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MRS SLACKO'S IMUK 2007 'RACE' REPORT
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Mrs Slacko




Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 3258
Location: Milton Keynes

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:54 pm    Post subject: MRS SLACKO'S IMUK 2007 'RACE' REPORT Reply with quote

MRS SLACKO’S “RACE” REPORT!!

I was calmer the morning of the race than I was for 70.3….somehow a bit resigned and I’d worked hard over the previous 3 days down in Sherborne to chill out, read and not think too much.

We got down to Sherborne on the Thursday having got up at silly o’clock to make the practice swim for 9am. Did one lap with Slacko, couple of panics but covered about 2500m and felt a lot more confident about spending what I knew was going to be a long time in the water.


Few days chilling, pasta party, meeting up with TT’ers and enjoying the area saw us eventually to lights out on Saturday night at 8.30pm. About 5 hrs sleep so not too bad and woke feeling quite ok about things. Early breakfast and down to the castle in plenty of time.

TT PHOTOSHOOT



P00key, MG, Snafu, Wiganer, Ray……lots and lots of TT’ers all in their wetties now grouped together in an eerie aura of quiet and anticipation. I commented to Slacko as we all trundled down to the lake it was like being walked to the gas chamber, your mind is screaming ‘no’ but your legs keep walking and you follow the masses….a most odd feeling!!

ME HANGING ONTO SLACKO'S NECK


ME, MOUNTAINGIRL, P00KEY


Into the very cold water……the light not completely up in the sky at this point but it was grey, cold, obviously wet Rolling Eyes yet I swam very relaxed with no issues out to the start area where I found a big stone and lilly pad to wait on. I was enjoying the banter and waiting for the klaxon. Slacko found me and we did the sloppy stuff but I remained reasonably focussed despite the 20 min. delay in the water! I’d got my sight lines, I knew where I was going, I just had to do it before the cut off!


THE SWIM
Oggies abound…..we were all off! Have to say it wasn’t the mash I was expecting..I did hold back a bit to avoid any upsetting of my nerves but I swam relaxed and well for ¾ of the swim. I had a panic for a few minutes at the first turnaround which I had to mentally manage….I knew I wouldn’t drown because Towel had said so! Also had some wretched cramp due to the cold but other than that I think I dare say I enjoyed some of it. I knew I wouldn’t be fast and I enjoyed trying to swim on Bella’s toes when the pro’s came hurtling past me on their second lap….I went quite fast for all of 30 seconds at that point! I only mix with the elites I’ll have you know Wink Took me quite a long time to finish the final 1000m, not sure why, quite a bit of wind pushing the current towards me and no tow left so all hard work, plus I was starving and got that empty feeling….still, out of the water and a very cautious walk back to the transition tent whilst being interviewed by a camera crew about why me and 2 other guys were taking it so easy (hey mate, you get in and do it while I do a 112 mile bike and a marathon, then come back and ask the same question…..I was a bit incensed)!

T1
What a faff! But I wanted to get changed into dry clothes, organise my nutrition into my pockets, plus the crew were being cautious that we were all dry and properly dressed…..a few hypothermic cases were already revealing themselves and the staff, quite rightly, weren’t prepared to let you leave the tent under prepared, fair enough and their decision I should wear a waterproof jacket paid dividends so many thanks to them.

THE BIKE

I left the tent on 2:00hrs dead and unracked my bike carrying her over the mud and placed her down just before leaving T1 … this was when a supporter shouted to me that my bike tyre was flat  I just stared at her in disbelief, it couldn’t be?? But there it was, flat as a pancake. My first thought was to try and inflate it as it was fine earlier that morning and hadn’t touched the earth in the meanwhile to take a thorn or anything so suspected leaky valve. I set the bike over the transition mat and against some railings so here started my bike time Rolling Eyes. I was prepared and reached for my C02 cannister and pump…………disaster, the pin inside the pump dislodged and wouldn’t pierce the canister. No pump  Even if I changed the tube, I couldn’t inflate it  I was getting really distraught. Failing because I couldn’t physically do anymore was acceptable, failing because I couldn’t inflate a tyre would have been awful. Although the option to pull out there and then was apparent, I chose to carry on believing that bike cut off wouldn’t be an issue knowing my own ability. Thankfully Snafu caught a marshall for me who brought a pump and assisted (apparently he’s allowed) with the mending of the inner tube and after promising to have his babies (sorry Slacko, I was desperate) I was on my way 2 hrs and 40 minutes after swim start……..I had some serious work to do but at that point I felt confident.

