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Cranky

My first (but hopefully not last - shhh) IM - Port 2015

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OK, so this is 7000 words long. You might want to get settled on the couch (or the windtrainer)! And, I haven't proof read it. Sorry - it's just too long! LOL!!

 

 

 

Cranky’s Port IM Race Report

 

 

 

My journey to becoming an ironman began eight months ago. I completed the 70.3 at Mooloolaba and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I was on a bit of a low after I had completed it so I thought, what next? So I signed up for the Port Macquarie IM in May of 2015. When I registered and I had to enter my goal times, I put down my finishing time of around 13 hours. I figured this was doable but it was going to be hard work. So I did a bit of research, got onto a forum on the internet called Transitions and stumbled across Ben Greenfield’s IM Training plan. A plan that would get you over the line with around 12 hours training a week. Because of Dazz and the three girls, I needed my training to be efficient. I didn’t want any junk miles, I just needed to get in and get it done. So I started my training. All went well, a few niggles here and there, but nothing that really prevented me from following the plan. All the way up to race day I was excited, and a little nervous, but as it got closer I never really got that nervous. Not as nervous as I used to get when I first started racing Enticer triathlons! This was similar to my 70.3. I was fine until race morning and then all of a sudden, exiting transition before the race, I just started bawling! But once I started I was fine and I figured this would be the same. I would be nice and calm up until race morning and then again turn into a blubbering mess.

 

I left Brisbane on the Thursday morning after dropping the kids at school. It was a bitter-sweet day for me, bitter because I had to leave behind my kids and my husband, but sweet because I was heading to Port to fulfil one of my dreams. It was bucketing down with rain for most of the trip. It was a long drive but at the same time it was nice to just have my own space for a while, that didn’t involve training. I cranked up the music and sang most of the way. I was on a high and couldn’t wait to get there. I arrived at Port at about five o’clock that afternoon, in the rain and almost dark and set up the van in between showers of rain, under the light of my mobile phone torch. I went to bed that night, a little down, missing my kids and husband but knew that I had an amazing adventure ahead of me over the next few days. I had a rough night’s sleep as it was raining most of the night. It wasn’t steady rain, it would sprinkle, then bucket and on the caravan roof, it was very loud. I was hoping the following night wouldn’t be the same.

 

I woke up in the morning feeling fantastic and knowing that my hubby would be with me again that afternoon made it easier. I had planned to go along to a morning swim with some of the other Trannies from the forum. This would be the first meeting, in real life and they were just as welcoming in real life as they were on the forum.

 

The swim was fantastic. We didn’t even swim a kilometre. On the return swim, I nearly swallowed water because I was laughing so much. I had a ball. After that, I went back to the caravan park for a quick shower and then met up with Foz, Jimbo and one of Foz’s mates for breakfast.

 

After breakfast, the boys took me for a tour and Jimbo talked me through the finishing chute, helping me to visualise how it would feel on Sunday and encouraging me to keep that picture in my head as that is what I could use when I was finding it tough out on the course to bring me home. It wasn’t as big as I expected. We walked to the other end, the entry of the finishing chute. It looked better from that end.

 

From there, we went and registered. We walked through the amazing expo, which was filled with IM memorabilia. When I registered I had to tell them what swim zone I would be in. My first thought was 1:10, putting me in zone 3, but then I decided that on the day I would be better off going in the faster zone and jumping on the feet of someone a little faster than me, so I put my name down for zone 2. I had a look around the expo and then went to the compulsory briefing session. This pretty much just covered everything in the hand book. I then had a quick bite to eat before heading back to the Glasshouse for the First Timers Briefing. I got a few useful tips from this. One of which was to walk the hills on the run because even there would be a lot of people around and cheering, it would be best to save your legs.

 

From there I went back to the caravan park and finished setting up. I started to sort out my transition and special needs bags. I wanted to do this before my support crew arrived so I could talk my way through it and have a quiet head space.

 

Dazz and Kath arrived at around 4pm that afternoon. It was great to have them there to share the excitement with. After they got settled I had a shower and headed off to the welcome dinner.

 

It was great. They started off with a video recapping last year’s race and that got me excited. Another great part was when they made all the first timers stand up and they all clapped and cheered and Mike Rieley told us all that on Sunday we would all be Ironmen!

