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Foggys 2008 Challenge Roth Report
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Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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Location: East Molesey

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:58 pm    Post subject: Foggys 2008 Challenge Roth Report Reply with quote

Firstly, as always, this is going to be a LONG report. Secondly, if you have a weak constitution do not read the bit about the run - it's a bit minging and graphic/tmi Shocked

Blimey, where do we begin!?

Might as well start at the beginning! After Switzerland last year I decided I wanted to do another, was hoping to do Austria but by the time I got round to entering it was full. Heard a lot of good things about Roth so decided to give that a shot.

Training went to put over the Autumn (did 2 runs from 19th August until 12th November my entire training log contains 2 30 minute runs). Struggled to get going again and November and December were pretty ropey with a combination of illness and lack of mojo. Started training more consistently in January and February and then decided to employ the services of a coach as I was in danger of wasting my time and money in Roth with a dreadful race if I carried on training as I was. After signing up with Mark Tickner I started to train much more consistently, and slowly felt as though the fitness was picking up and that I actually stood a chance at a decent race. At this stage my aim was for anything sub 13 hour.

Training was going well and 6 weeks out I did Beaulieu Half to see how things were going. With a 5:17 there I decided I wanted to get sub 12:30 at Roth and felt I was more than capable.

Got my bike serviced with just over a week to go, new chain and cassette and a general check over. Last proper training session to be done was a 2 1/4 hour bike with a 30 min run off the back - good session for making sure the bike was good with a couple of solid hills in there. Unfortunately the weather was awful, raining really heavily. On the way back home I went round a corner to be confronted with a car, neither of us were in the wrong, it was just a narrow country lane. Choice was either dump the bike or go through the windscreen so I dumped the bike and tried to get out of the way. Landed heavily on my left side, predominantly on the hip and by forearm. Bit shell shocked and sore, but manged to avoid the car (except for clipping it with my back wheel after I went down). Phoned Nicky and got her to meet me half way home, bike seemed ok although the back wheel was a bit buckled and I needed to straighten a few bits and pieces out. I was just grateful I didn't break anything.

By Monday I was pretty sore, the bruising was coming up, I was hobbling about and I needed to get my bike fixed - thankfully the guys at Sigma Sport sorted my back wheel out for me - life savers!! I then sorted out the rest of the bike and had to hope it would be ok as didn't feel like going out for another ride (oddly enough).

Tuesday was spent packing ready to leave first thing Wednesday morning. Got up and the weather was pants - just what you want with a long journey ahead, but we got down to Dover in plenty of time and jumped on a ferry to Dunkerque. Had some lunch and then set off for the drive down to Wurzburg as wanted to get to the camp site early on Thursday. Isabelle and Nicky both fell asleep for a couple of hours and I just got on with getting some miles out the way. When Isabelle woke up she said 'I feel sick' which isn't something she says very often. About 5 seconds later and she started vomiting. Not sure if it was the lunch but she was throwing up every 15-30 mins for the rest of the journey, which meant the 6 hour trip to Wurzburg turned into 8+ hours and I was knackered. After the first couple of times the poor little thing didn't even bother saying anything, she would just grab the tray and be sick.

Up early on Thursday and down to the campsite in Heuburg. Isabelle had stopped being sick by then and the weather had turned HOT. Spent the day unpacking the car an getting the tent up - figured I would register and look around the next day. Got my bike set up and went for a quick ride to see how the arm and leg felt - the leg was bruising and swelling nicely by now. Bike felt OK although not massively comfy on the tri-bars as the road rash was right by where I leant on the pads. Figured I'd be fine though.

Got up early on the Friday and went down to registration and it was baking hot and very humid - over 30 degrees. Started feeling a bit ropey in the registration tent but figured it was just the heat. Registered and couldn't be bothered with the expo as wasn't feeling great so headed back to the campsite. Got back to the camp site and started feeling really nauseous and getting stomach cramps. Basically spent the rest of the day either on the toilet or sleeping on the floor of the tent. Couldn't really eat anything and felt rubbish. By night time was hot and cold, shaking and feeling achy.

Saturday the weather turned pants, raining a lot. Still didn't feel too good but with some paracetamol at least I felt a little better. Some friends we had made in Switzerland turned up after lunch and we went down in the rain to rack the bikes, check out T1 and hand in our running bags. Realised how many people were going to be part of the day - it is a BIG triathlon!

Headed into Roth for the race briefing, still felt tired and rubbish so straight back home again afterwards for some pasta. Managed a smallish bowlful and some water, then packed everything for the race into the remaining bags and headed to bed.

