Saturday, October 17, 2015

IM Sunshine Coast 70.3 Race Report

Few Weeks ago I raced my second Half Ironman Distance race, this one was a IM Brand event as compared to Challenge Brand.

This one was held at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. The road to Sunshine coast started back in June with the build to Run Melbourne. I have raced Run Melbourne every year for the last few, doing the Half Marathon Distance is always fun. This year was no different a cold day with little wind. The race while fun was uneventful, I completed the distance in 2hr + change mark. While not my quickest half still left good. After Run Melbourne I started to up my training blocks around all swim / bike / run.

Finish Line Run Melbourne 2015
Swimming 3 times a week, 2 with Coach Anna and one on my owe but a program Anna set for, trying for 2 bikes sessions a week, one squad, one me. Running 2-3 weeks keeping the distances around minimum of 10-12km mark. Build felt good I felt good. No cold, flu or sickness issues.

As IM SC 70.3 came closer I started to look for a warm up event, Hazelwood was on the radar. I came 3rd their last year in the sprint, the only downside was it was 1 week out  from the IM SC 70.3 I decided to race the event but as a roll through not as a race. Going through the processes so to speak. The Sunday before Hazelwood I changed the tyres on my Race Bike putting on 2 new Michelin P4 tyres and do a little check general service. My bike had recently only just had a major service, this was more a clean, oil the chain, etc.

On the Saturday I got up earlier and did my normal pre-race stuff before heading down to Hazelwood. On the way down it rained a bit and it was cool, after racking my bike and doing the rego bit I went back to my bike and setup the whole transition area. I decided that as it was cool I would race with a short sleeve compression top under my Trisuit. Being the first race of the Victorian season and lead in race for Ironman Half on the Sunshine Coast and there were a few Melbourne Triathlete who where racing Kona. Always nice to see familiar faces.

Those who where racing the Sprint/Mini watched as the Olympic distance went off and after they were out on the bike I went dropped off my Tri bag and changed into my Wetsuit and got ready for race start. While in the water I noticed I could not see the past my hand and the water was cooler than I thought it would be. They gave us the race briefing and sounded the horn and off we went. I felt great in the swim, as I ran into transition got the wetsuit off on with the helmet and sunglasses grabbed my bike and then headed out. There was light windy but not too, the roads where open not closed (i.e. cars on the circuit) I kept telling myself to race at the Half Ironman place, next week is the big one. The cycle went off without too effort after the 2nd lap I came in racked my bike removed my helmet on with my socks and runners and headed out. Hazelwood has a nasty little hill about 2 and km’s in. As much as I do hill training I hate them, this hill is about 180-200m rise over 1km then it’s a downhill run to the finish line. I crossed the line with a time of 1 hr 29 mins and 59 secs. After a bit of a cool down and shower I checked my iPhone to see where I finished, turns out I was 4th some 22 seconds off 3rd.  I had to tell myself my race plan was to race for the Half. It was hard to accept but a needed, during our team’s long run the following day catching with the Ollie the Head Coach It was the right call not to push. That afternoon I cleaned and pack my bike and starting packing some of my race gear for the Sunshine Coast.

Heading out on the Bike

Finish Line

Thursday morning I chucked my bags into the car and headed out to the Airport for the trip up north. I thought I’d be smart and doing the ye-old check-in from home the night before that way all I needed to was a bag drop. At the Virgin checking the Bag Drop queue was a mile long. Another Triathlete and I were in the queue when a Virgin Check-in Assistance pulled us both out and took us over to the Virgin International check in. No problems they checked us both in and we dropped out bikes off at the oversize bag area.

