Thursday, April 24, 2008

IRONMAN CHINA.... Marching through the gates of hell.

Holy Moly 

Ironman china was the hardest race I have ever been in. It was so hot my feet literally melted. In spite of my attempts to keep cool by dousing myself with as much water as I could get my hands on I still managed to take my body to boiling point.

It's funny how days such as this one turns out. I started the swim and on the first lap swam about 500 mts off course. I didn't panic and just made sure that on the second lap I didn't follow everyone else and swam against the strong current and stayed on track. 1.06 swim is a personal worst but hey that's racing and I shrugged it off and headed out on the bike. 

I was attempting to go with a new plan and go really easy on the bike. I have always had a poor marathon and many had suggested that I push too hard on the bike. Time to try something new. I focused on my nutrition and paid absolutely no attention to where and how fast all the other pro girls were going. I was sticking to my plan. First lap on the bike I rode 2.40. I had thought that the course could be quite fast as the roads were amazing. On the second lap 2 things happened. The first was the soaring temperatures.... it was now 42-45 degrees out the back of the bike course. Secondly the winds had picked up. I rode in to town with a super slow bike for me 5.50. 

At this stage I truly believed that my plan would leave me with the chance to run a 3.45 marathon. I had done everything I had needed to. All nutrition/salt/liquids had been taken on the dot. I came off the bike with the mental plan that in spite the time loss due to being conservative I would make it up on the run. My legs felt so fresh and amazing. I was ready to go.

Three meters into the run and my plan was blown to smithereens.  I have raced Hawaii and Malaysia but never have I felt the heat like China. I had completely underestimated the heat while on the bike. Off the bike it was so suppressive I couldn't believe it. The rest is history really. I ran and ran and ran but I felt like I wanted to walk from about 6 kms. I made it. I did walk the aid stations and one foot bridge but I fought so hard and did not loose a single place. This was a miracle really.  In the end I think I would have been better off with my usual tactics.
The next pro girl was nearly an hour behind me.  

In the end I finished in 8th place and I feel like I have walked through the valley of death and made it through the other side. I made the decision shortly afterwards that I will now race only 70.3 and half IM until IM Canada in August.  I don't think the body would handle another anytime soon. Besides the run training I need to do will be much better achieved without the build up and taper that is involved with IM. 

Thankyou to everyone who supports me in this amazing journey. 

Stay tuned


The beauitful Sheraton Resort where the race started
The Highways are amazing here in Haikou
Rice paddy ... Ox and cart ....
Motor-pacing China style!
Relaxing at the Sheraton
Riding through downtown Haikou

Evergreen Park, Haikou
Race start
Only 90km to go

It was HOT out there!
Running through downtown

Amanda's MASSIVE blister!
Hanging out after the race