Ironman Western Australian – Analysis

busso.jpgRead my race report here.

Firstly well done to Russell on getting second place in his age group and a Kona slot but most importantly for demonstrating he’s made a step change in his performance level now and shown he now expects to be on and can make the podium in any Ironman he does. With two more races entered and the slot in the bag he can can focus on winning his age group … lucky bugger.

You may think that focussing on winning your age group would get you the slot … yes it would be if your aim is a slot you will often be more conservative (in my experience). Take my race yesterday – a 3:52 marathon would have got me the last slot – not much of an ask for someone like Russell, Roger or me in the good old days.  A 3:08 would have got me the win (funnily enough the same time as got me the win at Longest Day … oh happy days ;o)). Heading off at 3:08 pace would run the risk of completely blowing up and not getting the slot at all. Having it the bag gives you the freedom to race.

All I had to run was a 3:52 to get to Kona. Makes me slightly gutted – can’t be many times you’d be in that position. Not sure gutted is quite right, just a feeling of what could have been without the injury. No point dwelling on that. Though I may have wanted the year to go differently it was what it was. Looking back and remembering being in a wheelchair and so helpless at my first race of the year, Taupo, I find it almost unbelievable to think I’m here now having completed two Ironman races.

I want this to be my last ‘it was good considering race’. I don’t like having to caveat a result or having to explain why I’m happy with it despite the slow time. I want again to have results that stand on their own good or bad.

There are lots of positives from this result

– firstly my bike split. I was only 11 minutes behind the top pros ! I think the time I’ve had this year not only without much running but also the extended period of rest have done my cycling the world of good. It’s even better that this wasn’t some balls out ride without thought of the run. I rode sensibly and at times conservatively allowing me to be strong throughout.

– I managed to ‘run walk’ the whole marathon. Admittedly the walks got longer at times but compared to Kona this was a marked improvement. I had numerous times where I felt good and strong running which brought memories back of running well. It was no where near what I’d hoped for (sub 4 hours) but with hindsight that was based on my heart and not my head.

– I coped with very tough conditions. At the awards they said it was the toughest of the 6 runnings. There was more wind on the bike than usual I understand but nothing too extreme. On the run though it was HOT. They had a 12% drop out rate ! Never heard of such a level. I had to work hard to stave off my cramp and thankfully managed it. Only just at times but I managed it.

– I now have a sub 9 “best” on my Ironman Times sheet – this is taking my best splits from any race and adding them up. With that bike it’s now down to 8:47:40. It doesn’t mean much other than now I’ve done good enough splits in every bit to get under 9 and only (ONLY) have to string them together.

On saturday I found myself in the position I’d visualised so many times. Heading out on the run after 5:45, saturday it was 5:44. It wasn’t as bad as I’d visualised though. I wasn’t as spent from the bike and the thought of a 3:15 marathon wasn’t quite as intimidating. That may of course be because it was totally apparent it wasn’t on the cards.

If the race comes back here, I really hope it does, Jo and I fully intend to return. Having been on the course I would hope that by then I can be a minute or two quicker in the swim and a few minutes quicker on the bike leaving me a 3:20 to achieve that dream goal .

To finish, here are my pre and “kind of” post race meals. I’m sure you can guess which is which.

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