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trinube

The good, the average and the bloody ugly

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Sorry, it's long... but so was the day :lol:

 

Preamble

I decided I'd like to try IM whilst giving blood on November 10, 2008 - a year after my father died. I'd spectated at Port in 2008 and 2009, and entered Yeppoon in an attempt to 'light the IM fuse' - but it never really happened. Simone's words at Yeppoon stuck in my mind though - "it's not about winning, it's about getting out and having a crack". So 10 weeks out, decided to apply the blowtorch and force the issue. This wasn't as impulsive a decision as it may seem, I'd been slowing building up distances since Yeppoon but the extra workload was also revealing the frailty of the ageing body and I wasn't convinced another 12 months of training wouldn't be doing some long term damage. The time was nigh.

Don't even remember pressing the button, the email just arrived saying "you're in" and it seemed ridiculously close. Trained quite well for the full 10 weeks - only missing one run in that time. Swimming had been consistent and bike increased up to around 250k per week for the last 5 weeks. Run remained steady at between 36k and 40k per week over 3 runs.

 

Race Week

Arrived in town and was immediately impressed, Busso is a lovely little down with a homely feel, a great pie shop and spectacular scenery.

As I'd worked on this being my only IM, I was keen to take in the whole event. Arrived early and absorbed the atmosphere like a Shamwow on spilt cola. Did the carbo party, expo, race briefing and anything else that was available. I'd been surprised how calm things had seemed earlier in the week but that changed as the week passed - the tension on peoples faces was becoming more evident and by race morning there was a noticeable difference in the eyes of competitors.

Prior to the start I was passed a few pearls of wisdom by Chambo and Coffs Pete ending with a good luck 'tranny hug' just before hitting the water. As I'd travelled alone it was nice to have familiar faces to help with virgin nerves.

 

The Swim

 

Turning a weakness into a strength

I've never been a swimmer. Taught by grandmother at 7 or 8 and never a formal lesson or squad since. Swim training had been simple. Get to the pool a couple of lunchtimes and swim 2k. Get to the pool another couple of times a week and swim 2.5k or 3k. Did one straight 3.8k session 4 weeks out 'just to be sure'. No intervals, no toys, no stops; many would hate it, but it works for me.

I'd seeded myself at 1:20 even though I'd thought under 1:10 was doable; just wanted to take pressure off myself and avoid problems. As it turned out, there were very few people where I started (far right) so I sidled up to the faster caps and got a smooth, easy start. At around 200 metres stopped on a board to adjust some leaking goggles and again at around 1700m.

Apart from the watery eyes the swim was easier than I thought - got into a nice steady rhythm and felt comfortable. Survived the sudden traffic jam at the turning buoys and the mental trigger of 'homeward bound' kicked in big time. Got passed by a screaming red cap (Kowolski?) at about 3k and then joined the salmon run for the finish. Official time of 1:08 and if I'd not had the goggle issues would have done around 1:07 which was my "perfect race" time. 18 months ago I only entered enticers because I couldn't swim more than 300 metres - I was happy.

Was a bit surprised hitting T1 - naive noob assumed there'd be some sort of booth to get changed. Suddenly realised this was Japanese Bath house style so nuded up and got sorted. Bike shorts, jersey, socks - didn't rush - wanted to ensure I didn't forget anything. Hit T1 same time as Chambo who I think was both surprised and relieved I'd survived the swim - the only other time he'd seen me in the water was a Tomaree sprint in which I'd not covered myself in glory.

 

The Bike

"First one should feel easy, second one medium, third one should be hard" - paraphrased CEM on 3 lap bikes

Onto the bike and started stopwatch. Nice roads, really nice. The plan was to spend the first 30 minutes settling in, getting the HR down and taking small amounts of fluids. I'd done 8 or 10 rides between 100k and 140k in the last 6 weeks and most had been aimed at testing nutrition and getting some endurance into the legs. Had settled on 500 mls of High5 and a gel every hour which was almost perfect for my size (76kg). Had tested this 3 or 4 times - the longest was 140k/5k brick in 39C heat.

