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Anna's IM NZ report
CBD Cycles - 08/03/2014
I guess 7 IM races really does help prepare you for the 8th.

I have become a bit of a creature of habit in my build to Ironman, and the past year was going to be no exception. I planned to work on my run over winter, but with enough time to be ready for the Yamba Classic Triathlon in early October. My running was improving, and after a solid race in Yamba, things went a little pear shaped… I had a disappointing DNS at Shepparton, no weight bearing for two weeks and a total of 8 weeks of no running!

As a result of the different than usual pathway to this Ironman, I had mixed emotions leading into the race. I have high expectations of myself and know what I want to achieve, but whether my expectations and the reality were level, I wasn’t sure. I know there have been many cases where the less than ideal preparations have led to one’s greatest races, but was I capable of pulling one out of the bag?? Coach, Julie Tedde backed me, but I definitely had doubts.

Race day was amazing! We had a clear, crisp morning, and calm conditions in the swim… Lake Taupo is just stunning and definitely one of my favourite swims so far! I was aiming for a 55 min or lower swim, but got through in just over 55 mins, and was the second AG female out. I got out of transition first, and had crowds cheering me on as the first age group female… A little bit of excitement came over me, and so I went onto the bike in a good frame of mind!

The bike course was very picturesque, but the roads were rough and we battled quite a strong wind coming back into town on both laps. Having gone over the more technical part of the course on Thursday, I was surprised at the challenge the bike presented on the day. I had a time goal in mind, but had to renegotiate this as early as 45km into the bike! My Giant Trinity was handling the conditions well and I was comfortable so it was just a case of saving for the run. I was still happy with 5:32 and came off the bike in the top 3 of the AG field. What would happen from here, I didn’t know!

Julie had said that if I was smart on the run and stuck to my plan (which I haven’t done so well in the past!!) that I had no reason not to run around 3:45-3:50. Lap 1 and 2 were ok, but I knew I didn’t have the volume behind me, so I was just waiting to slow down the whole run! With 3rd place in 30-34 chasing me down, I ran past Julie and my other TRG friends, who told me not to fade as she was gaining every lap. It hurt, but I dialled out the plan, and I ran the most consistently paced run I have ever run in an IM, and it was close to my best run time in an Ironman!

I am still gobsmacked. It was a PB over the distance, I finished 2nd in my AG and after not taking my spot last year, I’ve decided to go back to Hawaii for another go!

I am ever so grateful to the people who got me to the start line again, and have continued to support me over the last five years; Julie Tedde, my dedicated coach and my super supportive team mates from TRG, Anth, Dave and the crew from CBD Cycles who keep my Giant Trinity purring like a kitten , Jo from Liv/giant for her support of women in cycling and triathlon, Daniel and the team from PowerBar for perfect nutrition, Trent from Mizuno for keeping my feet happy and also Paul Visentini from Physiosports, Brighton for keeping me in line! I thank you for your continued support and friendship and look forward to delivering a fantastic result in Hawaii! 8 races are great prep for 9! Spanna xxoo