After a number of years chasing a sub 10hr Ironman race I have finally nailed one, Ironman Cairns 2014. Preparation for the 2014 Ironman season started back in June last year with my target being Melbourne 2014 IM. Just six weeks out from Melbourne Ironman I developed a shin split which really stifled my lead in with no running for most of the 6 weeks. Subsequently my run at Melbourne was disappointing. Even though I had PB for the Ironman distance, the run really wasn’t what I was capable of and I was determined to make amends in Cairns.
Cairns IM was only 3 months away from Melbourne. Good news my shin split was getting better. But to throw a spanner into the works, I missed 2 weekend of key sessions with 2 separate instances of stomach bugs that really knocked me around. At this stage I was seriously considering pulling out, due to not getting the work done that was needed for a good performance.
After having a good look at myself following a kick in the pants from Alex, I knuckled down and did the best I could with the sessions I had left to prepare for Cairns Ironman. When Race week rolled around I was in one piece without any injuries!
The swim was one of my better Ironman swims I thought, but when I looked at my watch a 1.03 wasn’t what I was expecting to see. It must have been a tough swim for everyone, I quickly put this behind me and got on with the job at hand.
A very muddy transition greeted us from the swim. There was no way of not getting mud everywhere. Then we started the bumpy road out of Palm Cove (cobbled speed humps). There were bottles flying out of bike left and right as if the speed humps weren’t enough to deal with. This meant I just needed to take my time and make sure I kept all of my nutrition intact. I quickly settled into a good pace, mindful of not over doing it on the ride. It was wet and continued to rain heavy at times, it was just relentless. But, this is what we train in, so it was nothing new and the consistent mental preparation and planning we do meant I was quite relaxed about it. The good thing was that the wind had dropped off from the day before. As per usual there were plenty of guys who thought that the drafting rule didn’t apply to them. Plenty of groups sitting in the penalty box for this very reason. I am proud to say that over the years I have been doing triathlon I have never been given a penalty!
I had a pretty solid ride without over-cooking it, getting into T2 still feeling really fresh. With the bitter taste still in my mouth from the my disappointing run Melbourne IM, I wasn’t going to go through that again. One of the key things Alex and I have been working on is running with “conviction”, something I have struggled with in the past. This was really worked well as I only started to really hurt at about the 30 km mark! But I just kept telling myself it yours to lose now. With a previous best in an Ironman marathon of 4.01 you could imagine how ecstatic I was when I saw that I had run just under 3.30, with an overall of 9.51.07!!
Massive thanks to team Elvy who stood in the rain all day cheering me on. They made this result possible! Massive thanks to my coach Alex Price and the AP10 group as a whole for your support and guidance, I couldn’t have done it with out you.
In the wash up I have achieved another one of my goals on my bucket list. Watch this space for the next one! Onwards and Upwards.