All seemed good except the HR - wouldn't budge below 135 (target was 120), even though it felt very easy and legs were great. First lap went by quickly, a smidge under 2 hours by my watch which was a little quick for me. Biggest concern was the amount of protein I was downing through gritted teeth - seemed everywhere I turned a bug would find an open orifice in which to camp. Saw Humdrum flying the other way looking sensational and Hymie pulled up and chatted for a few seconds. Copped a wave from a few Trannies at the town turnaround - cool, thanks!! :lol:

Consciously backed off a bit for lap 2 but HR still pinned higher than I'd like. Tried dropping the speed right back but made no difference. Not sure whether it was starting from a raised HR, the heat, anxiety or stress but tried to remain calm and not push it any higher. Stuck to the nutrition plan like gospel - 500 mls High5, 1 gel every hour. Occasionally a sip of water and an Endurolyte.

By Lap 3 it was no longer a conscious effort to slow - fatigue, heat and wind are now like a giant hand mashing my face into the dirt. At the 10k sign on lap 3 had a bit of a mental stumble - "crap, still got 50k to go" but almost as quickly I looked at the speedo and thought "hey, you've already done 130k" and suddenly the glass was half full again.

Stopped for a comfort break and lube job before slipping past 160k and heading for home. The last few k's dragged like a 16# Danforth and the onset of civilisation was a welcome sight. Looked down on the top tube and saw 2 remaining gels from the 6 I'd begun with. This meant I'd missed a gel in the last hour but I didn't really have an appetite for another so mentally noted it and rolled into T2. Copped a 'go tranny' from someone at the bike finish and headed for the tent.

Time 6:30 which was at the higher end of expectation but given the conditions, a pee break and limited preparation I was happy enough. Off the bike hot and weary but with a smile on my face. T2 was another complete change of clothing and standing around naked was starting to feel less uncomfortable :D . Undies, shorts, clean socks and a new t-shirt. Waited for a drenching, had a couple of drinks and apply more sunscreen. I'd felt a bit ordinary in the tent, which I'd put down to how humid it was inside.

 

The run

2 years ago the surgeon told me not to run - finally I heed his advice

Got myself together and started a very slow jog to the first aid station. HR was through the roof and was struggling under some severe back pain. This is not an unfamiliar feeling, the result of letting a surgeon with a DeWalt and Sidchrome 10127 set loose on your spine. Walked through the aid station drinking only water, popped a couple of endurolytes and started the slowest run I could manage. My back was feeling like a kanga jack was connected directly to the spinal cord and even walking was becoming difficult. Hobbled to the second aid station and dropped a couple of Nurofen Plus which I carry for just such an occasion.

Strategy was now simple, walk until my back improved and see if I could get the HR down. Only one of these would ultimately eventuate. By the third aid station the back was feeling no anger and I'd moved along the evolutionary chart to be walking upright again. Unfortunately my walking is at a higher HR than which I'd normally run. Although this meant running wasn't going to happen, I felt pretty good and was actually enjoying the day. Took time to stop and talk to as many volunteers and spectators as seemed interested, and every kid who held out a hand got a high 5 - if I missed I'd even back up. Lap one down in 2 hours and things were merry. If the HR drops I'm confident I can do a bit of running.

A constant surprise for me is how rapidly the body can revolt. Part way through lap 2 the perfect storm began brewing in the stomach. I'd had little appetite and was sipping coke and eating fruit when I could, supplemented with water, ice and Endurolytes. The thought of High5 or a Gel made me nauseous but I managed to chew a couple of Chomps . Caught up with Coffs Pete, backed off and walked together for about 20 minutes, thinking this would help the tummy sort itself out. Cruelly, my thinking was wrong, the tummy just felt worse and worse and by about 25k I told Pete to go without me as I was starting to hold him up.

The spritely walk had slowed to a crawl and the realisation I needed to clear the stomach was becoming more and more evident - it was just a matter of from which direction it would need to be cleared. Struggled through the remainder of lap 2 feeling like shit and started for home. Passed Steno heading the other way but we were both too buggered to talk so just silently hung a hand out to each other and it was kinda comforting to know the suffering wasn't in solitude.

At around 34k passed slowly through an aid station, took a sip of water, and there was an audible 'crack' as the camel's back broke. About 50 metres from the station the first few burps churned and I lowered to my knees for a decent puke. There was nothing coming up although at one stage I thought the small intestine was going to make an unheralded appearance. 3 or 4 hefty dry wretches and rolled onto my back to catch my breath, immediately triggering the need to wretch some more. An ambulance guy came running over to check if I was OK and I assured him that other than nausea I felt fine. Ran through a bunch of questions and seemed quite pleased when I lucidly mentioned I'd been taking Endurolyes, I knew the date and where I was.

