Steve’s Ironman Update

22 12 2009

72 sleeps until Ironman. There’s a few nerves beginning to surface. Before you know it, the end of January will be upon us, and for the first time the word ‘taper’ will appear on the pages ahead in the training schedule. Doesn’t bare thinking about!

It’s been a tough training week, with a ride that featured 3.5 hours into the wind and 2.5 seemingly with a cross wind, a 3hr run, and for my first time, some intervals. The pro’s among you know exactly what these are, but I am a novice, so when I knew the deal was ‘5 min warm up; 3 x 1km @ 80% with 2 min recovery; then 3 x 1km @85% with recovery etc etc ‘ in my naivety I thought ‘thats about 10km at a reasonable clip so shouldn’t be too bad’. I’m here to tell you that by the time I got to that last one at 85% I was totally gasping. I did feel better for it so will keep sticking to the plan.

The other bit of action worthy of note in the week was the Nelson sea swim on Sunday. Just a nice little jaunt of 2km as a prelude to those ribs at Lone Star. Marlborough was well represented with my contingent consisting of Jono, Mike, Phil and Roger. Michelle also competed, along with Marie (while Neil watched from the side content to use the excuse ‘I haven’t swum since Ironman’) plus a fair crew from Masters Swimming. The sea didn’t look too bad, though the tide was running quite strong and it looked like it would be a slow grind of about 800m south along the shore, then a quick 1000m with the tide further out in the middle, and lastly, a 200m drag back into shore and home. It didn’t look too choppy, wasn’t too cold and, all in all, it was going to be a nice little swim before a decent lunch. You couldn’t actually see the buoy for the first turn as it was round a bend but how hard could it be? Just hug the shore, see something orange, go round it and head for the big marker. Simple. The gun goes off and everyone takes off in that usual haste and its plain sailing to the first bend then things got hard, then really hard, then very hard. My God! It was choppy as hell and the ‘hug the shore’ from the race organiser was the worst bit of advice ever. The backwash was terrible and the waves/chop were such a size that you couldn’t see anyone around you let alone the buoy. Breathing to the left you could see the waves breaking over you and then you would cop one in the face coming back off the wall. Heading out didn’t seem like a great idea because the first buoy was somewhere near the shore but by the time everyone started poking their heads up at about the 800m mark it seems the buoy had been blown out toward the next marker so all in all it was not proving to be very pleasant.

Everyone was taking on lots of sea water and one of our number had a brief time with the nice kayak man while another veteran of 10 Ironman races first words when getting out of the water were ‘that was horrible’. But we all got there in the end, and half an hour later in our minds the waves on the day had grown to 5m, everyone had just cheated death, laughter and banter started up and all that was left was the taste of salt in the mouth. The next race is on the 1st of January so might be worth aiming for:

 For the record, young JonoLee  slayed the field to take out first place in 26:23 . As for the ribs v steak, damn place was shut due to a kitchen accident. Had to go to a different venue where we all settled for dishes ranging from pizza to burgers to salad to fry ups all of which were disappointingly average.  

FOOTNOTE:

1. Can anyone lend Bryan a neoprene swim cap for Wanaka half ironman? Unlikely to be used but there is a faint chance they will be made compulsory so he wants to cover that base. He can be contacted on bjh369@hotmail.com

2. Bryan writes a good story at Bryans Rant. His story about getting dehydrated will make you check the level of your water bottle next time you go out believe me.

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2 responses

22 12 2009
BJH

FYI….the Stoney Creek Shop website is currently being revamped and is missing a couple of recent posts re Wanaka. Also……….the term ‘high performance athlete’ was coined by shop owner…..I prefer ‘gentleman plonker’ ! Thanks Steve !

23 12 2009
Steve Smith

You might be selling yourself short Bryan (you be the judge). Not suggesting you or I will give Cameron Brown a run for his money but I just got a xmas card from a mate whose goal for the next year and which he is working towards is to do a half marathon. Thats what ‘normal’ people do i.e work towards a half marathon …. not do one every weekend! [Each to their own].

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