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Year of first Tri race?

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  1. This is a report from the mid/back pack. If you think that going over 13hr is unacceptable then stop reading. IM Port Mac was a prove to myself, that I could do an Ironman in my fifties. I turned 50 last November. I had done IM in my 30's, 40's so wanted to finish one in my 50's. That was the key goal and the reason I told people when asked why?. Additionally I dislocated/broke my left hip 3 years ago and through the recovery focused on recovering so i could do what a normal healthy person could do; eg walk the dog, walk with the wife, play with kids etc. But underlying that was to get back to doings endurance sport like i had done previously. So i have done marathon MTB races, a marathon, so next was Ironman. My last IM was IMNZ in 2013 in 11hr 23min, and had done Port in 2008, 09, 10. The last time at Port was prior to the 70.3 being on the same day, a 3 lap bike, finish at Westport etc. I also finished in daylight (March race and Daylight saving still happening, start at dawn. I had done a total of 8 iron distance races previously with times between 11:20 and 12:59. Not fast. My training since Jan was consistent with final decision to enter at the end of Feb. I was putting focus into swim and bike, mainly around distance. I don't do allot of run training due to the hip. I also train with the underlying philosophy of arriving at the start line motivated and uninjured. Both of these i achieved. I arrived on Friday and enjoyed the buzz starting to form around town, although felt a little left out by not wearing IM branded clothing, or at a minimum some race shirt. The no carbo party left me with nothing to do that night and no really start to the weekend. Although I then ate what i wanted. The other key communication that wasn't given was about drafting, rules etc that you normally had to sit through. Also no celebration of the first timers or the legends which I used to enjoy. Saturday did a run, swim and bike to a cafe to check things over. My bike is a road bike with clip on bars 6 years old, wheels were my 40th birthday present, so when I racked my bike it was very much the odd one out. Then just wandered around, and sat around. Sunday morning got up and went and did the bike stuff, pump up tires, nutrition on bike, reading glasses on bike (if i need to see up close need those glasses), stand in toilet que x 3. The rolling start while is needed due to the tight cause had no real build up to it. Especially compared to IMNZ with the Waka coming in and Maori challenge. then the bike cannon fire of the start gun. Eventually the que got to the waters edge. Now to the race: Swim was nice, water clear and i seeded myself a bit high (1hr 20min) so got a little bumped around. The buoys were good for sighting, i just moved from buoy to buoy making my way up the course. The weir was a welcome change to break the swim up. Knew i was not going fast but work on survive the swim. Overall swam 1hr:28min, which was a little slower than hoped but no stress this is about completing. T1 was go, nothing exceptional, just making sure I did the process Bike: I got out of transition and focused on holding back, nutrition, not going super hard, and spinning. Did this through town and remembered the hilly nature of the first few km's. It was a beautiful warm sunny day so enjoyed that while keeping moving forward. I am a better biker than swimmer so passing people but remembering not to burn matches. I ride with HR, cadence, 3s power, speed. The first 3 are controllable and the 4th is of interest. On the flat, out of town just settled down to spinning and putting out an even output chewing up the km's. Remembering to take in nutrition to plan. It was nice going past the entrance to Goast Road and not turning into the worst potholes and patches ever seen on a sealed road. On the long straights just focused on en power output and cadence. The lack of wind was great. Lap one then lap two disappeared as the day went by my power was even across both laps when meant even pacing. I was able to stay on the aero bars as much as possible which was go. My hip aches from the same repetitive motion in the same position, which you don't get MTBing due to the continuous changing positions. The power on the second lap was 5W lower than first lap so pretty happy with pacing and endurance. I had no idea of my time as didn't look at time, I knew was getting on in the day as started to cool off. Coming alone the final road just before transition had a guy on a MTB wanting to race, so let him beat me; hell tell is grand kids about the day he out sprinted an Ironman!. Finished the ride in 6hr40min which was okay. T2 change into running shorts and dry top. Run: out onto the run at what was an Ironman shuffle high 6min/km pace. Previously have run a sub 4 Ironman marathon, wasn't going to be today. Today had different goals. I ran the first 2 laps; including gentle hill, except for the aid stations. Lap 3 decided to walk the hill. I had warm clothing in my special needs bag. but I knew if i kept running I would stay warm enough, but if I picked up warm top i could then walk but still be warm. So that was the mental battle each lap was to run past and know that there was no walking until I got back for the next lap. I kept shuffling, the crowd support was great. I shuffled/ran the whole way with only walking aid stations with a time of 5hr 17min. Wearing a Trannie hat got a few shout outs and meet Ironmum as she ran away! Overall time was 13hr 39min which allowed me to achieve the 2 goals of finishing in my 50s and back to pre hip activities. Overall I enjoyed the experience again, remember why i want to do it. It also shows you can do what you set your mid to if you set a plan and manage your expectations and resources.
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