Amanda Geelong race report 2022

fast times geelong 70.3 new bike strength pays off May 26, 2022

COACHES REVIEW

Leading into this race wasn’t the best specific prep as deciding to do this 3 – 4 weeks out doesn’t give great amounts of time to prepare but the mindset was defiantly there, the taper was perfect along with everything else to get the body right before the big race, with this being Amanda’s first interstate race the nerves were easily over come by the motivation to have the best race possible and that easily happened with a massive 70.3 PB well done I look forward to seeing a bigger improvement again at murry man in April.

 

IRONMAN 70.3 GEELONG – Amanda Carne

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Mine was racing interstate…kids, work, money, etc… I cannot do this!?

Registering for this Geelong 70.3 was a last-minute decision. I have been competing in triathlon now for 4 years but never interstate. A group of tri friends were often asking me to consider racing elsewhere – eg Port Mac, Geelong, Cairns – but  I am at a point now where I need that big scary goal to keep me motivated! This Geelong 70.3 would be my first interstate hit out to see where I sit within my age-group competition! Woot!

 

So once committed, I was in. We thought I may have left the training block a little short, but I knew I had the fitness for the swim (of course) and the ride would be tolerable, it was just the 21k half marathon at the end that was a concern. Looking back in my Training Peaks programs, Aaron had prescribed several long runs in the past months, so my legs (and feet) should be okay. So, with this mindset, Aaron and I set about getting me ready.

 

I carpooled to Geelong with friend Becky, leaving on Thursday to give us that extra day to drive, settle into our accommodation and get ready for the weekend. We pre-booked to pick up our race packs on a Friday afternoon and rack our bikes on the Saturday mid-morning. We were set.

FRIDAY: Had a quick easy run in the morning along the river, then a short bike ride to make sure our bikes were running smoothly. Later we pick up race packs, have a look around the Expo area, and take in the Ironman vibe as the event organizers were setting up sponsors’ tents, placing out the fencing, and erecting the finish chute. This would be my first Ironman event (and my fourth 70.3) ever!

SATURDAY: A morning swim at the swim venue and a 30min bike ride on part of the course to get used to some of the bumps. Then after breakfast, our bikes are racked. I took a few minutes to walk the red carpeted section where the pro’s bikes were, then it was off for a bit of retail therapy down at Torquay to buy something for the kids. Mid-afternoon it was back to the cabin to rest the legs. We ate a good pre-race meal of salmon and roast veggies (cooked by Aaron – thank you), then set about packing our race bags, filling our bottles of Infinit nutrition, energy bars, Clif blocks, bananas, water, and whatever we would need for the race. Once we put on our race number tattoos it was time for bed.

 

RACE DAY: Up early, pre-race breakfast, then we parked at the race venue and headed down to transition. It was still dark, but the area was flood-lit so you could still see your bike and do whatever you needed to do to set up. There were rows and rows of beautiful bikes all lined up ready to go. I placed out my race gear, attached my bottles, and hoped I had done enough for a good day. The weather looked good.

Warm-up: Aaron and I did a quick run along the path with a few dynamic stretches, then it was wetsuits on and a short pre-race swim. We had been warned of sea urchin spikes so took it easy entering the water. (Previous years swimmers had cut feet from their spines. So far we were okay.)

Race time: My race wave was Wave 1 (the Under 33 mins swim group) – there was a corral of swimmers ready to go. The starter was letting us go four at a time. I squeezed myself mid-field and waited behind Aaron for my turn to go.

SWIM: on go, I took off steadily into the water and to avoid sea urchins, duck dived a couple of times before swimming straight away. I headed out to the first turning buoy fast, then settled into a steady bilateral-breathing rhythm. The water wasn’t too bad – not cold and not too choppy. Pushing along, I was passing slower swimmers. Jellyfish tentacles here and there gave you a bit of sting, but nothing major. As I approached the final buoy several of us were fighting for the turn. I pushed along unphased until I could touch the sand, stood up and headed up the matting to T1. 1.9k swim done! Feeling good.

T1: it’s a long run up the path and along the grass to where your bike is racked. My wetsuit comes off easily. I grab my helmet, sunnies, a banana, my bike and I’m off. Aaron is just in front of me as I hit the mount line.

BIKE: I have the confidence to hold my bike one-handed to get my feet in my shoes more readily than at Silversands the previous week as I pedal to the corner to head up the hill for the start of the bike course…90ks here we come. As I head up the first gradual climb, it is bumpy! A competitor has crashed to the ground….I know who she is and hope she will be okay…but must press on.

The Geelong course is pretty good despite the bumps, potholes, a rubber-laden burn-outs section, a couple of hills, and some 180 cornerings. “Strong” is my mantra as I pedal along. During my swim, I realize that I didn’t put my Garmin on my bike, nor did I put a time alarm in my watch to space out my nutrition. I had a plan to keep an eye on my speed and eat at regular intervals, but with no Garmin to look at, I was cycling by feel and the odd look at my watch.… just keep it “strong”. I take on my nutrition along the 90ks and don’t feel too bad. The final downhill is here and it’s time to take my feet out of my shoes and dismount.

T2: running on stiff legs along the red carpet and grass, I find my spot, rack my bike. Slide on my socks and shoes, run hat, my Infinit nutrition tubes and go.

RUN: woohoo – like all triathlons, the bike to run transition is always weird. The legs feel stiff, but I settle into what feels like a slow pace and head out onto the run course. I’m feeling pretty good. As the stiffness leaves my feet and legs, I set good form and find a nice rhythm. O-oh, the first km clicks over, and I have gone out way too hard…so I drop the pace a little and continue.

With COVID restrictions lifted, this Ironman race allows spectators, team tents, and crowds along the course – it was a great buzz.

A few more kms and I am still going a bit too hard to maintain for 20km… so a drop the pace a little bit more, then find the rhythm I need to hold for the remainder of the race. “No stopping” is my mantra. I’ve done the training, I feel good.

The run course has a couple of spiky hills, meandering paths, and a stinky section at low tide. One lap did! It is here where my race nutrition starts to hit me…Is it too much glucose? Is it the caffeine? Is it just the long run? But my gut is uncomfortable, but just have to hold on to the finish…I am not stopping. As the km click over I have kept myself cool and taken on my Napalm… and as the final lap clicks over, I only walk two of the final Aid Stations for cola and water. There is one final steep path…I am almost there…no negative thoughts… as I come back to the final few hundred metres before the turnaround, Aaron has finished and is standing roadside where he gives me the “looking strong” cheer I needed… there is a bit of a meander until the Ironman 70.3 Finishers chute is in sight… the carpet on the grass is soft underfoot and a welcome relief after pounding the road for 21ks.

 

I did it! … I trusted in the process and completed my fourth half Ironman and my first interstate race in 5:28:48 (pipped for 3rd ending up 4th in age group) However, my time was a 17min40s quicker than my previous 70.3 times for Murrayman in 2021 – gotta be happy with that.