Suz Newton, GBR

Suz Newton, GBR
Position in AG F35-39: 6 // Finish Time: 12:20:51
Swim 1:17:12 (PB) // T1: // Bike: 6:28:28 // T2: // Run: 4:26:26

Coach’s remarks: Another nice read and thanks for sharing this to the team, there has been so much response from many of the team with ALL of the reports. They’re a must I believe.

Where do I start? Starbucks seems like a good place. Saturday morning. One week after IM South Africa.

I didn’t have a race planned between April and November – that’s a long time to go without an aim, I was toying with the idea of doing the Philippines 70.3 but then Korea 70.3 came up… and after South Africa I wanted to see Carl and Ed QF for Kona, I wanted to be there. It was that morning outside Starbucks Coach suggested I do the full Ironman and not the 70.3. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that, I didn’t think it was possible. My gut instinct was to do another Ironman why put all that training in, sacrifice and commitment and then just to stop?! I wasn’t sure of the recommended time to take between two ironman’s but if Coach said it was OK I trust him and in my head I made the decision in a heartbeat so there was no going back from this point on.

I know some of you questioned my motives to do an Ironman so soon after the first. So what were my motives? It’s a personal thing between me and myself, lets just say I was disappointed on how my body and mind were so out of kilter in South Africa if that makes sense. If I’m completely honest I was super disappointed, totally underwhelmed by the experience of my first IM. I didn’t want to come off my ironman feeling like that and then wait a year to have another crack at it so this was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. There wasn’t a gun ho approach either. Coach did consider the fact I had just done and IM as he reassured me he wasn’t going to hang me out to dry if I wasn’t fit for purpose – the test was… Hafeet camp at the end of April ‘lets see how your body holds up’.

My legs (below the knee) were shot after South Africa, so I went into the Hafeet camp with sore legs, they were far from recovered – I knew that. If I am completely honest this was the only time I doubted my ‘physical’ self – I was tired still and there was only 8 weeks till Korea. Mentally I was so up for it, I wanted it so badly if I was told ‘no you can’t’ I don’t know what I would have done?? Cried like a baby, I don’t think I’ve felt so passionately about something for a long time. At the camp Jason did give me a get out – the option of doing the 70.3 – but for me it was just not an option anymore so I rationalised my doubts and ploughed on.

So back on it… 8-weeks of training. Back to getting up a 3:15am every day, it was also getting hotter now so Fridays became 1:30am get ups.. the worse training session was that graveyard shift, that hideous solo 180km ride the night/morning before a flight to the UK, that was soul destroying… The highlights – Coach stepping up the game having me riding with the likes of Carl, Ali, Stoli, Glen on Fridays… That tough, tough 5 hour session on a Monday night (only did it once with Carl & Aja but OMG what an achievement), the 4-hour pyramid sessions on Monday and Tuesday mornings through out May – loved them… give me them again please!!!

So the training went well, I know I went into Korea so much stronger than I did South Africa. I felt strong both physically and mentally – what an awesome feeling.

The Race
AG: F35-39
Finish Time: 12:20:51
Position: 6th in AG

Swim 1:17:12 (PB)

I did a personal best! You’ve got to be pleased with that 🙂
The swim was violent, I did when necessary fight back, but I thought it best to keep my head down (protected) and concentrate on the task in hand and save my energy for swimming but the first lap was hard – it thinned out on the second loop, I tried to get on feet but it was impossible. When I came to the bike racks in T1 it looked to me like all the bikes in my AG had gone!!! Bugger.. remind me who said Asians couldn’t swim again???
I need to persevere with my swimming… its going in the right direction albeit slowly.

Bike 6:28:28 (average HR 77%, speed 27.4kph, average cadence ???)

