Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Another Bad Day at the Office: IMNZ

After departing from Wanaka, it was time to get some R&R in between the two races.  With 14 days between two IRONMANs, I was going to be asking a lot from my body.  This is the second time that I have done something crazy in terms of racing IMs close together.  The last time was back in 2013 when I raced Kona, 14 days later 70.3 Austin, and 6 days later IMFL, you can read about that HERE.
Needless to say, I thought there was a chance that this could go well.  I had some good training while in California and then a good 70.3 in Dubai.   I thought that Challenge Wanaka full could give me another boost in fitness and I could show up to Taupo hopefully somewhat recovered from Wanaka and have a good race.  I spent the 14 days in between taking it pretty easy and just enjoying the sites of New Zealand with my wife.  We spent some time in a van, down by the river, and then after 2 nights of that upgraded to an AirBnB in Taupo.

When I originally planned this trip and race schedule I thought there was a chance both Wanaka and Taupo would have fairly small fields, but then IM Melbourne was canceled, which had people changing up their race schedules and a big field assembled for IMNZ (Taupo).  Since the trip was already planned and the tickets were booked I just rolled the dice and figured we would see what happened.

I woke up on race morning feeling pretty good and ready to race.  I slept a lot in the previous 14 days and really took care of trying to recover from Wanaka.  I just didn't know how the body would react until the gun went off.

Swim- 53:12

I really started to believe that my swim was coming along and I was confident in how I had been swimming given how Dubai and Wanaka went.  I lined up near Matt Hanson hoping that I would be able to swim with him.  I got out to a good start and found some feet to stay on.  After about 200-300m I had gotten popped off of the tail end of the first pack, I was "that guy" that let the gap open.  Around 400-500m the women started coming by us in ones and twos.  First was Lauren Brandon and then MBK, and then a small pack of 3.  Matt Hanson and I were able to get onto those girls' feet and swim with them for a while.  I got popped off of that group at the half way point, and shortly after joined another small group of women who were towing a few other men along.  One of the guys ended up being Joe Skipper.  I exited the water in the second main pack of guys and was happy with where I was at.

Bike- 4:47

Coming out of the water better than I normally do meant that the possibility of getting passed by more people.  This is something that typically doesn't happen due to my poor swim and somewhat strong cycling ability.  However, with the improved swim I was now facing guys behind me being strong bikers.  So one by one a few guys came by, with the likes of Matt Russell, Joe Skipper, and then Dougal Allan (who had just won Wanaka).  I couldn't quite hold pace with any of those guys so they went by pretty quick.  I rode a pretty solid first 90 km and then literally at 90 km, my power dropped from 260 W to 230 W.  There was nothing I could do, not really sure what happened, but I would like to think that something about that race 14 days ago happened to hit my legs.  From that point on, I was pretty much stuck at 230 W and couldn't seem to put out more power consistently.

Run- 3:45

I came off the bike pretty much out of the race, but I wanted to see what I had in my run legs so off I went.  I settled into a good pace and was feeling good.  I went through 21 km in around 1:32 which is where I was hoping to run for the whole marathon, a low 3 hour marathon.  I continued to push on and then around 30 km, the legs just didn't want to cooperate.  The body was drained and I was mentally checked out.  Meredith Kessler had caught me around that point and she went on to win the race leaving me in her dust after running with her for about 1 mile.  I ran, jogged, trotted and walked the last 12 km and finally got across the line.  It was a rough day to say the least.

Bike- 4:47:47 / Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/508790003
Training Peaks: http://tpks.ws/oY1R
Total- 9:32:59 / 20th Pro
(Results Link: http://ap.ironman.com/triathlon/coverage/athlete-tracker.aspx?race=newzealand&y=2016#axzz46Ipnw3F6 )

Like every race, I consider it a success as long as you learn something.  Lesson learned here is that I currently am not capable of backing up 2 IMs within 14 days of each other.  So chalk it up as a learning experience and a long 9+ hours spent Swimming, Biking and Running to see the great town of Taupo.

Even though the racing did not go as planned down under, it was still an amazing experience.  I had never been to Australia or New Zealand and Hila had never been to New Zealand.  We were able to get some amazing sight seeing in and see a part of the world that I had never seen.

Here are some pictures from the trip:

1 comment:

Calendula said...

It's nice when you can settle into a progressive, smooth pace.