After doing the security check I found a coffee shop and had a hot chocolate while waiting for the plane. As it came to 9am the plane was there but no bags had been loaded no panic, then about 9:15am there was an urgent amount of workers and bags showed up right before boarding. I saw my bike go on,  then place then my suit case, right I half way there. My seat was right next to an oversize Dad and his young kid, lucky for me the couple opposite got moved to the Emergency Seats and I was told I could move over to their seats if I wanted too; I took that opportunity. After takeoff and plane leveled out I put on my MP3 player and went to sleep. After landed and collecting my bags I checked in with the my transport and headed south to the Hotel. After checking in they me that  my room was not ready, so they stored my bags and I headed out for a look see and some food. After 2pm I headed back to find out my room is ready and I could check into my room. After collecting my bags I got to my room, after changing to my shorts first job was to unpack the bike and ensure it was ready to ride. After that I changing into my swim gear grabbed my wetsuit and headed down to the beach for a practice swim. Being a true surf beach I wanted to make sure I knew what the beach was going to do and see if I got tossed around. I did a few in and outs and felt good. After changing again time to go to Coles do the shopping and think about dinner.

My Bike and Bag somewhere in there

On the Friday I did a little ride up to the Airport and back and drenched in the rain and then a 3km run off the bike, it felt good. In the afternoon we did the ye-old Expo and Athlete Check in, no matter how many times I go through this it always seems the some old process of long lines and not enough staff to process people. Worse bit is the timing belt where not included in the rego pack, you had to re-queue a 2nd time to collect that which made it worse as the 2 queues crossed over each other.

Local Swimming Pool

Things you see on your run; Yeap thats a leather Couch to watch the surfers

Great views on a run
Transition Area

Finish line

Expo / Finish area

On the Saturday I did another swim, followed by a ride to the freeway start and up the run course and little run off the bike again.  I spent the rest of the day feet up, stretching and doing the ye-old bike check-in.

About to head off to Rack the bike
My Transition Place

Close to an End - Lucky me

Sunday – Race day!

I didn’t sleep well Saturday night, I got up did my normal Sunday morning routine checked all my gear, etc. and headed down to transition to do my setup. I stuffed up and forgot my transition mat and had to head back to grab it. I had heaps of time so no panic. When I got back to the hotel I changed into my wetsuit, I also dropped off my bike pump as well, grabbed my mat and headed back to transition. Checked everything again and then headed to the bag drop and then to beach for a warm up swim. This event was a rolling wave start, it took forever to process everyone. During this process I bumped into Drakie (Stephen Drake) a team mate, we had a bit of a chat as we waited to be processed into the swim. Once we got going the bay was mostly flat with a little roll to it, the sun came out as I hit the turning Cans to head back up the beach to the swim finish. I did a little bit of a body surfing into the beach and run up the beach into transition, off with the wetsuit on with the helmet and Sunglasses a quick chat during this process to Technical Official  who was right next to my bike and then I headed out on the bike.

Swim over with

Heading up the hill towards the Freeway

There are a few rolling hills on the bike course until you hit the freeway but once on the freeway it was flat and fast plus there was a Southerly wind blowing as well pushing us North. Out on the bike course I kept my head down and powered on. At the first turn around you could feel that southerly wind coming back into town, as I was coming back you could hear Ambos racing to crashes. During both laps I count no less than 10 accidents or bikes on the side of the road. As I came off the freeway and back into town I heard someone call my name still not sure who to this day, past transition and out again for the 2nd lap. The 1st Lap was 25km out, and the 2nd was 20km out, at the 2nd Turn around you had to be careful of people still on their first lap. As I came towards the end of the freeway I started to think about the run. Lower/slower gear to keep the legs fresh. As I passed the finish line on the bike I heard the leaders finishing their run always a little disheartening but on well. I got back to transaction racked my bike, off with the helmet on with the shoes and socks, time to head out for a run, but first a bathroom stop.

Coming back in towards Transition on the Freeway
Where is the Dismount line again?

