Saturday, 2 May 2015

The Annual Hurty Run Around The Lake

Race blog time!
The beginning of May sees a permanent fixture in my racing calendar - the Rotorua Marathon.  I only ever really have six weeks to prepare for this after racing Ironman NZ, but I like to use at as a gauge to see where I am at before heading overseas to do anything an Ironman.

I never did a blog about Ironman NZ this year. The race really didn't go to plan. I was close to being a non-starter but the allure of racing at home on a course I love was just too much.  Instead of indulging in an online pity fest about it, I put my (very average) race performance behind me and attempted to have a complete break.  It was a hard decision to make - after four years under Keegan's guidance, which saw me move up through the age group ranks, set the age group record at IMNZ, race in Kona and then race pro - I went from full time triathlon machine to trying to "exercise" like a normal human being.  This lasted for four days.

Figuring four days constituted my break, I touched base with Kerry Suter. I needed a plan for Rotorua, and I needed someone to give it to me who knew how I ticked.  Triathletes are a special breed.  I also respect the huge amount of knowledge Kerry has (at the risk of him getting a big head). However you do have to weed it out of the trivia he spouts at you as well, for example, the correct way to peel a banana (we have been doing it ALL WRONG!!!!).
Kerry rose to the challenge - and it was a challenge. I suddenly had a range of paces I had to run in training. For the first four weeks I couldn't seem to do this, so just ran everything at marathon race pace.  Except for any small intervals, which ranged from 200m to 5km. These were all run at the same pace too, which was "slightly faster than marathon pace".  Kerry would explain to me repeatedly (much like his 3yr old daughter) that 800m is less than 5km, and 5km is less than 21km, so you should run it faster. In theory this all made sense....
I would like to think toward the end I managed to add an extra pace into my two pace repertoire, but I think this is actually still debatable.

Race day dawned chilly, but with the promise of a good day. I hit the start line filled with excitement, and was stoked to see training buddies Lance and Patrick lining up near the front as well.
Before I knew it, we were in to the race.  Jess Ruthe set out strong, and after tailing her for a km, I had to let her go. She was running at the faster of my two paces.  So I settled in to pace #2 and found Naoko and Gabby settling in behind me. I felt strong and comfortable, so aimed to just keep the pace ticking over for a while to see what the other girls would do.  Naoko settled in behind me (a bit too comfortably), while Gabby dropped off after the 10km mark.
This is when I realised that running in this position actually created a bit of pressure.  I didn't want to ease up the pace at any point, or give Naoko an inch.  Especially as she had the advantage of using me as pretty good windbreak (damn my broad shoulders and wide lats - too much swimming for this runner!).  Suddenly I had to concentrate on form, pace, the lines I was running.... and the fact that SkySport were eagerly filming what was going to be a close race.  There is nothing like a camera constantly on you to make you paranoid about foaming at the mouth, pulling facials or generally running like a moron.

 This went on. For. 36. Km.

I tried to drop her on some of the hills, but dammit these Japs are tough. She stuck with me.  Coming off the back of the lake we turned into Rotorua's infamous headwind, where Naoko tucked in behind again, and like a bull-headed triathlete, I grunted it out.  Much like all the single ladies here in NZ, I then tried to find a big strong man (to run behind of course).  But these were lacking.  And given the pace we were passing the guys at, there was no hope of persuading one to run in front of me for any length of time.
I tried slowing to force her out, but she smartly slowed right up as well.  So I kept providing a nice Erin-shaped wind break and hoped that when she made her move I would still have the legs to go with her.

We passed Jess, who had unfortunately blown a calf.  Bad luck on her part, as she was in pretty speedy run form for this race.  But huge kudos to her for walking to the finish, yelling encouragement at the rest of the front girls.

Just after 36km Naoko smartly pulled ahead at a congested aid station where we had caught up big packs of the marathon walkers and I had let my concentration lapse for all of a few seconds, creating a gap that I just couldn't bridge. My legs were sending all sorts of "you idiot!" signals to my brain, and nothing was going to prompt them to go any faster. I spent nearly 6km with her in my sights, but just couldn't get to her.
She ran a smart race to take the win and definately kept me working.

