Sunday, November 18, 2012

Noosa Race Report

 After returning from paradise with to Melbourne today it was time to reflect on the week that was.

Last Wednesday morning saw heap of us ahead up to Sunshine Coast from Melbourne. After making my way to the Airport and checking in my bags I headed down through security to the gate. There were some 9 other TA team members on the same flight. The trip up while a little bumpy leaving Melbourne was fairly normal no major issues. When we arrived at the Sunshine Airport we waited for our bags to come off the flight. Steve and I had our bags but not our bikes the Airport staff soon opened a door and off load heaps of bike boxes. We learnt that the Virgin flight had 18 bikes on it. The sister flight (Jetset) which had the coaches and heap more of TA crew onboard had 45 bikes according to our bus driver.

Bags Packed and Heading to the Airport

It was around 30mins up from the Airport to Noosa. Both Steve and I were staying at the Outrigger which is set right in the middle of the National Park and some 18 months old, my apartment was 5 star. Full kitchen, double shower, laundry, and it’s own private balcony looking out some bush land. In addition lap pool, gym, normal pool. The down side is it’s a little walk (5-10mins) to Hastings St with a big hill but after a few trips I don’t notice it.

View from my Room

The complex

The views of Noosa during the walk down to Hastings St.

My first thought was to unpack the bike and ensure there were no surprises. Got the bike up and running then Steve called and asked what my plans were which he too had his bike running so we thought best to get some CO2 air cartridges and some food.

Bike unpacked Ready to Roll

We walked down to the main street found information centre who pointed us at towards the closest bike shop. So some 20 mins later of walking we have the shop got some CO2 and then found a little place called Gaston for a late lunch.

The program that we were given by the coaches called for an afternoon swim in the cannel where we would be racing on Sunday. The water was warm, salty as and not very clear.

Around 30 of us did the swim for the first time and the water felt great. That night we needed up at the Life Saving Club for a feed.

The next morning was ride the bike course for the first time. We meet as a group near the star finish and headed out of town to Garmin hill. Which we grouped and then headed up the hill then regrouped a second time before heading out to the turn around. The ride at this point was fairly ok, but along the highway while riding down on the tri bars a bus came past and blow me around a little nothing bad but enough to sit up while on this section of the highway. After regrouping we headed back into town and down the back side of Garmin hill which we were told to sit up and keep the speed down. Once we made it back into town we all meet up at the start / finish before going for coffee and breakie.

Getting Ready to ride the bike course

Heading up Garmin Hill

I took the down time to make my way to the local supermarket for some supplies this involved a little bit of a walk again but it was nice to be out in the warmth of the sun. Once back at the hotel a little down time before the after noon’s run session nice and easy.  45 min run down along the river it felt ok.

Friday our programmed call for the morning off but a few of us rode bike course for a second time just for fun. It was nice to try the course again before race day and that after called for another swim of the course followed by a race briefing. During the day a call went out to help setup the team tents. I also took the time to visit the expo and collect my race kit. I got a free Giant Bike T-Shirt but managed not to spend other cent.

Once back at the start finish Ollie our head coach gave his briefing broken down into sections. Swim, Bike, Run and transition. I asked a question re dropping tyre pressure over night, I had heard about after checking the bike in that tyres explode, he confirmed this is the case.

Saturday called for the typical TA training morning, Ride, Run and Swim. The ride was over the run course so we could see it for the first time, run was around 2km and I managed to keep it at a 5:02 pace I knew that would not be the case on race day.

The swim was small but gave me a chance to try out my new speed suit after the swim I made a call not to use it on race day.  After the session I headed back to the hotel to prep the bike for the race.  Two old Queensland friends were up for the race so I meet them for lunch we had a good old chat about the race, triathlons and life in general.

Team Photo both Vic & Qld teams

Listening to the morning's program

Little Run

Swim and testing the new Speedsuit.

After lunch I headed back to the hotel grabbed my bike and headed down to transition. I racked my bike next to another TA person and just looked and transition and how large it was. Some 6000 people competing there was just a sea of bikes.

Transition Area - Some 8500 Bikes

Transition Area - Bikes, bikes and more bikes.

Thats one big transition area
 I spent the night at the hotel and pasta dinner and an early night I slept fairly well but when I woke at 4:30am I checked the radar and you could see a rain band moving over our way, Looked like it was going to be wet race. I held off long as possible going down to transition but with a close of 6am and my race not starting until 8:43am I didn’t want my gear getting too wet. I got down to transition around 5:30 checked the bike pumped up the tyres run checks over the bike, etc. That’s when I saw my team mate who had his bike racked next time mine. So we run through a checklist of things to do and once we were happy and asked by the officials we felt transition. With the wave start so late I came back to the Hotel had breakie chilled out before heading down to the team tent waiting for my race start. As the time came closer I head over to race start caught up with other TA people about to start we chatted a little. Before too long race time! 