 

From there we walked back to town. I met up with Dazz and a couple of new mates he had made from Sydney, Craig and Darren. One of them was planning on racing on Sunday, but only the swim as he had pulled a hammie a few weeks earlier. He was hilarious. He was in the pub drinking a couple of nights before the race! He went on to tell me that how, when I came down the finishing chute and 12 or 13 hours, people would be cheering, but what they really want to see, is “the fat guy at the end, losing all control of bodily functions, stumbling, at a few minutes to cut-off”. Dazz walked me back to the van and then headed back to his mates. I slept well that night and it was so much nicer to have Dazz with me.

 

We woke up Saturday morning to more rain and there had been talk over the last week of altering or shorting the race course in some way. I really didn’t want this happening, as I had worked so hard over the past months to become an Ironman and Dazz and I had decided that this would be my one and only IM race as the training took up so much family time. Dazz drove me over to transition so I could rack my bike and I made it there just in time for the final transition tour, which I had forgotten all about. Toby Coote took us through the ins and outs of transition and then it was time to rack my bike, soak up the atmosphere and then back to camp.

 

We went out to Hogs Breath for dinner. I ordered a full rack of ribs and ate three quarters of them. I figured that I wouldn’t be eating again for 24 hours, so why not fill up! Went back to the van, jumped into bed and had an early night. Still not feeling any different to the night before any other race, other than the fact that I got everyone to set their alarms.

 

I woke up the next morning and Dazz dropped Kath and I off as close to transition as we could get and then we walked the rest of the way. I started to feel a little stressed during this time, just wanting to get there and sort out my gear. I was feeling a little frazzled when I got into transition and realised that I had forgotten my electrical tape to hold my water bottle with spares in, when going over all the bumps. I had been warned about this and told that so many people lose their gear due to the rough roads. Thankfully I had some strapping tape in my bag that Kath was looking after, so I ran back to her and grabbed that. I just used that instead. I also had left my Bento Box at home, attacked to my training bike, so had to attach my two cliff bars and two packets of Shot Bloks to my top tube with sticky tape! I was one of the last ones in there. They started the warnings from ten minutes out. At one minute to go, I saw a volunteer walking towards me. A quick photo of me and my bike and I was done. I took one last look at my bike, put my pack on my back and headed out of transition. The next time I would see my bike, I would be racing!! I met Kath at the exit of transition and she took photos of me as I dropped off my Special Needs bags. We headed off to the swim start. Dazz phoned as we were walking to see where I was. He told me that Todd had arrived and they were waiting at the swim start. I asked them to jump in the toilet queue for me, and when we arrived they were only a few from the front. Perfect timing. I finished putting on my wetsuit and two caps (to keep me warm) on as they played the Australian National Anthem. Right up until now I was pretty composed and it felt like just another race. Then it was time for kisses goodbye and that’s when the tears came. Surprisingly not as many as my 70.3.

 

I found some of the trannies in the swim start. This was my plan as I didn’t want to wait all that time on my own. Jimbo, Nealo, ……and I stood around for a while and chatted about something that I can’t even remember. Then our line started to move and it got real! I put my goggles on. When we got to the front, we made sure that we all started together.

 

The water was absolutely freezing, but I think I forgot about that within one second of stepping into the water and after about a kilometre it was quite nice as my body temperature was rising. I think I lasted about five strokes before I lost Nealo’s feet and with the water the colour of mud I had no idea where anyone was, so I just took it easy at my own pace. About a minute into the swim I became breathless, as I always do when I swim hard in my wetsuit. I reassured myself that this is what always happens and it would come good soon. Sure enough, eventually it did and I just reminded myself to enjoy every minute as this is what I had waited for and worked so hard for over the previous months. Then I got emotional and started to tear up. I thought that was pretty silly because if I cry, I will fill my goggles with water and I won’t be able to see where I was going. So I just kept swimming, and swimming, and swimming. Eventually I got to the turn and I could see the bridge. I had a few calf cramps along the way, but nothing too bad. I think this was a combination of the freezing cold water and the tight wetsuit ending two-thirds of the way down my calf. As I swam under the bridge, I had my worst one. I didn’t know what to do. This one was not going to go away without some help and there were no boards nearby buy I knew I could float in my wetsuit so I didn’t panic. My main concern was that I didn’t want to stop swimming. So I curled my toes back and pulled on my toes with my other foot, whilst swimming with my arms only. As I swam under the bridge I rolled over onto my back for one second to see if I could see Dazz and Kath. I couldn’t. The cramp didn’t take long to pass. I then swam for the next 50 or so meters without kicking. Then I kicked with just one leg and then slowly reintroduced my other.