Turning in to the finish chute to finish second was still epic. I love the atmosphere at this race, and to make it on to the podium again at this race was awesome.  It was a tougher race than last year, having run the entire thing solo with no pack mentality to tap in to, but I am stoked with how strong and comfortable I felt for most of this.  A few lessons learnt, but not bad going for this triathlete!

Big thanks to Asics and Shoe Clinic Hamilton for taking the guess work out of what to wear on race morning.  I didn't win, but I was the best dressed runner on the start line!
To Roger, for being awesome support out there as usual and providing a blow by blow commentary over the last 30km for friends and family back home.
And to Kerry for his awesome coaching - sometimes a change is as good as a holiday. I learnt a lot but loved it.  Had some great runs chasing him and Hugh up and down hills and blasting it out on the flat. It definately kept my training honest.
Don't think I could be a full time runner though, you guys don't swim and cycle nearly enough.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Two Halves means it must be time for a Full!

The start of 2015 saw me lining up for my first two races of the year. Having raced Challenge Forster in Nov, and Ironman Western Australia in Dec, I knew I was by no means starting the year fresh!

First up was Tauranga Half Ironman. After taking a 2 week break following Ironman WA, then cramming in a couple of week's training over the Christmas/New Year period (of which routine and diet went a bit out the window!), I lined up on the start line knowing I was lacking a bit of speed.

I got dropped before the first turn buoy in the swim, but managed to stay at a solid pace, exiting the water in 5th place and not too far back.
I managed to move up to 4th on the bike, but I knew I was riding at Ironman pace, while the top 3 girls were smashing out some decent bike splits.

This was my first race on my new BH bike though, and despite my legs being a touch slow, I loved riding this machine! Super smooth and responsive - if only I could give it something to respond to!

On to the run, I ran out of transition holding 4min/km's - but promptly died once I hit the base track of the Mount. From here I grovelled my way around the rest of the run, posting up my slowest run split in two years. A good 8min slower than last time I raced here!! 

I finished up 4th overall, with a good indication of what I needed to work on!
It was great to see other Fitness Locker athletes delivering some awesome performances out there, the product of some hard work over the summer.

After Tauranga it was straight into a big training block to prep the body for another Ironman race. Off the back of 3 big training weeks I lined up at my annual pre-IMNZ hit out, New Plymouth Half IM.

This is such a well run race, on an honest course, with an awesome vibe. I love racing here. Despite some brutal winds on Friday, race day dawned promising light winds and sun.
I was on the start line with three speedy girls, including super star Sam Warriner.

I had another good swim, exiting not too far back from the leading three. However 3 big training weeks soon ate into my legs when I hit the hills on the bike. I seemed to have forgotten my climbing legs at home (as well as my socks -  more on that later!).

 I came off the bike nearly 7min down from 3rd. Having forgotten my socks (rookie mistake!!), I shoved my shoes straight on and prayed for the blisters to hold off as long as possible. My goal for this race was to enjoy the run. After some very average run performances, I felt the need to redeem my running ability a little. Also, my grandfather had passed away a week before. Having run multiple ultra's, he has always been my biggest inspiration, and I wanted to run to remember him.
I hit the run course feeling good. Until 5km in.
1. I really, really needed to pee
2. I could feel I would finish the race with less skin on my feet than what I started with.

There was only 1 portaloo on course. Of course it was busy when I got to it. I stood around for 40sec with my legs crossed, before deciding to keep running and hope to spot something (a bush, a fence.... anything!). Luckily I spied a public toilet in a car park, which I veered off to.

Having dealt with 1, I knew there was nothing I could do about 2, so tried to ignore the sensation of my skin being rubbed off in various spots on my feet. My legs felt good and I held a decent pace for the rest of the run. I finished in 4th, 90sec behind 3rd, having run up a pretty good deficit. I am pretty sure that 90sec would have been my toilet break!
I posted up the fastest run split of the day, despite bleeding all over my Asics DS Trainers in several spots.

All up I am happy with how the half panned out, given the workload I put in prior to it. Backing it up with another couple of decent training days has given me some good confidence my race fitness for IMNZ is there.

Stay safe & see you all in Taupo - be it on the start line or the sideline!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

IMWA - #neverquit

December usually means two very awesome things for me - Christmas and Ironman WA.
This year I was pretty excited to head to Busselton. I had been really knuckling down on my cycling and was keen for a hot, fast race to set a new PB.

