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IM Switzerland race report
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Joined: 22 Sep 2004
Posts: 5125
Location: Tooting (hopefully not for much longer)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:58 am    Post subject: IM Switzerland race report Reply with quote

Ok, this is going to be long so be prepared and only read it when you have plenty of free time, or if you just want the highlights then here they are,

I did the race in 14h12, very happy and thanks to everyone for supporting me.

If you want more details, here they are

Pre race

I flew out with a few fellow turbos on Wednesday which was the perfect amount of time before the race to get organised and familiar with the area. The next few days saw weather panic set in as it rained like I have never seen rain before in my life. I was out on my bike with some fellow turbos and we couldn’t have got more soaked if we had got in the lake. The next few days were just spent worrying about the weather (and eating), which took my mind away from worrying about my performance.

Most of the turbos were staying in the hostel which made for a lovely atmosphere as there were always plenty of people to chat to. The night before the race 30 of us went for dinner and loaded up with pasta and more pasta. I never want to see the damn stuff again! We then racked our bikes and I went back to my room and found a lovely good luck note from Lambo (thanks Lambo) and I tried to get to sleep.

Race day – my alarm went on race day and I was dreaming about work! I was surprised that I had slept so well. Steve was jetlagged and had a worse nights sleep than me. I went down for breakfast and managed to get some MORE food down my neck despite still being full from the night before. A few nervous faces greeted me, but on the whole I think camp turbo managed our nerves pretty well. I think I just went for the denial route.

Off we set down to transition and the start. I set everything out, got my self ready and headed to swim start. A quick good luck to Katy and Jules who were standing near me and off we set.

Swim – The womens start was a god send when I look at the pictures of the mens wave. It was almost an anti climax to miss out on that washing machine effect that I have heard so much about though. The swim ended up being a bit of a nightmare as I went so damn wrong on the course. I managed to wipe suncream in my googles so I couldn’t see and the low sun made visibility very hard. I figured that I could just follow the crowd and I would be ok, not so. I reckon I swam at least an extra 5 mins at least and came out the last turbo  I was a bit miffed at my time but my heart rate was on about 105 during the whole swim so I hadn’t worked very hard. I knew it was going to be a long day so 5 to 10 mins wasn’t going to make much difference… hopefully.

I got into transition and pulled on my bike clothes. Steve and Lambo both gave me a cheer which was great although I was still pretty annoyed. I had given myself what I considered to be a generous target of being on the bike by 1h30 and I did it in 1h29 something so I was already cursing myself.

Bike – The first part of the course is pretty fast (well faster for some than others) as its flat and I just got into a rhythm and tried to keep up an average speed of about 28/30 kph. I worked out that I needed to average 25kph to hit my target time of 7h30 and theres no way I would be going 25kph up ‘the beast’. The bike course then leads up in to the mountains on one side of the lake and up the beast (a long slow climb, easy the first time, not quite so the second and third) but it has a great view. I chatted to plenty of people (it was great that there were so many Brits on the course) and got plenty of go turbos. Becky (one of the many turbo supporters) was sat by herself in a deserted part of the course cheering us on which was brilliant for us. Going past transition I saw loads of our supporters who all cheered, including my mum and Robert who had a big union jack. Heading up to heartbreak hill the first time, I saw lots of turbos going for their second lap and managed some hellos. The first time up heartbreak was truly awesome. The support is so numerous and loud that you feel like you are a tour de france rider. As I neared the top I spotted my Dad, Jim (step bro) and his girlfriend Jen all looking out for me. That was a brilliant moment and one I will always remember. The rest of the bike course went pretty well, except for my saddle bag breaking and I had to ride 100k with a massive bag stuffed down the back of my shorts! The hills hurt more and more as I went round, but I tried not to think about it and found myself chatting to plenty of people including Foggy and gasmanrob from tri talk. I also went tearing down the hills and seemed to have recorded the fastest speed out of our group at 78kph. I am usually a total wuss downhill but I had trained so hard for this race that I was prepared to go for it and see what happened. God knows what kind of mess I would have been in if I had come off! I finished the bike in just over 7 hours which was 30 mins faster than I had hoped for.

Transition 2 was fine although I paid a visit to the toilet before I set out and realised I was still wearing my cycling shorts. Also my belt had been in my kit bag and all the jelly babies I had put in it had melted all over my salt tablets, painkillers and Vaseline! I was there 8 mins in total which isn’t going to win me any prizes.

Run – I set out on the run shuffling and went for the aim of running for 9 mins and walking for 1 and then I would reassess when that got too much. The run was packed with turbo support and it was really nice to know that each time you came round, the supporters would be in the same place. I went through the first 5k in 35 mins and probably made the same mistake that everyone made thinking, if I carry this on, I will be round in about 4.5 hours and that would give me 13 hours. Yer right, Pip! I managed to keep the 9/1 strategy for most of the first 2 laps although my stomach started to do dodgy things on lap 2 and I had to visit the toilet a few more times – yuck. I then realised that gels and sweets that I was so kindly getting off my mum, my dad and steve were going straight through me so I should switch to coke as I was ok with drink. Lap 2 and 3 were probably the worst although it was nice to know that I was going to make it, even if I had to walk (which I was determined not to). I kept remembering some advice that I had been given the day before ‘If you feel bad and start walking, make sure you include some running. When you just walk, you lose so much time’ so even when I felt awful, I walked for 3 and then ran for 1 or 2 but it was good to keep making progress. I made friends with a few people, namely a guy called Lawrence from East London who was a lap ahead of me but really struggling. Each time I caught him up, I made him shuffle with me. He told me I really helped him, although I am sure at certain points he probably want to knock me out just to shut me up! I managed a smile and a wave for all the supporters and I have to say, I felt so much better than I ever imagined. I took a toilet toll of 6 which I thought would win me the prize at camp turbo, however Prof managed 8!

