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MK Mac's IMA 2008 Race Report with 'borrowed' pictures

 
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mkmac




Joined: 01 Sep 2005
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Location: Bedford

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:39 pm    Post subject: MK Mac's IMA 2008 Race Report with 'borrowed' pictures Reply with quote

Ironman Mackie’s Austria 2008 race report

After weeks and weeks and weeks of training Sunday 13th July and my first ever Ironman was finally upon me. Austria was beautiful and the town of Klagenfurt had gone Ironman crazy.

My father passed away on the 1st July after a long spell in hospital and he had always said that he wanted me to compete ‘if anything happened to him’. So this one was for him.

The Scrum

After a bit of a debate about which side of the middle pier was the slow (1:10 hr or more swim time) or the fast ( sub 1:10) side I joined the slow coaches to the left and made my way down to the water’s edge to wash out my goggles. I was surprised to see Ian Corless of www.trainingtrips.net (and my coach last year) alongside me, as last time I looked he was a sub 6 minute 400m swimmer and a 10hr Ironman – had I got the wrong side? No – he just decided it was easier to get clear of the jostling if he was surrounded by us amateurs!

I was discussing how the start would work with Ian when the klaxon (or was it the cannon?) went off and everyone dived in the water, so I joined them.

In every other event I have done there is a bit of jostling for the first few hundred metres then everyone gets to clear water and settles down. Not in IMA 2008. It felt like the jostling was never going to end as Hans, Guiseppe and his mates Christian, Christian and Christian (you’ll know what I mean if you were there) all bashed, kicked and elbowed their way along to the first turnaround buoy at 1500m.

Every time I found a pair of friendly feet I was knocked off course and forced to find another pair. I hard to work to stay calm and tell myself that nobody meant to elbow anybody – even though I am sure a lot of the tactics were deliberate.



Washing machine is an apt name for the last 900m along the ‘canal’ – being a ‘mid packer’ really is a disadvantage when 500 of you all reach the entrance to the canal at about the same time. A bit more biffing and we were out of the water and into T1.

Swim target: 1:15
Actual: 1:09

Smooooth tarmac

Once out of the Europark, 112 miles of closed Austrian roads lay ahead. The two loops of an ‘undulating’ course meant you knew what hills were coming second time around and where they were. Crowds lined the route in all of the villages and atop the larger hills. The Ruptiberg hill with its DJ at the top playing bassy house music to the beat of your pedalling helped everyone struggle up the climb.

The bike ride was a game of cat and mouse with other athletes and colleagues from Team MK. Messrs Hook, Farmer and Church all went past me at some point with Viv, Phil B and Ed riding at a similar pace to me, aid stations and wee stops changing the running order as we rode.



My plan was to ride well below 80% of max HR, which I managed comfortably on all but the peaks of the bigger hills with an average for the ride of 132bpm (about 70% for a high beater like me). Smooth tarmac and steady downhill’s helped achieve this goal.

Torrential rain and thunderstorms for the last half an hour or so of the bike made cornering ‘interesting’ as Guiseppe and Christian slid off their bikes towards the tarmac in front of me, but I made it safely back to the Europark.

Bike Target: 6 hrs
Actual : 5:45

My first ever marathon

The noise of the rain on the tent roof in T2 led to much debate on my ‘bench’ as to whether to put dry socks on or not. We all decided that a few minutes of comfort was worth it – and it really was only a few minutes until our feet were wet through again.

The first run leg went out towards Krumpendorf as the rain started to subside. Nearing the turnaround point I started to see the sub 10 and sub 11 hr MK team members coming the other way with healthy gaps between. As the sun came out my spirits lifted and I managed to keep a 9 min/mile pace for at least the first half of the 26 miles, things slowed a bit after that but I still managed 9:31 pace for the whole leg.

The out and back format worked well as there were plenty of opportunities for ‘hi-5’s’ and words of encouragement to team mates. I just about managed to reach the ‘bell’ on the first lap but couldn’t muster a jump in the air second time around.


I achieved my goal of running the distance but walking the aid stations, making sure I took something on board at every aid station – even if it was just a sip of water. My calves twitched occasionally but the dreaded cramps stayed away.

Run Target: 4:15
Actual: 4:06

The aftermath
Race target: 12:00 hrs – or a bit under on a good day
Actual: 11:19 hrs – with far too long spent in transition

Coming across the finish line was a fantastic feeling. I was never completely sure I would make it as I had never combined all the disciplines in this kind of volume before. I collected my medal and hugged Sarah before stumbling to the finisher’s tent to ‘queue’ for some stew and a t-shirt.


