Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

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Mark.AU
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Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby Mark.AU » Mon May 04, 2015 5:55 am

So, over in my journal I've explained (at length!) the back story to doing this race on only a month's worth of training. I'm not going to rehash it here - this is just the story of the race.

There's a weather phenomenon called an east cost low at this time of year in NSW that creates stormy, rainy weather. We had one this weekend. Luckily, after three days of rain and wind, race day dawned clear but the Hastings River harbour we were to swim in resembled brown soup, and instead of it being seawater there was so much run off that the water was fresh.

I lined up in the last swim wave and wondered what a 4k swim would feel like not having swum in so long. At the off I got into a good groove really easily and stayed in it for almost the entire swim. I didn't push hard, just cruised and had a clean swim all the way around. There wasn't anything remarkable about the swim, I had a clear run with little contact and my sighting was good. Towards the end, probably the final Km, I felt my form starting to get a little ragged and my neck became achy from sighting so frequently in the murky water. This would come back to bite me later...

Swim time: 1h12

Transition was smooth with an awesome volunteer (they were all awesome, actually) to help get my stuff together. I didn't rush. I did realise I didn't have my HR strap in my bike bag so that meant the main metric I was going to use to manage my effort on the ride was no longer available to me. I'd have to wing it and go by PE alone.

Heading out on the bike I was relaxed and comfortable and looking forward to tackling a two lap, out and back course that had some rolling hills, some flat TT roads and a short sharp beast of a hill. I reckoned on a ride somewhere between 6h30 and 7h which is a 27-28km/hr average. The lap ends with a 400m climb at 25% grade. I powered up just because I could, but I burned a few matches I didn't need to. The first lap was complete in 3h - a bit faster than planned - and at its conclusion I was a bit tired, and experiencing some back, shoulder and neck discomfort. I saw Hayley and pulled over for a chat for a couple of minutes (actually, for a little rest).

Heading out again I pulled over again in the middle of a long-ish climb out of town for a gut-check. I was having doubts about the second lap as the building discomfort was eroding my enthusiasm for the race. A spectator came up and we chatted for a little while and he encouraged me to keep going. So I did. Heading out of town I passed the steep hill and acknowledged to myself I now had to climb it again. Then, a bit further out I had another pity-party moment and again pulled over to have a stretch (my back was now getting quite painful) and decide if I wanted to continue. At that moment another racer went by, asked if I was okay. I said something like, yes, just deciding whether to quit, to which she replied "suck it up and get back on your bike". With a comment like that, what else could I do?

The rest of the lap was a blur of pain in my butt - saddle pain and chaffing pain from my shorts; pain in my back and neck - although my legs were holding up my abbreviated training simply hadn't conditioned my back and neck to be in the aero position for so long. I couldn't stay aero for more than 5min at a time and my hands and wrists were hurting from being up on the horns for so much time. I was miserable! My legs felt good though :)

But, it's also fair to say that I was in some perverse way also enjoying the suck. I was taking a lot of satisfaction from getting it done, and proving to myself that the training I did do had had the result in my legs that I thought it would. I mean, really, who rides a 180km after a 4k swim after only four weeks indoor bike training, and no ride being longer than 90 min!?

The final hill I rode half, and walked half. I could have ridden it, but I decided that no good would come from that and I was now focused on the run. When the volunteer took my bike at T2 I told him I never wanted to see that bike again. Ever :)

Bike time: 6h50

After T2 with another great volunteer, I headed out to the run. I was amazed that I could run! Slowly, yes, but I could run. The run course was quite boring with a lot of it in residential areas but the section in the town itself was well supported and the spectators were loud, enthusiastic and totally supportive. I ran to the first aid station, took some fluid and ran some more. At the next aid station I did the same but by now my back was beginning to cramp along with my right leg threatening do join it. The rest of the lap was a continuation of this trend and by the time I'd finished the first lap, I wasn't able to run more than 200m at a time. It was my back that stopped me, my legs would run but my core was smashed and couldn't hold me up anymore. When I reached Hayley and Megan a little way into the second lap of the run, I pulled the plug and withdrew from the race.

Run time: 10.3km in 1h14

As I said at the start, there's a whole back story to why I did this race on so little training, and in that context my reasoning for withdrawing after 10k instead of walking to the finish make sense to me. I'm happy with what I did, why I did it and what I achieved, most particularly because by leaving the race I was able to see my mate Jim finish his first IM and share that moment with him from the sideline.

So, DNF yes - Did Not Fail :)
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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Mon May 04, 2015 8:11 am

Glad you got to see your friend finish.

Thanks for the report.
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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby Robinandamelia » Mon May 04, 2015 8:16 am

Congrats on the effort, you made it pretty far into the race. Sounds like you had your challenges.

