Thursday, May 23, 2013

2013 04Apr24 - Ironman Melbourne

We always tend to spend $$$ during expos as Adelaide doesn't have that many triathlon items locally found.
Picking up his race pack. Given a IM bag and normal stuff
Signing his name on the wall of pain
Weight taken during registration. It's suppose to be compared to the weight after your race to make sure there's no huge drastic change. I wonder if they do check it.
The ever colourful CompressSport with their vibrant calf compression.
So itchy-fied to get a few pairs.
The ever delicious looking wheels
Spotted my pink Lazer aero helmet which I only wore like twice since KS got it for my birthday in 2010.
Saturday is Bike Check-in day
Organiser also had organised transportation for triathlete, supporter & bike to Frankston (starting point & transition area) at a price of course.
Since I'm the driver, the lucky bugger & his "mate" just sat in the car.
Difficulty finding parking, so had to walk a distance to the transition area.
Queueing to enter transition area but no worries it was pretty quick.
2 large transition area : small & big.
He was located at the smaller area which was a distance away from the bike exit
While the pros were at the larger area, closer to bike exit
At the run items bin.
So pitiful on your precious helmet, shoes & sunnies.
All squashed up in there.
Bike tent
Ocean was really rough. 
Everyone was hoping that it'll calm down the next day.
Met up with Malaysian contigent.
Spot the "Australian" in red =p
We stayed at the Frankston Beach Motor Inn only 500m walk away from the starting line.
The backside of the inn leads to the ocean.
A few people were sitting on the beach.
It's like the calm before the storm scenario.
Race morning.
Road was blocked and people walking to the starting area.
Supporters waiting outside for their love ones to setup the bike & race gear.
Due to the rough sea condition, the starting time was brought forward 1hr.
Since we stayed nearby, KS took the opportunity to head back to rest & toilet usage.
Later, the triathletes were notified on the change of swim route & distance shortening.
Final luck wishing before jumping into the ocean.
It's also a big day for me as I would usually drive & follow the race route.
Scary looking at how they try to counter the waves.
A few people only made it out about 200m then was wash back to shore.

KS's review on SWIM
After seeing the condition of the swim, I didn't really have a strategy on how to approach the swim. I decided to just follow where everyone was going and tried to stay close to everyone as possible. It was quite a horrible swim, and I never actually settled into any rhythm. I was swimming front crawl a little, then switch to breast stroke to properly sight where the buoys are and to see where everyone is too. After I got to the buoys, I just followed every other swimmer back to the beach, we just kept on getting pushed to the further side away from the pier. At some points, I just let the waves pushed me forward and just went with it. When I reached the beach, I was about 100m or more away from the swim finish. I don't think the swim was even 1.9km, it's definitely shorter than that.

Overall, this was the most horrible swim conditions I've ever experienced. I felt so tired just battling the waves and chop.
*beware of seasick*
Seems like the swimmers were suppose to swim past 2 bouys before returning back, but many only swam 1 bouy then back. Cheating? Up to u....
I was waiting for KS at T1 for sometime. 
When I checked the online athlete tracker, I found out that he has left on his bike already.
Transition out to cycle is an incline for about 100m up.
The return of the cyclist to T2

KS's review on Bike
The conditions didn't get any better on the ride, crazy strong headwinds and crosswinds heading out. I stuck to the plan of keeping my power below 175 watts, I keep on playing with the gears just to keep the power as low as I could on inclines and headwinds, and used a bigger gear on the declines. I like this strategy a lot as I was able to go much faster than others on the declines. On the first loop, I encountered some mechanical issues with my gears, my chain dropped 3 times on the first loop when I was playing with my gears to keep the watts consistent. I decided to not use the 39 anymore after that. On the way back, I made up a little time, but the last 15k of the first loop was extremely windy, I couldn’t go on the aerobars as I had trouble controlling the bike, the front 808 wheel was so hard to control in these conditions.

The 2nd loop was pretty much the same thing, but I definitely went more that 80% of my FTP for majority of the inclines. I was really afraid that the chain would drop again if I tried to switch to the 39 ring. So I tried to keep my watts in the low 200s on the inclines. I think the winds picked up even more on the 2nd loop, I had a lot of trouble controlling my bike when I was on the aerobars. The last 20k of the ride was the worst ever; I did all I could to keep the watts as low as I could. No way could I go on the aerobars until 5km to go.