First part of the run is up a hill to Alexander Headland I could feel something was right but not sure what. Around the 3km mark I started getting a real pain in the ball of the foot. It felt like I had run a long way on concrete. I kept on going but the pain got worse and worse. During the run I ran across a Facebook friend Kristy we had a bit of chat but I had to swap from running to walking for a bit then back to running. I wanted to stop and take my shoe and sock off as I knew that would probably be the end of the race. I kept on going with my run walk run walk process for the rest of the race. Coming down the hill for the first lap and collecting my lap wrist band and headed out for my 2nd lap. I was hurting but determined to finish. At the turn around on the 2nd lap I spot Drakie, I had not seen him all day until now. I kept on running and walking around about 3km of home Drakie caught me we walked for a bit and chatted and off he went. The final climb Alexander Headland then down to the finish. I crossed the line with a sense of relief. I stopped my Garmin and looked down at the time just over 6 Hours. I got my Finishers Medal and Towel, then headed into Athlete recovery area.

Digging Deep on the run

Almost home

Number 2 completed

The After Party

I got my Tri bag and took my shoe and sock off for a look. Yeap a Blood Blister bigger then thumb, I changed into different shoes, and chucked a T-Shirt on. I was thirsty and hungry so I headed out of the change tent and got some water and food and bumped into Kristy and had a chat about our races. I collected my finishes T-shirt then went to collect my bike and gear. I walked back to the hotel for the transitional finishes beer and food. While having a shower it was clear that the Blister needed to be popped. Lucky for me I always take Compeed Blister Packs when I race and the Medium size patch fitted perfectly. So after having a shower and cleaning the area was time to pop the blister. After popping the blister draining and cleaning the area I popped on the pack to dry out and protect the area. After a BLD (Big Lie Down) and a few more beers and more food  I started to pack up. My Hotel Room had a Washing machine so I made use of the it, packed the bike and started to get ready to fly home. My transition mat which had to be chucked out had a heap of muck and gunk on it. In the process I found small stones in my sock, My Transition area was under a Morton Bag Figure Tree. My conclusion I picked up something in T2 which caused the blister.

The Times?

Swim 34 mins12x secs
T1 3 mins 4 secs
Bike 2 hrs 55 mins 08 secs
T2 3 mins 5 secs
Run 2 hrs 26 mins 56 secs
Overall 06 Hrs 02 mins 25 secs

Sunday, May 24, 2015

2014/2015 Year in Review

What a year, what a session!. It’s time to look back and reflex on the year.

  • -          Broken Toe – race session in bits
  • -          Completed most of the open water swim races
  • -          Completed a few Tris
  • -          Signed my for my First Half Ironman Distance (Challenge Melbourne – Feb 2015)
  • -          Joined a local Swim Squad
  • -          Completed 4 half Marathons
  • -          Broke up with my Girl Friend / took some time off to get my Head Space right
  • -          Reconnecting with myself Thanks to Helen
  • -          Did a warm up Race at Hazelwood and came 3rd in my Age Group
  • -          Went to Noosa and got a 6m 34sec PB (4mins in the swim)
  • -          Did some Open Water Swims (St Kilda Mile, Mentone 2.5km and Point Leo
  • -          Finally completed Pier to Pub Swim, St Kilda OD (1 year on from the broken toe) and Australia Day Swim
  • -          Completed my First Half Ironman in what could be consider interesting conditions
  • -          Did some more Open Water Swims, Port to Park, Sorrento, Cerberus and saw the Foo Fighters Live
  • -          Signed up for one more Tri and got a PB
  • -          Enjoyed some down time, went MTB Riding and Indoor Rock Climbing

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Gatorade Race 5 – St Kilda Race Report

Sorry for the delay but here is the last race of the season was here. I had registered for this event 2 weeks post Challenge Melbourne. I wanted to race at least one more Tri before the season was over.

Saturday before the event our Club did our standard pre race day. It was cold, like long figure gloves. The plan was to ride the bike course, small run off the bike and swim. We headed out on the bike, I lead the whole way and put some efforts in. It was the 3rd time on the bike post Challenge not a lot of bike time. My running and swimming I did keep up but the bike dropped away due to other events. My legs felt good, after getting back toughing the runners on a quick run down to Luna Park and back. Legs again felt good and fast. Coach Scott then did a bit of a briefing for the race and few went for a swim. During those swimming it Team Tent building time.