Following Towel’s tips I set off up Sherborne Hill, small ring, high cadence but my HR was elevated, I think I was so stressed out. Knowing I was the last to leave the castle by nearly 40 minutes puts me where I always seem to be, alone! I had to shout to the spectators to part and open up the road at the top Sherborne Hill. I don’t think they could quite believe anymore cyclists would still be coming from the castle direction. Fair enough, I was a bit late Rolling Eyes

Onwards and I was desperate to get to Lyons Gate as I knew the TT supporters would think I’d not made the swim. I struggled up the hill, again HR way too high but I needed to make up the time and it was also becoming apparent how windy and cold it was! Top of Lyons and all the support in the world, fantastic, I wanted to explain the puncture and apologise for the delay but got on with it and soon was on the lovely ride to Dorchester alone. I got down to Dorchester in 1:10. Not great but first lap (Towel says take it easy). I turned the corner and the full horror became apparent! The hills I can deal with…………….the wind………no way, thought the gods were having a laugh! Struggled on, you all know the route, one hill after another, after another, the wind sending me all over the place. My HR too high. My gel bottle dislodged and flew off the bike at this point, as did my Nuun tabs when I tried to drop them into the water…………..I have never felt so down. I already knew that my training pace would not be achievable, that the whole ride would have to be done at an elevated HR and that it was going to be cold, lonely, painful and miserable. I was prepared at the end of the lap to cycle back to the castle and accept there was no way on a day like today, I’d make cut off. Just wasn’t meant to be. This is when the term Ironman really explodes into it’s full meaning. Was I an Ironman? Wasn’t I an Ironman? I finished the first lap with 5hrs 30mins left until cut off. If I was to do it, I’d have to negative split each lap from hereonin. It seemed impossible. I cried.

Mr. GFA gave me encouragement on the first lap just before I started the second and I decided to try one more lap and gave myself a good shouting at for being so soft. Back up Lyons Gate, more wonderful support (thanks guys) and on again to make up as much time as I could before hitting Dorchester and back through torture alley. But those Gods would not leave me alone, I’m going really well past the Giant when the elastic bands (you know the big giant thick ones) that hold my aero bottle on just decided to snap, no reason, (spooky thing is Slacko’s aero bottle fell off as well during his race) I couldn’t do without my bottle so I stopped, repaired the elastic bands and set off again, only to have to swerve the bike into the bushes as a 4ft branch got ripped from a tree in front of me by the winds and straight into my path. I had absolutely had enough. I was trying to make up time, and the *****’s kept lobbing things at me! I was sobbing. I was sure I wouldn’t make the cut off. Into Dorchester, back into a now stronger wind, knowing I was only half way but hey, I’d made the second trip to the turning in Dorchester 10 mins quicker than the first.

Back through those hills, winds, now torrential rain too and I was so cold. My HR was 160, my cadence was over 80 up the hills but I was only going 7mph……..more talk of the Ironman word. I shouted myself into not failing and found Mr. GFA just before the start of the 3rd lap. He saved my race. Running alongside of me telling me I’d make it, I’m shouting back at him that I can’t do it again and he tells me Suzie’s doing the 3rd lap. With this, I start the 3rd lap. I’d done the 2nd 12 mins quicker than the first and this spurs me on. My quads were starting to hurt!

As Towel says, the 3rd lap takes care of itself……….against the clock all the way, I knew I was cooking my legs for the run but there was no option. I either gave it everything, or I’d be out of the race. Passed a few folk and felt awful as I knew chances were they wouldn’t be making cut off and you don’t deserve that following a tough day out there such as it was. I passed P00key and we yelled encouragement to eachother to make cut off (she did too Clap) I managed to take another 4 mins off the final lap……….the wind was so bad I couldn’t control the bike a couple of times…….I was spent when I finally got back into the castle where I had to yell at a car to get out of my way blocking the entrance to the castle…..in with about 8 minutes to spare. I knew, no matter what, I’d make it from there…………or so I thought Rolling Eyes

T2

Prepare for a laugh. So I’m in. I get my bag and go into the ladies changing area where a wonderful young St. Johns lad decides to adopt me as his granny! (I ask you? Do I look like a Granny??) So he checks my temp. gets me warm, gets my socks, makes me take coke and banana, and INSISTS, I’m not going out on the run without my jacket. Well I just let him look after me. He then walks me holding my arm and patting it sympathetically out to my marathon starting point. He was so sincere and it was so funny I didn’t have the heart to say anything. That lad, joking apart, was crucial in my finishing the race. Without that windproof jacket, no way would I of finished so, yes it was funny, but I’m an Ironman because of him. Bless. Worship

THE RUN

It had been so tough up to this point. My legs felt great, brick sessions paid off but I’d long since altered my goals. So many age groupers were struggling out there. I’d of given my jacket away more times than I could count if it wouldn’t of ended my race. It was cold, windy, dark, uninspiring but the people were all just great, Competitors, GFA kept me going, Mountaingirl, P00key, Scottg. I finally saw Slacko a few minutes before he finished, he was coming back to the castle just as I was heading out to the A30 torture alley number 2! Pip was great giving me real loo roll, Snafu seemed to appear everywhere, PaulL on his own up the dual carriageway. So many tales. Putt Putt and his wife and kids, all offering great support, it is so important to get that support. Pip asked me on my turnaround point on the A30 if I was alright….she could see something I think in my face. I said I was fine but took on board her concerned look….I got extra salty gels at the next aid station and felt much better after that.

