Well, it had been 3 triathlons in 4 weekends for me, all with plenty of travel! I went to Forster for the first ever Elite Energy Ultimate race, followed by travelling to the Noosa tri the following weekend with work – where I helped run a triathlon clinic with Ben Kersten, Macca and iPro Cycling, Ben’s business. Keep a look out for this, as we have some great plans in the pipe line to run a few camps and clinics with large profile athletes coming to help out.
My training since coming back from overseas has pretty much all been geared to getting ready for Busselton Ironman, which is now less than 4 weeks away….. Therefore I have been pretty tired following some big blocks of training, but despite this was feeling really good heading up to Port Mac after works on the Friday night. We arrived in Port just before midnight after 8 hours of work and 6 hours of driving. It would be a great athletic advantage to not have to work as much, but hey what do you do?!
It was great to catch up with a heap of people on the Saturday, always a highlight and the weather had really turned it on! I have been very fastidious about my diet and recovery since I was sick in Forster and have made some changes following visit to a naturopath, which seemed to have worked, as I have been feeling really fresh of late.
It was my girlfriend, Megan’s, first half ironman, which was a good distraction for me leading into the race. She was pretty nervous, but had been working hard recently, so was well prepared and riding a new red bike for the first time in a race, which always gives you a boost!
The swim was a dream for me, after literally 2 years of trying to get my swim up to scratch, I was sitting easy in the first group and I think it is the only time I had ever had a smile on my face during the swim in a race! I came out the water about the 5th age grouper, and a minute back on the first one. Hard work, with clear direction does pay off, it just takes a little longer with swimming!!
The ride was reasonably controlled throughout and my nutrition strategy is pretty clear cut now, with Dextro gels being by far the best I have used, they taste great (not usually associated with gels) and slide down super easy. The wind picked up on the way back into town on the second lap and I had managed to lose my Smith glasses off of my helmet in the first lap, which I was pretty disappointed with….
That said, I felt like I had a great ride and there is nothing quite like riding back through town into Port Mac, it really gives you a boost, especially with so many people you know cheering you on, will be even better in May! I was in a good position off the bike, with 3 others heading out of transition together and only a couple of others already running. I felt really comfortable starting the run, but I knew it was going to get tough with the course change which takes in a lot of the hills the town has to offer! I ran a really even first lap (10.5km) but struggled a little in the second lap with the hills. Running hills has always been my achilles heel, especially as I have been training for a pancake flat Busselton course and the last 5km really stung last Sunday. I pushed pretty hard (and I am paying for it now 2 days following the race!) but was really happy to finish 19th overall. I also secured a spot to the Las Vegas 70.3 World Champs race again for next year, which I am very excited about improving on my 16th from this year.
I still have plenty of work to do, but I feel like it is steadily coming together and the solid winter of training (summer in Spain!) is starting to pay off. I will be running plenty of hills in the lead up to Port Mac IM in May however, something that everyone who is racing should take heed of, as I think there will be a lot of sorry bodies limping past Flynn’s beach there late in the afternoon!
A huge well done to Megan in her first half, smiling and chatting her whole way around the course! She had a ball and surprisingly is more pumped than ever to do her first full ironman there in May. Also a big congrats to Ed Birchall, who is the brains behind this website, who had a great day on Sunday. He raced a really even race to finish 18th in the tough 30-34 age group and is improving all the time. Another athlete whom I coach, Michael Perry, unfortunately had to be a late scratching from the race after hurting his chest at work on the Friday.
It’s back to training for now, while I put the finishing touches on getting ready for Busselton in a little over 3 weeks. I am super excited to be racing over there and will be even better to line up with Ed and Michael, as we are good mates and have done a lot of training together since I returned from OS. I havent raced a IM since 2009, when it was my first race back after 4 years off! So hopefully this will be a far better result!
Tip of the Day: If you are racing Port Mac IM – START RUNNING HILLS NOW! 😉
Train Smart, Race Fast