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First up - LifeofRiley's IM France race report (it's a long
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LifeofRiley




Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 2459
Location: Not sure but it's very dark in here...

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:22 am    Post subject: First up - LifeofRiley's IM France race report (it's a long Reply with quote

Best go get yourself a coffee and find a nice, relaxing seat as it’s going to be a long one!

For those of you that have followed the forum, my preparation was far from ideal predominantly due to some pretty serious health issues with my son Riley, which he thankfully recovered from. That said, I managed to get round the VLM in April and after that managed to get in a couple of decent length rides, so by the time I flew out to Nice, I was confident I would get round but not confident that I would produce a good performance. “It is what it is” is a phrase that was used very often by me and many of my East Essex Tri clubmates, many of whom also had significantly impacted their training plans.

We were all due to fly out with Easyjet on the Thursday and pitched up to Stansted only to find that there was a 2 hour delay. This quickly turned into a 7 hour delay and for the longest time, it looked as though we wouldn’t be able to fly at all, which prompted frenzied planning on who could drive down overnight. Thankfully, we finally boarded the plane and a great cheer went up when the wheels left the ground.

After a good night’s sleep at my mate’s apartment, I woke up early and started to unpack the bike box. Disaster! The pot of tub glue had exploded and written off my spare tub, bento box, 2 t-shirts, CO2 cartridges and my lubes and tyre sealants. I also discovered that the phone charger I had brought had decided not to work.

Still the bike was unaffected, so I cycled up to the hotel where our LBS owner, Eric, was staying - BIG PLUG For Richardson’s Cycles in Leigh-on-Sea. Eric paid out of his own pocket to perform free services on 17 bikes – absolutely awesome!!! After that, the Friday was spent walking for miles around Nice trying to replace everything, which I eventually managed to do, at which point it was time to relax over dinner and a beer with a clubmate’s family. Far too many beers later, I wobbled back to the apartment and collapsed into bed.

Saturday morning started with a thoroughly deserved colossal headache; cue nurofen and sea sickness pills as it was time to go meet all the TT-forumites I have been swapping my tales of woe and success over the course of the last few months for a practice swim. It was great to meet Doonhammer, Chickenboy, MarkD, PaulHawkins, SimonFoley, Esta and the super-hero that is JonathanI. Nice little dip, photo opportunity then off to pack the bags.

Mrs LoR turned up just before 3pm and then I was off to rack the bike, we had an early dinner, watched a film with a couple of glasses of medicinal vino and then off to bed for an early night.

Race Morning

Woke up and performed the necessary natural functions before shoving down 4 immodiums (due to bitter previous experience), a sea sickness pill, 2 zantac (to combat gel-related heartburn), a big bowl of porridge and a banana. Met up with most of my clubmates and before I knew it we were into the swim.

I got kicked in the eye about 50 metres in and lost my goggles but in the end managed to find a rhythm. Before long though, the goggles were filling up again and I had to replace them about 10 times before I finally got a secure fit. I had a couple of panic attacks but told myself to HTFU and got on with it and before I knew it, I was round the 1st buoy. The remainder of the swim was pretty uneventful and I exited the water in the expected time of 1:21. I had a really smooth transition, got out and lit up a cigarette before mounting the bike. An official then started shouting at me to put the cigarette out, which I did, mounted the bike and then lit another one up about 100m down the road! Very Happy

Started picking people off pretty quickly and got into a nice rhythm. Up the first steep climb with no issue and then started on the long drags. I started to feel uncomfortable then with stomach cramps and took another two immodiums just in case. I started on the long 21km climb but was by this time really uncomfortable, so when I spotted a café at the sharp right-hand hairpin turn, I dove inside and headed for the toilets fearing the worst. Luckily, it turned out to be an earth-shattering f@rt, which cheered me up no end as it meant that I could continue to f@rt without fear for the remainder of the day!

When I started to feel the first signs of cramp on the way to Le Col de l’Ecre, I decided to alter my nutrition plan and only drink water with Zero tablets instead of the Infinit energy drinks. I also only had 8 gels and 3 Powerbar halves on the bike – much less than I had planned to take. I met Esta on the bike after Gourdon and had a little chat, and again a little later on the climb into Coursegoles. She ended up finishing one place and one second behind me according to the results!

The rest of the bike for me was an absolute joy apart from the last two hours because my bike shoes are too narrow and my feet started to burn quite badly. 4 nurofen helped a little but by the time I got off the bike I was in agony and pleased to see the back of it.

