Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kat Baker's Ironman Canada Race Report

Ironman Canada August 30 2009

Well, Ironman #2 and i was so ready to take it on again. I wasn’t as nervous as before Busselton because i knew i could do it- however this course was going to be hard, riding over 2 passes and numerous hills to get there. Plus the run was over something similar. Preparation had been pretty good. I had done 6 solid weeks of training, with a race 3 weeks out- boulder half ironman which went well i managed to pick up 5th in a field of 3 world champions! The drive to Canada was very eventful however, with 2x car tyre changes, 1x emergency accom when we couldn’t find the house, 1x car being impounded (at least it wasn’t stolen!) and 1x ran out of petrol in the middle of a busy hwy. All that in 2 lots of 13+ hour days and one5 hour driving days- oh and we were pulled over by cops once and almost towed again when the neighbours didn’t like the look of our car and called the cops. After all that we were fired up and ready to race. Race day Everything went smoothly until somehow i managed to loose the valve from my tyre. Dont ask me where it went because i have no idea. Anyway with a few runs from the portaloo (where i didn’t loose any keys) and the bike tent i was off to the start with a reassurance that i would have a front wheel by the time i got on my bike. My swim was good. I knocked off 5min from my previous swim time and i have to admit it was the easiest triathlon swim i have ever done- i contemplated doing some backstroke while i was sitting in the pack- so in the end i wish i had have been in the pack infront but second female out of the water, i cant complain. Transition also went very smoothly. Wetsuit off and onto the bike, no trouble there. Until bam. The cramps hit. I started getting very nervous. I had trained all year for this one event and the cramps had to hit me right then and there. I decided i was not going to pull out no matter how bad they got. And they got bad. I was coasting- out of the saddle with straight legs. Gently i tried to ease into sitting without much luck so i peddled a little bit out of the saddle, sat down and coasted. I did this for 22mins! As i was doing this people were passing me- numerous guys and 7-8 girls. There went my swim lead. Finally after the 22 mins, they started easing off. YES! They had eased in a race before so i knew it was possible. After 25min they were gone completely. I started smashing it, i had a lot of ground to make up. At about the 1hr mark they came back a little- but nowhere near as bad- so i stretched a bit and after about 10min they were gone and never to return again. In the end i think this contributed to a less than average bike time. But i was off in 4th place so i had done some pretty good catching up. Transition 2 was also good and quick. My run started well on the out and back course. I held a great pace and the 5 girls that were right behind me didn’t pass me despite me telling myself to prepare because here they come. They did eventually get me. All just before half way. I started loosing time when my left foot went completely numb. I couldn’t feel a thing and all i could hear was a thud thud thud as i ran. I just hoped i wouldn’t roll it. Anyway i eventually stopped and loosened my shoe laces. I also put my timing chip over the top of the compression socks (took it out from under)- that may have contributed. The return run was the typical death march. The course was so hilly both out and back and a grimaced every time i saw another hill coming...But i kept running and after a few girls passed me i was in 7th. I managed to pick my pace up to 4.30k/h for the last couple of k- which went on forever! Down the finish chute and i had ended up in 7th place in 10.05. I wanted under 10hours and possibly a podium but i did struggle out there a bit so i am stoked i was able to pull that off. Next Ironman will be Ironman WA again, in December. This time i have a podium to chase! Now we’re off to mexico for Cancun 70.3 and more importantly a well deserved holiday on the beach. I just want to thank everyone who had helped me out this year. Bike Shed for looking after me with bikes. Thank you for trusting me and making sure i always have a ride. ISM for the awesome saddle, it performed just as good as i could have hoped and the 180k ride was as comfortable as ever, Velocity for the training wheels- i even get an advantage in training they are so light! Sailfish for an unbelievable fast and comfortable wetsuit- it fits like a glove- fastest swim time for me! CEP for the compression socks- i know they kept my legs from blowing up and the entire 11000miles of travel in an old car has been that much more do-able with those socks! Also to Fuelbelt for all those little things that make racing that much easier.


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