Now just as surprising as the speed of bodily revolt is the speed of recovery. About a minute after being sprawled over the grassy knoll I was back on my feet feeling surprisingly reasonable. Stopped briefly at special needs to dress a few blisters (which were promoting themselves from saucer size to dinner plates), then stopped to reassure the ambo guy I was going ok. 7k to go and the solid walking pace had returned and the cool of the evening was now washing across the shore - I was exhausted, sore, emotional and wanting it to end, but I still love this time of day.

My favourite part of the course was just behind the finish chute where the tranny lunatics had set up shop. I think it was stevefitz but whoever you are, thanks a million, still made me laugh after 14 hours when he said something like "you've made it mate, you're a f#$king Ironman, now go and collect your $600 towel!". And with that I made the lame effort to jog down the finish and high 5 everyone I could.

I'd carried a photo of the family and a scan of my father's blood donor book with me for the whole day and I'd promised the kids I would carry it over the finish line. I was looking for the photo as I entered the finish chute so have no idea whether "you are an Ironman" was called or not. It doesn't worry me as it seems to properly prioritise the family above Ironman. Carried the photos over the line and strolled into the arms of the catchers and was promptly adorned with the $600 towel and medal. A few seconds later copped a tranny finishing hug which was very much appreciated when the family were so far away. Last people before the start and first after the finish were trannies, you know who you are, thanks again.

Here's the shirt I wore on the day.

 

shirt.jpg

 

I asked the kids to decorate it at their will. The references to Kerbside and Greenmachine were to remind me of something Otter had said a few weeks back:

"Point being that you get a brief fleeting moment of god like fitness and health and the rest of the time you're happy to walk the earth (at any pace). Be happy walking the earth."

Some people will look at this and see an ordinary performance but I prefer to think of my father, Kerbside and Greenmachine, think of how fleeting life can be, and thank my lucky stars I'm able to "Be happy walking the earth". It's time to get back to the family.

Never again...

 

....well, probably never :D

A few people I need to mention; Roxii, thanks mate, very much appreciate your time and willingness to help, Agent86 for the prodding and support, Simone and Otter for unknowingly encouraging me, Chambo and Coffs Pete for saying the right things when insecurity was closing in, all the trannies on course who yelled and encouraged, Bored@work, Fezza and Antisport for just being there and lastly Humdrum, my Ironman 'virgin' buddy with whom I could share the nerves, the excitement and the achievement, many, many thanks. 'Twas a fun week thanks to all you guys.

Edited by trinube

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Passed Steno heading the other way but we were both too buggered to talk so just silently hung a hand out to each other and it was kinda comforting to know the suffering wasn't in solitude.

Good summary... apology for not being able to give more..

 

Trouble with writing a race report so late is I want to know more...

 

Tell us about the days and weeks after. How did you recover? What are you post race feelings of it and the week? Anything next? Glad you did it? etc etc

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Some people will look at this and see an ordinary performance but I prefer to think of my father, Kerbside and Greenmachine, think of how fleeting life can be, and thank my lucky stars I'm able to "Be happy walking the earth". It's time to get back to the family.

 

Absolutely nothing ordinary about that!

 

Thanks for an amazing read...damn room must be dusty as it got a bit teary on this end.

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Every now and then when I sit back and think about it, or Im asked about it I am generally happy with my decision not to do Ironman again. Im not getting any younger, I dont seem to be getting any faster and to be honest I couldnt be stuffed trying to go faster any more.

 

 

 

 

Then I read something like that and I realise that it is more than just a "game", more than a "sport" more than a "start to finish in the fastest possible time". Maybe that has to do with the "IM Family" or the "Tranny Family" or just a whole lot of people struggling together to do something most find impossible.

 

 

But there really is something special about IM, that I cant find anywhere else.

 

Great work Kim, really proud of your effort, all that when I know it hasnt been the easiest of years for you either.

 

And dont thank me, I was just telling you what I did wrong the last 11 times to help you avoid my mistakes. :lol:

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Those few days in Busselton did wonders for me, I was very lucky that Fezza and Humdrum chose to include me in their trip, they are great girls. Meeting you and Bored was and is a privilege, I needed reminding that there are still great people around and you did it. Thank you. I am not Iron at all (as you well know) but I was made to feel part of it and I am very grateful.

 

Now I am off to fix my make-up ‘cause I have a meeting and your report has ruined my “corporate look”.

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Trinube, you are what IM is all about.

You supported so many of us through our own IM journeys at Port over the last two years and then it was your turn.