 

I could see the weir crossing in front of me. That was exciting. The Ironman flags, the red carpet up the steps. I didn’t rush up the steps and I remembered the advice I had been given a long time ago about always swimming until your fingers touch the bottom. I followed the same rule here and pretty much crawled up the steps, crossed the weir and back into the water. As I crossed over the weir I check my watch. The current of all the swimmers seemed to drag me away from the water. It was a bit rough when I first got back into the water and I was grateful for the surge training I had done with Grimsey’s at Sutton’s Beach the week before. I surged forward and found my own space again for a bit. I then did some maths in my head and figured that my time to the weir was great and I was looking at a I neared 1:05 swim finish if I could keep the same pace. As I got to the turn buoy and got kicked in the chest as I rounded it. It wasn’t that hard though, so it was no big deal. Rounded the next turn buoy without any problems and then began the swim back towards the weir crossing. It seemed a lot longer heading back, which is unusual as it is normally the other way around. I crawled up the steps again and threw my fists into the air as I crossed, in the hope that Dazz and Kath would recognise me, checked my watch and received a nice comment from one of the volleys about how happy I looked. “What’s not to be happy about?” I replied. Entered the water again, doing some maths, and figuring out that I was still on track for a 1:05 finish. That would be amazing, I thought. I was hoping for a 1:10 best case scenario! I soon came up to the next turn buoy and then headed for home. The home stretch seemed surprisingly quick. Before I knew it I could see the final turning buoy and that was it. The swim of my first IM was nearly over. I was feeling fantastic. I rounded the final turn buoy and headed under the yellow arch, up the carpet and through the showers. As soon as I exited the water I was looking for my supporters. I took off my Garmin, held it in my teeth and then struggled to unzip my wetsuit as I had forgotten to undo the Velcro at the top. This didn’t really cause me any trouble though as I kept calm, knowing that I had a bit of time before I would be at my bag. Eventually got my arms out, with a bit of a struggle over my normal watch, that I wore on my other wrist. I got it off in perfect timing, just as I entered the bags. Grabbed my T1 bag and headed into the change tent. The vollies were fantastic. I had two ladies there to help me. One emptied out my bag and put sun cream on my shoulder while the other one struggled to get my wettie off as I hadn’t stomped it down far enough. I wiped down and applied sun cream to my face. I realised that I didn’t need sun cream on my arms as I was planning on wearing my wings. We all worked together to get them on straight. Then sunnies, Nat’s superfast helmet and I was off!! Excited much?? The volleys packed the rest of the gear into my bag.

 

I ran the whole way to my bike, passing a few who were walking. I figured I had the energy, so why not. I wasn’t sprinting, just a nice jog. I got to my bike, grabbed it off the rack just like any other transition. Nothing new today, other than the fact that I had carpet under my feet to run on, which was really nice. Ran out to the mount line. Everyone had stopped on the mount line, so I just ran through them and jumped on my bike. Dazz, Kath and Todd were there cheering me on … and it was AWESOME!

 

Got my feet into my shoes and headed out of town. I had heard that there were speed bums out of town, but I think they covered them with carpet this year, so they didn’t seem that bad. Headed up the first hill, nice and steady, as per advice I’d been given. On the saddle, granny gear and just took it easy. Got a positive comment on the way from a stranger complimenting me for taking it easy. The first part of my ride I was pretty cautious around the corners and anywhere where I couldn’t see far enough in front of me. Turned left onto Matthew Flinders Drive and rocketed down there. That was great! The rolling hills out of town were fun. Then I hit the straight, knuckled down and just got the job done. Early in the ride for about half an hour, I had black spots in my vision. I couldn’t read supporters signs without squinting and I started to worry that I had a migraine coming on. I was dirty. Very dirty. I just hoped it didn’t get any worse. I did not want this to be the thing that stopped me from completing my Iron man. I also had stomach cramps for the first 30-40 minutes and I couldn’t figure out why. I eased up on the Endura and went back to water for a while. This helped. I couldn’t figure out if it was from the swim (as I often get craps after swimming) or if it was the Cliff Bars, the Shot Bloks or the Endura. They came and went and I tried to monitor what it was that I had ingested immediately before they became worse each time. I pretty much just ignored them and the further I got into the ride and the more water I took on the better they became, and eventually they disappeared. For about ten seconds some negative thoughts started to enter my head about the distance, but I wiped them pretty quick with the “You’re doing an Ironman. You have been training for this. This is where you want to be” and then I was back and feeling great. I was glad that we had driven the first ten or so kilometres the day before and I had mapped out the rest of the course a couple of weeks earlier, so I had a pretty good idea where I was going.

