This time two weeks ago I was wandering up and down Melbourne’s Chapel Street, walking a little awkwardly and perhaps feeling more than a tad jaded. It was the day after the Ironman Asia Pacific Championships and the fatigue in my legs was a good sensation. It was proof that I’d raced hard and done justice to the first block of training I had put in during my stay in Las Playitas.
The organisation, the attention to detail and the buzz that surrounded this inaugural event is something I haven’t experienced outside Hawaii. I’ve already written a race report on my blog (Racheljoyce.org) so I don’t want to repeat myself here, but I did want to say what a cracking event it was. Instead of talking about my race I thought I’d give you a bit of an insight into my 24 hours post- Ironman – what I did, how I felt and just how bad the DOMS were!
Race Finish (RF): With about 2K to go I flicked my watch so I could see my total time and saw that I was well under the elusive nine-hour barrier. The clock reads 8:46:02. I was elated! I made the most of the finishing chute high flving the crowd and soaking up the atmosphere. I gave out big hugs to my support crew, and it was especially great to see my sister, Katie, who had flown over from Perth to watch me.
RF plus 00:30: Lots of chit chat with the other girls: Caroline Steffen’s performance was worthy of some chat. The excitement, the elation and the bucket full of caffeine gels are evident in my non-stop nattering on crossing the line. Caroline Steffen, Mirinda Carfrae and I hobble onto the podium and enjoy a champagne soaking. RF plus 1:00: Drug testing. Unusually I’ve been busting for the loo since I crossed the finish line. It was a relatively cool day but I didn’t really modify my fluid intake. I zip through dope control in record time. In fact, I’m almost too hydrated for my sample to be allowable.
RF plus 2:00: I’ve chewed the cud with other athletes in the post race buffet (had to give that a mention!). Nice to catch up with fellow European’s Joel Jameson and Esben Hovgaad, although disappointed with their races, I know they’ll be back.
RF plus 4:00: Katie and I walk (Katie walks and I shuffle) back to the Urban Hotel, which has been home for race week. I demolish a bag of crisps within minutes of launching myself on to the bed. Shower, then more lying on the bed, phone calls home and checking emails. Finally I pull on my Compressport socks and quads and get dressed. I have an important date…
RF plus 4:30: That date is with Mr Ronald McDonald! I’m often asked what I think about in the final 10K of an Ironman. Sometimes it’s nothing but in Melbourne I will admit that McD’s French fries and vanilla thick shake did feature in my thoughts. Katie and I were in good company – lots of other athletes had a similar agenda I think.
RF plus 5:30: Time to head back to the finish line. There’s music, there’s more food and I attempt to drink a beer but I think I manage about half before the bar staff clear my bottle of beer away – I think warm beer is against the law in Australia! Loads of other pro-athletes are down here and there’s a bit more chat about our days.
RF plus 8:00: The final finisher’s have crossed the line and I walk zombie-like back to the hotel and collapse into bed. Not even the caffeine gels can keep my awake now.
RF plus 14:00: Ding! I’m awake. Even though I feel like I could sleep another 1 0 hours that is never going to happen as my mind is turning over the race, and early morning is a good window for calling home again. I tentatively step out of bed to see what is hurting and how much. I’m pretty happy that nothing is hurting too much – just a couple of tight calves.
RF plus 15:30: Round the corner for coffee with my agent, Wendy, and a chance to compare war stories with lots of other people. I love the camaraderie that follows an event like an Ironman. No matter what level you are racing we’ve all gone through the same 1 40.6 miles.
RF plus 16:00: I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. I pack my bike and head to Chapel Street with friends. Before too long we find ourselves drinking coffee, which is just about holding me together today. RF plus 20:00: Awards ceremony and banquet with more eating, a lot of chatting, some drinking and maybe some dancing.
RF plus 24:00: And that’s a wrap for Ironman Melbourne 201 2. It’s a long way, it’s early in the season but Ironman Melbourne is a race for your bucket list, I think!