So it’s been a few weeks since Ironman South Africa 2018. Yes, I am an Ironman. I must say that I have been so de-motivated to get back into the swing of things and back to training that I almost can’t even remember doing the race!
So in an effort to get some mojo back, here’s a little about my race journey:
April 15th 2018 marked my second Full Ironman race. What a fabulous day it was indeed! My race weekend started out like every other event:
We got to PE on the Friday; went straight to registration and strolled through the expo (trying not to buy unnecessary crap). We then checked into our B&B, unpacked our bags and washed the bikes. We do always make an effort to stay a block or so away from the race venue as things get very loud and there’s too much excitement.
everyone headed their separate ways to prepare in their own head spaces. Time to put up the legs; have a good meal and an early night.
Sunday…the alarm was set for 4am. The time between that alarm going off and the starting canon is my absolute worst! I hate that feeling of anticipation. As always on race day I had to force down my breakfast. The loo visits were regular until we left at 5am to get to transition. Everything was organised and ready (thanks to my obsessive compulsive disorder) and I exited transition in search of my teammates. I bid my hubby good luck and he went off to find his spot on the start-line right behind the pros. Thank goodness I found Lucie and the team. I always have a little cry before we head down to the beach, a big day of racing lay ahead and I can just never seem to keep it in.
Now let me put this into perspective for you guys: NO, I am not a swimmer; NO, I am not a cyclist and HELL NO, I am not a runner. I was never an athlete but I was always an active person. I played netball throughout my school career and danced from the age of 3. I started triathlon at the age of 27 having never (EVER) done any swimming in my life! I literally started in the pool doing 25mtrs and stopping for 5 minutes to catch my breath.
I walked onto the beach with a few of my teammates, I dread standing there alone so I always ensure my friends are nearby! Having someone next to you just helps with the nerves…
When we finally hit the water every butterfly that was wreaking havoc in my stomach flew away and I was instantly in a comfortable place. The water was magical that day and I loved every single stroke through the waves. I am so happy with my 1hr09 swim (even though I ended up swimming 4,4km instead of 3,8)! This was an improvement of over 10 minutes from the previous years race.
The part of the race I struggle with the most is the run. 42.2kms is not an easy feat when you are 7 hours into your race. I started happily at 5:30m/km for the first 10kms and then the pawpaw hit the fan. No matter how much you tell yourself that you are going to push through and ignore the pain in your legs… when you’re out there on the day everything falls apart and the agony just sets in. I dropped my pace to about 6m/km and tried to hold that – walking the aid stations- but this too didn’t last. I ended up finishing my marathon in a time of 4hr30 at an average pace of 6:30m/km.
I end off my little write-up with a huge gratitude going out to my loving husband who understands and supports my every effort of self-improvement. He is an athlete on another level and I appreciate that he tolerates the “not so very fast” version of me. Thanks to my most amazing family who always make an effort to come to the events and support, not only me, but every Trifactri member! To my teammates and training buddies, obviously this would be a very lonely and boring journey without every single one of you! Coach, you continue to inspire me every time I see you. Your constant faith in me is unmeasurable and I am forever grateful to you for your support and guidance!
YES, I AM… A TRIATHLETE AND HELL YES, I AM… AN IRONMAN!
Where Trifactri athletes get to tell their side of the Swim, Bike and Run