Thursday, March 3, 2011

Made it !!!

I am now an official athlete for IMNZ 2011.

Yes I am now in Taupo & have registered for the big day. Have been for a swim in the lake & now just chilling out.

Soon it's the pasta dinner & race briefing but before then its feet up & rest.

Race number 932, Paul Miller for any ironmanlive watchers.

I have a small brick session to do Friday morning then the big day on Saturday. I don't have any great finish time in my head but in round figures, 1hr swim, 6hr bike & 4hr run, so anything around 11hr will be fine. The weather may play a big part.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

14 Days

Just thought I would write some more.

Have had another great week of training & the size of the sessions are starting to decrease & you can really work on the quality. This week I had a great 1.5hr bike with an hour run off the bike on Wednesday & felt really good. Yes the calf's were a bit sore from the weekend but nothing to serious.

I also did a 4.4km swim on Thursday night which was great. Furtherest I have ever swam in the pool.

Today's Saturday brick had a 3hr bike & 1 hr run which also went really well & with 14 days now to go till IMNZ I real do think I am ready & just waiting now for the last few sessions to be done & getting onto the race course. Off to the Blue Lake for a 4km OW swim on Sunday, you gotta love the lake swimming.

The weather over the last few weeks has been amazing & I guess we can only hope for more of the same between now & race day. I know it doesn't matter for me doing the race but will make the day so much more enjoyable for you the spectator & with the new course changes & road closures I'm sure it's going to be great.

Will try keep you posted between now & race day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Been missing

Well what a last few weeks I have had.

After having a quiet week after the Taupo Half it was then back into training again.

Then along came Xmas & a 2night trip for the family to stay at Arkles Bay Whangaparoa with my sister in-law & 5 nephews. We all had a great time & I didn't drink to much & managed a couple of runs.

Home from that holiday & straight back into training, with some good runs & a long weekend bike ride round the Rotorua loop from Tauranga.

New Years eve soon passed & we tripped on down to the Blue lake in Rotorua New Years day for a swim across the lake. Awesome swim.

Then we packed the car again & headed to one of New Zealands holiday hot spots Whangamata to stay a couple of nights with one of Kathy's clients. It also was the time of the Contact Triathlon so got to watch that. Another awesome time away from home. Did some more running whilst away.

I then had the normal week of long run & swimming then it was the Tauranga Half & I was a Technical Official for this event. Stinking hot day in the sun. The following day it was a long bike ride out to Matata & home, a good 168km.

My long runs were now getting upto about 30km & I was starting to feel really good about them.

Another long ride followed the next weekend then it was time for the annual family camping holiday. This was the make or break period for me. I had a very long bike ride & 3hr run to do whilst I was away. Could I resist the cold beers ????

Well for the record & drank maybe a dozen beers over 2 weeks, I also cracked a 3hr run covering 32kms & did a 227km bike ride to Whakatane & back. I also feel off on this ride on the busiest round about in Tauranga. Luckily the only damage was a bent rear wheel & bruising to body & pride.

The camping holiday had it's moments also having to cope with 2 Cyclone which blew across the Upper North Island bringing heavy rain & gale force winds. We survived them both to tell the stories..

Whilst on holiday I also managed some good runs & bike rides & enjoyed the fact I could just sit down & do nothing afterwards. No work, no long days standing!!

So for the month of Jan I managed 1000km on bike, 175km running, & 20km swimming.

After camping it was off down to Kinloch the following weekend for the Erin Baker standard distance tri. This was not a race just a brick at race pace.

I had a ball & really enjoyed my stay in Kinloch. I'll be back.

Now I have just finished a long weekend in Taupo training on the IMNZ course. friday saw me do a 87km bike in 2:42 followed by a 21km run in 1:45. Was absolutely stoked with this.

Saturday was just a 4km swim in the lake 1:20. Then Sunday we covered the whole bike course & I managed 5:53 & did a 3.5km run off the bike.

Had an awesome weekend training & am feeling really good about where I am training wise with only 19 days to go.

Will try & write some more before the day.

This is a very short brief of the last few weeks but that's all life allows at the moment.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Taupo Half Ironman

Friday afternoon had finally rolled around & it was time to gap it from work & head down to Taupo for registration.

For this race you have to have your bike racked before 7pm on Friday night which does make Saturday morning just that little bit more less stressful. Going to bed Friday night & the wind was fair howling, so I expected it to blow again on Saturday. How hard would be the question ??

Race morning.

Up at 4am for the morning feed & a quick look outside showed some wind & overcast conditions. Went about all the normal things you do on race morning & for once this year I actually felt a little nervous. Hardest thing was waking the kids up & getting them moving.

