Just have to say how relaxing being over in Phuket has been, and what a breakthrough I have had while in the presence of some amazing people. Sitting on the flight back to Singapore now and thought I would finish off the fun and festivities of Phuket 70.3 for another year. Sorry I didn't get it to you sooner, I got carried away with meeting new people and having fun.
So back to the race and in short, it went well and I had a blast. I stuck in there for the whole way and kept my mental strategy, which as you know was a big problem I have had lately.
Kristian Maniettas' article "Taking Charge" posted last week about negativity really helped so much. It made me put everything into perspective. I was such a positive person before I got sick and from then on I have not been focused and pretty much lost all want for the sport. That article made me really take note of what I think and even say every moment of the last few days.
My swim tactic was to just get the arms turning, not to waste energy and just concentrate on my stroke. There was a strong current pushing to the right to start and then to the left about 250m out, with also an outwards tide. I was happy and swimming pretty much alone (which is how I like it in the ocean) until the turn when we bunched up again. I was swimming pretty much straight with only minimal affect from current. Swimming bunched again to the second turn buoy and then gradually spread out as others went off course heading back to shore. Even though the tide was going out the waves were fairly big and coming from way back. I managed to hold onto a wave from the about 200m out and dropped about 100m out when another two went straight over me. Kept swimming normal and eventually got out and into the fresh water. Again just stretched out and concentrated on stroke. Got out in 32min. Not the best swim but pretty hard conditions and for not trying all that hard it wasn't too bad.
The bike started out pretty well but about 5km in a guy crashed into 3 dogs not far in front of me which had me a tad scared. Good on him for getting straight back up and onto the bike again. I was pretty much with him until the first hills at 45km. Looking at my watch as the time went by and I was sitting a little faster than I wanted, but I didn't feel like I was expelling much energy. Flew up the first set of hills at the 45km mark and ventured back into town. I stayed seated for most of them and it wasn't too bad. I got to 60km and it did exactly as last year, bucket down for five minutes and then stop with a pretty big head wind. I got a touch chilly but nothing to complain about. I was slowing down a fair bit by this stage but still keeping a good average and trying not to ruin my legs. I kept on saying " the run isn't far and just get through it".
Just as we started to go up the last set of hills (the hardest hills), it started bucketing again. The first and last hill of the set of about five hills were the hardest and I walked up them both unfortunately. Not because of my legs, but from a safety point I would rather walk than fall off due to the back wheel slipping. The water running down these hills would have been at least 3inches deep in some spots. Put that much water on a 22% gradient and the little weight i have trying to keep the back wheel on the ground, it's dam near impossible. Going down the hills was also a bit hairy but managed to survive. With 10km to go I started to get really bad stomach and chest cramps with gas, so I pretty much spent the last bit trying to bring that all up before the run. It would have nearly crippled me if it happened on the run, like it did in Port Mac.
Into transition again and feeling good. I was absolutely drenched and still having a great time, smiling and talking to others in T2.
Got onto the run course and played a little cat and mouse with two others finding my comfortable pace and got the stride rate up. One guy paced off me until the 4.5km mark when we both had a loo break. Came out running well again and caught the first guy we were running with and another one who was close to us in T2. From that moment on we stuck together and helped each other out. Great encouragement and great people. Took a little of the mind off of the pain but we were still making sure we stuck to the same times each kilometre.
I fell back a little at the 13-14k mark and was loosing a little energy and the others went on. An aid station came just as I needed it, so I slammed down some Hammer Gel and I got some coke (one cup this time) and boom there I was, back in the game. At the next aid station I caught one of the guys and we both pushed to catch people. At this point the sun had come out and it was HOT. We caught the other two guys again and then stayed together the whole last 5km. Apart from the one kilometre I was hurting, the run was pretty much the same pace throughout. I kept a high cadence and I managed to Keep It Together the whole run. Big thank you to Marcus for sticking with me on the run. Great running down the finish with you.
After the finish it was just relax and massage time. I wasn't able to keep anything down but i got a little dissy at one stage and got some electrolyte in me and I was good. I got to catch up with a heap of people I was talking to before the race and pretty much heard the same story off everyone, "It was a tough day out there".
I ended up going to Patong on Monday with a mate from Aus and a new found friend from South Africa to see what all the hype was about. I have been to Phuket three times now and I haven't done anything outside of the 5km radius of the Laguna Hotels, so I thought I better do something touristy. We got down there in the aim to shop-it-up, and was a little disappointed straight off the bat. We were dropped off at a different entrance walking straight into the food venues which were all closed and we were told that this is all of the shopping the centre had. We ended up going around the market place area and then to the beach which was nothing special. Would have been nice to sit down and relax a bit but it was stinking hot and I just wanted to get coffee and into some aircon. Went back to The Coffee Club and found the actual shops. Did a little of shopping and then returned back to the resort. I had a massage on the beach which was pretty good. She hurt me but at least I knew where I needed the TriggerPoint Therapy while sitting by the resort pool. Gee ain't holidays grand :)
Booked a 4 in 1 tour of Phuket and trip to James Bond island on Tuesday. It was a great day out exploring some wonderful scenery and greenery. Did a lot of relaxing and laid around in a kayak being paddles around some amazing caves. Highly recommended. Thanks to Dawn and Clint for suggesting I head out, your company was amazing.
Well im about to bored to go home so thank you so much Kristian for the renewed enthusiasm for the sport and even for life in general. If you are wanting to be inspired then I highly suggest you subscribe to TriSpecifics articles at www.trispecific.com it will be worth it.
I would also like to thank everyone who has kept pushing me this last year and Hammer Nutrition for sticking with me through this trying time. I promise you all next year will be full of bigger and better things.