 

The weather was beautiful. We couldn’t have hoped for a better day. It was overcast and cool, but not too cold (something I had worried about, but had planned for). The turnaround at the other end came pretty quickly. “Here I come, Dazza!” were my thoughts! I was feeling unstoppable and on top of the world. I still wasn’t at the average speed of 30km/hr that I was hoping for but I managed to chase this down and got there on the straight on the way home. As I hit the rolling hills just before Port town my average started to drop again. That was ok, I figured I’d make it up on the second lap. I got excited as I neared MFD. I couldn’t wait to ride it as everyone had said how hard it was. Talking to my bike (cause I’m strange and that’s what I do), “Common, Vellie. Let’s do this!” I came round the corner and stood up, grinding down the hill to get as much pace as I could. With all my excitement, I only remembered to change out of the big chain ring and forgot about my other gears until just before I began my ascent. A small panic but then very grateful for having Di2, as I quickly changed and made it up most of the hill without having to get out of the saddle. I felt pretty great at the top as I didn’t have to use up too much energy. A couple more rolling hills before we hit town where I couldn’t wait to see my supporters. I had a grin on my face bigger than ever, I felt amazing as I came down the hill into town and saw my supporters. They seemed as happy to see me as I was to see them. I headed down to the turn around and then back up the hill. Dazz gave me high 5 on the way up the hill. Feeling awesome, I headed out for my second lap. The second lap was a little harder than the first. The wind had picked up slightly and I wanted to get my average speed back up but without cooking my legs. I managed to keep my head and not let my speed worry me too much. It was good on the second lap as I knew where I was going more so than the first time around. At no time did I look at the distance I’d travelled as it wasn’t about that this time, but just completing the course. Just before the far turnaround point on the second lap I needed to use the bathroom. I was so annoyed because I didn’t want to have to get off my bike. So I stopped and probably lost about three or four minutes but I guess it was good to stretch my legs. So I just back on my bike and my legs felt much fresher. At the turn around I got excited as I knew I was heading home. “Here I come Dazza!” I was hoping that there would be a tail wind to push me a little and get my speed average back up to where I wanted it to be. The roads were rough, and my forearms were aching from all the bumping on my tri bars. There was a small tailwind on the way home but not enough to get me back up to my 30km/hr average. So I just pushed as hard as I could, making sure I didn’t cook my legs. Surprisingly on the flats on the way home I got a second wind and passed quite a few guys on TT bikes. I didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard, so I just made the most of it and enjoyed the time. Maybe they had just pushed too hard too early. Towards the end of the ride, on the straight, I started to get some pinching in my right glute. If I came up off the tri bars it eased, so I was on and off for a little while. It wasn’t bothering me physically too much, just mentally. I was hoping it wouldn’t affect my run. The front of my right ankle, which was niggly in the weeks leading up, also started to flare up. This didn’t bother me though, because I figured it would be fine on the run, and at this late stage, that was my only concern.

 

As I started to come into Port, I started to get teary again as I had just about completed the second leg of my Ironman and everything was going perfectly to plan. I was about four minutes behind time, but that was ok. I would see what I could do on the run. I was just grateful that I hadn’t had any mechanical problems.

 

I came into MFD with the same attitude as I did on the first lap. I couldn’t wait to get up it. Many people had told me that a lot of people walk the second lap, so this made me even more determined to ride my way up it! I was a little more prepared this time, remembering ahead of time, which gear I needed to be in, so as I turned that corner, I changed down and up I went. I sat down for the first half and out of the saddle for the rest. Puffed at the top but by no means exhausted. I took the next hundred meters or so to catch my breath. As I headed down the hill into town, I was looking for Dazz but he was nowhere to be seen. I figured that he must be at transition and he was. As I was coming in to transition my glute was playing up even more and I was really starting to become concerned on how this would affect my run leg. I was obviously showing this on my face because when I looked at Dazz his facial expression was terrible. He looked really upset and worried. I wondered why. I didn’t think I looked that bad. Obviously I did!