Leading in to race morning I had no nerves at all - this is something I have been working on, as in the past I have been pretty nervous on race morning, and hate the feeling. This may be the result of having done a number of Iron distance races now, but I would like to think its partly due to some of the strategies I have been using to change my mindset in the days leading up to the race.

Before I knew it, we were off. With a strong field of nearly 30 pro women, we soon formed some pretty solid packs. Settling in to a group, I soon realised I had chosen a slightly slower pack to swim with - slower than what I would have liked. I tried to sight the next pack, but the bridge to gap to reach them was too big, so I decided to save some energy and cruise in the pack.
By the turnaround the pack had slowed (probably due to a bit of swell and some decent chop rolling in), so I swam through to the front, hoping to hammer it back. Which seemed to suit the other girls nicely, as they all then sat on my toes.
Coming out of the water they soon disappeared on the bike, while I suffered my usual Post Swim Trauma Disorder for an hour before my legs came to the party on the bike.
I was soon caught by some of the fast age group men, and within 30km managed to drop some of my bike nutrition. Big mistake!!!!
It took me 30sec to realise I had lost it. I considered going back to try find it, but with pacelines of men coming through riding 38-40km/hr at that stage I decided this was probably a risky manoeuvre. I would have to use the course nutrition - which was one of my least favourite drinks, Gatorade.
I completed the first lap in 2hrs33, which was 3min slower than I wanted. But I figured as long as I didn't slow down I could still come off the bike better than last year.
By this time we had some decent head-cross wind to contend with, which did slow me a bit. Toward the end of the ride my legs were feeling pretty heavy, but I was managing to pass some of the age group men who had shot past me on lap 1, which I took as a good sign.
Knowing I was coming off the bike behind the other girls (I had only caught and passed one pro girl on the bike) I knew I would have to put a good run effort in. Running off the bike my legs felt pretty heavy, but I was managing to hold 4min20/km's and hoped I could run this feeling out of them.
By 18km the first of many quad cramps hit. I knew I had consumed quite a bit of water on the bike - I never usually drink water in a race (after some good advice from a nutritionist), and must have put my sodium balance out. Instead of sodium being transported into my working muscles, the low concentration of it in my blood would result in it being drawn out of my muscles and into my bloodstream. The result - some decent cramps in the working muscles. With no quick fix.
Running back to begin my third lap (I use the term "running" loosely) I had a big debate. My quads hurt. A lot. And I knew they wouldn't stop hurting. I could either pull the pin, or guts out the remaining 24km. I even had the "why on earth am I doing this professionally?" debate. The answer to that was simple. I love it. I want to be the best athlete I can. I want to inspire other girls so they see their bodies as the amazing tools they are, to push limits and achieve dreams.  I thought of some of the athletes I mentor and coach, of the messages people have sent me in the past saying they had been inspired by me. I thought of my Oupa, who inspired ME to begin running, and how he followed my sporting progress, sending me emails after every race saying how much he would love to be able to run again (he was a very accomplished runner, completing numerous Comrades Ultra marathons as well as a few 100 milers).
That did it. I couldn't quit.
The next 24km felt a bit brutal. I ran as much as I could. I walked when I couldn't run. I stopped to repeatedly punch my own quads in an attempt to get them to stop cramping. And I finally hit the last 3k of the run. I met an age group man then, trying to hammer it to the finish. This was his first Ironman, he told me, and he was starting to struggle. So I ran with him, giving him encouragement to keep going, until I got to watch him run ahead of me down the finish chute. This is what I believe the spirit of Ironman is all about. To keep going when you want to quit. And to support those around you doing this demanding and ruthless sport.
I finished under 10 hours, but far from the time I had in mind.
I read somewhere the definition of success is being able to go to sleep at night satisfied. I may not have given my best race performance on Sunday, but I did give it my best. Even though I missed setting an epic PB, this race reminded me why I do this, and why I will continue to do this.
I am looking forward to what the next year is going to bring!
A big thank you to Marie and Josh, for opening their home to me in Perth (and the epic coffees!). To Mel for being an awesome pre- and post-race buddy - unfortunately her race plans got derailed, but only after she completely smoked the bike course. To my sponsors, Bob's Bikes for keeping the Trek in top condition, and Shoe Clinic for my awesome Asics. And to Roger, whose unending support and love make living my dream possible.
Have a safe and happy festive season, and remember - when it gets tough #neverquit.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Challenge Forster... And how to make friends with strangers

One of the things I love most about triathlon is how it brings complete strangers together solely on the basis that we like to do three sports on one day dressed in the same piece of lycra. There will be no awkwardness; rather you will indulge in hours of non-stop chatter about training, racing and where to get the best post-ride coffee (note: in Forster this is Tartt).

