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Archive for November, 2009

Ironman Cozumel, last race of 2009!

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Since we have great internet access here, I would have normally got my blog up last night, but since the race I have not been doing so well :(

I am coming round now, but last night was’nt so fun.

So yesterday I raced Ironman Cozumel. What a beautiful place to race my last race of 2009.
Although however “beautiful” it is that you do your ironman at, it does’nt make your day any easier!
You have to go the whole distance and it hurts after a while!

The swim was in beautiful warm and crystal clear water, although it was hard work going against the current. Caroline and I came out the swim together, we did ok but I think we are capable of making the group that got away from us.

The bike was 3 laps of 60km. I managed to catch Edith and Bree by 40km so felt like I was back into the race. When Yvonne caught us by 60km I was a bit disappointed! I was hoping not to see her for a good bit longer! She was riding very very strong. I stayed with her for 20km but when we got to the windy section I had to let her go and continue at my speed. I caught Eva by 120km so was sitting in 2nd place even though Yvonne was taking time from me. The final lap was hectic with all the slower athletes wobbling about on the road. I had to concentrate not to get knocked off by anyone. The aid stations were crazy with the slower athletes hanging out for rests at the aid stations! And by the final few aid stations they were running out of drinks so I was not getting what I wanted.

Into T2 I did what I needed to do which was slower than Edith and Bree so I came out a touch behind them. I got into my rythem and ran past them quickly. I got a split from Hilary of 9 mins to Yvonne. It was nice to see Hilary out there. I hav’nt seen her since IM Lanzarote. Although she was meant to be racing so I am not sure what happened to her.
I really got to work on the run believing that I could still catch Yvonne, but not only did she ride strong, she ran strong too. After 30km I came to understand that I was racing for 2nd, but I was determined not to let Edith get any thought of catching me. I absolutely did’nt want to have a sprint finish with her like I did in 2008 at Ironman South Africa!

I could tell Stephen was’nt having a good day on the run and he seemed to disappear so I was also determined to get a decent result so that we walked away with some money from this trip here.

I came 2nd. I feel ok with that.

Now we will have a little break from racing. I feel a little recovery will be good for me! Its been a good year.
Stephen and I are heading to the UK to spend a bit of time in Scotland and London. We are looking forward to seeing our family and then we are looking forward to 2010.

Cozumel

Friday, November 20th, 2009

I had not heard of the island of Cozumel until earlier this year when Ironman announced a new race here on the 29th November 2009.
Cozumel is a small beautiful paradise island off Cancun, Mexico. The population is 70,000. I am pretty sure the main bulk of people live in the only city, San Miguel. A lot of the island we biked past today is like a deserted island! Beaches like you see on that film “Castaway”

San Miguel is quite busy. On the sea front it is mostly tourists who have come off the HUGE cruise ships who come to visit.
But away from the beach it is busy life as usual for the locals. Its funny, many things really remind me of being in parts of Brasil.

I feel very fortunate to be able to come to these amazing places to do my job, and of course with the person I love.

We are staying at a very comfortable apartment right on the sea. Its funny, when you look out of the big bedroom windows you feel like you are in a boat because the water is right there!
Thankyou Isabella for making our stay so comfortable.
I recommend a stay here if you come to Cozumel,
www.cozumelseaside.com

So you might think I am having a relaxing holiday from what my words, dont be fooled!! I am definatly appreciating where I am, but also I am definatly focused for the 29th November.

“deja vu”

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Right now life feels like a “deja vu”! Well, I suppose it is! I have now done the same thing in Panama City Beach for the past 8 years! And last year we then went to Clearwater like we are doing this year!

After Ironman Florida Stephen and I were planning to drive to Clearwater on the Tuesday morning. However we ended up throwing everything in the car on Monday afternoon after his training as we could see on the weather channel that there was a hurricane coming straight for Panama City Beach! I know that Panama City Beach can have hurricanes and I did’nt really want to experience it! So we drove away from it in the direction of Clearwater.
The rain seemed to follow us all the way to Clearwater! But luckily no winds came. Although I dont think the winds even went to Panama City Beach in the end either!