 

I jumped off my bike, handed it to a volley and headed to the change tent. I grabbed my bag along the way and the volleys helped me get ready for my run. I wiped off my feet and put on my socks, which I had smeared the inside with Vaseline the day before. I got the volleys to tie my laces while I put on my cap and sorted out my race belt. They packed my bag away for me and off I ran out of the change tent. In my first few steps I realised that my glute wasn’t hurting so I was again, feeling on top of the world! I think I ran out of that tent at about a 4:20 pace and when I exited, Kath yelled at me to slow down and take it easy. This was a very sensible piece of advice. I settled into my run at about a 5:30pace and figured I would keep that pace just for a little bit while I felt good. After about a kilometre or so I settled down into a 6:00 pace. I got to the hill just outside the caravan park and as I was advised, I (power) walked up the hill, which seemed like a great idea because I was keeping up with the guy in front of me who was running! I got to the top and then took off again. Sitting at a6:00 pace was great. I had allowed myself to average a pace of 6:30 to make up for toilet stops, it was only a matter of time before I would need these, so I figured if I stayed at a 6:00 pace I would be right. On my second lap I needed to use one of my allocated toilet stops – turns out it was a waste of time. A combination of nervous energy and the fact that I always need to use the bathroom every time I run made me figure it was only a matter of time before I would have to on this run as well. However, I didn’t really account for the fact that I had hardly eaten all day! That annoyed me! Another bathroom stop on my third lap. This time I took a minute to settle myself and closed my eyes, but as soon as I did that, my head started spinning and I felt nauseous. I figured that wasn’t a very good idea, so I got out of there but left my tri suit around my waste ready for a quick pit stop if need be. Thankfully that was the last one (both ended up just being a waste of time!) I pretty much kept a 6:00 minute pace for the whole race and was feeling fantastic. Although I was half way through my second lap and I still hadn’t seen Dazz since T2. I started to wonder where he was. Kath was trying to take a video and all I could do was yell, “Where’s my husband?!” Sure enough, there he was, with Todd, on the next corner. All was well in the world again. They were both cheering. Dazz asked how I was. My reply, “Awesome!” and he cheered even louder, “Go, Joey, Go”. The second half of each lap was always harder because there are no supporters out that way once you pass Settlement City. I made sure I walked each aide station, taking some of my gel and then at least half a cup of water, wetting down my wings and some more water over my head to keep my body temperature down. The third lap was getting harder, but I still felt ok. As I went around the third lap I was reminding myself that after this lap I would only run it once more. I continued to walk the hill each lap. I was keeping an eye on the time and realised that I could do a 6:30 pace for the rest of the race I would still finish under my time. Let’s just hope I didn’t crash and burn on the final lap. On the final lap I was hurting but I just pushed it all aside and continued to run my motivational quotes, that I’d surrounded myself with over the months leading up, through my head, over and over. “It’s mind over matter”, “you’re going to want to quit, don’t”. Running pat that finish chute each lap certainly helped. On the final lap I shut out everything. I didn’t feel, see or hear anything that I didn’t choose to. I had only ever run 32km before, and that was on fresh legs, so I was over the moon with how I was holding up. Not only was I running further than I ever had before, but I was doing it after a 3.8km swim and a 180km ride. I just told myself over and over again that it was my mind that was going to get myself through this, not my legs, so I just had to stay focused. I’d never been in this place, mentally, before. I was surreal. It was like I wasn’t in my own body. I was tired and I was hurting but I felt amazing.

 

The trannies on the way round were great as well. Managed to complete at least 10km with one of them pacing me, although I didn’t even know he was a trannie until after the race. On the final lap I passed and when I passed him again on the way back in that Nealo was only two minutes ahead of me and that I should go get him. I seemed to be getting faster in my final lap. At one stage I hit a 5:30 average over a kilometre and was amazed at how good I was feeling. I couldn’t believe I could run this pace at this distance. But it was as if my legs weren’t attached to me, they were just going and I wasn’t in control. At 2km from the finish I had about 20 minutes to go. This meant, that if need be, I could walk the last 2km and still get in under my goal time. But I’ll be stuffed if I was going to walk after all this time! I was ecstatic! I caught up to Ten Pints and we paced each other for a kilometre or so, a couple of kms out. He let me go at the wrist band collection point. He told me to remember to ditch my glow stick that had around my neck, as we were now running in the dark, because we didn’t want that in the finishing photo. I collected my final wrist band and headed towards the final aide station. I took the last suck out of my final gel and had a drink of water.

