Hi Family TA,
Today my post will be all about the Ironman 70.3 Geelong race. I have so much to say about it… where to start? 🙂 I won’t be too short this time, but I hope you enjoy reading this 😉
Let me organise this post into the day before my race, my racing day and the day after my race experience.
[day before my race]
The first time I watched a triathlon race was an Ironman branded event [a couple of years ago]. And, I remember I felt completely fascinated by those athletes, the course distances, the stories behind some athletes and courses and so on. So, personally, even IM 70.3 Geelong being my second 70.3 triathlon race, I had lots of personal expectations on racing my first Ironman branded event.
The preparation for this race started to me in November 2017. To be honest I didn’t give myself a long break after racing Challenge Shepparton. I got back to training two weeks after racing in Shepp, did a solid Hell Week and was absolutely committed to my training sessions/program until my big race day. I started seeing my dietitian and myotherapist regularly to make sure I wouldn’t get any injure and I followed my program religiously. Naturally, I started feeling so much strong in my swim, bike and run. Seriously, consistency is key! I trained really hard in the past few months/weeks/days. The preparation for the Ironman 70.3 Geelong became a priority to me.
However, please don’t take me wrong. I loved every moment of it. Again, I became so much closer to my mates. I had so much fun training with so many brilliant human beings/athletes. I learned so much from all of you. This whole experience certainly helped me heaps to become a better athlete and a better person. I’m absolutely thankful to each of you! I have so much respect, admiration and love for everyone from this club, without distinction.
Anyway… 🙂 (So much love involved in this text. Keep going, Eddy)
During the last two weeks I had personal issues going on with my family, which made me feel a bit flat and out of my comfort zone and, in order to make sure everything would work perfectly on my race day, I tried upgrading some stuff on my bike. Since then, I started facing lots and lots of issues on it. I won’t extend myself on this subject but in short, last Saturday, on the day before my race, my bike was still not working. My chain was dropping with no reason and I couldn’t really ride my bike with power. On that day I was feeling a bit disappointed with myself for trying to adjust things on my bike a few days before my A race (lesson’s learned #1). On Saturday I felt insecure, a bit flat but there was nothing else I could do it. Things got a bit out of control to me. I’m naturally a positive person so I tried keeping my mind in a good place. I asked the mechanics from the event to help me with my bike one last time at 1.30pm, rode my bike for 5 minutes and did my bike check-in afterwards.
After doing my bike check-in, I got back to my accommodation in Geelong, a house shared with Ollie, Bondy and Steph. Honestly, no words can describe my gratitude and love for these people. Just like a family, they started looking after me making sure I would relax and forget the issues on my bike. I had such a fantastic afternoon/night with them. Seriously, I feel super lucky to be part of TA squad and to be surrounded by people like you (yes, you, the one who is reading this text now. thank you, super champ) in this club. And, I mean my words. I’m speaking from my heart.
So, after a hectic Saturday, I could manage to sleep the night before my race day and woke up on Sunday feeling fresh! Before walking to the transition area on Sunday morning, I checked my transition bag at least 3 times to make sure I had everything I needed for my race.
I got at the transition area at 6am and, unfortunately, after seeing my bike again, my mind started being playful with me. I felt insecure again. So, what was my brilliant idea? I tried testing my bike again, in case I could fix something else on it. ‘Oh, no! What a mistake, Eddy’. I know, mate. I completely agree with you (lesson’s learned #2). Because I did that, I ended up spending lots of time checking my bike again and didn’t focus on my transition preparation. Anyway, all good, right?
I thought so, until I came from a solid swim (30mins – division rank 15) and realise that I was missing my bike shoes in the transition area. ‘Oh no! Where are my bike shoes? Is this really happening to me? Okay! Don’t panic! Don’t panic! Let’s be positive, you still can ride with your runners. If you have forgotten your helmet or runners, you’d be in trouble, Eddy’, I spoke to myself. ‘No worries! Make sure you have your nutrition organised and do your best on your runners. You got this!’. I had another conversation to myself 🙂
When I left the transition area, our AMAZING supporting crew was screaming my name ‘Go Eddy!!!’ and I said ‘I forgot my bike shoes… I can’t believe it’. Ollie was in front of me and said: ‘No worries. It’s fine, mate!’. It sounds silly but I have so much respect and admiration for Ollie that his words had a massive impact on me, immediately. If my coach believes in me and is telling me it’s fine to ride on my runners, why should I think differently? Barry asked me about my shoes and when I told him my shoes where in my bag, he tried running in front of me to get my shoes for me. How amazing is this club? How amazing are our teammates? I couldn’t get my shoes back or I’d be disqualified but his intentions were so fantastic. That’s the TA way, right? Many thanks, Barry! You’re awesome, mate. And that’s it. I continued enjoying my adventure/race 🙂
I have to say that I never rode my bike on runners prior to IM 70.3 Geelong. I missed my pedals lots of time while riding my bike, couldn’t really stand on it to push harder while going up on the hills and I got two blood blisters on my feet for some reason. However, there’s no way I’d give up from a race that I’ve been dreaming so much in the past few months. In the end, I finished my ride in 2h44mins with an average pace of 32.92km/h (division rank 46).
Okay, I managed to ride on my runners but how to manage running with blisters? hehehe To be honest I didn’t have an answer. My strategy? Don’t overthink and keep racing! I didn’t want to give up from my race so what did I do? I slowed down my pace to make it more comfortable to me.
Greg saw me running and asked me straight away: ‘Are you in pain?’ ‘Yes, coach. I have blisters on my feet’. ‘Okay, listen to me. Try forgetting about your blisters now. You are doing really well and you are nearly there. Don’t stop, Eddy’. Again, I have so much respect for our coaches and teammates. I listen to you all. Your words mean heaps to me. Those words were essential to me. I felt confident again. If Greg believes on me, I should too. End of story, I finished my run on 1h59mins with a 5:40/km pace (division rank 53).
My final time was 5h20mins and I am absolutely happy about it. Yes, I had a few issues during my course but I was certainly one of the happiest athletes in the course. I absolutely loved every second of that unforgettable experience. The supporting crew was unbelievable! If I finished that race yesterday was because I had you all there, believing in me (us). You were fantastic again! Many many many many many thanks!!!
What a race! What a day! What a support crew! What an experience! I will never forget those moments (or any other gear/equipment needed in my transition area, hehe)!
Lastly, it was special to see my teammates racing so well. Carly, Trea, Rapha, JP, Roisin, Pammy, Fik, Amy, Pete, Andy, Clark, Budgy, Em, Jess, Paige, Michelle, Jane, Georgia, Elle, Dave, Karyn, Geoff, Jacinta and Jonotan, I’m absolutely proud of you all. I hope we can share lots of moments like this one again soon. You are all legends!
[day after my race]
So far, I cannot think about anything else. The race is still on my mind [and it’ll be like that for a while]. It’s time to relax a bit and celebrate the moment with family and friends.
That’s all, folks. Lots of love for you all.
Eat some fruits. Train with purpose. Peace!