At the end I managed to bribe the Supersprint Staff and picked up my race pack early. Before heading home, chilling out and getting race ready.

Race day, it was a cold morning and clear when I got to St Kilda the Team Tent was empty, I opened the front up dropped my bag got my act together. Water and Food for the bike shoes on the bike, etc.  When a few more team members showed up I headed into Transition with all my gear. Found my rack space racked my bike and then headed back to the tent to chill out. 

Around 7am I went down to see the Mini Start and support a few of the TA crew. Before a quick run to the bathroom and back to the tent into my wettie and down to my own swim start.

Warm up Swim

Race Start

I jumped in and the water was fresh, very fresh, my face hurt. I swam out some 200m and back to the beach. Trying to warm up in the sun, it was not too long before my wave start, we lined up and the horn sounded. Off we went I couldn’t get my breathing right, the water was cold and couldn’t breathe, I slowed my stroke and force myself to catch my breath. By the first buoy I found my rhythm and I my breathing was under control.  Heading out through the boats and turning back around and heading home I felt ok, cold but my breathing was goodl. As I came out of the water I headed into transition I got my wetsuit off, still cold, on with the helmet and sunglasses then grabbed my bike and headed out. I was hoping that the sun would warm me up, but I still was cold the first lap and I half I was flying on the bike still cold but starting to warm up.

Coming out from the Swim

Having some fun on the bike
Trying to get warm on the bike

The 2nd half of the bike was mad, people everywhere on the bike course. People overtaking and then not moving left sticking in the overtaking/fast lane. I and other fast riders yelled out for people to stick left. Some people listened and others didn’t. On the last lap it was not better, not wanting to get a penalty for drafting I kept yelling out. Coming back to transition I felt somewhat warmed up. I jumped off the bike run back into Transition racked my bike on with my Socks and Runners grabbed my Visor and headed out for 10km run. At the end of the first lap of the run I coped the standard amount of crap from the IM crew about my run not being quick nor going quick enough. The run is never my best part of a Triathlon but I kept it together, on the 2nd lap and sprint to home I give it everyone I had.

Enjoying the run

Left for 2nd lap Right for Finish

Done and Dusted

Finished with a new PB for me 2hr 44m 50s

Off season is well under way with races already planned for the rest of this year and early next year.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

So with your “A Race” over what do you do? Fun time! That’s what.

Port to Park Race Report

1 week on from Challenge Melbourne I signed up for Port to Park, just a little 1.2km. After doing my rego bit I went for a run towards Elwood, my pace was good, not bad 1 week on from a Half Ironman Distance.  I bumped into the Short Course Crew who were on their long run out, great to see some faces.

When I got back to the car I changed and grabbed my full length speed suit and headed down to the race briefing before walking up to the beach to the start area. I had never raced in this speed suit, but it was my downtime and time to have a little fun.

We lined up and when asked went out to the deep water start, straight line down the bay, left hand turn and in.

 The water was flat, the horn sounded and off we went, I found clear water and got in a race pace. I came up to the last buoy and headed in.

Race time 19m 10s

Sorrento Race Report

This race was went to be part of my build for Challenge, but due to bad weather they cancelled the race. I pay my money and I figure might as well race it. The Friday it poured down rain all night. I really thought they would cancel the race. On the drive down it rained, I got to Mornington got a coffee and checked Facebook for any updates. Still on; when I got Sorrento I parked and headed down to rego picked up my pack, listened to the race briefing before headed back to the car to drop off the all the gear I didn’t need and grab my wetsuit. It was still raining a little but what the hell I’m swimming anyway. As we got down to the race start the sun came out, water was clear, swim time.

We lined up the horn sounded and off we went. Out around the boats and down the bay towards the end I could feel the tide pulling me. I missed the turn buoy my 50 meters, on well into the beach and over the line.

