Ah heck, my will to write out a looooong race report has gone sine I managed to mess it all up yesterday, so here’s a brief summary instead. People who’ve known me for years will probably hear the drawn out version many many times and those that only known me from here will probably have read many far more interesting reports by now.
So. Onto the bike.
The plan was to ride at 125-130bpm.
For the first 50miles I felt lethargic and struggled to hit 120bpm.
At 30miles I decided I’d attempt to pee whilst on the bike.
At 70miles I gave up trying and stopped to pee off the bike.
Some bloke called Norbert was a dirty drafting cheat, there were many out there so it’s probably unfair to just name one but he was the one I kept passing when he was alone only to see him come back past again sucking a wheel.
At 80miles I suddenly started to feel strong so rode the last 30miles at 130bpm. This was the fastest part of the course anyway so that made it feel even better.
New Tri specific bike, new aero helmet = slowest Florida bike split ever. 2mins slower than in 2004, 12mins slower than in 2005. Both when I was riding my TREK 5200 road bike. Hmmmmmm!
Mile 1 spent holding back while many people flew past. Even backing off it only took 7:02.
Miles 2,3, 4 and 5 much better paced. Walked through 2 feed stations and stopped for a pee. 5miles done in just under 40mins.
Mile 6 took over 10mins after stopping to get a stone from my shoe. Couldn’t get shoe back on due to cramps. Damn annoying.
Miles 7-12 was a struggle. Running at over 9:00 pace with HR in mid 130’s. Heat getting to me now and sand in shoes & socks off the beach means it feels as though I’m running on sandpaper. Walk most aid stations eating almost anything.
Mile 13 saw the mad Moonpie fella who ran alongside cheering me on. It was a most welcome distraction. Stopped to chat with Shell and get rid of my awful fuelbelt. Took shoe off again. Cramped again! Clock said 8:30:00 as I turned. Hoped that was the Elite time and it meant 8:20:00 for me.
Mile 14 was better.
Mile 15 the wheels fell off.
Mile 16-20 I just walked, walked and walked. I was burning up in the afternoon sun. My feet felt as though they were red raw and my stomach was in knots. Enough is enough. Received massive encouragement from many other athletes who should have been focusing on their own race.
Mile 20 – decision time!!!! I was on the last leg of the run and I was in danger of putting in my worst IM ever (except the DNF in 2005). I grabbed a couple of sponges from the aid station, sat down on a fence and removed my shoes and socks. I shook the sand from my shoes, shook out my socks and thoroughly washed my feet. At least if I had to walk I could feel a little more comfortable. Back on went the shoes and socks and I headed back towards home, running!
My feet felt better immediately, then after only half a mile I had to stop at the side of the road again. This time I had no control over anything as I proceeded to throw up most of the last hours food. Bad times? Nope, my stomach now felt fine again.
Miles 21 to the Finish Line – I ran and I ran well (9:26, 7:11, 7:03, 7:09, 7:09, 7:02). I skipped all the aid stations and simply put my head down. It was congested out there now with many people walking and jogging along the narrower sections and at time sit was quite tricky to make the small gaps as my pace was so different to everybody elses. Many people who’d given me encouragement when I was suffering gave me new shouts as I went past them in full flow. It had taken 134miles, but suddenly I felt real good.
The Finish Line came all to quickly in the end. I felt as though I’d another 4-5miles of good running in my legs, but after heading for my worst finish ever I ended up dipping under my pb in 10:55. I wasn’t happy and probably had the most miserable finish picture of the day though, but it was over. There would be NO MORE!!!!!
Five attempts at Ironman. 5 attempts at finishing between 9:30 & 10:00. 5 miserable failures to hit the targets. SURELY THERE WILL BE NO MORE!!!! SURELY I’VE LEARNT MY LESSON NOW!!!!
Ermmmmmm, I’ll guess I’ll be seeing you all at IMFl 2009 then. Oh Hell!!!
Jeez, if this is the short version. You’re all so lucky that I lost the long version.