It can never be underestimated what an emotional roller coaster an Ironman is. Especially that of Ironman Lanzarote! I remember thinking during the week leading up to the race how it is only one day, one day in so many that you have trained for to get there in there in the first place. In reality you only get 17 hours and for me it is even less. It would be less than the flight I had just taken from Hong Kong to London! It was another long day of training with 1500 of my friends.
I felt relatively relaxed the morning of the race and was well organised with plenty of time to spare. The goodbyes and goodlucks were exchanged with mum and dad and I was into the beautiful water warming up and getting ready to race!
Unlike most races these days the Pro’s were going at the same time as every one else we were just positioned 10m in front of them all at the start line. Oh my god! It was going to be chaos! I was standing next to Catriona at the start line and we were both dreading the onslaught of athletes behind us when we ran into the water. The gun went off, it was a mad rush and then I was crushed!! It was crazy! I have never swum in anything like it before. The entire first lap of 1.9km was like a washing machine! I though maybe after the run up the beach and the second lap things would settle down. No such luck! For the entire 3.8km it was a mad house!
Glad to get out of the water it was a quick change and I was onto the bike and away. I absolutely loved the bike! The ride is spectacular, yes, unbelievable tough, but just amazing. The wind was up in sections, as to be expected, but I felt strong and I went with it! After passing Hillary and Bella I was informed that I was in second place behind Tara due to Catriona dealing with mechanicals. Wow, no normal for me. I am usually running through the field not riding through the field. I still felt good though so continued to push. Yes, there was definitely my usual down spots, but I felt I was able to deal with them mentally a lot better than I had in the past. Heading back towards Teguise into the head wind, up a hill, with 40km still to go, was tough, but after that it was down hill and homeward bound.
A quick change in transition and I was onto the run and for me, felt like I settling in slowly (although my splits will show otherwise!) I knew there were lots of fast runners coming behind and Tara was 7 minutes in front but it was about running my own race, and the result would take care of it’s self. It was getting very very hot, so sponges were a must at each aid station and there was a head wind out, tail wind back on the run. I was feeling okay at least for the first half, but then the all out effort on the bike began to take it’s toll. I refused to walk (except through an aid station) and pushed on with all I had left. It was hard not to with all the amazing support just about the entire way along the run course.
Mum and dad were amazing chasing me around everywhere in the car and on the run course and just like every other Ironman, that finish line is why we start!!
I must admit, initially I was disappointed with the day, I feel I had a chance and let it slip through my fingers but after analyzing everything, and how I raced it was such a valuable experience for me. I know my running will come back and it is slowly improving again which is great! More importantly my cycling has come along way in the last 6 months (thanks to coach Jeff Shilt!!) and once I get the balance right!! It will all happen!
For now, some R and R is great, time with mum and dad and setting myself up in my apartment in Boise for the summer!
Thank you so much to everyone for the e-mails, facebook messages and tweets! Your support is amazing!
And to my sponsors K-Swiss, Novatron, FELT, Nuun, Gu, Computrainer, Ryders, Selle Italia Saddles, Tony Bence Massage, Ruth Chang Physiotherapist, Blue Seventy, Skins and Mum and Dad! Your the best!! See you at the races!