Inspirational Race Report from 2013 NZ Ironman

Race Day Tips, February 25, 2015

Journey to first Ironman from Christine Haru Up to transition and can hear Brendan’s words of encouragement encouraging me on. Perfect timing. Transition seemed pretty easy and then onto the bike and out we go. Again, stick to the race plan, get those legs warmed up and remember to pace yourself. It’s four coffee rides … that’s all it is. I’m on my first lap as the pro’s fly past me on their last lap – wow! Again, Brendan’s impeccable timing when I came through town on the first lap, and I hear my own words back at me from him – “remember its just two coffee rides to go”. I laugh out loud…and smile to myself, yes that’s all it is (may be I should give up coffee). I’m slower on the bike than I would have liked to be, but all good, still time to spare. Again, transition was easy and off on the run. Struggled to find my rhythm at first on the run. Calm down, slow down I tell myself. First lap pretty much to plan, second lap need to revise the plan as I can no longer do run 12 walk/3 as I’m tiring but still strong. Have been making progress catching up to hubby – fantastic - he’s not that far ahead of me. Plan B – run 5/walk 3, kind of works for a while and then there is no run left in me… there’s still plenty of walk but no run. Best part of the run was Cameron Brown (an athlete that I find truly inspiring) sitting on the side of the road with some other athletes, encouraging athletes like me. That was special. Each time I passed Brendan on the run, there were words of encouragement and positive reinforcement – thanks coach. You were amazing. Last leg and I know I will make it, I’ve got tons of time (well at least half an hour to spare). I’m thinking Mason will have finished already and then there on the last corner he was waiting for me. He said we had started this journey together, we were going to finish it together and cross the line together. Wow that was going to be so special and it was. The finishing chute was amazing and there was Brendan too – thank you. Such stamina! Yes we’d been out there a long time 16.26.21 but we did it, we finished it, we are Ironmen and it felt so good and breast cancer well and truly kicked in the butt!

My Ironman journey started two years ago (intended to take one year but the unfortunate interruption of Breast Cancer put me back a year). After searching for a coach Brendan was recommended to me.  And then the journey began.   It all started with a chat over coffee to meet him and talk about what I wanted to achieve etc.  I kind of warned him I wasn’t really an “athlete” but he was absolutely confident he would be able to help me achieve my goals.  Brendan has the ability to reassure you, believe in you, push you when you need it and continually encourage you towards achieving your goals.   On the days when you feel like training hasn’t gone so well, he helps you pick yourself up, put it behind you and focus on the next steps. 

 

He manages to balance what you need to do to achieve your goals with your life.  Sure it’s challenging sometimes, but it’s totally doable if you are committed to you goal. 

 

On the Day

 

It all started with the obligatory moderately sleepless night before race morning.  The alarm seemed to go off way to early (not that 4.30 am is not early).  Up and then to breakfast – the same breakfast I’d tried many times in training, but getting it down on race morning was not a happening thing.  My stomach was in knots and I struggled with every mouthful, but I knew I needed to eat.  I managed half of it. 

 

Down to the lake and get organised and down to the lake with time to spare to be able to relax.  I got separated from my husband and that was awful.  I wanted to see him, wish him luck but I just couldn’t find him.   Focus Christine.  Into the lake, warmer than last time – yay!  It’s going to be a good day.  Stick to the plan, stay near the back so that you don’t get into the melee and get swum over.  Boom and we are off.  Remember the race plan - find your rhythm, long flowing strokes and an armful of water.  It’s just one buoy at a time, turn for home and again it’s still just one buoy at a time.  Out of the water (ouch, ouch ouch – the rocks!) and the time says 1.48 – I am stoked and darn it now I owe Stephen a coffee (said I would be out of the water with at least 20 minutes to spare). 

 

Up to transition and can hear Brendan’s words of encouragement encouraging me on.  Perfect timing.  Transition seemed pretty easy and then onto the bike and out we go.  Again, stick to the race plan, get those legs warmed up and remember to pace yourself.  It’s four coffee rides … that’s all it is.   I’m on my first lap as the pro’s fly past me on their last lap – wow!   Again, Brendan’s impeccable timing when I came through town on the first lap, and I hear my own words back at me from him – “remember its just two coffee rides to go”.  I laugh out loud…and smile to myself, yes that’s all it is (may be I should give up coffee).  I’m slower on the bike than I would have liked to be, but all good, still time to spare.  Again, transition was easy and off on the run. 

 

Struggled to find my rhythm at first on the run.  Calm down, slow down I tell myself.  First lap pretty much to plan, second lap need to revise the plan as I can no longer do run 12 walk/3 as I’m tiring but still strong.  Have been making progress catching up to hubby – fantastic - he’s not that far ahead of me.  Plan B – run 5/walk 3, kind of works for a while and then there is no run left in me… there’s still plenty of walk but no run. 

 

Best part of the run was Cameron Brown (an athlete that I find truly inspiring) sitting on the side of the road with some other athletes, encouraging athletes like me.  That was special.

 

Each time I passed Brendan on the run, there were words of encouragement and positive reinforcement – thanks coach.  You were amazing.  Last leg and I know I will make it, I’ve got tons of time (well at least half an hour to spare).  I’m thinking Mason will have finished already and then there on the last corner he was waiting for me.  He said we had started this journey together, we were going to finish it together and cross the line together.  Wow that was going to be so special and it was.  The finishing chute was amazing and there was Brendan too – thank you.  Such stamina!  Yes we’d been out there a long time 16.26.21 but we did it, we finished it, we are Ironmen and it felt so good and breast cancer well and truly kicked in the butt!