 

It was amazing how well everything had gone to plan. This was my final gel and the last bit left My nutrition on the bike had worked out the same way. I brought myself back to reality, pulled up my tri suit, ditched my glow stick and got ready for the finishing chute. My zip on my tri suit was stuck and I couldn’t pull it up. I tried for about 30 seconds and then gave up. I ran for a few hundred meters whilst trying to zip it up. I then decided I wouldn’t worry. A few hundred meters later I decided to slow down to a walking pace and try again. No luck. I started running again and gave it one last go. I eventually got it up. I was getting closer. The music was getting louder and I was ten minutes under my goal time. I ran around the corner and saw the finishing chute. This time I wasn’t going straight ahead, but turning right to go down the chute. It was the most amazing site! The music was blaring, people were screaming and I could see the finish line. As I entered the chute I heard Roxi yell out to me to slow down. Everyone had told me to take my time as it goes way too quickly. They’re right. But I just couldn’t slow down enough. I was smiling, crying and punching the air, all at once. I spotted Dazz in the crowd and he was also fist pumping. He had the biggest smile ever. And I crossed that finish line in 11 hours, 48 minutes and 28 seconds feeling absolutely amazing, like you cannot explain with words. It was perfect. Better than I could have ever imagined.

 

The catchers took me away around the corner before I realised that I was going in the wrong direction. I wanted to give Dazz a kiss over the fence before I went into recovery, but it was too late and they wouldn’t let me go back to him. My original plans were to eat up, sit back and relax, get a massage and take my time in recovery, enjoying the atmosphere, but all I wanted to do was get out of there and back to my hubby. I grabbed some food and sat down as I knew I should eat something. I managed a bite of an ANZAC biscuit and a mouthful of pasta but really didn’t want to think about food right now. I went to the massage tent, sat down in line for about ten seconds before realising that I didn’t want to be there either. I then wandered into the medical tent, as I thought I needed to be assessed before I left, only to find out that the exit was the other way. Some volleys came with me to collect my Gear Street bag before escorting me to the exit. There was Kath, phone in hand, ready to take more photos. She supported me as I hobbled back to the van. I thought the walk would take forever but it seemed to be really quick. She tried to call Dazz on the way, but it kept going to message bank as I had told him I would probably be an hour before I got out so he had gone to make phone calls to update everyone who had been calling him throughout the day. He soon called back and met us on the way. With a big kiss and cuddle that was it. I was home. They took me back to the van, took off my shoes and socks and then phoned my girls and my mum. Kath walked me to the showers where I washed my hair and had a nice hot shower. I was hobbling around because of my left arch and my right ankle. They hurt a lot, but I didn’t care. I was an ironman. I was on such a high!

 

Before bed I did some stretching, had a shake and then slept. I don’t think I moved that night. I woke up in exactly the same position as I had gone to sleep in.

 

Dazz and Kath left early the next morning so they could pick up the kids from school. I went to transition and picked up my bike as soon as I could so I didn’t have to worry about it. Then I went out to breakfast with Ratdog, one of his friends and JGL. I saw Rick and Alley and they both seemed to pull up fine. Breakfast was so good. Bacon, poached eggs and toast. From there I went and got my ticket for the roll down ceremony and waited around until it started. Caught up with Foz and he talked me through what was expected, who had been there before, some people he knew, etc. It was good to have someone to chat to through the ceremony.

 

 

 

