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|
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.
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|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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