Stepping off the plane in Sydney I was greeted by Pete, who was a complete stranger for all of a minute, until he asked what was in my bike bag (cue the beginning of non-stop tri talk). This was handy as we were soon confined in his car for the four hour road trip to Forster. He tried very hard to unlock the secret of racing professionally - or even just racing fast. I did give him my two best tips:
1. Spend A LOT of time sitting around in caf├ęs in lycra drinking good coffee
2. Always have a flat phone on you - the sign of some hard core instagramming (a must). 
I hope these tips help his future racing.

I soon discovered Pete was a man of many talents - taxi driver, entertainer, bird rescuer, IT guru, tour guide extraordinaire, cyclist, triathlete, beer conniseur and owner of "Pete's Hotel", aka his apartment, with the best view of Sydney.
Pete had kindly volunteered to drive me to Forster to deliver me to my homestay.

Wayne and Vanda had opened up their home to both me and Lachie, an Aussie pro. I was lucky enough to spend race week doing a little riding and swimming with the local training groups, eating the amazing food Vanda was whipping up, and drinking some awesome coffee (see tip 1).

Race morning rolled around soon enough, and before I knew it I was wetsuited up and eagerly waiting for the swim start.
The swim was uneventful, with me sitting on the feet of Julia Grant for most of it.
Out on to the bike course Julia soon opened up a bit of a gap - as much as I tried to go with her, my legs felt a little heavy and incapable of producing the power I know was in them. This lasted for 40min before I began to find a good riding rhythm.  It always seems to take me a while to really get in to the bike.  I like to call this Post Swim Trauma Disorder. I am also currently seeking some kind of support group for this.
By then I was about 2km off the paceline the other girls had formed, so settled in for a solo effort over the 90km course, Some good undulation and headwind kept the legs working until riding in to T2 in town.

The run was a 2 1\2 lap run. I LOVE lapped runs. Not only is it easy to see how much ground you are making up, I am also a little OCD about consistency, so it keeps my run solid for the entire race. I soon caught and passed Julia and Michelle. Knowing third place had quite a lead I then settled in to a comfortable pace to finish.

Crossing the finish line, I was stoked to see both Wayne and Vanda volunteering in the finish area (I think they were working harder than I had worked all day).  Wayne was conveniently in the beer tent (on a side note, there happened to be a discrepancy of beers and competitors.....).

Overall I am happy with a solid race performance off the back of some big mileage in preparation for Ironman WA.

I want to say a huge thank you to Wayne and Vanda, and to Pete, who all opened up their homes to me and made sure I had everything I could possibly need.  They definitely made this trip feel more awesome than just a trip overseas to race.
A big thank you to Forster Cycles as well for their help before the race - the team there were fantastic.
Also to Bob's Bikes for keeping the Trek running so sweet, to Shoe Clinic Hamilton and Asics, and to the team at Elite Energy for putting on an awesome race in such a beautiful location. I will definitely be back next year!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Metaman Bintan - Racing in Paradise

In a bid to escape the worst weather on earth (i.e. winter), I grabbed the chance to head over to tropical Bintan, Indonesia, for the annual Metaman Race.

On the race website, Metaman is described as "a tough, honest iron distance triathlon".  This does nothing to describe the beauty of Bintan, the friendliness of the locals or the tropical paradise that is Nirwana Gardens, race venue.

In the build up to the race I was lucky enough to stay with Jeremy and Janet in Singapore. Not only were they feeding me very delicious meals, but Jeremy was an ideal cycling buddy (who also went on to win his age group in the half iron distance race). Without him I would still be cycling in circles around Singapore trying to find my way home.

After the concrete jungle of Singapore, it was bliss to arrive in Bintan where the most road traffic you would experience was a handful of scooters and a troop (?) ... herd (?) of monkeys.