Down at transition prepared all my gear & made my way down to the start area with not much time to spare. This year the organisers moved the transition area up to Tongariro Domain ( like IMNZ ), which would mean the long 600m run to T1.


We had the National Anthem sung then it was time for the action to start. Swimming in a lake has to be the best thing ever & when the gun went we were off. Had a reasonably good swim down to the turn-around buoy which was 860m down, then out 70m to the 2nd buoy. Here I really managed to find some space & rhythm & had a good swim back up to the turn marker & up to the beach stopping the clock at 37:58. Happy with this.


Yes there is a 600m run along a flat road followed by some steep stairs which take you up to the transition area. Once again I struggled to get the wetsuit off. This time it was just sucked onto me & just didn't want to come off. Never mind I just did what I had to do, got my gear on & headed for the bike exit knowing by this stage that we were going to in for a long bike ride as the wind was already picking up & it's only just gone 7am. This transition was a bit long & slow but oh well. Time 6:41.


This year the bike course changed as well. I thought the changes would make the bike more enjoyable & it certainly was. If these changes work then don't be surprised to see them used at IMNZ.

We headed out to the Napier - Taupo Rd & climbed that up to the new East Taupo Arterial Rd then over to Broadlands Rd & straight out to Reperoa. The wind by this stage was starting to get up & blew us down the 1st 15 km's or so. Was having a good slingshot ride here with an other competitor & we were humming along. Down onto the flat section & the wind was a left to right crosswind but nothing to bad. By this stage I had decided to let the other person go & just settle into my race pace. Nutrition was going good & I was feeling great. Now I had a few mates / training buddies in this race also & I knew a couple of them were ahead of me in the swim, so it was as we got closer to the turn-around that I started looking to see were they were. Finally spotted 1 of them & we gave a wave to each other. ( Now I wasn't out there just to beat him but it does give you something to aim for ). Now as we turned it became very apparent that the wind had got up & was going to make the return 45km's quite difficult.It was the last 30km's which were the hardest as we slogged straight into it & the speed came right down.

Now the course also had a small change to it as you now went down a side road for 600m. It was whilst down this road I saw my mate & I had caught up heaps. I thought to myself just keep doing what your doing & you should get him by the end of the bike. That is what I hoped but that all changed as I was about 10km's from the end by rear tyre went down costing me 10 mins. Never mind just change it & get going.
Offical time 3:02:31, bike computer time 2:52:21.


Quick run with the bike round transition then into it to find your bike slot. Fairly quick here & off running in pursuit of me mate. Time 2:45


Firstly I had to stop for a nature call costing me another minute or so. ( This might come back to haunt me ). Settled into a good pace & started on the run nutrition. The run course also changed this year but nothing major & nothing that I hadn't ever run before in Taupo. With it being a 2 lap course there was plenty of time to see people you know & give them encouragement. After the 1st lap I had taken heps out of my good mate. LOL . I had now changed my game plan slightly. My whole approach for the day & especially the run was to finish feeling like I had more to give & wanted to keep running. Now I still wanted to finish like that but I had a burning desire to catch him. So on the 2nd lap a bit more intensity came into my running & I picked up the pace but kept my form strong. I really enjoyed it as I went on the hunt. Unfortunately I never got him & as I entered the finsh chute he was just crossing the line.

Never mind that wasn't what I set out to do today but it sure would have felf good to run him down. Unfinished business at IM. Stopped the clock for a run split of 1:53:27 & overall time of 5:43:22.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bit lazy / busy

I've just done 2 races in the last 2 weekends & haven't done a race report on on either. So I'll give you a quick run down on the Tinman Sprint race & if I have enough time I'll carry on to the Taupo Half Ironman.

The Tinman sprint race was purely just for me to get a race under the belt before the half & to do things at race pace !!

The morning dawned awesome & so the rest of the day would be.

I was quite relaxed & heading out for the swim start I was still in good spirits. Had an alright swim through the slower standard distance competitors. Had a slow as T1 as I spoke to a couple of people & struggled with the wetsuit legs.

Out onto the bike I had fun & put in a 34:11 for the bike split. Had good fun here overtaking people in both races. The race wheels certainly helped.

Onto the run & felt strong & ready to run. Made good time round the Mount base track & powered up them hills.

Overall I had a good race & enjoyed just getting out there for a quick fire race then finishing, getting a feed & watching the top guys battle it out for the gun in the Standard distance race.

All things pointed towards a strong race at Taupo.

The other thing I promised ages ago was a shot of the bike & I finally did that. These were taken before buying the Sram 60 wheelset, so I'll take others & maybe get around to posting them.

Outa time so will do Taupo 1/2 another day.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Simple Awesome

Yep that sums up the round Taupo Cycle Challenge for me. I had a ball !!!

