T2 was 2:55.
Once I started running my heart rate was a bit high and my alarm was beeping, I backed off a bit, it was still beeping and actually getting higher. I stopped at the first aid station and filled one of my bottles. I had 4 bottles on the fuel belt, each one had one scoop of opti and a salt tablet in it. I shook it up took a sip and then drank some water. Got running again and my heart rate monitor was beeping again. It was only sitting at about 153, but I was concious of keeping it below 150. It seemed that I would have to walk to get it below that so I decided to run to the next aid station, walk the whole aid station and let it come down. When I did this it dropped to about 135, but within 100m of running again it was beeping. I wasn’t prepared to walk at this stage so I turned the alarm off. Within a few km it had dropped down to about 145. I didn’t really look at it again too much, but my average hr for the run was 147. I felt ok in the run but not great. I had to have a stop to pee on the first lap, and somewhere here I lost the first bottle which had been half drank. I filled the next one at the next aid station. At about the end of the first lap I started to feel good, I felt like I was running well and had no pains. Then near the far turnaround on the second lap, my legs started to feel like they might cramp. All down the backs of my legs felt like it was about to cramp if I lifted the pace. It was now that I wished I had put special needs in. In the future ill have a bit of everything in the special needs. I asked the aid staion if they had salt, but all they gave me was a blob of vegemite. I tried to eat some of it but it made me feel like vomiting, I don’t like vegemite at the best of times!!
I ran out of opti and salt at the end of the second lap and threw my fuel belt to Andrea as there was nothing in it except some gels which I didn’t feel like eating. I think I had one gel in the second lap, so only 3 gels all day. I was alternating between having one coke and 3 waters, and one Hi5 and 3 waters at each aid station. Each time I took the Hi5 I would start running and my guts would hurt, so I would have to stop and walk a few metres then I would be ok to start running again. I walked every aid station to get plenty of water in to me, but on the third lap it was taking a fair bit of will power to get to the aid staions without walking in between them. I was telling myself, "just get to that next corner" then when I got there I could see the aid station and I would get there and walk it and drink heaps of water.
At the far turnaround on the last lap my quads started really hurting. I kept running but it was quite painful. As I got to the forest bit I had to walk. I probably walked 200m then got running again. I walked again at the exit of the forest for maybe another 200m. I did this again after the jetty and walked about 500m til I got near the far turnaround. I knew I was nearly home then, I started running again and felt quite relieved to turn left into the finish chute. I wasn’t emotional when I finished, more relieved than anything else. my run time was 4:09.
My total time was 10:31:14
If im honest Im a bit dissapointed with the time and the stupid mistakes I made. But I realise it wasn’t a complete failure, and I have proved to myself I can do it.
The things im happy with are that I held back on the bike and kept the ego in check. The core strength work I did worked as I didn’t get any of the hip pains I got from the Gold Coast Marathon.
Im happy that I managed to run just about all of the marathon. Especially as there were so many people walking around me.
Things I feel I could do to improve besides the obvious training swims, rides and runs, are to improve the strength and endurance of my quads with a block of weights. Be a bit better prepared for the next race. Get a proper bike fit which might improve the back pain and numb feet.
Any other reccomendations Anyone might have I would be glad to listen to?
Sorry if this was too long!!