Swim 26:59 7th
Bike 2:21:27 3rd
Run 1:18:47 1st
Where to start... I'm not exactly sure what happened out there today. There were a lot of firsts for me in this race... For starters, the swim. I swam 'with' people. Secondly, the nutrition problems I had and thirdly, running
a half marathon off of basically swim/bike training.
As the siren went everyone took off like crazy... As they usually do but this time I wasn't spat out the back. The swim was straight down the creek of Johnson's Beach, less than 25m across and then straight back. The entire way down the creek I had girls to my right and in front of me. I was getting bashed from every direction including my left as I collided with almost every buoy on the way down. As much as I liked the fact I was swimming 'with' people I was by no means comfortable with the constant clip over the head. Every time we passed a buoy the swimmer on my right would drive me right into it so I'd have to pull up, and almost start climbing over top of her to get around it. By the time we got down to the turn around I'd
had enough so I put on a surge and passed the whole group I was in. It looked like I was in the lead, except there were 6 speedy swimmers up ahead, that weren't even in sight.
On the nutrition side, something seriously was not working for me today. I had four gels taped on my bike. All of which I had to get down. I still have trouble taking in anything on the run so I must take in enough nutrition on the bike. I had my first gel about 20km into the bike. One down, only three to go... This is the bit I hate on the bike. At about 30km I'd drank my first bottle of water and refilled my front bottle with my electrolyte mix. Next gel at around 40km washed down with electrolytes. It was ok... But by 65km after my third gel and electrolyte drink I wasn't feeling too good. At 80km I knew I had to do one last gel... As much as I didn't want to I forced it down.
As I racked my bike at T2, Rudi yells out 'calm down, relax'. Obviously the panic was showing. Quickly I put my shoes on and ran out. By 2 mile I'd caught up 1 minute. Oh no... I thought... That's bad. Too quick. Slow down. The course wasn't marked with mile markers but I was roughly going off where the aid stations were and I think I ran the first two mile in around 11 minutes. It wasn't too long before I could see Amy and Meredith ahead. I passed Amy at around 6 mile and my mind was working overtime. One part of me
was saying "pass Meredith now then slow down, settle in" and the other was saying... "You've got time... Slowly catch her by mile 11 or 12". The later would have been the ideal thing to do especially considering my stomach was really starting to play up now.
8 miles down and I'm feeling so sick but I'm still running strong. Just before 9 miles I come up on Meredith. A smart idea runs through my head "sit in, draft for a bit, get your stomach right then attack". I run up behind her, I'm all ready to sit in, then... For some reason I run straight past. "Why?" I'm asking myself... "Why did you do that. You haven't run this far for over 10 weeks. You haven't even come close to running this pace for even 10km. You didn't even run this fast last weekend in the 5150". Im not ready... My run training has been 20 minute jogs. What AM I doing? But I convince myself that I'll be fine. Not much further. I want this win.
At 9 1/2 miles I am no longer in control. I can't keep a thing in and almost immediately I go from running strong to feeling completely drained. As I approach the 10 mile aid station they yell out "only 1 mile to go". I must
have misjudged. Thank god! I can make that. I wanted to get over that line so bad now that I put on a surge... About a mile passes and I see another aid station. "only 1 mile to go" they yell out again. What! That's what the last aid station said... So again I NEED that finish line so I put on a surge. Another mile passes and yet again ANOTHER aid station... "last mile". C'mon guys, I can't do it again, this course is never gonna end... By now I'm completely cooked. I feel like I'm almost walking... I'm dragging my heavy tired legs along and with less than half a mile to go Meredith storms past. I couldn't go with her at all... I was toast. I still wasn't even sure I was going to make it to the finish line.
I'm not exactly sure what went wrong with my nutrition... Mixing electrolytes with gels might have been the cause as I usually only use water in a race. Maybe it was something I ate the night before. But even so, even with the nutrition dilemma I could have raced a lot smarter and I've definitely learnt a lesson here. That aside, a massive congrats to Meredith. She had an awesome race and it was great to chat with her after. She's a lovely person and this is one of the huge highlights of this wonderful sport. Competitors on the course but amazing friends at the end.
Huge thanks again to race organizers, officials, sponsors and volunteers. Also to my personal sponsors in particular Rudi from Compressport for helping me out all weekend. And finally thanks to Pat and Barbara for sharing their home with me for the weekend.