To be honest, I don’t think the word “Patience” and “Triathlete” can really be used in the same sentence. For most of us anyway!
I would consider myself generally a patient person but obviously when it comes to certain things I am not! I am just as bad as every one else!
Triathletes – want to be fit and fast NOW!
Triathletes – Are “not” patient when sick….one day is plenty of rest!
Triathletes – Are “not” patient when injured. It is just a little niggle, “she’ll be right!”
This sport attracts a particular type of personality……and it had been a while since my “patience” had been tested!
I shouldn’t really complain…it was nothing major.
Once Ultra520K Canada was over I was on a high! It had exceeded all my expectations and I was ready to keep moving and hit some Half Ironman’s….build on the base I had from all the aerobic training. The first week after the event….I was fine! I even raced an Olympic Distance less than a week later. But shortly after that I began to realise I was physically and mentally tired and needed to give myself time to recover. It was great to have a chat with Hillary Biscay and realise this was to be expected.
I took some time….and had only returned to training for a week when Guy and I returned to Penticton for the Challenge race. It was a tough slog…there was no get up and go in the body. Although it was great to be back racing again, there was a lot of work to do!
Back to Boise, recovery….my first 2 full weeks of training, then it was time for Las Vegas 70.3. I just wanted some signs of improvement.
There were some…..but I was just unable to sustain the effort. All good…..a step in the right direction.
A quick trip to Kona then back to Boise for another solid 2 week block of training….but sharing is caring! Guy was sick….and shortly later I joined him! We were still able to get some solid key sessions but had to do a bit of juggling with those sessions.
During this time I was frantically cleaning up the apartment as our pilgrimage home was about to begin. Yep….it always seems that everything happens at once!!
By the time we arrived in Taiwan, I did not feel awesome! We were in bed by just after 6pm and didn’t rise until nearly 12 hours later! Obviously need it! The five flights it took to get there was 3 to many.
But it was great to be back in a place and race I loved!
Race day rolled around pretty quickly and after our pre race dinner with Dimity and Jarrad it was another early night and no problems getting some quality sleep. I seem to be getting a bit better at this before races. Although I have noticed I actually get the best, deepest sleep before midnight. After that I tend to toss and turn a bit. I was up at 2am….struggled to get back to sleep then eventually got out of bed at 3am!
Time to GO!!
By the time we arrived at T1 it was surprisingly raining and exceptional windy. There were some areas of the bike course that were expecting gusts up to 50km/hr so the race committee make the right decision to decease the bike to 77km for safety reasons.
It was actually quite chilly and many Pro’s were wearing plastic bags to keep them warm! Lucky for me my new Coeur Long Sleeve Cycling Jacket was coming in very handy even if I was on a tropical island!
Transition was a at least 800 – 1km long so Guy and I were ready early and headed to the swim start so we could get a good warm up in. The water was warm and the further you swum out, the more you could see. I didn’t mind this at all. The only issue was the beach start….I definitely need to practice this one a bit more!
The traditional kiss and “good luck” with Guy and he was off!! We were 60sec later!
Dimity had the best start out of all of us….it wasn’t long before Gina took off in the distance. I decided to take my own more direct line following the buoys and was accompanied by 2 other ladies and a couple of slower Pro men we picked up along the way. In the end with the waves bringing us into shore we all exited together. (bar Gina who had a 90sec lead on us)
It was not a great swim for me! But it could have been way worse! I had the quickest transition and was out onto the bike before anyone else with plenty of work to do!
My goal for this race was definitely to focus on the bike…maintaining consistent power through out and hopefully being able to hold it for longer with out fading. The run….what would be will be!
Surprisingly I felt alright….after all the travel and heavy legs during the week I didn’t know what to expect.
The first lap was just me, my numbers and my brand new 2016 Ceepo Katana!!! (AWESOME!!) There was plenty to look at, the scenery was amazing. But there was nothing to see up front and nothing to see behind!
Towards the end of the first lap a couple of flying age group men went by but I continued sticking to my own plan. Halfway through the second lap I sited Gina up front and pushed to take the lead. I was able to keep slightly to the left and call bike “often” to avoid the age groupers on the lap. We were pretty lucky and had a clear line most of the way.
Not long after she came back around and did the exactly the same thing, riding strong and at a constant pace back into T2.
I don’t normally run with socks in a 70.3, but knowing I had an Ironman 2 weeks, I sat down on the ground (my balancing skills are not that great!) socks on, shoes on and I was off!! First onto the run…wohoo!!
The weather was changing rapidly….more like what I have come to expect from the race! The sun was out….it was getting hot hot and hot!! The first part of the run had no shade and just to compound matters the wind dropped off…..I had to just switch off and focus on 1km at a time.
After a few km’s Gina came past and made her move….could I go with her???
I was going to try!!!
For the longest time….the gap remained the same. I could see her, she could see me.
Every aid station we were both covering ourselves with water, drinking everything we could grab and moving on!
As you approach the Yoho resort….at 14km mark…..you have 3.5km of slight uphill…to the turn around, then you are on the way home. This is where the elastic band seemed to break! I had held on for so ,long but my mind set had to change now to focus on consistency, nutrition and one foot in front of the other.
At the final turn around with 3km to go…Gina was 1minute up the road and running strong. The good news is….I hadn’t blown too badly!!! I also had a decent gap to 3rd place, Dimity.
There was really no point in burying myself and being sore for days……I can still run strong….but hopefully be able to recover quicker in preparation for the next race!
Don’t get me wrong….I was still grunting, panting and trying to not to trip over my own feet. Actually…I don’t even know if I could have gone any quicker if I wanted to….maybe a few seconds per km. But not enough to close the gap.
I was extremely happy when the finish line came into view. I had been able to put together a solid day for 2nd place after the last few months being on an emotional roller coaster.
Gina took the win by 90sec and was tough all day! It was great racing with her!
But the absolute highlight of day was finding out as soon as I had finished that Guy had WON!! He was the Taiwan 70.3 champion!! I did not see him out on the course except at the very beginning of the run when he was side by side with Christian Kramer. I had no idea what the result was and ran directly to him to jump in his arms as soon as I found out!
I know how hard he has been working and how talented he is….for it all to come together FINALLY for him….it still makes me smile just thinking about it!
Guy and now are all settled in Malaysia getting to know the course, heat, humidity and rain!! Ironman is next weekend and we are both excited for the challenge! Then it is time to return to Perth! We are looking forward to that as well!!
Last but not least my incredible sponsors, it been a great year and incredible journey! Words will never be enough to thank you for all of your support! Rolf Prima Wheels, Ceepo, Coeur Sports, , Profile Design, BlueSeventy, ISM, Ryders Eyewear, Mizuno, Challenge Tyres, and SwimSmooth. Churchill Cycles, and Tri Town Boise plus Computrainer. Keeping me fueled GU and Upbeat Beetroot Juices, Recovery by Ruth Chang Physio and Matt Booth at Boise Therapeutic Associates. Last but not least…Jeff Shilt!