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I went into IM Lanzarote with great training banked since January. The winter weather in Aberdeen was milder than normal but still the typical cold & wet days compared to the snowy last few years. I hadn’t missed any planned training session and I would say I’m much fitter this time of year compared to last season. Form was progressing very well to being Ironman race ready, but then I developed a light cough at the beginning of May.
I came down with a bacterial chest infection & a virus flu which wiped me out completely and was signed off from work, making me bed bound feeling generally nauseous, hot / cold & sick etc… After seeing the doctor & treated with a weeks’ worth of anti-biotics I found myself at race week and I travelled to Lanza. I resumed light sessions the previous Thursday generally feeling stronger every day but more importantly I was still confident that I would be fine by race morning, playing things down and attended the press conference etc– All my training had be banked the previous months I just needed to be healthy by race morning.
I went into the race firstly hopeful of improving my 6th place finish and 9:04 time from my last start in 2009 and secondly challenge for a podium spot to aid my Kona KPR rating seeing that my rank was down to 50th.
The swim was not quite to plan, I was clipped fairly often and got into a bit of bun fight from the get go. I spent most of 1st half lap jostling with age group racers and chasing the leaders to get into the lead pack which I eventually did but dropped off the pace with another pro on the return leg of the 1st swim loop.I exited the swim 49:59, 14th out, 7th pro with a 90 sec- 2 min deficit to the lead.
Onto the bike I kept a steady strong pace passing a couple of pro’s and all the age group athletes that had exited ahead of me, steadily working my way through the field to about 5th / 6th position overall about 3-4 mins from the leaders. All was fine until nearing the finish of the El Golfo loop the main chase pack behind shot past like a freight train. I wasn’t too pleased about this for the lack of marshalling but I still felt alright and rode defensively. I was acutely aware that my breathing was becoming restricted as I went repeatedly over threshold & developed a vibrating hum from inside my chest as the continuous accelerations and backing off in the pace line continued. Over the Fire Mountains I settled down and made it over in about 7th / 8th position, the pace line was soon obliterated.
It was kind of after this point I felt pain in my lower back and absence of bike power. I pedalled on hoping the back pain would ease off but didn’t just tightened further, I tried to pace the bike better getting out the saddle to ease my back but it did nothing. I then felt generally lousy soon my energy plummeted and I began to cough bringing up some unsightly gunge fairly frequently. Heading down to Club La Santa I lost quite a few places and then the GB trio of Twigg, Skipper & Hawkins passed me, I tried to pick the pace up again but generally just could not find any power to match speed after a good solid chase.
From Famarra to Tegisue it was pretty evident things were not going well the next 2 or 3 pace lines came by. I had nothing in my legs to remotely respond to keep up and now age group athletes were passing me by also. I figured at this point ok things are not right but I will complete the bike, maybe walk the run? I must finish…
By the time I was nearing the Tegisue aid station (about 90Ks) I was feeling dizzy, my lower left back was killing me more than ever, I was feeling more nauseous, now coughing more frequently… and so I had to call it a day… I was gutted to say the least, it wasn’t an easy decision but there was no way I would make it up Haria or Mirador without making myself more sick and compromise recovery further. All in all, very disappointing to say the least but I did make some new friends to brighten me up than wallow in self pity – Thanks Lucy, Tom, Ellie, Ian & Martina.
Thank you to all of my sponsors and supporters, sorry I could deliver this time but onwards and upwards.
I have a 2 week training break in June at my parents in Kelowna BC to look forward to. Some sunshine miles will hopefully bring some bigger smiles Ironman UK will be my next start July 20th. My record is not bad there 3 starts 1 x 1st , 1 x 2nd & 1 x 4th
Kudos to Lucy & Romain as convincing winners at the weekend and fantastic performances by GB’s Corrinne Abraham, Eleanor Haresign, Joel Jameson, James Gilfilian and all the other finishers.
I picked up my new sponsored bike for the 2014 season – in fact my first sponsored bike for 4 years…
Mike was kind enough to sponsor both my TT bike and his bike fitting service through Bridge Town Cycles and Bike-fit.co.uk.
After a 7 1/2 hour drive from Aberdeen to Cannock I collected my new frames and we set up both my Road & TT bike positions. Without going into too much detail the bike fitting was a fully comprehensive service from specialised shoe insoles, balancing pedal length on both legs optimizing my pedal stoke & then my body position. A bike fitting is always a priority especially when setting up new bikes. When Tom Lowe, Chrissie Wellington and Catherine Faux visit Mike specifically for his bike fit service I have first hand experience that his reputation and knowledge is first class.
“If only triathlon gear was this simple”
Silver City Blues Masters Swimming Gala, Aberdeen Scotland
I’m totally stoked I will be joining this great company and fantastic group of ENVE sponsored athletes!