Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Auckland 70.3 Ironman

I was reasonably happy with my preparation into this race. It followed the Christmas period and despite working through,  I took advantage of the extra public holidays.

Mike and I flew into Auckland on the Thursday before the race. We stayed with some friends, Nige and Leah, which made things a hell of a lot easier, local knowledge of places to eat, train etc.

Friday we went for a ride and explored the harbor area (noting the wind)! Most of this day was then spent taking it easy and chilling out at cafes. 

Saturday was an adventure, Mike and Nige rode up to the Waitakere Mountains. I was feeling a bit sketchy so I drove behind in the car. The scenery was breathtaking. The rest of pre race day was pretty low key. I said hello to Tim and Jordi at the CompresSport stand and registered, racked and was briefed.

Photo: Mike and Nige ride the Waitakere Mnts just outside Auckland. I was in the car and very jealous. 

Race day rolled around quickly, as it does. I read all the messages from my training buddies at RedDog in the morning and then headed to the race site early and ready to go. 

The only issue I had leading in was that i felt sleepy , I had been sick the day before and I was up with stomach cramps and sickness in the night. I knew it would pass, a 24 hour type thing, but i was cutting it fine. Surprisingly I felt good in the morning. I have a good and tested
plan with my Endura nutrition, but on Sunday i had to make sure I stuck to it.

How awesome was the start to this race. A traditional Maori boat entered the small harbour at the Maritime Museum. Then a group started a Haka from the boat. Jez it sent shivers down my spine! I was pumped. The men were off with a cannon, we closely followed. The day had started!

I had an ok swim. I was in a group, it was slow but within myself. I was trying to make sure I didn't spike my heart rate to early because of feeling ill the day before. 

I was well down after the swim but not last, somewhere in the middle. Very happy with the Orca wetsuit. 

Out on the bike and it was me, my Scott TT and the Auckland city scape. I was on my own as I left the bunch I had swam with. 

Photo: Scottie T Photography Ltd,

It was not until after the highway section of the bike that I stepped it up a gear. Thanks to my time in the NRS I was confident with the technical bike sections and used this section to attack and gain back some ground. By the end of the second lap I had regained three more positions and was sitting in about 6th. On the last  lap I moved into fifth. My race seemed to be building so I remained confident of holding on to fifth so long as I could stay in control on the run.

I headed out onto the run in fifth, I was not sure of the gap I had in front or behind me, I just knew I had to remain patient and calm. Mel had a muscle strain on the second lap of the run. It's tough to run past someone that is left with no option but to stop. Mel was clearly in trouble. Unfortunately that is racing. 

I finished the day in fourth. I was very pleased with the way I stayed in control on the run. It is very easy to let questions come into your head that can quickly fault your game plan, especially with such a strong and talented field, respect for your competitors is essential. On that, Congratulations to Annabel Luxford what a great race, leading from start to finish. 

Photo: Out the front of the convention centre after the presentation, I was wrapped. 

I had a great time and would recommend this race on the to do list.  Goondi Hell of the West is next for me then some time off and then back in base training. For all of you interested in Strava, below is a strava link for my ride. 

Thanks to my support crew Brooks, Endura, Compressport, Avanti Plus the Valley, Oakley, Orca, Justin Jalenkavic, my husband Mike and everyone at RedDog. 

Canberra Ironman 70.3

It was a short stay in Canberra. I flew in on the Friday after work and was out first thing Monday morning, back into the office for an early meeting. 

I flew in and met Sam Betten at the airport. We were staying at my sister in laws house, thanks Maggie. 

This race was all business with Des Moins points and Vegas points on offer. I had been racing quite often was struggling for motivation. 

I had a bad swim, I struggled with the delayed start and just could not match the pace with the combined men's and women's field. I headed out onto the bike on a mission. I quickly gained positions back and was in fourth by the start of the run. 

Lisa Marangon was just ahead. I remained calm and focused on my game plan. Staying steady, I passed Lisa after about 3km. Michelle was hammering down on me so I focused on sectioning out the race, surging in areas. Annabel and Anna were too far ahead so catching was going to be a big call. It was going to be up to me to hold off challenges for third. In the end I had the quickest run split. The run is coming back to me now, finally. 

I was delighted with third, especially after this giant race block. It is awesome to be back racing at a high level, I am enjoying every minute. Next up Auckland 70.3. I got a little excited at the finish, I raised the banner in 3rd, why not I was stoked.