It doesn't matter about how you got to the start line or how you got through the race on the day. It's all about the fact that you completed it and that is an incredible feat in itself!!

 

Plus keeping it on the sly is very impressive! Don't think I'd be able to do that.

 

Congrats. YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!! :lol::lol::D

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Mate I said it on the day and I'll say it here, "you're a f#$king Ironman" and you have made it, and that $600 towel is your ticket to every single memory you made on the day.

 

Something told me you had the idea of the whole ironman thing, and reading your report confirms it.

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Holy crap-olas! I need a counsellor now after reading that. You certainly captured the spirit of something I hope to share next March in Port Mac. It seems there are a million reasons for stopping but you only need one good one to keep you going. I have made sure my wife and kids are coming up with me to Port and I am hoping that their faces will be enough to keep me going. Run it as ugly as you like but even attempting an IM is a something few people even contemplate. Was it Kung-fu who said he was just going to "walk the earth"?

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Trinube that was a wonderful report which truely captures the IM spirit. It is so easy to keep going when things are going well---------------but to keep perservering in the face of such adversity is truely admirable :lol:

 

Fezza, Steno and your self are all an inspiration to us all- and truely embody what it is to be an ironman.

 

.................it is more than just a "game", more than a "sport" more than a "start to finish in the fastest possible time". Maybe that has to do with the "IM Family" or the "Tranny Family" or just a whole lot of people struggling together to do something most find impossible............................But there really is something special about IM, that I cant find anywhere else.

 

Thanks Roxii...............................You can try to explain to others why you love IM, but rarely do they understand.

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:lol::lol::D:D:D;):blink:;)

 

Well Kim,

 

Wow, you are a dark horse as I said this morning. Thank you so much for coming to the Lake this morning especially to find me and tell me this great news. Wow, wow, wow, you really are the epitomy of an Ironman. I never realised that it was your ambition to join this prestigious club, because that is what it is. Whether you are Craig Alexander or Trinube or whoever you are, you did it. You did it, you did it. YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.

 

I am so proud of you. I wish it had been an honour of the Green Machine to have known you, he always loved stories like this especially when yet another Westie would have the desire to do the race and go ahead and do it. So to me you are a true Westie (WDJHer) too.

 

I will remind you of what Ian said a long time ago to one Pineapple after the loss of his father.

 

"I find that long runs and rides in training are good times for reflection on family or friends, thinking of the good times and the bad. I am never lonely when I am out training"

 

Well, dear friend, you did your training and you went out and did it. I too am sitting here with the tears streaming down my face because your story moved me with so much compassion and you told it how you did it, like AN IRONMAN.

 

As I told you I had to have Harvey, my darling cat, put to sleep on Thursday, my last link to Ian, and your news this morning filled me with joy and helped me overcome my grief a little.

 

Well done and as I said thank you for the visit this morning. Have a great Christmas and see you in the New Year.

 

Love Pam xxxxx

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A race report from the heart and not the ego, a welcome change....BOP athletes have this in spades thats why it is so much fun there

 

I must have been just chopping onions, yes really... :lol:

 

And you managed to beat my time :lol::D:D I didnt think anyone could go as slow as me, and I am right :D

 

Well done and lets see what 2010/11 brings....Enjoy the memories they are so special when it does not come easy with what you have had to endure, very proud of the way you handled it all

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I must have been just chopping onions, yes really... :lol:

Me too :D

 

Reading your & Steno's race reports this afternoon is almost enough to make a girl want to do an IM. Almost :lol:

 

In all seriousness, I am sooooo happy for you. And thanks for sharing your journey; I really needed it. Reading your report has reminded me why I persevere during the bad / hard times. Look forward to catching up at Port Mac!

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I rode to Jamberoo in a big headwind and rain for the Johnny Warren Classic yesterday and as I hobbled off the bike I said to my brother in-law "only another 80kms to go and then a Marathon after it to do an Ironman!" (and that wasn't mentioning the dreaded swim!)

 

After reading your report it reinforces that thought and but then you also cover the love, support, friendship and fun that can go with it!

 

Thanks you've left me even more confused! :lol:

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nealo,

 

it really doesn't feel that way when you do it all together. Those 13 hours went really quick, and I stil can't believe I completed a marathon.

Are you coming to Port again ?? We can do another 'chinese-threesome' :lol: and you will no longer be confused, seriously. :lol:

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We can do another 'chinese-threesome' :lol:

An hour later you want it again :lol:

Wonder if they have tables of four :D

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Trouble with writing a race report so late is I want to know more...