I entered T2 in a fantastic mood because 6:19 meant I had just knocked 30 minutes of my previous best IM bike time and 45 minutes off my 2008 France time – happy days! So on with the shoes and then out on the run with a smile on my face, which became even wider when I saw the ultra-noisy East Essex support crew on one side of the road and the long-suffering Mrs LoR on the other. They were to provide much needed boosts on each and every lap after that.

I started the run at a deliberately slow pace that I figured I would be able to keep up. I made a deal with myself to walk the aid stations and run between, and as a special treat I could have a cigarette after the airport turn, which I did on laps 1, 2 and 3 but sadly my last cigarette was soaked on the 4th lap, which might explain why it was the 3rd fastest half-lap of the whole run! The last lap was my second fastest, so I reckon I got my pacing about right, but could maybe have gone a wee bit faster, but at least I didn’t bonk, so who knows? Apart from continuing issues with stomach cramps, which happily didn’t manifest themselves into anything but wind, I was pretty comfortable throughout the run, although it was obviously tough out there.

I was delighted (and truly astonished) to finish in 12:50, having run a respectable (for me) 4:53 marathon. This smashed by 2008 14:11 time, was only 11 minutes away from an Ironman PB and who knows? If I hadn’t have stopped for all those cigarettes I might even have managed to get a PB. My club captain is clearly right in her assertion that smoking really does affect your performance!!

I am champing at the bit to do another one and really hope to go back to Nice – it is easily my favourite race and I would recommend it to anyone. Yes, it is tough, but the positives easily outweigh the negatives – the scenery and descents are worth the effort to get uphill and the beautiful azure ocean and brilliant crowds (thanks East Essex support crew) makes the heat of the run more sufferable.

It was really great to meet all you forumites and thanks for all your support and well wishes over the past few months. It has been a helluva journey! Very Happy

LoR
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fatirishman




Joined: 25 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent...

Despite the swimming incident you nailed it on a hell of ahard course.


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JamieMcP




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great report and a great race

Jamies tip of the day, when i was a smoker and raced (including IM) I used to put a nicotiene patch on.
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LifeofRiley




Joined: 13 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re. the patch - I thought about it but discounted it because they tend to fall off when you are really sweaty and I didn't want to get all grumpy and stressed during the race, so stowed away a packet of cigs in each special needs bag.

Also, I did get some really funny looks through the day, which made me laugh a bit! Very Happy
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Slacko




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't get many IM race reports that include boozing, hangovers, drugs and fags! Wink Laughing

Well done on a great race mate! Cool
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Doonhamer




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Top report LoR.

Great to make your aquaintance over the past few months through TriTalk & a pleasure to meet you in France.

Great time & I'm sure that you could manage a quick fag between the swim loops next time Very Happy .

Cheers,

Ian
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finbar




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Impressive fag/time ratio, i wonder if it's been bettered?
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veggieboy




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report

Good to hear of another immodium user - although 6 does sound like an overdose and you must have been in trouble the next day(s) Twisted Evil
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wiganer




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will tell you something mate, there are some hard beggars on this forum, some really tough racers and astonishing stories and then there is another notch and then there is YOU !!!

A lot of people probably dont realise what you have achieved and the background to all this and the amazing love and dedication you have for your son. It truly and utterly humbles me. Your atheltic efforts, fundraising, the triumphs and tribulations are incredible.

I am just glad I had the fortune to meet you on that little bridge on the IMUK bike course in 2007 and to have struck up a friendship with one of the most inspirational and hard bast@rds on this forum.

Great effort and brilliant story mate - hope to share a beer (or 10) with you sometime soon !!!! Cool
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LifeofRiley




Joined: 13 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very kind words from the man who has inspired sooooo many people on these pages. Look me up whenever you get down London way and I'll do the same if I'm in the Lancashire area and we'll sink those beers.

We'll probably end up in the same race at some point next year as well! Very Happy
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chickenboy




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quality write up there buddy,and I'd agree with Wiganer, you're one of those people that gets stuck in and has a great perspective on adversity and is selfless in offering time and support for others. Only sorry I didn't manage to share a swift half or two with you.
I would have loved to have seen you spark up on the stealth, brilliant.
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Sue




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey wasnt that long Very Happy
good report
great result
and yep guess thats what they mean about smoking affecting sport Wink
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Toyota_Crown




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOR-tastic Cool

and +1, not long enough Wink
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MarkD




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent report LofR.
Would love to of seen that officials face when he spotted you lighting up Smile
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dr dre




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesome Cool

a good spread of drugs and fags - great work Very Happy
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