I found the bike hard, it seemed to be uphill all the way…and 180km is a long way on hills when all you do is ride flat. Obviously to go up you have to come down and the downs were fast.. Top speed 58.5km/hr I have to make up for my slow ascents. I could have probably pushed harder on the bike but I’d made a decision to save my legs for the run. I could also have been more tactical and got on a wheel (within legal draft zone of course) but that’s something I’m learning.. tactical racing. I did hook on 117 for about 20km and my ave speed went up 3kpm, I lost him due to some traffic on the course which was a bit annoying… In hindsight I should have stuck on Marshies wheel after the first turnaround… I must apologies for laughing, but it was a comedy moment and he seemed pretty chipper about it… to be fair he put 15-mins into me after that… I’ll never forget that image of him peddling away like a complete nutter… still makes me laugh.
Overall I don’t think I did too bad, 6th in AG but I’m a way off the top girls in my AG… something to work on.

Run 4:26:26 (average HR 78%, pace 6:34mpk, average cadence 86)

I like running so that helps enormously in any race, I’m not particularly quick but as I kept telling myself ‘steady winds the race’. Clearly I wasn’t going to win but I kept at a pace… I’d been told to run 6mpk pace for the marathon… on a flat course I know I could have done, but again it was either up or down so there was no way I could have held 6mpk up the hills. In hindsight I should have run quicker down the hills to make up for the slow ascents. The first loop was hard, it was hot and I had to be strong mentally – I loved getting through 6km (that’s when I hit the wall on SA). It was great to see everyone on the run… all looking good too as was everyone else (all the girls in front of me). The second half of the marathon was better for me, I sighted girls in front of me who became targets… I was running a few down – I love that, knowing it’s doing their head in after looking so strong earlier. The only person I didn’t want to see on the run was Carl… I couldn’t believe when I saw the familiar sight of his back!!! We had a brief chat, I wanted to run with him but he refused and told me to go on, in hindsight should I have stuck with him? By 36km I started to get cramps in my legs. There was a lot of chatter in my head let me tell you.. I would like to meet the person who designed that run course… finishing a marathon up 5km of hill….

I can quite safely say that was a highly competitive field on a very tough course… Utmost respect to Aja and Ed for awesome performances and achieving their dream of QF for Kona… I was so proud to be there when they did it!!! Carl, my friend Capt Carl and Noel his biggest fan… I am truly devastated on how it turned out for you in Korea, after all the training, commitment, it was heartbreaking to see you on the run, I wish I could have helped you. Your strength of character is unbelievable and I would be honoured to train with you again for your next Ironman whenever that may be! You will QF for Kona – it’s only a matter of time now :)))

Overall, I’ve achieved what I wanted to do in Korea, it couldn’t have gone any better for me – clearly I need to get faster, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed every minute of the race, there were times I had to give myself a good talking to, and it started hurting at 36km of the run but I have totally different feelings coming off it this time round – I’m happy, totally happy.

You’ll hear Coach talking about the Ironman blues… It may seem like a cocky sentiment (and no disrespect to anyone in the team who has suffered from them) but I just know I’m not going to get them… I feel totally satisfied which what I’ve achieved so far this year 2 Ironmans and no injury. My next race is Phuket 70.3 and I want to ‘smash it’ so I can’t wait to get stuck into the training building up to that race.

I had QF for the ITU Long Course Las Vegas in November, but I now have zero interest in going to Vegas… just shows how people have difference motivators. I’d be interested in Spain next year though if anyone fancies a trip!!! For me doing all this is about going on trips with the team… I had the best week ever and that’s all down to my team mates, and of course training with the team – there are some really special people out there. I like the hours and hours of training, I like seeing myself improve, getting stronger physically and unwittingly mentally, I like the challenge of juggling my life – even though we sometimes bitch about it, I even like stretching.

Next weekend I have a small matter of the Bospherous Cross Continent swim – a 6.5km swim between the Continent of Asia and Europe… Erm I’m not sure what I was thinking when I signed up for that one… swimming not being my strength I thought it’d be a challenge! Whatever it’ll be, I reckon it’ll be good fun and I’ve never been to Istanbul.

Ironman would appear to have taken over my life this year so far… So now I can take a step back and start to have a life again…. until next year. I can’t wait to get back the the training again… Roth – July – 2012. I hear there’s a big crew going – it’s going to be ace!!!! Now I just need to get faster ;D

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