Tell us about the days and weeks after. How did you recover? What are you post race feelings of it and the week? Anything next? Glad you did it? etc etc

Well, a few weeks have passed and I've thought about these questions a bit.

 

Recover was pretty good. Apart from a bit of muscle soreness I thought I pulled up fine. Went for a swim on the Friday night and struggled to do 1k. Tried an easy run on Saturday and struggled. It was then I realised the impact is not as obvious as one might believe. Much of it is mental - not 'needing' to train. A few weeks on and I feel great apart from a little extra lard and some tight calves courtesy of touch footy. I've played footy a few times, done 3 or 4 swims, 1 ride and 5 or 6 little runs.

 

Loved the week, really enjoyed it - but much can be attributed to the company I kept :lol: It would have been very lonely traveling sans family for that period without someone to talk to. The thing which did surprise me was the lack of any real elation or emotion afterwards. I joked I'd never do another but that's really how I felt - box ticked, why do it again. That feeling, of course, passes and the more distant the race the more fond the memory. It's like when I had a knee reconstruction - the pain was unbelievable and I swore I would never go through it again - but if I needed one tomorrow I'd line up :lol:

 

What's next. Slowly easing back into things and have been really happy just spending time with the family and pottering around the house. Trying to get my daughter into a 50m/2k/500m tri in Feb. Taught the young bloke to ride without training wheels (the enforced tempo runs are killing me ;) ), been walking with the missus - I really want to put them first for a while. In all seriousness will probably do an enticer next - in sluggos and wearing a silly hat :D:D .

 

Am I glad I did it - yeah, no brainer. I had a few reasons which all revolve around family. I'd like to devote some time to getting people donating blood and have a bit of a plan which I hatched over a year ago. I had to delay donating in November due to the race - I'll go this week or next.

 

My main reason though was to try and set some sort of example to the kids - if you persevere you can achieve, if you fight you can overcome, if you do your best, you can be proud. Like Simone said, it really isn't about winning; it IS about having a crack and I want them to understand if you have fun, try hard and don't give up, life will be kind to you. Smile, and 'be happy walking the earth'. :D

 

My philosophy before Busso was simple, don 't be scared you won't make the end, be fearful you won't have the courage to start. I'm pretty proud I had the courage to start.

 

cheers

 

'k

Edited by trinube

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Are you coming to Port again ?? We can do another 'chinese-threesome' :lol: and you will no longer be confused, seriously. :lol:

 

I'm going to try and come again. Although with you two in my ear maybe I shouldn't.

 

My philosophy before Busso was simple, don 't be scared you won't make the end, be fearful you won't have the courage to start. I'm pretty proud I had the courage to start.

 

I like it!

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Sorry mate, missed this the first time around.

 

You truly are an inspirational person, with a great and meaningful outlook on life.

 

Take the time to enjoy the family and all the joy they can bring......ok and also some of the heartache as well, Bloody teenagers!!!! :lol: .

 

I am humbled and very proud to have been a part, albeit a very insignificant part, of your first IM experience.

 

All the best to you and the family for 2010 and you will always have somewhere to stay should you venture up to God's Country,(very similar to the Shire :lol: ), for a Tomaree Club race or even Club Champs.

 

Great memories you will have forever.

 

Cheers

 

Chambo

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Well done kim,great race report by the way.Now i have to get off my arse and do one of those IM thinges.Once again congrats Cheers Powdo

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don 't be scared you won't make the end, be fearful you won't have the courage to start. I'm pretty proud I had the courage to start.

Words to live by :lol:

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All the best to you and the family for 2010 and you will always have somewhere to stay should you venture up to God's Country,(very similar to the Shire :lol: ), for a Tomaree Club race or even Club Champs.

thanks for the kind words Chambo - Feb 14 is in the diary as long as nothing else pops up, although it is the week before Huski :lol:

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thanks for the kind words Chambo - Feb 14 is in the diary as long as nothing else pops up, although it is the week before Huski :lol:

 

 

Valentines Day.......be careful...... :lol:

 

Good hit out before Huski, wish I was going now....

 

Let me know if you need a bed.

 

Cheers

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Bump - just because. I love reading back through these things sometimes. Can't believe it's nearly 10 years ago.

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That's one thing I do really miss about IM - being able to catch all you guys at the finish line. Nowadays, you almost have to be a paramedic at Port to do the catcher's job.

FM

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