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La
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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby La » Mon May 04, 2015 12:14 pm

Mark.AU wrote:But, it's also fair to say that I was in some perverse way also enjoying the suck. I was taking a lot of satisfaction from getting it done, and proving to myself that the training I did do had had the result in my legs that I thought it would. I mean, really, who rides a 180km after a 4k swim after only four weeks indoor bike training, and no ride being longer than 90 min!?

I would think it would also justify why we spend months training and preparing for a race, rather than thinking that we can get through it on willpower alone. It helps us to be able to answer the "why?" question when we are out on those horribly long training rides.

Thanks for the honest report. Glad you were able to be there to see your friend finish.
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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby Mark.AU » Mon May 04, 2015 4:20 pm

La wrote:
Mark.AU wrote:But, it's also fair to say that I was in some perverse way also enjoying the suck. I was taking a lot of satisfaction from getting it done, and proving to myself that the training I did do had had the result in my legs that I thought it would. I mean, really, who rides a 180km after a 4k swim after only four weeks indoor bike training, and no ride being longer than 90 min!?

I would think it would also justify why we spend months training and preparing for a race, rather than thinking that we can get through it on willpower alone. It helps us to be able to answer the "why?" question when we are out on those horribly long training rides.

That sounds vaguely disapproving...?

Not completely sure what the "it" is in your comment but I think I answer that quite comprehensively in my journal. But, for sure, the lack of training investment in the race absolutely made it easier to quit, and the absence of care about finishing meant there would have been no answer to the "why?"
"It's now very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fcuking what."

Stephen Fry.

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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby Jo-Jo » Mon May 04, 2015 6:39 pm

Thanks for the report.
I'm really glad you got to see Jim cross the finish line.
Curious...has this left you with any desire to train for another IM?
And last...did my package arrive...sigh...I suspect it hasn't. I was hoping it would get there before the race. Hope it gets there soon! :D
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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby purdy65 » Mon May 04, 2015 6:46 pm

I'm amazed you did as well as you did! It would be an awfully expensive experiment for me personally, however. What is an ironman now? $700-$800 bucks?

Sounds like you are OK with how it all went down though!
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Mark.AU
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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby Mark.AU » Tue May 05, 2015 2:29 am

Jo-Jo wrote:Curious...has this left you with any desire to train for another IM?

Not even a little bit.

Never say never...
"It's now very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fcuking what."

Stephen Fry.

Mark.AU
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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby Mark.AU » Tue May 05, 2015 2:31 am

purdy65 wrote:I'm amazed you did as well as you did! It would be an awfully expensive experiment for me personally, however. What is an ironman now? $700-$800 bucks?

Thanks!

AU$750.00 At the time I signed up I planned to train and race it; unavoidable life circumstances changed that.
"It's now very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fcuking what."

Stephen Fry.

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La
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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby La » Tue May 05, 2015 7:15 am

Mark.AU wrote:
La wrote:
Mark.AU wrote:But, it's also fair to say that I was in some perverse way also enjoying the suck. I was taking a lot of satisfaction from getting it done, and proving to myself that the training I did do had had the result in my legs that I thought it would. I mean, really, who rides a 180km after a 4k swim after only four weeks indoor bike training, and no ride being longer than 90 min!?

I would think it would also justify why we spend months training and preparing for a race, rather than thinking that we can get through it on willpower alone. It helps us to be able to answer the "why?" question when we are out on those horribly long training rides.

That sounds vaguely disapproving...?

Not completely sure what the "it" is in your comment but I think I answer that quite comprehensively in my journal. But, for sure, the lack of training investment in the race absolutely made it easier to quit, and the absence of care about finishing meant there would have been no answer to the "why?"

Not disapproving at all. I wasn't quite sure how to express what I was thinking, so maybe it came across that way. What I mean is that we all have a moment (or many) during training when we ask ourselves why we're putting ourselves through this. Now that you've had the experience of the pain/suck of racing while under-trained, the memory of that pain (the "it" I was referring to) is one more answer to they "why?" we ask ourselves many times during training.
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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby Habs4ever » Tue May 05, 2015 8:31 am

I'm glad you were able to see your friend come in, I'm sure it meant a lot to him.
You were under trained, you knew you were, you knew it was going to hurt, and it did!

I remember asking you years ago why you didn't swim more, being a triathlete, and your answer was that you were a strong swimmer and didn't feel the need to train much on that because that was your strong discipline. Following you the other day shows just how strong a swimmer you are! You did so well with no swim training! Imagine if you had trained. :lol:
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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby IronGoddess » Tue May 05, 2015 8:43 am

It was nice that you saw your friend finish. Wow what a fantastic swim. I am jealous that you could complete the bike on that little bit of training.
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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby deerdree » Fri May 29, 2015 9:34 pm

absolutely agree that you did not fail. i think it's awesome that you gave it a shot and were able to decide when the reward was no longer worth it!

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Re: Ironman Port Macquarie - Epic DNF

Postby drghfx » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:54 pm

Well done! Sometimes the brain says "Yes" but the body says "NO!".
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