Race time was 30m 23s.

After changing and getting some food I found a nice quick spot on the beach in Mornington for some R&R in the sun.
After talking with Anna, Swim Coach and Kristine a team mate about a secret swim but more on that later.

Nice Conditions

Finish Area
Swim Finish

Cerberus Swim Race Report

With a secret swim coming up I up’d my swim training with Anna, part of the this event was another open water swim 2.5KM distance. On the Wednesday before race day I txt’d Anna and asked her about doing the double, 2.5km and 1.2km. She felt no problems, so I changed the race entry to do the double.

I showed up on the Saturday early to get a onsite car parking spot, this is my backyard, my outdoor big pool; I know half moon like the back of my hand. I went got registered at the desk they asked which event I was doing which I replied with the day double. Looking down the list there was some 20 or so doing both events.  I headed off for a 10km warm up run before the swim. I got back and re-hydrated before getting changed and heading down to the swim start.

The water was flat and clam perfect for swim, almost like  a pool. We listened to the race briefing before doing a little warm up swim and then lining up. The horn sounded and off we went; down the bay towards Sandringham then a U turn and back up and into the beach. 

I stripped my wetsuit down to my waste and headed back to the car for more fluids and food. I had an hour between events. While waiting I bumped into a few TA crew who showed up to do the 1.2KM. Before too long it was time to get ready for the race #2. The wetsuit arms  and upper body where dry like the suit hadn’t been used. I jumped in for another warm up swim and race briefing number 2. Just before the swim start on the buoys had drifted the wind had picked up. We were told to no worry about the first buoy just head for the second and around the back of the Cerberus and in. 

Horn sounded and off we went my arms where sore and heavy but with the secret event coming up I need to push through. I did around the boat and back in.

Race #1 (2.5km)                42m 46s
Race #2 (1.2km)                20m 24s

Great Conditions for 2.5km Swim

View of the course on my run
1.2KM Swim Start

Conditions changed between 2.5km and 1.2km

Swim Finish on the 1.2km

Cerberus in her heyday

The secret Event (Melbourne Swim Classic)

I see your saying OK, it’s just another swim, yeap it was but this was the longest race in my life 5km. Now you can understand the double header race. In the morning I did a little 5km run before heading up to St Kilda. I got to the race start, did my rego big, bumped into David Brooks, a mate, who did an interview with me about the race. Then I found a nice quite spot on the grass and chilled out for a bit. After listening to the race briefing I changed into my wetsuit. We went in for a warm up swim, when I got out to the turn buoy you could feel the current coming down from the St Kilda pier, oh well. There was 2 starts one for the 2.5km and one for the 5km. We lined up on the beach the horn sounded and off we went.

I only had one goal was to finish the event. I had a 4 laps to swim I found my happy pace and swam. 1st lap, 2nd lap, 3rd lap. On the 3rd Lap I looked at my Garmin, it said I had swam some 4.6km, is this right did I swim right, it was 4 laps according to my race briefing and notes. I started to question my race plan, did I stuff this up. I talked myself into doing the 4th lap. I finished the 4 lap and crossed the line. I grabbed some water and headed back to the gear tent. I changed and headed back to the finish line to sign my name.

On my way back to the car I bumped into a few from the TA crew who where showing up to do the 1.2km swim. I was asked not swimming? Which I replied with I just did, I did the 5km swim.

My time was 1hr 46m 41s.

Once home I looked at the data and did some checks the course was long 5.6km by my watch. On Strava others who did the same swim showed their data was 5.8km/6km. OK I felt better. After a nap and shower I took myself off to see the Foo Fighters. 2 ½ Hours of a great concert, this was my reward for doing Challenge Melbourne.

So what’s next, well and OD at St Kilda at the end of the March.


Stuff you see when registering - Yes that is the Titanic

Swim Finish
5km signing board

Foo Fighters!