From this:
To this:
Race morning dawned as every other morning - very warm. It was a nice experience to head down to transition without wearing layers of clothing and dreading the moment I would have to strip it all off.
Aside from a flat tyre in transition, which I quickly replaced, race morning was relatively relaxed and I couldn't wait to just get started.
The water was a warm 29-30 degrees for the swim. I lost the front pack before the first turn buoy - this is the first time I have been dropped for a solo swim in a race! I then aimed to stay steady and comfortable as I knew it was going to be a long, hot day. Before long I realised I actually had Bec and Jo swimming on my feet, which was some consolation that I wasn't the only one to get dropped. Plus if there were sharks (which there aren't), ideally they would sneak up behind me and eat one of the others instead.
I was quickly dropped on the first few hills of the bike!
At Ironman New Zealand I made the mistake of riding too hard in the first half of the bike, and then grovelling home a bit for the last 40km. Knowing it was going to be hot and not wishing to repeat this experience I started conservatively - in hindsight, too conservatively :-/
I spent much of the ride alone, with only villages breaking up the jungle around me. These were always a good source of motivation - the local kids lined the street and cheered for all they were worth. If you gave them one of your empty drink bottles (of which I seemed to have many), they acted like they had won the lottery.  It was very cool.
Most of the ride was uneventful, aside from a torrential shower of very warm rain for the last 20km, making peering out of my fogged up sunglasses a bit tricky. Luckily enough there were none of these on the road:
As they are the size of very short-legged dogs.
I hit the run feeling good, which lasted for 2km. Then the heat began to hit. Aid stations were about 1.5km apart, which I initially thought was overkill, but I soon realised that this was pretty much the distance you could run without going crazy in the heat. Each aid station was a welcome nirvana of drinks and ice cold sponges. My pace soon dropped and my race goal changed to merely finishing. I soon caught Bec, who had pulled a hamstring, and moved into 4th, where I stayed until the welcome sight of the finish line.
Although I raced slower than what I thought I was capable of, this was an amazing experience. I learnt a lot through the race, and met some amazing people, some of whom I have looked up to for many years.
A big congrats to everyone who finished a tough day. And to Gina and Cam who once again showed why they are such amazing athletes.
I have to say a big thank you to Jeremy and Janet for opening up their home to me and Roger, and to their two girls for putting up with Roger!
To the race organisers, for a well run and top notch race - this is definitely on my racing calendar in the future!
To the team at Bob's Bikes and Shoe Clinic for their continued support.
And to Rog, who had the very tough job of coming along with me - I know it was a hard place to be for a couple of weeks....

Monday, 5 May 2014

Rotorua Marathon Turns the Big 5-0!

There is something about the Rotorua Marathon. I just can't stay away from it. And every year, at the 26km mark, I always question my sanity in returning for another dose of hurty legs that this marathon serves up. This year I was back for more!

Winning this marathon last year was incredible. Going back this year my main goal was just to put together a good solid run effort, ignoring the super speedy elite field I was up against.
My build up was less than ideal. Since Ironman NZ I had managed two "long runs". The first was a good hit out at the Xterra Off road Half marathon, where I romped off with an easy win. Buoyed up by my trail running success I hit the trails of the Eskdale Forest on a running blind date with Kristian and Ruby (running blind date: when a running buddy sets you up with another running buddy for some running joy. The awkwardness is gone straight after your first toilet stop in the bush). We managed 28km of the coolest running I have done in a forest. I also managed to fall over the only pinecone lying on a dead flat gravel road, spraining my ankle. I knew things were a bit grim when I got out my car after driving back to my parents and my foot was already four times its usual size. It was only a 20min drive. That and the fact I couldn't push my clutch in (yes, I tried to drive back in one gear... damn you manual car!!). And it remained this size for nearly a week (complete with pretty shades of blue and purple). Cue not much running...

Two weeks later I was on the start line with a tender ankle and an uncertainty as to whether I would even make it half way around the lake. I decided to forgo my GPS watch, and basically just run on feel.
Coach Keegan had mentioned something about easily doing another sub 3hr run, I had dismissed this as another one of his crazy ideas...but somehow he always manages to be right.
No one was more surprised than me when I realised at the 26km mark I was on track for a good run. Yes I felt a bit terrible (everyone does at that point in this race given the slight uphill and headwind of the return to town) - but not as terrible as previous years. At the 40km mark I realised a 2hr55 was within my reach, and somehow lifted my pace to 4min/km's to bring it home.
Crossing the finish line in 4th place still felt like a sweet victory to me. I felt I had given it my best, and to finish in the front end of the field, given the calibre of the elite field, was a bonus.

