So here is my race report, its a bit wordy I'm afraid...
I got to transition in what I thought was plenty of time but I seemed to be almost the last pro in to be fluffing with my bike. I didn’t have much to do so was in and out within 10mins once my tyres were checked, bottles filled, shoes clipped in and Em’s cookies taped to RooRoo. RooRoo seemed to have fared well despite the front wheel waving about in the breeze all night because I couldn’t rack it by the brake levers (fronty bottle was in the way) and as usual my front wheel didn’t reach the ground when racked by the saddle.
Made my first pre-race toilet stop, the beauty of a race of 2900 people with only 700 women meant that there was no queue for the girls toilets and a huge queue for the men. Ha!
Got down to the swim start, wetsuited up and did a little warm up swim waiting for the race to start.
My instructions for the swim was to get onto some feet and stay there. I knew there should be some people about the same speed as me and within a few hundred meters there was a little group of us. We pretty much swam the first lap and a half together but then started to get strung out by the turn around buoy. I had to put in a few little surges every now and then to keep up but lost my feet with about ¼ of the way to go. Amanda Balding had been on my feet for the second lap and I must have slowed down a bit on the way back because she came through and took the front. So I stuck with her for the way back and we started to get passed by the fast AG men with a few hundred metres to go (they had started 10mins after us). Came out of the water in 1.05 which is pretty much the same as my IMNZ time last year, I really didn’t know if my swimming was any better or worse so I guess it is the same.
Came out of the water and had my first wetsuit strippers experience which was interesting. I had pulled my wetsuit halfway down and they make you lie on the ground and they whip if off you which I wasn’t totally expecting then you run to T1 holding your suit.
The run to T1 is up a spiral parking ramp which was lined with spectators and quite overwhelming, I thought it was never going to end and was getting a bit dizzy.
I had all of T1 to myself when I ran in so had some helpful volunteers get my food into my pockets and send me on my way.
I’ll put it out there and say my goal for the bike was to go under 5.30. I knew the course was pretty undulating but figured there was as much down as there was up so thought it would be doable.
I checked my average speed and power after about 45mins and was shocked to see my power was way high at 137w (I was aiming for between 120 and 130) and my speed was way low at 30.1kph – at this rate it was going to take me just under 6 hours… Quite a few men were passing me on the first lap of the bike but they were all too fast for me to try and keep up with (we had an 10m drafting zone) so I rode the first lap on my own making sure I was eating and drinking regularly. It had ended up being quite a hot day so I made sure I was drinking enough.
I started to pass a few people in the second lap of the bike and at times had people to ride with. The spectators on the course were awesome – groups of them would pop up out of nowhere with cow bells, speedos, stereos and pompoms. I had managed to get my speed up to over 30.5 and power down to 132w but I still knew that my sub 5.30 time was long gone and I would be lucky if I did 5.45. Starting the second lap of the bike I really needed to go wees but no matter how hard I tried I just could go on the bike so had to stop at Mt Horeb. I think it must have been here that Jocelyn Wong passed me because she was behind me onto the bike but ahead of me on the run but I never saw her go past me otherwise I would have tried to ride with her. I thought she could end up riding quicker than me and she put out a pretty good bike time.
The last 12miles were mostly downhill with a tailwind so I gained a few places there but still ended up with a 5hr47 bike time which was way slower than what I was hoping for. My average power was 129w so I’m not actually sure I could have ridden much harder either. So overall I don’t really know what to think about it.
Once again I had transition all to myself so was in and out pretty quick and got molested by the sunscreeners although I think the sunburn damage had already been done.
Everything always feels a bit weird running after sitting on the bike for 180km and this was no exception. I felt like I was really creeping along but was passing people so figured I must have been going ok. There were only mile markers which don’t mean much to me except the first one which I was surprised to see I did 6min52, but settled into a slightly slower pace from there on. It was now between 25 and 30degrees so was grabbing ice and sponges at the aid stations to help me to cool down. The first lap of the run was pretty uneventful, there were heaps of spectators and we got to run around the University of Wisconsin football stadium which was cool. It’s a pretty messy run course with a few out and back sections and I thought I may have been slowly catching a couple of the girls ahead of me.
I got to the halfway in about 1.42-1.43 so would have done a good time if I could maintain that for the second half. My tummy started to feel bad around the 27km mark so I had to make a couple of quick toilet stops which seemed to get that under control. My quads were starting to feel pretty bad and running just wasn’t fun anymore. I walked through a couple of aid stations and struggled to get running again. I had a blister on my forefoot which was also starting to burn and I think I just gave up a bit, I saw J-rad who was asking what the story was so I stopped to have a chat with about 10km to go. I had every intention of finishing but I knew I was well over what I wanted to do. There was actually another pro girl who ended up just a couple of minutes ahead who must have been suffering about as much as me, maybe that would have been motivation enough if I’d known she was going backwards. My end time was 10.43 with a 3.43 run – ouch. Almost exactly 20mins slower than my 2009 IMNZ time – 10mins on the bike and 10mins on the run. I was 11th pro and 16th female. I can console myself that there were 4 of us pro’s within 10mins of each other so it’s not like I was an hour slower than anyone else which was a big fear going into my first race as a pro. I really should have run around (or under) 3.30 which would have bumped me to at least 8th place and in the money, but I didn’t.
Thank god thats over...
I was hoping for a better result and while it could have been a lot worse it also could have been a lot better. At least I didn’t do anything really stupid which I would regret. The general consensus is that IMWI is a slower course than IMNZ so maybe I shouldn’t compare my times but I would like to think that I am faster and have more iron-distance training under my belt so was hoping for a bit more.
I did think at several times during the run that I never want to do Ironman again because it hurt so much but think I just need to toughen up, surely the more I do it the easier it will get?! So I think I will be lining up for IMWA in 3 months time – at least it’s a bit closer to home and I know it’s a faster course than IMNZ so no excuses!!!
Big thanks to J-rad to being my number one supporter, to Mike for letting us stay with him in Madison, to Guy and Ben for my awesome new K-Swiss gear, to Davo for his infinite knowledge on all things Ironman (and all things in general) and to everyone back home who have supported me :)