The finish – coming down the finish line was amazing. I checked behind me and there was no one there so, great, it was all about me (Steph, you would have loved it). I felt brilliant and it was great to see the turbo supporters, Steve, my mum, Robert, Dad, Jim and Jen all cheering me on. I had the biggest smile when I crossed that line. I always thought that I would cry but then I always thought that I would struggle much more than I did. I went into the finish tent and was greeted by Mark, my coach (who had been there for ages as he finished in 9h23) and his girlfriend Michelle. Mark was brilliant and made me eat some food and get my certificate. I should have had a shower and a massage but I went straight out as my supporters had been out there for 14 hours already and I didn’t want to keep them waiting another hour.

All in all, I am very happy with my 14h12. My swim was disappointing at 1h23, bike was better than expected at 7h01 and my run was a total unknown so I was pleased with 5h30. I had worked very hard to get there and I am really glad that I enlisted the help of Mark to write my programmes. The training camp in May was also a brilliant thing to go on and I fully recommend this to anyone who plans to do an ironman. After you have conquered Alp D’huez, the beast and heartbreak hill didn’t seem so bad.

Thanks – ok, there’s a long list but there have been a lot of people who helped me get there and they all need a mention.
My training friends have been there on those long rides, I look back and smile at the thought of 10 laps of the park with Mike, trying to get up winterfold again (and failing) with Tanya and my long rides with Katy and Kerrie. I don’t want to do them again though.
My coach, Mark Tickner, Mark you have performed a miracle getting me around an ironman, his girlfriend Michelle and everyone on the training camp for helping me get up some horrible hills in France and having such a brilliant week.
Alex, Johana and Dr Bundy at Pure sports, you guys have kept me together which is one hell of an achievement. Those steroid injections and countless physio sessions worked. I guess I should also thank bupa for their large outpatients benefit!
Everyone from thames turbo and tri talk for some great advice.
The other turbos and friends of turbos racing who gave me something to look out for – Katy, Matt, Jules, Gary, Dean, Prof, Nick, Jon, Jo, Jeff and Jamie.
The supporters who really made the day, you guys were all brilliant. Becky and Warwick, Coral, Lambo, Janette, Jonathan, Rich and Pete (great blokes from Leicester. Even a girl from Derby can’t help but like them), Karen, Liz and all those who didn’t know me but managed a ‘go turbo’. A massive thank you to my family, Mum, Dad, Robert, Jim, Jen and of course Steve. It meant the world to me that you guys came out and cheered me on.

Ok, I think that’s enough. I know its long, but as I am never doing another one, I wanted to milk it 
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Joined: 24 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

milk it Pip you deserve to, nice report.
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Joined: 15 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent report Pip! You did brilliantly!!

Give it a few days and you'll be signing up for it again next year! Wink
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Joined: 16 Mar 2005
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Location: Distant planet Zokk...

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent report Pip

And a excellent result
Pain is to be embraced, not feared

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Joined: 28 Jun 2004
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Location: Richmond

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well done pip

by the way the guy from east london - Most of ELT just want to knock him out normally for talking so much so it was sweet justice to get him back for all of us, thank you for that.
If it is all in my head why do my legs hurt so damn much !!!
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Joined: 24 May 2005
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Location: hackney

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well done pip, sounds fantastic.
lack ot training makes IM harder
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Marc T

Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 96
Location: Hitchin

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work and great report Pip, brought back some lovely memories of the day!

Don't know about anyone else but still can't get Sunday out of my head, long may it continue!

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Location: Essex

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Pip, sounds like you had a great time.

are you sure your not going to do another one?
Lacking Motivation
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Joined: 10 Sep 2005
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Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great report pip, not too long at all. i know what you mean about heartbreak hill - it's a different story on the 3rd lap though! well done.
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Joined: 09 Dec 2005
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Location: Birmingham

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should a race report length proportional to the race time? Anyway, great report ... BUT when are you going to change this avatar??? You promised Exclamation
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

excellent Cool great race. but just think if you went faster on the swim you might not have gone as quick on the bike Cool
bad back and much for being an Ironman
Can't sleep the clowns will eat me
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Joined: 24 Oct 2006
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Location: Gothenburg

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great report & great performance - I was there supporting & the atmosphere was amazing! Well done! 6 months off now?

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Joined: 22 Sep 2004
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Location: Tooting (hopefully not for much longer)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am going to change that avatar, i just need to find a decent photo
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Joined: 29 Jun 2007
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Location: Woodford

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:38 am    Post subject: IM Switzerland Reply with quote

Pip, well done on your IM result. But mainly a big thank you for your help. I slowed a little on my 2nd lap of the run, but lap 3 was a real struggle to pick up my running. I knew I would finish, but somehow lost my focus! On lap 4 you know I really picked it up and was able to finish with a big smile Smile in 12:29. Thank you so much again, it was lovely to meet you. Lawrence
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Joined: 02 Jan 2006
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Location: Devon

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done that Pip!
2010: Burnham 1:26:11; Bristol Harbourside
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