Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Ironman Australia - To be or not to be......
Ironman Australia was a mixed bag. Going in I knew that I was well underdone on the run with only 3 weeks of consistent running. Being optimistic about the day and knowing I had done more work on my swim and bike while being not being able to run I was excited to get out there and give it a go. Being defending champion also had an influence on making the start line as it is always nice heading back to a place of fond memories.
The day started well and I was eager to get to the front and push the pace making everyone else race at my pace. With Denis Chevrot (France) in the field and having done my research on him (4th IM Arizona, 5th IM Florida - strong swim/runner) I knew I would have some company during the swim and that I did as he comfortable held my feet to the shore. Denis and myself hit the shores in 44.24 with a 2 minute buffer on Paul Ambrose and close to 5 minutes on the main chase pack.
Starting the bike out hard for the first 15-20min I was able to put a gap between myself and Chevrot before settling down for the remainder of the cycle leg. Holding an even pace from start to finish it allowed me to build a strong buffer on the chasers and riding a 4hr 37min leg on what ended up being a strength and windy course. By the time I arrived back to transition I had close to 11 minutes on Ambrose in 2nd and 17 minutes on the chase group. (After downloading the power file it was great to see the benefits from the sold bike block I had done - good numbers with even pace and no decline in effort)
Starting out the run the body felt quite good and relaxed however this was the unknown. The heart rate was low and I was conscious of pace and for the first 1hr of the run things were looking and feeling good. Things were to change and quickly due to only having run on grass and dirt my hips, legs, and feet started to feel the pounding on concrete. My run gait started to change to compensate and my initial thoughts were hold form to not cause any risk to my knee. This was the point I made the decision to stop. The decision was made in order to not risk any damage. I knew in the back of my mind going in that 3 weeks of running may not be enough (lets be honest NOT enough) but I wanted to be there as defending champion and it is the Australian Ironman titles.
The body is recovering well and I am doing everything to ensure that full recovery takes place. Running is coming around 4 weeks ago I was not running at all, now I believe I am good to run (race 15-20k) but 42 was pushing it. With 3 more weeks till Honu 70.3 I am confident that things will be back at 95-100% and good to go full gas once in the US for the beginning of the summer season and with the US and major races in Australia all towards the end of the year it is still a long season ahead.
Love what you do and do what you love.