My ankle had been tender to run on, but it definitely made me smart about my run form out there. One of my friends had also written on Facebook "heart> ankle" (heart is greater than ankle, for those who struggled with greater-than and less-than at school!!). Thanks Nathan, I will be remembering this next time I race!!

I also proudly got to watch Caroline, Heidi and Tarina finishing the marathon, after seeing (and writing up) all the hard work they put in to get to the finish line. Well done team!

A big congrats to everyone who finished the marathon. I believe it is the toughest onroad marathon in NZ. Much respect!
I must say a thank you to Tom for the company out around the back of the lake. Pity I dropped you buddy - next time you will definitely hang on for a sub 3!
And some nameless man who stuck with me for a few more km's with plenty of encouragement (until I dropped him too...).
Also to the volunteers for being so positive to sweaty strangers, and giving us smiles and encouragement with our drinks. And to Emma and the team at Event Promotions for once again organising a spectacular race!

Now time for some solid training miles again!

Monday, 3 March 2014

IMNZ 2014

Someone once told me Ironman would try break your heart.  I suspected they didn't mean this literally. Until Saturday's race.

Race morning dawned a chilly 2 degrees.  Anything less than 30 degrees is usually too cold for me. So you could imagine my joy at cycling around in dripping wet lycra in these conditions!
Hanging with the main pack of pro girls in the swim saw me get out the water in 59 minutes, which seems to be my go to swim pace at the moment. I was in and out of transition in a flash, mostly due to my lack of warm clothing to put on.
I had mentally prepared myself for a cold couple of hours on the bike; my upbeat optimism about freezing to death only lasted until the first descent from the motorsport park. I spent the next hour shivering uncontrollably. The only reason I didn't fall off my bike due to violent shivering was down to the fact I was actually frozen on my bike in the aero position. I could only console myself with the thought that the second lap could only get warmer.
The rest of the ride proved uneventful, as I seemed to spend the majority of it grinding it out alone. I passed a couple of other pro girls on the second lap before heading in to town to run a marathon.

I smashed out another speedy transition (the only thing I seemed capable of smashing out at this race) and hit the run course. I had been looking forward to the run here for months. I love the energy and support on the course in Taupo, and knew a ton of people would be out there cheering me on. My goal for this race had been to really enjoy the run. And I did. For 2km. Then I realised something was wrong.
I could understand if I had mucked up my nutrition, hit a wall, or simply burned my legs out on the bike. But I didn't understand why my heart didn't seem to be working. Everything else was!! Everything felt good, except for my heart which seemed to struggle to beat. My heart rate was pretty low, and it felt my heart was really working for every beat. Now I am not a doctor but I was pretty sure this was not a good sign with a good 40km left to run. I had a good debate with myself over the course of the first lap and decided to push on with the race. Even if I had to walk (which I did). I didn't want to see a DNF next to my name, and figured if I was going to collapse of anything, an IM course would probably be the best place to do it. The medics there are pretty good! So I soldiered on. By the last lap I was walking a fair bit to try ease some strain on my heart. There were moments I had tears behind my sunglasses, and I was so grateful for Roger's support out there - even when he saw me walking.

I made it to the finish in 10hrs02. Not quite the race I was after, but happy to finish. I made it in as the 11th pro woman out of a strong field of 20.
After finishing the first thing on my agenda was a chocolate milkshake, followed secondly by some tests with the doctor (priorities, right?). Hopefully nothing more serious than an undetected virus!
A huge thank you goes out to everyone out there supporting - it makes a difference when you are racing well, but an even bigger difference when you are not.
Also to the volunteers for spending countless hours looking after sweaty, smelly strangers.
To my coach Keegan at VO2Coach for the hours of training spent behind the scenes.
And to my sponsors Bob's Bikes for getting the Trek machine running so smoothly (next time I would like a seat warmer please), BSC and GQ Nutrition for supplying my race bars, gels and recovery formula, and Adidas Eyewear for the pink Evil Eyes.
I am definitely going to enjoy the break after Ironman before setting my sights on my next big goal.
A huge congrats to everyone who achieved out there - be it a Kona qualification, a PB, or simply just a finish.
Stay safe & see you at the next one!