Ironman Nice-Race day..

IM NICE. 4am…….I slept well all things considered and jumped out of bed to my pump up kicks alarm, It feels good that the day is finally here and all the training is done, I’ve had a long build up to this race,starting way back in October. Focusing on running through the winter,I know I’ve got a good run in me.

Holding back on the new Shiv is going to be the hardest bit as all the Euro cyclists dance by, I’m racing on power this time and although I train on power I have never raced with it, stupid really as I know what has worked in training, those sexy carbon race wheels alway worm their way onto my bike. I’m really looking forward to the bike course it’s going to be very beautiful with lots of climbing, what goes up must come down fingers crossed that the power numbers and the descents add up to a reasonable split.

Aiming for 10 hrs will not be an easy task, so far so good.

1x large porridge with milk 400cal
1x execute protein drink 140cal
1x banana 125cal
1x coffee with sugar+milk. 60cal
1x orange juice. 90cal
Total 815 cals
Taking a break from eating feel so stuffed first time today I ask WHY!
Swim start.

OMG crazy as usual, I put myself in a pen which corresponded with expected finish swim time, but it was a mass start and seemed to make no difference everyone was just fighting for position as usual. I couldn’t take more than 1 stroke before having to stop and get some room then try again.Those of you who’ve done mass start before knows how frustrating this is.

I personally feel staggering the swim start into age groups would be the best thing for Ironman, lets face it the pros don’t have to fight with 3000 other swimmers. Its a long tough day and this to me is not a true show of your swim potential.

SWIM TIME. 1:11 my slowest ever but pretty much what I deserved from the swim training I put in.

I actually put a hole in the shoulder of my wetsuit the day before the race and the duck tape didn’t hold up.

T1 was a long run from the beach and an even longer run to the bikes, this went smooth enough and I was soon in my comfort zone on my bike.

I must admit its not wise to change anything on race day like nutrition, clothing, googles, the worst thing you could do is try a brand new bike. So i jumped on my new specialized Shiv to take her for her first ever ride over 10k. Ooooops .

How was the new bike ? “Awesome ” I felt instantly at home and totally stable on the steep descents anyone looking for a long distance tri bike look no further these bikes are amazing.

The bike course of Nice is known as one of the most beautiful on the IM circuit Climbing through small mountain villages looking down on Nice and the coastal towns in the distance.

The weather was kind to us slightly overcast and cool “perfect” .
I stuck to my race plan, my watts seemed to give me a good average speed giving me a chance of the 5:30 bike split I needed for setting me up for the days plan of a time close to 10hrs.

I saw some awful crashes on the descents people were just going down hill totally out of control, I had to get past quite a few to feel safe. I was really happy on the shiv and was on the tri bars for most of the descents the faster I went the more stable she became.

Boys and their toys I was in a happy place lying on the tri bars of my fighter plane as i flew down the mountain side ooooooh amazing I just twiddled a few knobs on the inflight dashboard “my Garmin” and watched the average speed come up.

I found the bike course the easiest I’ve done, time just flew by and before I knew it, I was over all the major climbs and heading for T2.

Bike split 5:37 so lost another 7 mins.

Swim 1:11

T1. :5

Bike. 5:37

T2. :4

Time so far. 6:57

So I’d been left without the buffer I needed and I knew going into the run it wasn’t going to be good enough for a slot. Not a great way to start a marathon
I knew even then that IF I’d swam a 1:05 and biked a 5:25 then I would have had it all to play for.

I started the run feeling the best I’d ever felt going into an IM Marathon and easily hit my 4:40 km pace I even had to keep slowing myself down.
This feeling was short lived and after only 15k I just hit the wall slowing to a plod, then the Ironman shuffle. Nutrition had put an end to my race again.
So all that running training was not able to be utilised, very disappointed but mostly frustrated.

The symptoms I get are strange at first I run along with a 141 HR zone 2 and slowly the HR drops and if I try to pick up the pace to raise the HR then my chest becomes tight and restricted . The frustration comes from not having the chance to push on with tired legs because I can’t reach that point,I want to have that battle with myself but the lack of carbs and the inability to stomach any more gels makes it impossible. I must work on nutrition.

Run time 3:41

Finish time 10:41:36

Monday day after race.

Well I’ve had time to reflect on the race, at first I was pretty down in the dumps I came 75th in my age group and 415th over all.

To some these results are except able and fairly good 415th out of nearly 3000 is not bad BUT!! I know I can complete and Ironman this is not my goal anymore my goal is sub 10 or to qualify for Kona.

This race more than anything has highlighted some home truths I not good enough. That may sound a little negative, I know where I can improve to some it may seem I train hard enough and can do no more. However I know where I have become complacent and where my weaknesses lay.

I could easily give up and say I’m not good enough I’m getting older and so on but I 100% don’t believe this to be true.

My faults are not fitness on the bike or run I am more than strong enough to hit the times With out much changing in my plan, my problems lie in my sociology.

I’m not happy to except this but I feel I may be giving up if my times don’t add up to me hitting my goals, subconsciously at least I may be giving up.
I don’t train enough in my swimming I hate swimming and know that I’ll get around 1:10 or faster whether I train or not, my fellow competitors are not taking anything for granted and with this attitude I don’t deserve to qualify.
If I’m right with my scicoligy of giving up then putting myself behind by 10 miniuts from the start is setting me up for failure.

After the race I found out that the person I passed lying with a medic on one of the descents had died in his crash.

This definitely puts things in perspective and my thoughts go out to his family, this will sadden the whole Ironman community.