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Tim Beardall Kona Report
CBD Cycles - 25/10/2011
Days like this.
There comes a time in life were you either stand up or sit down. Hawaii was meant to be one of these. I had been through an interesting year which consisted of a podium finish in an Ironman event and crashes which saw me visiting emergency rooms a couple of times. In fact I had been in hospital in the last year 5 or more times. Surgery and tests started to be part of the routine. Just another discipline.
However these only made me stronger and each setback gave me another reason to keep going.
Heading into Hawaii I was in fairly good rhythm and if you go by numbers something was on the cards.
However life does not go on numbers and you can always expect things to change.
This sport has a number for everything, from pace to effort and anything else you want to measure.
The day I was due to catch my flight a storm was brewing in Melbourne. It was not however just growing a little . By numbers it was a big one and ended up keeping me at the airport till 1am before being sent home because the flight had finally been cancelled. The airport kept my bags and bike. So the next two days waiting for my plane was done in old clothing, different gear and wondering if my things were in Sydney or Honolulu.
I did however pack my shoe orthotics in my carry on. This meant I could run in different shoes while I waited the two days for the plane to go (never miss a chance of an extra run). After finding bags and the bike and being put on stand by for the flight across, I finally arrived in Kona.
I was settling in when I realised that I had forgotten to put my orthotics into my carry on again! I soon found I needed them to run as I pulled up sore. Thankfully Rod from the Tri Travel company bought them over when he came.
Pre-race went smoothly and again the numbers were back to showing a good race may be possible.The race was again one of numbers. Over 1700 competitors all trying to get through the day.
I entered the swim and was close to the pier. I got hit but I expected that. I knew what happens there and was ready for it. I got out in just over 1 hour and began to kick into gear.
In past years I have pushed it on the bike. This year I was not going to. I was going to ride a controlled race putting better odds of a good run in my view. I spun for a large amount and finished with a 4.40 time. This took huge mental discipline as I was so looking forward to firing. I was however riding in the top three amateurs so I thought if I could run I would be better positioned.
The thing is, when you roll the dice and fail it hurts less. This felt like I was not willing to gamble. When reflecting about it I found I did roll the dice but in a new way. It is a more disciplined and harder prospect to hold back instead of just going for it. I could have done what is easy and gone for it. That would certainly make me feel better if I were not to get the time I wanted. However the bigger mental decision for me was holding back and in return the reward would have matched and raised this.
I got off the bike and started the run feeling good. I was holding back again and feeling really good. I got to the start of the real business with around 20km to go and was rolling in it. Then within the next kilometer things again went wrong. It may have been nutrition, it may have been pacing but I bonked on the run. However I am not sure if it was either of them as I was diligent in getting calories and holding back. The balance of too much or too little was being played and it did not come back even.
The last half of the marathon was about just bringing it home cleanly and safely. I have had an interesting few runs on the last part of the marathon in the past and knew being the hero and ending up in hospital does not get you back in the race and only makes recovery harder. I did push through and run it out but this year I stayed upright and continued to hold a pace that would stop the time blowing away.
I was really disappointed in the result but that’s what life is. By numbers it was average. I was worried I had not rolled the dice this race but looking back I did. Maybe it’s a sign of becoming a rounded athlete. Some things take time. Some things are hard. Sometimes things teach you about yourself. I have to say this lesson hurt probably the most. It may however teach me the most.
Ironman is a test of physical ability. It also tests egos and mental ability. I take it as a lesson that will burn for a long time. However I have raced this race a number of ways. From full out to very sensible, what is best? Well it depends on your mental and physical strength.
When I look back to see if I stepped up, I did but in a different way. I raced in a more controlled calculating way and although this did not pay off, it could however be the beginning of the next plan. I realise things don’t just happen. I can not just run at it full on and expect to come out in front. It’s a balancing game even when you believe you got it right with perceived effort. Sometimes the numbers just don’t come together and you have a day like this. In this sport you have to own your results.
I did however have some success with the things I changed and saw some really great results by fellow competitors. Some people got rewarded for their hard effort and full congratulations to them. Everyone get rewards in different ways.
I really appreciate the help from CBD cycles, Blue Seventy, Newton and Camberwell Sports and Spinal Medicine.

Tim B

Tim's time this season was 9:14 - 1:00:53 Swim / 4:40:34 Bike / 3:27:46 Run, an outstanding effort for the Big Island!