Spent the night listening to the rain - not a great sign. Got up at 4am and felt reasonably OK. The lady in the tent next to us was a nurse and covered up my road rash with some Tegaderm wound dressings to try and keep it a bit dry in the swim and reduce the friction when I ran/biked. Ate some bread and jam and then headed out in the p*ssing rain to T1 to get ready for the swim. Had been told we had to be there by 6am - not ideal when it was monsoon rain, 13 degrees and your wave wasnt due to go until 7:35! Met up with some tri-talkers (Larmen, FatIrishman, Cleo and...ermm..sorry, brain has gone) and then went to watch the elites/sub9/women/old folk set off. Hung around for a bit more getting freezing cold before finally it was time to get in the water. Pulled on the wetsuit which was agony over the injuries and then headed to the water. Just got down the steps and started to make my way to the swim start and the gun went off....great start! Took me a couple of mins to get to the swim start, then spent ages trying to get through the back markers. I lost loads of time and generally had a pretty poor swim, got out in 1:26 which was about 10-15 minutes behind where I wanted to be.

Was still pouring with rain so took a bit longer in transition, put on my tri top, cycling top and gillet. Out onto the bike and time for the race to begin.

Felt pretty good, leg wasnt hurting and I managed to find a position on the tri-bars where my arm wasnt bothering me. The weather was atrocious but I was averaging just over 30km/h at my target heart rate pace so well on target for my 6 hour aim. Was really doing well at holding my own pace and ignoring those around me, would spin up the hills and power down the other side. Nutrition plan was simple enough, water for first 30 mins, then drinking nuun drink to keep hydrated and alternating between half an Elevenses bar and half a High5 gels every 15 mins - something I know works well for me.

The weather was not improving much but I was still going pretty well

About 2:15 the nausea hit me. My watch was beeping and I didnt want to eat. Forced myself to take a squirt from my gel bottle as needed the calories. Was freezing cold, shaking a lot, and by this stage my modified position was playing havoc on my back. 2:30 beeped around and still feeling sick, forced myself to take a bit of a bar, took me 10 mins of swilling water to wash it down. Decided to skip the 2:45 feed. 3:00 beeped away and another swig of a gel, only this time it brought everything up. Pulled over at the side of the road, puked some more, then washed myself down a bit and headed back out. This wasnt really part of the race plan for me. From there it all went downhill a bit. Couldn't keep anything down - Nuun'd water/Iso drink/Bananas/Gels/Bars - any of it came straight back up. Only thing I could keep down was plain water. The bike from there was a struggle. I was cold, hungry and tired. My average speed was dropping at an alarming rate and I just couldn't get my legs to pick up the pace. Second time up the hill at Greding was pure torture. Got to Hilpolstein and saw Nicky and she knew I wasnt in a good state. Apparently I just had a vacant stare and she started to get worried. Up the Solar Berg for the 2nd time and they had some coke with water. Decided to give it a go as was hours since I last managed any calories. It made me feel sick but it stayed down if I had little sips. Cycling out from Hilpolstein again I was cursing everything, swearing I would never do another IM and preparing myself to drop out at T2. Saw Nicky as I went back past the swim start for the last time and stopped for a quick chat. She told me it was 13km to the bike finish and all downhill and off I went.

Trundled down to T2 and off the bike and had to stagger to the change tent. Sat down and everything was spinning. Realised I had no way to contact Nicky and she would now be on the run course. Bugger. Only option was to run to where she was. Found her at about 4km and Isabelle grabbed my hand and said "Don't be sick anymore Daddy, I'll run with you" and started running down the path with me. At this point there was no way I could drop out so gave them both a hug and a kiss and staggered off down the path for the first part of the out and back. By this stage the stomach cramps where getting increasingly bad and I knew I needed to find a toilet. Unfortunately, I couldn't find one and there wasnt anywhere I could go with any privacy so kept on shuffling along until I found a portaloo at 11km or so into the run. Relieved, I opened the door. I was no longer quite so relieved. All I can imagine someone had done was opened the door, dropped their shorts, pointed their arse in the vague direction and let rip. The toilet, the walls, the door - all covered in a smattering of brown. Unfortunately I had no choice, I had to go in. I spent the next 15 minutes squatting above the toilet (I refused to touch anything in there) emptying my guts out, every so often turning around to throw up from being stuck in a room covered in crap.

Once I finally finished (handy tip for all of you - carry toilet roll on the run in a small watertight sandwich bag!) I headed on out and was feeling a bit better. Was tired but the stomach cramps were better, saw a guy going the other way that I knew, who must have passed me during my pit stop, and decided to try and catch him up. By this stage I was managing to drink half a cup of coke at each aid station, I still couldnt eat (not even my jelly babies) but I was at least getting some calories on board. Spent the next 8km chasing Richard until I saw Nicky and Isabelle again. Was pleased to be able to give them a bit of positive news as I was at least making progress by this point. By this stage Richard wasn't far in front so I cracked on and caught him up. He'd been having a bad day too, was nice to have someone to talk to though. From there we kind of kept each other going, doing a bit of run/walk strategy. Saw Nicky and Isabelle again and realised I was actually, remarkably, on pace to beat my marathon time from Switzerland!