All other races I have down have always been from the beach never a deep water start. This was ok so off we went the swim was good no issues at all I got back to transition in around 33min run out with my bike and off we went. I got around about 1km from the bike mount when I finally got my feet in the shoes and down on the tri bars, I found my pace and started to build. I got to Garmin hill up the hill and out on the highway to the turn around. Back to town it felt good as I came back into town I heard the cheers this race was going off. I dismounted before the around about then run into transition with my bike. I racked my bike drank some water then put on my race belt, shoes and visor and headed out on the run. The run was not the greatest for the first 2km or so, the sun had come out and it was starting to heat up. This saw me looking for water from every aid station for garden hose for the whole 10kms. My right foot started to blister in a place it never has before, at the first of the aid stations I stop and got some vasalne for my foot but the damage was done, nothing I could do but push on. At the final turn as I ahead towards the finish line I passed the team tent with cheers and another 300m or so over the finish line. I could feel tears build up the emotion of the event was unreal. I walked though the showers into the post race area grabbed some drinks and some food. I saw a few TA guys in the cannel cooling off so I joined them and we chatted about the race. I had just completed my first OD and Noosa with-in 3 hours.  I picked up my bike then headed back to the team tent for my bag then back to the Hotel. I placed my bike on the balcony grabbed a beer from the fridge walked into the shower with the beer, with my T-shirt, Tri suit still on had a long shower and drunk the beer. After my shower I put on my recovery tights and spent the afternoon napping, drinking beers sending a few txt messages and watching V8 Supercars on TV.

Swim over and done with

Bike leg almost over

At the finishing line

Feet up, beer in hand (ok close by)

That evening saw our teams after race party, what an event pace to swap stories have a laugh a few more drinks. One of the things I thought was great was for the first time Noosa people to come forward. To have some 160 people clapping for you was great.

Sunday night in Noosa after the race - Town was going off

TA After Race Party - Noosa First Timers

I managed to thank for coaches in Noosa for their support.

The next morning when I woke up nothing sore except for the site of the blister.  After a laze sleep in and some food, I took the bike out to the top of garmin hill just to roll the legs over for a lazy 30km ride. Followed by a lazy lunch and afternoon open water swim.

What an experience and I've already signed up for my next OD in Geelong next Feb and Noosa next year.

The Official Race time 2:58:59 happy with that for my first OD and Noosa event.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Belated Melbourne Marathon Report and Noosa thoughts

As I sit here in Noosa getting ready for the Triathlon this weekend I thought I would type a race report for the Melbourne Marathon.

The Melbourne Marathon was always going to be a B race and a good lead in to Noosa.

The morning was chilly but would warm up quickly so T-Shirt, Shorts and light arm warmers where called for. With over 30,000 people racing my running buddy Ellie and I headed in early and found a park around the Tan on Anderson Street hill. Approx 15mins walk to the start line. So we headed off on the way a quick bath room break along the Yarra, I always hate queuing for the Portaloo’s  let along the smell.

We got to the start line did a warm up and stretch and waited to go.  I looked at the course map the night before but I must say it didn’t give a good layout of the course just the start and the finish any with this in mind I became a sheep, just follow everyone else.

As we started it was the typical walk for a bit before you could get really running once I held a pace that I felt good about and let the rest “run off” I’ve always had a problem of running out too quickly then paying for it. Over the last few runs I’ve been better that fixing that mainly due to Mr Garmin.

We headed up from Rod Laver Arena towards Flinders Street and down to St Kilda Rd and around the Arts Centre back under St Kilda road up around the Tan back to St Kilda up to Fed Square and out the walk way to the MGC. Down and loop around and up along Bunton Avenue to the  turn around then back to the MGC and then on to do an almost lap of the MGC to the finish.  As I came around towards the finish I heard from the grand stands someone yell out “Go Simon”, later on I found it was Narelle one of the TA team mates waiting for Hubby to finish the full Marathon.

The race was solid not super fast, I was happy with my time of 56:48.

8km heading toward the MCG

On the MCG near the finish line

The next week saw me come down with a head cold so I took the week off and the following week did a little ride with the group on the TT with a run off the bike which was the not the greatest as I was still a bit sick. So kept it simple and didn’t over do it for the week. Last weekend saw the last full hit out. A few of us headed sound to Safety Beach for a Ride/Run/Swim training session, Ride was to Portsea and back followed by a run off the bike then a Open Water Swim. The session felt great the water was cold but once going was good to get an open water swim in.
Safety Beach Training Camp

Bike Turn around at Portsea Race Bike ready to go to Noosa

"The Players" post open water swim

TT was  packed up the bike into it’s case ready for the trip up north. So I passed bike packing 101.

So yesterday we got to the Airport bags checked in, bike checked in and the plane with 9 other TA crew for up to the Sunshine coast.  When we arrived and while waiting for the bags to come off the JetStar flight came in with another bunch of the TA crew. Our bus driver said that in the Virgin flight there were some 18 bikes and we know another 45 on the Jetstar flight. So it’s going to be a big weekend.

Once I arrived my first thing was to check out the bike I didn’t want any surprises. The bike had arrived in one bit no damage, so the bike was re-assembled. I had officially now passed Bike flight 101 and Bike re-assembly 101. Thanks to Coach Emma for some tips.

Bike back together in one bit

Coach Sarah had sent out a training program for us. Yesterday was swam the swim course (non-wettie) and it felt great water was not cold, but you could not see too much, but I felt good in the water.

Today’s plan is for a ride over the course and this afternoon a run. The ride was great the course is interesting but the ride felt good. I feeling good about the weekend I have only two goals for this weekend. 1 to finish and 2, to have a good time. So far the trip is a blast the place I’m staying in, The Outrigger Noosa, has been built right in the middle of the National Park with great views.

Bags Packed and waiting to head to the Airport

View from my room