I certainly feel like I did a race yesterday. I have two lovely sunburnt one inch bands on my back marking the edge of my tri suit. I did get them to put suncream on for the bike put I reckon it must have moved once I was aero ! You can read about the race here.
Yesterday ranks as one of my most enjoyable races at Kona and it was nice to realise I was enjoying it as it happened. My result is a little baffling. Normally when I see that sort of consistent training I get a good result. I didn’t feel on fire these last two weeks but I trusted it would come good on the day. Initial thoughts on possible reasons why:
- I’m depleted from the training. This is something Gordo tweated to me after a comment about carb intake. This result was very similar to 2008 when I raced just after Wisconsin and I felt plain tired.
- Bike position isn’t quite right. In the second half I spent a lot of time on the drops. Of course causation here is tricky. Could be being off form caused this lack of comfort or vice versa.
- I was just under the weather for some reason. Perhaps have a bug that doesn’t manifest itself unless I’m trying to push.
The day started with the roughest first minute of any race I’ve done. Luckily I think I got the best of it and ended up with a thoroughly enjoyable swim. In past years with Swim skins there was some speculation about whether or not the increased speed would be enough to offset the extra time in transition. This year I swam in a one piece Tri suit … my swim was about a minute slower (this probably equates to a better swim to be honest) but my overall Swim + T1 was only about 10s slower !
On the bike I just didn’t have it at all. No oomph. I thought I was working hard but would look at my power meter and see sub 200 watts. I knew it wasn’t going well. The conditions seemed tough but lots of people got fast bike splits. Roger and Russell both had great rides and caught me before the run. I’m hoping it was just one of those things and by Busselton I will be back on fire.
The run was seriously good fun. The first 10 miles was super comfortable and ok pace. Then through to the end of the Queen K was hard work but I kept going. Then mile 21 it fell apart. Luckily within 2 miles Rip came along and got me going and we ran in together.
Racing in vibrams was very interesting. The first thing is my legs don’t feel that trashed at all. However, my feet are in a bit of a state. How is it on race day things rub like they never rub otherwise. It’s probably a combination of the heat and perhaps the feet swelling a little. On top of that I have got some monster blisters under the toe next to the big toe. This has never happened before even on 3.5 hr runs. My feeling was it was my own fault. The vibrams never felt quite right from the off and I think there was small lava grit in there. Between now and Busselton I will be doing more running in the Bikilis and my feet should have toughened up a little more. It does mean I’ve got a proper post Ironman hobble but it’s not due to sore legs but very sore feet.
I posted my Kona Goals and I’m pleased to report I managed the first one. I really felt I was in shape to get the second but pretty much after the bike that was out of the question. For 10 miles I thought I might get a 3:30 marathon but that soon disappeared on the Queen K. This is one tough race and other than the first time I’ve not race well here. Was it 6 attempts it took Mark Allen to finally nail this race ? Well, next year (assuming I qualify) will be number 6 for me.