Steve’s Ironman Update

28 01 2010

New Zealand Ironman

Ironman start – Lake Taupo

35 days to go until Ironman. It’s fair to say the nerves are beginning to kick in. Just the usual stuff – who in their right mind does all the swimming and biking and ends it with a 42 km run? After all the training why does it still hurt so much? What was I thinking? 

The past week was spent going over the course in Taupo with Phil B and a bunch of others from Tauranga, New Plymouth, and Palmerston North. Even this early there seem to be heaps of people out training on the course, and there are signs talking of road closures that aren’t too far away. 

The ride on race day is out to Reporoa and once you get back to Taupo … you go back out to Reporoa again! It all adds up to 180 km, and it doesn’t have the scenery of the Waihopai or the Sounds so it’s as tedious as hell. The ride ends with Heartbreak Hill, which is a long slow grind of 8 km that never seems to end, before you get a 5 km downhill into Taupo. I know its 8 km because every time we did it the wind was blowing hard into the face and I was really counting down the metres.

We did the whole course twice and its fair to say the butt on the 2nd ride was about as sore as it could possibly be. Even minor dents in the road felt like I was being shot. We also got a couple of long runs in, one of which was 3 hours in torrential rain.  The run course is alo out and back twice and, as everyone says, Ironman is as much mental, as it is physical, and that is so true. Completing a lap, whether it be on bike or foot, and then having to do another one is really hard on the head.

We did a lot of swimming, and probably the pick of those was a 3 lap circuit in Accacia Bay. The foreshore at Taupo was too rough to get in so we had headed west and Accacia Bay was like a glass table top. That was a good way to wind down after the 3 hr run and thankfully the weather had started to improve by then. All in all, everything that was scheduled was completed. I got some seriously good advice about nutrition for race day, and then got the opportunity to apply it, so I’m feeling as prepared as I ever could be.

One of the best parts about it was the 3 day break I had planned – and I am in the middle of that now. That’s a really nice feeling, but at least when you are in training you can avoid doing the lawns and the like. Not so easy at this point.

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