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Laneys Race Report. IM New Zealand
CBD Cycles - 15/03/2011
Race Lead Up
Two weeks prior to IM NZ, I competed in the Olympic Distance Multi Sport Festival in Geelong. However, going in to the race I knew I was only going to be completing the swim / ride sections of the race – a precautionary measure from my calf injury 10 days prior to the event. It was a weird feeling going in to the race knowing you weren’t going to finish it! Anyway, I thought it would be a great way to swim and ride as hard as I could under race conditions. Aside from myself and Mel Sexton going the wrong way in the swim, I felt awesome in the water! Once we got our bearings right, we made up the ground we’d lost and came out of the water in front. I had a great transition and headed on to the bike looking for a solid ride. I dropped Sexton straight away and was in the lead for the first 15km’s. Legs still a little weary, I was passed by another athlete and remained in 2nd position for the rest of the ride. The wind was brutal, but great for my NZ preparation. I racked my bike in transition and then walked off – bizarre! I was a little annoyed that I wasn’t running as I was within a minute of the lead girl and 4mins ahead of 3rd and there was $1,000 up for grabs! Anyway, I got out of it what I needed to and was pleased with both my swim / ride times.

On to New Zealand…. I arrived 7 days before the event and was glad that I did. There was so much to do in terms of preparation! Get your bike safety checked, get your helmet checked, get your wetsuit dipped so you didn’t contaminate the lake, massage, registration, race briefing, bike drop off, bag drop off, special needs bags & not to mention my taper training! I was so happy that I avoided the crowds and got everything done early in the week… Once the rest of the 1,350 + competitors showed up there were queue’s everywhere! I felt really good leading in to the race, I was getting 10hrs sleep every night, seeing a few sights by day, completing my training and feet up time at every other opportunity. I was really excited about the race & couldn’t wait to get to the start line…

The Race - New Zealand Ironman – My first Ironman!!!
I woke up to heavy rain on the roof… First thought – dismiss it, it’s the same for everyone, move on! Arrived at the bike transition, pumped up my tyres (on the bike that is) and then went for a warm up jog. Felt really good, relaxed and happy to be there. Not at all daunted by the day, like I thought I might be. The women’s field was stacked and the best field Ironman NZ has seen in its 27-year history. But, the race was about my individual performance and my target times and if I hit these, the rest would take care of itself.
The Swim:
I entered the pristine water for the swim, I was honestly excited just to get started! The gun went and after fighting for clean water, I made the decision to jump out of the group I was in – I was wasting energy trying to get space to swim in, it was ruthless in there & I didn’t want to get caught up in it. I found my own clean water and got in to a nice solid rhythm. I was swimming just off the lead pack. I got to the turn around and worked hard for the remaining 1.9km swim, really focussing on bringing the legs in to kick for the last 500m. I exited the water in just over 53mins (2mins ahead of my target time – excellent!). The 400m run to transition was completely lined with spectators. There was music, cow bells, cheering – it was exciting and one of my favourite parts of the day. If you have ever watched the Tour De France, when the cyclists are climbing & all of the spectators are leaning in & only move out of the way at the last minute when the athlete is upon them…. This is exactly what it was like exiting the swim and running to transition! I must have had a bit of a buzz, as I had the 2nd quickest female transition split for the day!
The Ride:
On to the ride and a 10km climb straight away. I was sensible up the climb, no point in smashing yourself 10km’s in, when there is 170km’s to go! I felt good on the bike, not tired or leg weary at all – taper was perfect! It’s hard to imagine, but the 180km ride went super fast, it was almost a blur! I didn’t realise how ‘busy’ it would be during the race. Climb, descend, work hard to catch another athlete, work together, eat, drink, get rained on, turn around point, climb again, back in to town, more rain etc. My rookie mistake however, I only drank 2 bottles for the entire ride & only ate half of my nutrition. I was aiming for a sub 5hr 25min bike time and came in, in 5hr 24 (1min ahead of my target time). Given the solid course (& my lack of adequate hydration and food) I was really happy with my swim / bike combination. As a result however, I was a little dizzy off the bike and knew I needed to get some calories in asap, but by this stage when you are hungry and flat it is almost too late. But I certainly wasn’t giving up & knew I could still run a solid marathon.
The Run:
I fuelled as I went on the marathon & continued running as best I could. I started out running 4.30min k pace and felt pretty good for the first 10km’s. But the muscle fatigue set in early, partially nutrition, partially hydration and partially due to the undulations and hills on the course. My initial 4.30k pace, slowed to 4.45 and I tried to maintain this for the next 10km’s. However, at the 15km mark, my quadriceps really started to hurt. I’d felt fatigue before and muscle soreness before, lots of times… but this was a complete new level of pain. Nothing I had ever experienced before. I wasn’t tired, I was simply sore. Every step I took and more so in the last 10km’s of the run, it felt like someone was punching me in the leg, giving me a dead leg – every step! Imagine that battle with yourself for 26km’s. It became such a mental game…
Aside from nutrition, my biggest lesson of the day, was that you just have to keep going – no matter how much it hurt, your slowest run is always going to be quicker than your fastest walk. I ended up with a 3.36 marathon, 10mins out of my anticipated time. I’d limited the damage of not enough nutrition by mentally accepting hurt like I never have before. Total Ironman time of 10hrs 1min and 8th place Professional Female. I was absolutely rapt with this result, given my first attempt at the distance. And the scary thing is, the memory of the pain quickly fades and I will do it all again soon 
Now…It’s time now for a little 2 week break, before I gradually get back in to things. I am planning on running the Gold Coast Half Marathon in July and am also in the process of picking my next half ironman and ironman races!

Thank you CBD Cycles, Gravity Zero, Engine and New Balance for your invaluable support, it is so very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Renee Lane