As most of you would know I approached this race as along training Time trial ride. I had placed myself in group 7 which had an estimated time of 6:10-7:00 hours. My theory was that these people don't really ride in bunches.

So lets set the scene.

I awake early as I always do but this morning is like no other morning of a race. I don't have the nerves & my group has a start time of around 9am, so I've got heaps of time. Eventually we make our way into Taupo & down to the start-line area. Catch up with a few mates then I even headed out for a quick warm-up. Made my way upto the start-line, then it was my turn to go.

I got straight into my work & by the time we turned off the main highway I had dropped all the guys I started with. Feeling good !! For the next 60km I just flew past everyone with a couple of people trying to catch a ride. Around the Waihaha hills I was being kept company with a number of team riders. They would go up the hills stronger & I would pull away on the downhill & flats. This was making me work harder on the uphills which was good for me.

Thru 80km's & over Kuratau hills & everything was still going great. Down the steep descent flat out & down onto the flat it soon became apparent that there was quite a stiff breeze blowing & when we turned the corner at Turangi it would become a headwind. DAMN

By this stage in the race the day was getting very hot & I was going to need to get some more water, but I was reluctant to stop at any of the support stations as there were so many people at them, so I made the decision to stop in the forecourt of the Shell petrol station in Turangi & fill my bottle. A quick stop & I was off again.

Now this headwind was certainly slowing things down a little. I slogged on into it & was still feeling great. A reached the 120km mark in just a touch over 4 hours so I was very happy with that. Around this time a bunch had caught me up from behind & I then made the decision just to jump on in & rest up for a little while. I soon made my way back to the front & started to pull the bunch towards Hatepe Hill. By this stage in the race I was still loving every minute of it even if my legs were starting to tire. At the base of Hatepe I bid farewell to the bunch I was in knowing darn well most of them would fly up here & I wouldn't.

Aftera good slog up the hill we were off & there were still 3 of us from the bunch & I was off on a mission to catch some of the others & get things rolling again. From the top of the hill to the finish is only 20 odd km's so it was time for the hammer to go down & leave nothing in the tank. Had an awesome ride to the finish & I just sat at the front of the bunch sharing ( not evenly shared ) the lead with one other guy whilst the rest of them just hung on. I even was thanked by a 13 year old girl for doing so much work.

Down the finish chute & stopped the clock at 5:15:08.

Well pleased with that effort. Was looking for anything less than 5:30.

Things I learnt:

It's hard to eat & drink when leading the bunch.

When you don't eat & drink you feel like crap when you get off the bike.

Two cans of Coke & some shade do wonders for you after a long HOT race.

You must eat & drink in Ironman or you will not finish the run.

and finally that if you just push yourself you'd be amazed what you can do.

All in all I had a great day & that event certainly is well run. The prizegiving was emotional when 1 of the husbands of the ladies that were killed cycling got up on stage & made a speech. He stood there to a standing ovation & huge round of applause.

The weekend was rounded of with a lovely swim in the lake on Sunday morning.

I have now just put my race wheels on all ready for Tinman this weekend. That's another race report coming up next week.

Train Safe.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The excitement's building

Now some fellow bloggers Kate, Phil & Graham all kicked their official Tri season off a couple of weekends ago, which has left me feeling very excited about my up coming events & already counting down the days. Yep days not weeks !!!

Now with only 6 more days till Round Taupo my training has gone great guns & culminated last weekend with a hilly 150km ride down to Rotorua & back home via Te Puke. The ride itself was a mixed bag with it raining at 6am when we left, then clearing up & blowing a nice tailwind for 50kms, then becoming a very stiff 40km/hr headwind from Te Puke home. All character they tell ya. This weekend just gone was another good brick session on Saturday & an easy 2 1/2hrs in the saddle on Sunday. Yippee !!!!!

So then the excitement will turn to the Taupo Half Ironman..

The course for this years race has changed a little for the bike & run legs which will make things easier on the bike I think & the run pretty much the same. The talk is that if the bike leg changes work then IM New Zealand will make the changes also.

So in 3 weeks time I will be able to sit back & enjoy a full rest week which I think the body is in need of.I'm not tired of training just in need of some sleep, infact I've really been enjoying the training over the last couple of months & are very happy with where my running has got to. Having never been a great runner it's pleasing to now feel injury free & running upto 2hr 15mins & covering 26kms. Cycling has just got easier as I've got myself sorted on the TT bike & swimming just stays the same.

So the next few weeks looks like this :

27th Nov Round Taupo Cycle Challenge 160km bike ride, 5th Dec Tinman Sprint Distance Tri, & 11th Dec Taupo Half Ironman. Heres hoping the weather is good for each weekend & I have some FUN.

Train safe & I'll give you a race report when I tick off the 1st event.