The following blog is a bit of a report on my first Half Ironman, Yeppoon half Ironman.
I think I was fairly nervous the night before, I didn’t sleep well. I had a banana sandwich for breakfast on Sunday morning and some juice. I was pretty nervous before the swim start, but talking with all the guys there made me forget about the nerves.
The swim started bad for me as I was punched in the face within about 50m of the beach and my right side of my goggles filled up with water, and just about sucked my eye out of the socket. I got to the first buoy and had to roll onto my back and try to sort out the goggles. I never really fixed this and struggled to see the buoys all the way through the swim. I felt very restricted in the wetsuit, I felt like a plank of wood, and struggled to get my head up and see where I was going. I am going to try to swap the wetsuit for a sleeveless one as I think that would be much better. Ill be honest, I had a pretty negative mindset in the swim, and even thought about pulling out. But I managed to get it together and finish it. I have never been so happy to get my feet on the sand!! Just under 45minutes to the timing mat. I honestly think I would have gone faster without a wetsuit.
On to the bike, my transition was fast, and I was soon on the bike, I just concentrated on taking it easy and staying in the Aero bars as much as possible. I was flying past people from the start which improved my mindset, I had a gel on each lap of the bike and had 3.5 bottles during the ride. I also had a few jubes during the ride. My shoulders were sore a bit early in the bike, which I think was from the wetsuit being a bit tight around the shoulders, but this went away after about 15 minutes. I really enjoyed the bike, I didn’t mind the rough road and didn’t notice the wind or heat. I stayed in the aero bars for 99% of the time, I stretched my back out at each tunaround, and only got out of the aero bars on the last lap a bit when I had a tailwind just to stretch out my back a bit more for the run. I stretched my legs on the smooth part of the road out to the caravan park each lap and that was the only time I freewheeled. My cadence was over 100 most of the time, average cadence was 101. Average speed 35kph and max speed 43. The bike course was a bit monotonous by the end though!! The only bit of excitement was when I hit a full bottle as I wasn’t concentrating on what was infront of me enough. It exploded and covered a girl coming the other way with whatever it was full of!! I was just glad I didn’t come off or break a wheel. Bike time was 2:35 including both transitions.
T2 was pretty fast again and I was soon out on the run, my legs felt good, no aches or pains, but I developed a stitch almost immediately. I did the first 2 k’s in 9 minutes, which I thought was a bit fast and made an effort to ease up a bit, the stitch went around the start of lap 2, but I started to get pains in my shoulders. I tried to stretch my shoulders as I was running but the pain stayed until near the end of the last lap. I walked every second aid station from the middle of the second lap, making sure I was getting enough water and enervit in. After about 16km my calves felt like they were about to cramp, then at about 18km my toes started cramping into balls. I had to stop and try to stretch them out. At this point I could only run about 4 steps and they were cramping again. I managed to stretch them out and ran the last few k’s but I had to flex my feet to stop the toes cramping. I didn’t have salt as I have never cramped like that before. I also ate 2 gels on the run, probably not enough!! My run time was about 2:01.
I was glad to finish in the end, I was pretty disappointed with my time 5:21. I felt like the swim and run were complete failures. But I guess I should try to keep some perspective. It was only a couple of years ago I thought a 10k run was a big session. It was only 6 weeks ago I did the marathon so not much time in between. I was originally only going to do the Sprintman part of the Gold Coast Half Ironman, but I might do the Half Ironman now. If only to see if Yeppoon was just a tough day.