Ironman Western Australia, Busselton 2012

IMWA12-1

Time: 10:47:24
Swim: 52:16
T1: 2:52
Bike: 5:12:22
T3: 3:00
Run:4:36:54

Race Analysis here

I felt pretty relaxed for this race and decided to get up at 3:30am and not get to transition too early. I arrived about an hour before the race start, checked my bike and a few minutes later was just sat relaxing. I put my wetsuit on to keep warm and then hung out with Jo till the start.

IMWA12-2The Pro’s had a beach start then we had a deep water start 15 minutes later. Probably means the pros times would be 1 to 2 minutes slower as we were definitely further out than previously as I couldn’t stand up. Also, there was tonnes of creeping forward just prior to the gun.

I’m getting a lot more sensible about the swim starts now going just hard enough to keep out of trouble but not worrying about getting clear too quickly. there are always lots of people that can sprint for a short while and being Australia there were more than normal. It took probably 500m for most to drop off. It was really rough with the waves coming from the right on the way out. It meant that no neat packs seemed to form, well none I could see. I quite enjoyed swimming on my own and just swam comfortably within myself taking a straight line for the end of

the Jetty. I couldn’t figure out why so many had gone far right but it seemed a distinctly longer line.

Approaching the only turn around some dude decided that with all this space he should keep bashing my leg on my inside. Well he chose to be there and I chose to take the buoy as tight as I could forcing him to go behind. Then as we started the return leg he and another guy decide that the best place to be was either side of me. Bizarre they didn’t just sit in my draft. It annoyed me and I just focussed on increasing my pace by upping the pressure on my hand and I soon dropped them.

I was very pleased as I excited in 52 minutes as I’d swam pretty comfortably.

IMWA12-3Out on the bike I decided to set off conservative. My preparations had been hugely compromised, I didn’t have the normal recent miles in my legs so was pretty sure that my usual hard start to the ride wouldn’t be ideal. The wind was pretty strong and it felt like i had no oomph. I concentrated on getting my food on board. At the first turn around I was surprised to see Jo behind me. By the end of the lap I think she was probably surprised to have caught and passed me.

60km in and I saw an average watts of 218. Thats just 30+ below what it would normally in recent times. At that point I was wondering just how ugly this race would get. The first 15km of the lap were out in to the head wind. I didn’t consciously push harder but found that getting passed had stopped and I was reeling in those ahead. I looked at my power and could see it was creeping back up.  I decided that I would keep a lid on my efforts for this lap and then really push on in the last. I then immediately over-rode  my decision. I got drawn in and from 100k started to consciously push. I re-passed Jo towards the end of the lap and finished 120k with an average of 228.

I really put the effort in starting the final lap and by 150k my average was up to 236 which my mental arithmetic suggested I must have been holding over 250 watts. Thats more like it. 160k and I  imploded a little. At the time I told myself I was a bit of an idiot to have been riding so controlled but to then getting over enthusiastic but I think what happened was the wind had changed direction. Based on the first two laps it would have been a big tailwind home for the last 30km so I’d put a lot more in to get to the that point but when I turned for home there wasn’t any easy speed and I just didn’t have any extra. Until that implosion I thought I might get very close to my predicted 5:05 but ended with 5:12 which I was reasonably happy with.

IMWA12-4On the run I tried to focus on being efficient and keeping relaxed. I knew I’d not done anywhere near enough running to have a hope of holding it together the whole way but every KM I ran would help hugely.

The 4:50s km for the first couple were a little fast but not fast enough to prevent Jo cruising by. It was hot out there, the wind seemed to have dropped and there was no shade at all. I decided to walk the aid stations and ensure I got ice on my quads and down my arm coolers. Out on the course the support was awesome with several places where people had go hoses or buckets full of ice. I was surprised at how comfortable I felt running. I kept in my mind Helen telling my a while back that I’d perfected the “Hunters Trot” I felt if I could just keep that going I’d probably be able to manage a 4 hour marathon. Until about 25km it seemed to be working and I actually felt good running and was really enjoying it. Then it got pretty bad. I even resorted to setting my timer going which I used for a long run with Paul to tell us the run / walk routine.

Even with a KM to go I couldn’t help walking that aid station. I then managed to pick up a half decent pace through to the finish. Given I’d promised myself I’d drop out if my knee hurt at all and that two weeks ago I would have put money on my not finishing the run I was chuffed to bits to cross that finish line and complete my 25th Ironman.

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