Isabelle still wanted to run with me every time she saw me - bless her she was a little trooper that day and cheered me on relentlessly. The last few km were hard, it was starting to get dark and we really were at the tail end of the field. We ended up doing a 2 min run/1 min walk in order to make sure I was under 5:30 for the marathon and could salvage something from the day. As always, the last couple of km are the easiest of the day, and after walking up the very last hill into Roth I left Richard and ran to the finish to see my girls.

Grabbed Isabelle in the finish chute (when I finally spotted them) and carried her down the finish.

Overall stats for the day:

Swim: 1:26
T1: 8:54
Bike: 6:35
T2: 8:02
Run: 5:19

Total: 13:38.

I don't know if I am happy with that or disappointed. I am certainly proud of myself for not quitting. I really have no idea how I got through it - there were points where I was desperately low and wanted nothing more to quit. At the same time I am disappointed. I really wanted a sub 12:30 and am more than convinced I was fit enough for it - and thats the downside of Ironman, 7-8 months solid training and then a bike crash and a stomach bug in the last week throw all the plans out of the window. If you take the pit stop and vomit stops from the run then I would have posted a sub 5 hour marathon, which if I had then been able to feed properly I am sure I could have gotten down another 30 mins. The swim I was 15 mins off target and the bike I easily lost 20-30 mins on the second half. Just slightly gutted over it all I guess.

Plans from here? Hopefully I'll have a good race at the Vitruvian in September to end the season on a high note. Next year I wont be doing an Ironman as come January I'll have another kind of ironman to deal with:

I am planning on doing a few halfs though if all goes well, work a bit on getting some speed up and then from there to another IM in 2010 where I am going to crack 12 hours and then some!

Hope I haven't bored you to death, well done to all those that raced last weekend as those conditions were brutal!
Foggys Bloggy!
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Foggy, great effort and top report.

When did you defect over to the Turbos btw???!
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like the toilets at festivals!

Well done on finishing though, most would have bowed out!

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Paul L

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Foggys 2008 Challenge Roth Report Reply with quote

With apologies to Blackadder... Ironmen are mad! Madder than Mad Jack McMad, the winner of this year's Mr Madman competition! Wink Glad to hear the car crash wasn't worse, but clearly it messed up your day. Great effort and another epic report too. Good luck for your next baby adventure. Heal Strong, Paul. Very Happy
Is this try to make a grown man cry day?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foggy, such a shame about the stomach issues. Like you say, all that training for one day, it's a real gamble. Hopefully you will have a great race at the Vit and congratulations about Foggy junior, great news.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote've beaten my weeing in T1 story!!!

Seriously, you're an absolute star for getting through it all. When I met you on the run, in spite of everything, you were upbeat and moving forward at a good pace.

Well done! Clap
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Foggy Cool Congratulations on the new little IM btw!
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foggy mate, hats off for carrying on - it sounded like you were going through hell there.

It's those 'I could have saved 20 minutes here, 10 minutes there' that keep you coming back to IM, my 'never again' lasted all of 24 hours! Rolling Eyes

Congratulations to you and Nicky on the great news!! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG there are some tough, tough people here on TT. first Mrs Slackos Rocky swim moment and now Foggy's stomach poisoning problems,

Full massive respect for not quitting and toughing it out. given the circumstances the time is amazing i think!!

i'm going to have to start inventing some crazy stuff for my RR to read anything other than Swam, biked, ran!!! Very Happy
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Fully Ferrous

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great work, Foggy. I know the pain you felt on the run and it's awful. Well done mate... finishing despite these issues is why you're 'Iron'.
"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?"
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done to you for finishing the race with all the probs that you had.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great inspiring report Foggy, well done on your dogged perseverance.

And top marks to Isabelle too! Great support: brought a tear to my eye...
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foggy ,
Good effort! Well done!!!!! Just having finishing in those circumstances it is just great and deserves a great deal of respect.
Congratulations on the baby as well.
I think I am following your steps. I finished IMCH carring Isabella and as soon as we can we will be looking for a sibling for her Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG Foggy how hard are you.

A BIG well done, you had your own battles out there and won.

Mucho respecto!!!!!!
Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Top work Foggy, well impressed, excellent support crew too, no way you could give up with them there!! Smile
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