That is the only way to unfortunately describe my Kona experience in 2011. Yes, I am bitterly disappointed. It had been such a great build and lead up to the race with consistent training blocks, great racing and PB’s. I was ready for my best day yet on the Big Island.
I was getting in some great training during my taper, in the energy lab, rides to Hawii (not all the way!!) Massage, sleep, it was all coming together and I was excited!
Race morning after being numbered and listening to some motivational tunes, Guy covered me in suncream and I was ready to rock! A 6..30am Pro swim start was ideal and I made sure I was in the water 15mins early in my Blue Seventy speed suit ready to put all my hard swimming training into practice!
The gun went…bang, scratch, crash…the usual swim start, sprint, try and hang on, find some feet, sprint again…these ones might work. yep..I am working hard, now I just have to push it and try and hang on. Heading out to the turn around wasn’t so bad. I appeared to be in a group of about 5 all swimming single file, it wasn’t easy but I wasn’t anaerobic either. After the turn it became a bit rougher and the pace seemed to pick up.It was very on off on off. Sometimes I was stroking faster and kicking to stay with the group. Other times it was no worries!
When I exited the water in just over 58 mins I was so excited!! My best swim ever in Kona, never been under the hour before. This was a great start! Running through transition and to my bike and unfortunately a rookie mistake caused me some valuable time (one I won’t be making again!!)
Then it was out onto the Queen K for some wind, heat and 180km of cycling! I started well, got myself into a good rhythm and cadence starting my nutrition plan and settled in. It wasn’t long before I was feeling little queasy in the stomach but like so many things I ignored it and continued on. But unfortunately it only began to get worse and soon everything I was trying to keep done was coming up. Not ideal, but I was hoping it was only temporary.
I pushed through although I was beginning to feel weaker and weaker, I had no strength and I was becoming more and more frustrated. A little too much sea water during the swim was beginning to take it toll and I desperately had to do something about it.
150km into the ride I stopped at the aid station where there was also First Aid. I was hoping if I was not exercising then maybe I could digest something. By that stage I must admit I was pretty upset. This was not at all part of the plan. I know little things always happen during Ironman that is the nature of racing. And I have always considered myself mentally tough. But was I going to be beaten today?? I sat down for 10 mins took in some coke and banana’s and psyched myself up again for the last 30km plus I actually wanted to run. I was excited to see how far the run legs have come since my last Ironman. But as I got up to get back on the bike, the dizziness returned and so did the lump in my throat. I think this was the end of my day!
After another 45mins on the side of the road I was still contemplating continuing, with the new points system for the Pro’s there were good points to be gained but the question was at what cost?
I borrowed a phone from one of the amazing volunteers and called Guy in the middle of tears explaining the situation. I was devastated. But unfortunately that is the nature of racing, taking the good with the bad! I have had my fair share of amazing races the last 12 months and wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe the one last weekend 🙂
My family, friends, sponsors and supporters and have all been so amazing and I can’t thank you enough Those already mentioned above including K-SWISS, FELT, ROLF Prima Wheels, Novatron, GU, Blue Seventy, Ryders Sunglass, SKINS, Computrainer, Selle SMP Saddles, Lazer Helmets Swish Design, and off course mum and dad!!
Guy has been amazing, amongst his own training and work, he has still been able to deal with this emotional wreck after the race and we had a lot of fun with a bit of a vacation!
And to coach Jeff Shilt, who also raced in Hawaii and even having to deal with a broken bone in his wrist which happened the week before, still finished with a PB!! It may not have happened this year, but it will happen! There is another race just around the corner and I am super excited!!