Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Aviva 70.3 Race report

(pictures to follow- in advance courtesy of Keat Seong, Audrey Song and friends)

I am going to do my best to keep this one short. Half the distance so I figure at least half the text right?
Okay. This race was a no pressure ‘holiday’ race of sorts. I still wanted to do well but knew my best was probably not going to be in the bag. So I also treated the very long weekend (Wed to Monday) as a holiday. I haven’t had one of these in a long time, triathlon breaks yes, but not beer drinking, lazy days eating and just chilling.
Arrived on Wednesday, checked in and hopped straight into a cab to Orchard hotel to meet Julie who was staying for a few days. A very lazy afternoon ensued of drinking (I started only at 5pm mind you) and gossiping in the lobby lounge of the Orchard.
Thursday morning, I hung out in China town, popped to the Polar service centre, ate lunch, took a massage, started the beer drinking, slept, ate, slept ate, drank. Yeah you could say I was pretty chilled out.
On Friday, things were starting to heat up RE: the race. (I knew I had flown down here for something other than R&R). A short light run down by the beach in the morning followed by breakfast and some more sleep. RHBee was driving down with the bikes and had kindly agreed to swing by the hotel on arrival to pick me up on the way to registration.
Friday night was the carbo loading and by 4pm I was starting to feel really rough. At breakfast that morning I had trouble standing up unaided and I was pretty sure it was not the after-effects of a drinking session. I knew I was on my physical limits and still recovering from IMMY and so asked Bee to drop me back at the Mercure Hotel. I fully intended to be back at 6.30pm for briefing but it didn’t happen. I couldn’t move out of the bed. No carbo for Emma and no race briefing – oh well!
Saturday morning we agreed to have a light spin and swim. I hoped that I would feel better and lucky for me, 8am rolled round and I felt a hell of a lot better. Had a spin with Dave and Bee, then a little swim. Back again to the hotel for some R&R before returning to Big Splash for the Brett Sutton talk at 2pm.
I planned on attending the 2nd late briefing at 5.30pm after Brett’s talk. Seeing as I missed Fridays. Again it didn’t happen. I got chatting with Brett about my new position with TBB KL (to be announced later), and time just flew past. Then it was a TBB photo call and then, only then I could leave and eat. I then realised I hadn’t eaten since breakfast that morning! Not good. Carbo load was a bowl of Maggi noodles, peanut butter toast and a couple of mini muffins. No beer tonight!
Race Day
Well you know I was up at the crack of dawn. Here is how it played out:
Swim: I was aiming for 38min. I knew this was well within in me – under normal circumstances. Alas, today delivered a very unusual set of circumstances. All good experience though.
I like the wave start. I feel more confident thrashing about and fighting with just female swimmers! Less than a quarter into the swim I was stung really badly with jelly fish. Worse than Langkawi, much worse, it got my face, legs and my right arm really nastily. There were no adverse effects in Langkawi so I tried my best to ignore the pain going through my arms. It was a nasty swim, I hated getting out and plunging in again and I was already at this stage asking a lot of questions of myself.
Bike: It had been raining and the roads were still damp. I was really looking forward to the bike and it is no secret that I had a 2hr30min split in mind. I felt strong and comfortable but something was missing, my first lap was 51 or 52mins and rather than maintain or increase, the pace started dropping. The arms were throbbing and stinging, all in all it was not the most comfortable ride I have ever done. Annoying because it is a course and a road surface that I would LOVE to tear up, but we cannot always have good days, and today was clearly not going to be mine.

Run: Having not done a bike to run brick since IMMY I had NO CLUE what my legs would allow me to do. Strangely, they came straight back. Just by keeping things ticking over for the past 3weeks the muscle memory was clearly still present. I got into a nice stride, sub 5min k pace to start and then settled into steady 5min k’s. I was on target for a 1hr45min run – the target I had in mind and all was going to plan until k 13. Who unplugged me?? Nauseous, lightheaded, rapid breathing – usually I have to fight off panic/asthma attacks on the home straight not 8k out. I figured my body was breaking down pretty quickly and knowing this fact started to panic me so then I had to sort my head out to prevent the inevitable attack happening. This meant I didn’t smile as promised. I knew 1st place was just in front of me, but after a while I had no clue where I was. Sometimes I didn’t care, other times, when I heard my name been shouted I had a go at myself and tried to put the bit back between my teeth.
Sponges, gels, iso, water, I took everything going and when I saw 1k to go I picked the pace up as much as I could. Sure that I would keel over at the finish, I didn’t care if I did I just wanted to cross that line and stop and lie down.
I crossed the line in 5hrs18mins and change. I still have no clue of the splits, the places I made up but on crossing the line to ELO and hearing that I was 2nd overall amateur female – I was pretty damn stoked! I didn’t reach any of my split targets today and that I know is because Emma is tired. But I still got an awesome result at my first official 70.3 that I am mighty proud of :)

Well done to Disco Dave, RHBee and Meng who all went sub 6hours 3 weeks after IMMY – awesome result guys. And Chirpy Aaron, who gave me a chirpy “looking strong Em” on the bike, a slightly less chirpy “good stuff Em” on the first loop of the run followed by silence. I haven’t spoken to you yet Aaron, but from what Neil said you had an awesome race and I know you were hurting! Thanks for the Shout OUTS. I for one was sadly doing none of that.
Big THANKS to Keat Seong who travelled down to see the pro’s and support us. Looking forward to seeing the pictures.
Thanks also to teamTBB (love that new SUIT) and TBB KL. Awesome job as ever and I am now proud to officially call myself a part of the team. Cheers Guys!
A great job by AVIVA for organising a superb event. Support was fantastic and it is definitely a 70.3 I would do again, although perhaps next time not 3weeks after an IM!

How's that for short but sweet!!!!


plee said...

Again Congratulations to you Emma! Mighty strong performance in spite of
the j-fish stings and tiredness etc... Kudos to the rest of your mates too..
And wishing you the very best of luck in your new job/endeavour....

Keat Seong said...

i think it must be the j-fish stings, but i've never seen you so "stoned" from the start till the finish... i lost my voice callin out to ya... :P ... Hahaha... Just Kiddin!!! ...

Congratz again!!!
Did you receive the pisc?

yipwt said...

congrats emma, great timing as well.

Emma said...

Hey Keat Seong, Serious, never saw you or heard you - was a bad day:(
Got the pics but the files are HUGE. Taking ages. Can you reduce them or Zip them up for me please :)

Lynn said...

congrats emma! as usual you show strong sportmanship and your ever lasting turbo power in any situation :) . All the best in your new job!