One thing that worked out great was the nutrition on the bike, I used Infinit nutrition custom mix for the whole ride with some gels. I drank the less concentrated mix the first 40minutes, and switched to the concentrated mix with water at the hour mark. From there onwards, I drank the concentrated mix at the 20 and 60 minute mark and had a Shotz gel at the 40 minute mark of every hour. I also chewed on peppermint gum every 2 hours. I felt that I was well fuelled for the ride and did not have any cramping issues.

Overall I was quite happy with the ride, pacing with the power meter is much better than the HR. I wish I have a higher FTP now. The  nutrition strategy worked well too. I can’t complain much about the weather as it’s beyond my control, so I just went with it and took what it gave me. For conditions like this, I think a front 404 would be a better option.
Superman running out for his marathon
Quite fast leh...very aero with his apparel
KS said he saw the cape flew during the bike ride
Uncle Tang didn't hear me when I called out to him.
He got off the bike. Sat down on the curb, took off his shoes.
And looked dazed. Eventhough I was right in front of him.
It was an experience for my brother too coz he was with me the whole time during the chase.
To be precise, after KS went for his cycle, I went to pick up my bro (1hr return drive).
Came back to the original location, fighting road blocks & parking.
Sat under the sun with takeaway lunch & tracking KS over the phone.
Don't think bro wants to join me again. Supporters work too you know.
He's back & handed bike over to the handlers
While running to the tent, he said to me "the wind was crazy!!"
Out from T2 to the run and getting ready for the blistering sun.
Cyclist coming back & runners starting their marathon
Starting strong on the run
About 400m away from the finish line, I was waiting in the dark along the alley way.

KS's review on the Run
My plan for the marathon was simple:-
1.    No matter what, do not to walk
2.    Pace myself by feel and not the HR, I didn’t wear the HR monitor the whole race
3.    Just keep on going no matter what
4.    Wrap a towel around my neck and keep it soaked for cooling

I think I was running pretty well the first half of the marathon, it was quite flat, I just went as fast as I could while staying relaxed and controlled. I hydrated with water only at every aid station, and had a gel around 8km and 14km. I could only eat half a gel at 21km, I felt like vomiting at that point when I smelled the gel. The 3Ž4 of the marathon was really hard, the sudden change in running surface and terrain slowed me down. I could feel the cramping feeling on my quads and calves, but I forced myself to push on no matter what. I had to walk up a few of the inclines along this stretch as the quads were really stinging, and I was also walking through aid stations instead of jogging by them. I drank as much coke as I could stomach at every aid station because I knew my body needed the calories to go on, and I sip on water a little too. By around 33km, I felt much better and decided to just go for it, so I ran the whole way back without any major issues. I just kept on telling myself to just run and don’t walk. In fact, I was just talking to myself the last quarter of the run.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with the run. I just didn’t want to slow down no matter what. In fact, I thought I could be running a sub4:30 at the halfway point, and that felt good.
Unfortunately, I had takeaway yiros for dinner and my fingers were smudge with sour cream.
Which accidentally transferred to the camera lens.I was like figuring why its taking so long to focus.
So you can try to spot his yellow shoes in the photo above =p
The big screen along the finishing path to the completion of IRONMAN MELBOURNE
Feel the vibe, atmosphere & support surrounding you as you run your last few meters.
Would you believe it that i'm tearing right now as I type this sentence.
I know i would start crying if i'm racing it.
Ironman KS
Took the opportunity to run on the Ironman path too
Need to train to cycle the 180km first.. *cringe*
Picked up the bike and bags from the expo area the next day (transported from transition area in Frankston)
Saw a few limping people
After yesterday's big sea storm, the next day sea condition was flat like pancake.

Photos from Finisherpix
2-turn point on the bike
Easy to spot coz of his orange helmet & yellow shoes
Run route has a mixture of terrain & road with inclines too along the coastal area
Crossing the finish line
Still can smile woh

Guess what!??!

He has signed up for 2014 already

C u there!

- post of Pre/Post Ironman Melbourne trip


Kevin Siah said...

Two postings in one, by KS and yourself! I like! Do this for IM Cairns too!

So fast signed up for 2014, no wonder not doing Port Mac.

Jenn Jenn said...

Alot of review on Port Mac being scary with the hills loh. I dare not do leh.