Here is my report of the day...
Jean phoned me about 5 mins before my alarm, just over 3 hours before race - 3:20am. I had slept surprisingly well. Breakfast of bread, honey, coffee, a little fruit and a teeny bit of cereal/milk. Walked the 1 mile to the start area with wetsuit and swim gear, and made a final check of the bike (always a worry but no burst tubes or anything). Got into the water 15 mins before the start just to get the wetsuit sitting properly and turn the arms over. As the siren went I avoided the mad panic by staying towards the back and easing myself in for a nice relaxing swim. I had heard so much about Nice and the crazy swim start and how there is no room for most of the race. It wasnt like that for me at all - I was swimming for 5 minutes before I even touched anyone. Came out after the 3.8k in 1:15 feeling warmed up but not tired at all.
I had a plan to go very easy on the bike. This was my first Ironman, and there were over 2000 meters of climbing, not to mention a Marathon afterwards in 30+ degrees Celcius and no shade, so I wanted to be conservative. A cray amount of people passed me in the first hour. I was seriously starting to doubt my plan, but I stuck to it. Eventually I started passing a handful, than more than were passing, and by the end I had caught most of those that passed. In retrospect, I possibly could have pushed a tad harder on the hills and still not overcooked myself. Time for the Bike was 6:37.
Started the run like the bike - nice and slow. I did avail of the nice cooling showers on the course, but this was a double edged sword - I had to stop twice to wring out my soaking socks in the rirst 10k (I stopped caring after that!) The run was 4 laps of Nice promenade. Hot hot hot. No shade at all. No real breeze. Lots of great encouragement from random spectators. But by lap 4, you realise why people don't like a 4 lap course format. It's really very tough mentally My plan was always to walk every aid station, and I started at the first even though it was within 1 k. I took in a couple of gels early on, as well as some banana. Later I just did water, some coke and some Powerade. I think this worked well. I was able to run the whole course. I had read in a few places that you should expect at least two bad periods in an Ironman - usually on the run. At about 18k I had my first - nothing serious, just felt a bit off - slowed very slightly for a k, and felt ok again.
At about 32k I felt pretty tired - I was starting to run out of gas slowly but surely, but the finish was close so I just dug in and kept going. Very pleased with the run, as I'm usually being overtaken by lots of people during a triathlon run, and although my time of 4:21 may not be the fastest I still passed about 300. It's a case of slowing down less! Crossing the finish line was a huge relief. Overall time was 12:27 - which is pretty much my ideal scenario time.
Felt fine till I sat down - then the sun and the noise and the oncoming nausea got to me and I had to dive to the floor, where I actually felt fine again lying on my back. Nice girl gave me a foil blanket too. Managed to drag myself to Massage table after 45 mins, more resting and a lovely gentle massage, which left me well enough to pick up my bike and gear and head back to the hotel.
So that's it - my first Ironman and I'm extremely pleased. Felt like I had a good plan and stuck to it, everything came together pretty well, and I'm already recovering surprisingly quickly.
Rank: 256 of 571
Overall Rank: 1082 of 2469