To me, Clearwater is a funny place to have a race. It must be a nightmare for the organisation to close such busy roads on a Saturday for the race! This area is just so busy! …millions and millions of cars. Last year we stayed at a hotel “recommended to us by the 70.3 website” ..I dont know why they recommended it as it was it the middle of the city! riding was very difficult! Although we did find a stretch of a 3 mile long highway maintenance road that was safe to ride on! This year we are staying at Clearwater Beach and actually we managed to ride yesterday! For 40 minutes in one direction, with a bike path! I was impressed!

Yesterday was Veterans Day. It meant all the pools were closed. the sea was very rough so I had to do some work to find a pool. Anyway, I found one, but what made me laugh during my swim was this old man that came up to me and said “could you please swim making less splash. You are making the ladies hair wet” !!!! Ha ha haa! I thought that was funny! I had never heard of such a comment before!

Anyway, I am here to support Stephen this weekend. I can see that he is calm and determined to do a very good job. I will also be standing on the bridge with a long whip. So if he is not where I expect him to be, he will get a lashing!

Bella’s Ironman Florida report.

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Yesterday I raced Ironman Florida for the 8th year in a row! I was excited to see what I could do since winning 5 times here is a real motivation!!

The sea had been as flat as a pancake for the previous 5 days, but race morning there was a real chop going on! It probably did’nt look much from the beach, but when you were in it, you were being taken up, down, up, down and plenty of mouth fulls of sea water too! but its even rougher today, so I am glad I dont have to go in it today!!

Onto the bike, it was a cool morning but a nice temperature, ..much warmer than the previous few Ironman Florida mornings.
I rode well. I rode it on my own, once I caught Heather Gollnick, she was always close by though. It was sickening to see the huge packs on the out and back section. My heart sank when I saw my competition in there.
But what do you do? ..I just had to continue with my race.
The 10 minute head start in front of the age group men is like a free fast train ticket to the front of the race! And for those who like to draft, they jump on the fast age group men as they pass!

Off the bike I felt ok. I had some decent run legs so got set to work. I seemed to be eating into the time between me and the 3 ahead. By 13 miles I was into 2nd. I also felt more refreshed after telling the race organisers who were all standing at half way, “the women need a 30 minute head start”
I kept eating into the leader, but with 8 miles to go I was not feeling so strong. I kept the food and drink going in but I just could’nt push like I needed. With 4 miles to go Kozulina caught me. I was mad! I screamed at myself! But then found a second wind from somewhere and got right on her. It surprised her! So she tucked in behind me! We ran like this for 3 miles, she surged 3 times to try to get rid of me, but I did’nt let her get away. On the 4th surge and a mile to go, she got me.

I felt deflated crossing the finish line. Winning is much better!! ha haa!!!
Once again I told the race organisers right there on the finish line,
“the women need a 30 minute head start. why cant we have a fair race?”
It would have been interesting to have seen the result of this race yesterday if it had been a race with no age group men in the way.

It was great having Stephen there to support me. He was an amazing support to me from 4am to 9pm. thankYouuuuuuuuu!

Well done to Jocelyn. I am so proud what she has done. She has really turned herself into an athlete. Night and day to when I first met her. She looked great out there AND she got 10th place! She said she wanted top 10, and she got it! Woheyyyyyyy!!!

8 birthdays in PCB!

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Yesterday was my birthday! ..here on Panama City Beach for the 8th year in a row. I can only remember 1 year prior to Panama City Beach birthdays, and that was in San Carlos, Brasil. Boss gave me a present, ..a 10k swim then we all went to the meat restaurant and Monica gave me a chocolate cake! I can remember it was fun!

Unlike last year when I raced Ironman Florida on my birthday, yesterday was a quiet day. I chose a quiet day. Stephen surprised me with a lovely bunch of roses first thing and a little black mouse! :)

I had a lighter day in training yesterday so was able to chill out, catch up with some of my family and reply to all of you that sent me cards! ThankYou so much for thinking of me …and searching to when my birthday is!! Thanks to Stephen, I can now use this laptop without the urge to throw it out the window! ..my new black mouse is VERY useful! ha haa haa

Stephen and I finished the day with a nice meal at a restaurant we found here that serves a nice meal and that is not deep fried, in a burger or “all you can eat”!!

Next Saturday I am gearing up to celebrate a late birthday present to myself! :)
Ok, back to work now, …