After that I went back to the van and unpacked all of my gear and started to get ready for the trip home the next day. Then I was done for a bit and I was feeling empty. That’s when I hit my first low. I knew it would be coming but I didn’t expect it this soon. I also thought that recognising what it was would help. It didn’t. I had no family with me and I had no where I had to be or anything I had to do. Here it was. I thought it would be at least a day or two away. I just wanted to be home. I looked at the time and figured out if I would have time to pack up the van and get home. I wouldn’t. So here I was, seven and a half hours away from home, feeling like crap. All I wanted was my Dazza. I didn’t want to text or call him because I didn’t want to make him feel bad. So I started to pack up the van so I wouldn’t have as much to do in the morning. I then headed into town for the famous Trannie Beer Mile. The beer mile was funny, but was soon over. I was up and down for the next few hours. I decided to head over to the expo because I wanted to buy the girls some shirts. But when I got there, it was closed and I could see everyone packing up through the window. This really upset me. Silly I know, but another sign that it was all over and I had missed my opportunity to bring the girls home a souvenir. I called some family and spent the rest of the afternoon packing up. Soon enough it was time to get ready for the Awards Night and off I headed. As soon as I arrived I felt great again, especially once the video started with a recap of the race. It was great to be in a room with so many like-minded (AKA crazy) people, and with so many new friends who I had only spent a couple of days with, but who I felt like I had known for ages. The food was great. Much better than welcome night, so I filled my belly as I knew I probably wouldn’t be having a decent breakfast in the morning. It seemed to take a long time, but probably only because I was impatient and waiting for the Kona Lottery! I was now in two minds about whether I wanted to get pulled out for the lottery. I was excited again, being back in the thick of it, but still feeling quite homesick. The atmosphere was awesome once they started pulling people out of the barrel. We had made a list of the 10 trannies that were going to Kona. Each time one of our names wasn’t pulled out, someone got kicked off the list. It was funny and a good way to entertain ourselves and pass the time. It got down to the last three, Jimbo, Foz and I. When the 8th name was pulled out, I let the boys fight over it. I didn’t care. I was still going so they could fight for the 9th ticket! LOL!! Turns out none of the trannies got pulled out, but it was exciting at the end when everyone was just about to leave and they announced that one of the lottery winners had just realised that Kona IM was on the same weekend that his daughter was due to give birth, so he was not going to take the place and they drew one final name out. I said goodbye to all my new friends. That was a bit sad. I headed back to the van for my final sleep at Port. I set my alarm for 4:30amso I could get up early and get on the road. It took me no time at all to fall asleep as I was exhausted. Tuesday morning I woke up without an alarm, just after 4am. Things went pretty smoothly but it was a little difficult to do it in the dark on my own. Was on the road at 5:50am. Said my final farewell to Port and thanked it for this amazing, life changing journey and headed home.

 

 

 

The messages of encouragement up to race day were amazing. I had so many family and friends who were thinking of me on the day, and that phoned Dazz throughout the day to keep updated. Thanks to you all!

 

 

 

Time for my next adventure to begin.

Edited by Cranky
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Great race Cranky, you really went in all in and came out with a great result!

 

Also, well written account of the mental highs and lows that occur pre and post event with regards to IM racing.

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Great race and a great report. It's an amazing weekend of emotional highs and lows.

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The trannies on the way round were great as well. Managed to complete at least 10km with one of them pacing me, although I didn’t even know he was a trannie until after the race. On the final lap I passed and when I passed him again on the way back in that Nealo was only two minutes ahead of me and that I should go get him.

 

You're welcome!! ;)

 

I thought "if I can't get him, maybe she can!"

 

Great report Cranks. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you, and I'm glad you got so much out of it

 

Welcome to the family!!

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Thanks Jimbo. Ditto. It's a pleasure to be part of the family.

 

Upon re reading that, it almost makes no sense! Guess I should have proof read it!

Btw - I didn't catch him! !

 

See you next year! [emoji13]

Edited by Cranky
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Well done. BTW - they will sell the remaining merchandise online much cheaper over the next month or so, so I wouldn't worry!

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I enjoyed all the details. Thanks for the write up and sharing your day.

You make IM seem manageable and ...(maybe, almost) ....T1F

I did get a bit worried when you couldn't see the road early on on the bike. Glad it all came good.

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I enjoyed all the details. Thanks for the write up and sharing your day.

You make IM seem manageable and ...(maybe, almost) ....T1F

I did get a bit worried when you couldn't see the road early on on the bike. Glad it all came good.

Thanks!

What's T1F?

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Read Turtles North Face 50 race report.

I love the Race Report section here. I love the drama and the excitement of the day.

Thanks everyone for sharing.

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Read Turtles North Face 50 race report.

I love the Race Report section here. I love the drama and the excitement of the day.

Thanks everyone for sharing.

 

Ha! Cross-report promotion! Love it.

 

Great report Cranky. I used to write longish race reports but ran out of oomph. Not as long as you though! Good read with a cuppa

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