Ugh!!! Just when you think you have it figured out, you go and muck it up! Coming into last weeks Ironman NZ my confidence was at an all time high, my past several races have all gone well, I had spent the month of January in the mountains training my ring off, and finally I felt I was armed with a swim leg that would put me within a reasonable distance of the leaders.
I’ll save much of the details other then saying I did in fact come out of the water in a personal best time, all be it the swim leg was a good 2 mins quicker then normal but the level of swimmers in my pack would have put 3 minutes into me 12 months ago… While I was happy to see this I also new there were a few lads up the road who’s feet I did not get on which included the legendary Cam Brown. But I was happy to be with former team TBB athlete Keegan Williams and fellow Kiwi Simon Cochrine. We managed to work well through much of the first lap and I felt very comfortable through 110kms when the old feeling of, what happened to the power I had 10mins ago began to hit me.
I have a hunch about what went wrong but frankly it doesn’t really matter. Is it possible that my own expectations of the day were starting to wear heavy on mind? Maybe? Did I in possibly consume too much food? Maybe? But regardless I failed to do my job which was to come home with a paycheck. Over the past several years it has taken me a few races to get my season going and maybe that’s just me, I have to have a crack a few times to shake the cob webs…It was the same when I was a cross country and track and field runner but I was sure that I could come out flying this early in the year…I should have payed more attention to Doc when he said, “go to Taupo for training and if you come home with a check, even better!”
Oh well… I will have to chalk it up to a long training day as that was the choice I made when the wheels came off. Once I came off the bike I went for it for about 3kms but the energy wasn’t there and I was too sick to eat or drink so slowed just like I did on the bike. My experience has taught me that if I went the whole distance I would gain more strength from the run and hopefully be on fire in a few weeks time provided I went slow enough..so that is what I did, I shuffled the remaining 38kms…If the prize purse had of been a bit deeper I would have pushed my body a bit further but when it only pays top 6 and you are too far back even in 8th it is sometimes smarter to swallow the pride and back off.
It took about the first half of the run for my body to start processing everything I took in on the ride and I actually felt better the final 21kms then I did the first 21kms which is further proof that I am in form. The soreness in the legs only lasted a day as well so I was able to get back to training just 3 days after the race… I will have another start at Ironman Melbourne on the 24th of March.
Despite the sh#t race I can take a few positives away from the day and Carrie and I had a wonderful time with our host family who were incredibly nice, as are most New Zealanders! We loved sharing meals on their back deck while enjoying some drinks and sharing a few laughs, as well as listening to the banter of their 2 little boys Jonny and Tom. So thanks to the Weston’s for saving the weekend for us! I will for sure consider coming back next year! Taupo is a gorgeous place to race and the volunteers were some of the nicest I have ever come across so thanks to them for making our racing experience a pleasure from that aspect!
For now its a few weeks of hard work as we prep for the next go round where I will seek out another opportunity to do my job and earn a bit of cash……Till next time and thanks for reading!