3 Lessons learnt

Rather than provide a lot of detail about the race I wanted to share the best bits of my experience with other Ironman virgins to help them get their heads around this epic adventure. For me the lessons I learnt were:

1.Make yourself a plan for the day and stick to it. I know, from my training rides, that I need to get 400 calories an hour in me to keep me going. I can’t tolerate sports drinks so all the energy needs to come from gels and bars. Hydration (and salts) needs to come from Nuun flavoured water. Every 15 minutes my Garmin alarm sounded to remind me that another 100 calories and a few 100ml of fluid was needed. At times I was gagging at the thought of another gel or sugary Torq bar but I kept stuffing them in to make sure I didn’t bonk. The odd banana from the aid station broke the monotony and a Viper bar helped lift the spirits at the half way point. I also managed to down about 3 litres of fluid (500ml water straight after the lake and 2500ml of Nuun) on the bike so I was well hydrated for the run.

2.Take it eeeezy on the bike. Coming out of the swim I felt fantastic and could easily have hammered the bike overtaking everyone in sight at 25mph +. In my head I had to keep repeating Bevan’s (from Ironman Talk) quote ‘the bike should feel easy, if it doesn’t you are going too hard’ and reigning in my exuberance. Swallowing hard whenever a team mate or even worse a ‘girl’ went sailing past. I used an SRAM 12-27 rear cassette to make sure I could spin up the hills. Ended up with an average speed for the 112 miles of 19.3 mph and a heart rate just under 70% of HRmax.

3. Don’t over train. I followed the Don Fink ‘intermediate plan’ as best I could. I had to vary the plan on some weeks but was lucky as I didn’t have a lot of illness during my training. As you may know Don does everything based on time – not distance. This meant that my biggest week only had a 5:30 hr bike and a 3hr run in it. Throughout the training I never swam more than 3,000m or rode more than 100 miles and my max run distance was 18 miles or so. I also tried to make sure the long runs weren’t on consecutive days.

I am sure that limiting my ‘long’ sessions meant that I gave my body plenty of time to recover between sessions and helped avoid injury.
On top of all of this my one big message would be “enjoy the training”.

As some of you may have noticed Wink I went out of my way to find people to train with as I found the solitary training of early winter soul destroying and dull. Without Martin P at the lake every morning, Trevor, Kirsty, Andy, Aleck, Steve, Jevon, Corinne et al on the bike and the run I would have really struggled to put the hours in.

For me this year’s Ironman is just the start of the journey and with the next leg of the journey towards Frankfurt just around the corner. Doing the training alone would rob me of another fantastic opportunity to make new friends and to enjoy the company of likeminded individuals. Thanks to all of you.

In memory of Peter Mackie – Born 10th November 1939 – Died 1st July 2008

Thanks to Richard O for the photo’s of the canal swim whilst I was waiting for mine to come through ..!

Proper photo's now available at http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/graham.mackie4/IronmanAustria


Last edited by mkmac on Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:21 pm; edited 3 times in total
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p00key




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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice report , well done on an excellent time Smile
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Slacko




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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic result Graham. You ran to a sensible, well-thought plan and you executed it perfectly. Sub-11 next year then?

I’m sure we’ll be seeing quite a bit of each other over the off-season!
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Toyota_Crown




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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that fast course caught you out. How IS it soo fast Confused

well done mc graham
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robertquantrell




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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great read MKMac, you Milton Keynes guys were all over the run!! great support for each other. I still have Jevon's 'Corley cycles' logo imprinted into my retina's!
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pip




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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done, sounds like you planned a good race. I trust the 'girl' comment is tongue in cheek?
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mkmac




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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I trust the 'girl' comment is tongue in cheek?


Of course Worship
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Mrs Slacko




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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mkmac wrote:
Quote:
I trust the 'girl' comment is tongue in cheek?


Of course Worship


Yeah right Wink

Sir, you are elevated to hero status! Brilliant - during such trauma as well is beyond the measurable.

Thanks again, you were all such wonderful company, catch up soon.
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graeme4130




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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well done Graham
Looks like corless's swimming clinics paid off nicely.
Good result
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mkmac

That's an inspiring race report and an awesome achievement! Worship
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done mate. S'been a pleasure training with you and i'm looking forward to the journey to Frankfurt.

Let's go faster Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Your dad would be proud...

J.
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MrsR




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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lovely tribute to your father. Sounds like a brilliant race for you which went exactly to plan - well done! Thanks for the tips too.

MrsR
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Brian_of_Bozeat




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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good man Graham! Fantastic.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Graham, your father would have been very proud of you certainly. Good report too.

Chris
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RichO




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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:30 pm    Post subject: Re: MK Mac's IMA 2008 Race Report with 'borrowed' pictures Reply with quote

mkmac wrote:
Thanks to Richard O for the photo’s of the canal swim whilst I was waiting for mine to come through ..!


Great time Graham!

Mrs O read your report and said 'and how does he think RichO managed to take those photos while he was still swimming up the canal?!'

Credit where credit's due. All photo's were MrsO's work. I was otherwise engaged!
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