Finally after a full year without racing the time had come to put all the hard training to use and see if I have had made any improvements since the 2016 Cairns Ironman.
The last month leading up to the race was not perfect, but I still felt really good and all my training results were promising, although i did not want have big expectations my minimum goal was a sub 10 hour result.
My swimming is not my strength, that is no secret, it has always been my weakest leg. Last year we had pretty bad conditions, and I was hoping this year would be an easier swim, but it turned out to be just as bad as the previous year was. My goal was just go easy and finish it without burning myself out. Sighting was really difficult and I had probably swim an extra couple of hundred meters due to this. Still the 1:18 finish time was pretty disappointing.
Swim time - 1 hour 18 minutes
My bike riding has improved the most over the year of training, my power numbers has rose and I felt pretty confident that even a lack of riding in real world conditions would not hold me back to lower my times significantly compare to last year. Weather conditions were good almost perfect up util the last 50-60 km when the usual afternoon wind had picked up. The first 130 km was perfect I felt pretty fresh and was riding on my planed power and speed . I had a bit of a trouble with the nutrition on board my bike. My aero bottle was mixed with 3:1 ratio fuel which I meant to sip on and flush it with water. Unfortunately I have never tried this in training and I had to come to a conclusion that the high mixture has caused upset stomach even though i was drinking water immediately after each sip. I kind of ditched this idea and just picked up electrolyte drinks from the aid stations. Probably thats is why I`ve lost power riding back to Cairns plus like I mentioned the wind had pick up as well and I started to get uncomfortable on my saddle due to some bad chaffing. Nevertheless the last 5 km was pretty enjoyable ride due to supporters and because I could not wait to end my suffering in aero position.
Bike time - 5 hours 12 minutes
My run always been my weapon. This were I make up most of the time that I lost with the swimming. I really enjoy this, because hardly anyone passes me :). I felt pretty good coming of the bike, somehow I have regained some power at the end of my ride and I was hoping for a nice fast run. The transition was pretty smooth and I was on my way. However after 6 km I had felt some discomfort in my left foot, and it started get numbed as I run along. I did not wan to stop, but 3 km later I finally pulled over and loosened my shoe lace. It was pretty obvious I should have done this much earlier because this stop had fixed all my problems. I had some nutrition issues on the run as well, but luckily coach Brad Martens was on the side of the road and he quickly rectified this and handed me a properly mixed bottle of fuel. The rest of the run was pretty good, I just had to work thru some pain and a little bit of fear of cramping.
Run time - 3 hours 20 minutes
Well, I have done it. Sub 10 Ironman with my official time 9 hours 58 minutes 58 seconds. Overall it was a good result and more importantly a good lesson. I need more experience, more races if I want to get better results.
I have a good coach Brad Martens who looks after me and helps me wherever he can, so anything is possible. I have made big improvements since I have been working with him and I know with his help I can achieve my ultimate goal and dream.