I’ve never run a marathon, I haven’t now! I ran a lot of it but I stopped at all aid station for a wee and food and drink……….I daren’t risk not finishing and people were getting so cold, me included. I saw MG leaving the A30 and knew she’d make it! She’d be inspirational during the run. Saw GFA before her family pulled her out, I was willing her to finish. She is so tough. I finally met up with Frogster! We ran the last 3-4 miles together, and yes, we ran them. I could see we’d be in under 16 hours if we upped the pace and went for it and that’s exactly what we did. Being a gent he let me to the line first, I milked it a bit, it was done, I was done. I was an Ironman.

I was looking desperately everywhere for Slacko…………sure he’d watch me finish but I always knew something was up. He’d of come and seen me on the A30 had he been able but I didn’t see him once so it was no real surprise when Snafu told me he’d been in the medical tent for 3 hrs getting women to rub his legs. I mean? A30 or nurses? I ask you? Men! Iron one’s at that!

My body is killing me, the test was tougher mentally than physically and I’m off to do Austria next year. This time I will go sub 14! Welldone to everyone, it was brutal!

Thanks to all supporters, I’m PM’ing everyone I can think of. But a couple of ultra special thankyous:

Mr GFA – Glynn – You altered the outcome and I thank you more than anything. Your words and running next to me yelling in my ear so full of encouragement ……priceless. Roll on Austria.

Snafu: Never failing at any point on that cold A30, you were there everytime I looked up, thankyou.

PaulL: Amazing.

Pip: The loo roll.

St. Johns young man in T2: Worship
The Marshall at the start of the bike: Worship

Towel: For the tips.

My husband: Rose
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DT




Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 168
Location: Calne, Wilts

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inspirational! Well done on a gutsy performance Mrs S! You are an Ironman!! Winner
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doug




Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 15111
Location: Harrow (Doonhamer in exile)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bl**dy amazing tale of fortitude and triumph over adversity - you truly deserved that finishers medal Worship
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Redraj




Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 446
Location: Leicester

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing stuff Mrs Slacko. You are, by very definition, an Ironman Worship
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p00key




Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 3864
Location: The North

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well done Mrs S you made me smile on more than one occasion hopefully next time i meet up with you and Slacko it will be more of a social occasion Very Happy i was worried about you when i got into the food tent you seemed a little out of it but seemed to start coming round a bit after your chicken soup .... and thanks for sparing my blushes by holding the foil around me when i changed out of my shorts..
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emmabermingham




Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 204
Location: Balmy Palmy, NZ

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Rach - that was an awesome effort!!

Definiaiton of ironman = Rachel Slack!

FAB WORK !

x
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Bigron




Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 1868
Location: London (South of the River!)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mrs Slacko - Top report and a truly admirable effort. You had put so much hard graft in before the event, made the Thread a ball and THOROUGHLY deserved your place as a Ironman.

A truly top effort and true guts to push on through.
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dr dre




Joined: 03 Jun 2003
Posts: 15079
Location: IRONMAN BABY!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and there you have the winner of the best race report 2007 competition

nice one gran Wink Very Happy

very well done on a very tough race
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snafu




Joined: 14 Mar 2007
Posts: 139
Location: Finally back in the UK!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rach - nothing can sum up the grit and determination needed to become an Ironman more than what you, Slacko and the rest of the competitors showed on Sunday! It was a pleasure and a privilege to be there to offer my small assistance in support and watch you achieve your goal. If I can produce even half of the effort that you guys did when I finally get a chance to have a proper go next year, I'll be a very happy snafu!!

Ironman....you deserve it!! Worship
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Legs of Jelly




Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 6408
Location: Cheltenham, I believe I have my mojo back!!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant report Mrs S and with pics aswell!!! Cool
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Windmonkey




Joined: 01 Oct 2005
Posts: 605
Location: In retirement

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing determination well done,

I'd have probably given up in T1 Very Happy

Take a break and bask in the glory
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Towel




Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Posts: 4002

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger....

We'll talk about Austria...big group from Rugby Tri going over too if you guys fancy a training weekend.

Well done!! Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap
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PegasusTT




Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 153

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome Mrs Slacko! Much respect for keeping going when all seemed lost. That takes guts. Never give up! I'm so happy for you that you got a result!

E
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MrsTricky




Joined: 18 Jun 2006
Posts: 1278
Location: Newark

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bl**dy hell Shocked I had been so worried that I hadn't seen you and then when I saw you on the run you looked so happy Very Happy I had no idea you'd been through all this (except the puncture you had told me about) Shocked

My goodness you are amazing Very Happy You so deserve to be an IM, you really do Very Happy I am just so chuffed for you Very Happy

Thank you for all your support on the dual carriageway - just knowing that I would see you and p00key again was a great motivator to keep me going along that lovely Rolling Eyes road Very Happy

Here's toMrs Slacko - IronMan Clap Clap Clap Party
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Rob_T




Joined: 05 Dec 2006
Posts: 4428
Location: gosport

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice one mrs s Cool
shame we did not get to meet but we certaintly crossed paths at some point.
i was planning to go to the photo shoot but was freezing and still had to get back to campsite pick up my bike+ stuff and rack up so had not much time to spare.
well done.
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