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Microsoft word - busselton im 07.doc

“Ironman doesn’t build character…It reveals it.” Mission accomplished…Almost. My goal to race four Ironmans this year has been achieved, yet somewhat disappointingly my goal to go sub 9 hours remains elusive. After coming so tantalizingly close to this mark in my first IM at Busselton 12 months ago; the magical 9hr barrier has since and still remains my most coveted goal. A goal I know I can and will achieve, provided I can get my body to the start line rip raring to go. Unfortunately Busselton IM last year was the only race of the four that I found myself at the start line injury free. Since then, it has been a variety of lower leg issues that have hampered my preparation leading into these races and impacted negatively on my performance on the day. Busselton IM 07 was a day when 20 months of constant training and racing finally caught up with me, culminating in a forced six week recovery lay off. Actually I knew it was coming from about four weeks after Hawaii when I had stress fractures diagnosed in my right foot. But realisation is one thing, coming to terms with it at the dawn of a new season of racing…something else. I came to understand though, that not only did my mind and body desperately need a break from the rigours of training and racing, but it was going to ‘need it’ regardless. I had been hobbling around for the first four weeks post Hawaii, until I finally decided to do something about it and despite the foot finally settling down with a prescription of Fosamax and anti-inflams; I knew it would be completely cactus come race end. So the decision to take a break was in essence made for me. The foot had forced the issue and so began the mental process of coming to terms with it, which I did. The fact that it was X’mas time didn’t hurt either. So with the realisation that my efforts in Busselton would be rewarded with a lengthy stint of R & R, I could now focus comfortably and soley on staying positive and getting myself up for the race. Until I started on the prescription of Fosamax, I really didn’t know if I would be able to run the marathon. I knew I would finish the race one way or another, but the actual act of running seemed like an impossibility, given especially that I had trouble even walking for the past four weeks. But three days after starting the script, the foot settled down markedly and the battle to remain positive clicked up a gear. My mindset went from “how the hell am I going to do this?” to “I will be able to do this.” And do it I did…just. I don’t think I had too many steps left in the ol’ foot when I crossed the line. But then there’s nothing like a bit of adversity to make crossing the line even sweeter. It was no less exiting toeing the start line this time round. The fantastic feeling I get on the cusp of such an enormous challenge, made even sweeter by the presence of my mum and dad, sister & bro’ in law and of course my rock…Sonja. I had familiarised my dad with what wetsuit, swim cap etc I would be wearing and with a plan to swim right alongside the jetty, my dad would walk the length of the jetty watching and supporting me. It was great seeing him right there every alternate breath, drawing a lot of energy from someone who has always been such a great inspiration to me. This swim would be the first employing the new technique I adopted in Hawaii, so I was really looking forward to putting it to the test. Unlike Hawaii where I felt really average from woe to go, from the outset today I was feeling strong, comfortable and really fluent in the water. A good hard start and an incident, hassle free early phase had me for the first time ever actually enjoying my swim. Right up until I stepped foot on the beach, these feelings persisted. I was expecting to look down at my watch and see about a 55min split, which would have been a two min PB. When the numbers 57.07 stared back at me, I was initially but only momentarily miffed. I thought I swam better than my time indicated. With just five weeks to have worked on the technique, I was at least on par with last year’s time. I hadn’t gone backwards, but on the other hand after a whole year in the pool, I hadn’t really gotten any faster. Either way I was on track and looking forward to a superior bike leg. Phase 1 of the sub 9 mission was accomplished, even though a couple of extra minutes would have been nice to have up the sleeve. A speedy smooth transition and bike mount and it was time to see if I had been wasting my time and money for the past year. For the first time ever, I would be doing away with my trusty Argon / Campag Eurus combo and finally be at the helm of a dedicated TT bike / Zipp 606 combo. In my mind, if I couldn’t rip 10min off last years time, then either 1. TT bikes and Zipp wheels are not all they’re cracked up to be, in which case I had wasted a lot of money, and / or 2. I had in fact been wasting my time for the past year. The plan I set for myself went like clockwork. My goal to ride a 4hr 50min split as opposed to last years 5hr 05min was achieved. First 2 laps at 1hr 35min, then allowing for fatigue, a 1hr 40min last lap. This is exactly what I rode. A 4hr 49min bike split and a big sigh of relief…Ahhhhhhh! I hadn’t waisted my time and / or money after all. Nothing like a bit of justification for the doubting spouse. It’s disappointing though that they don’t isolate your transition splits from your discipline splits. I’m pretty sure both T1 and T2 splits are tacked onto your bike split, which unfortunately doesn’t give a very accurate representation of how a person rode as individual’s transition times vary considerably. In any case, Phase 2 was complete and the race plan thus far, on target…that was until I took my first steps off the bike. In my mind I had envisaged coming off the bike with the foot all warmed up, then deteriorating over the course of the run, but when I took my first steps and it hurt just as bad as it had in the weeks following Kona, I thought – ‘Bugger’ (censored for any minors that may be reading this) this was not in my plan. There was of course nothing I could do about it other than to just get going as quick as I could and whatever happens…happens. A super quick 1min 17sec transition and I exited hot on the heels of Dave Boyes, 4hr 51min after exiting T1 in exactly the same fashion. Only this time I quickly watched Dave disappear into the distance. (Awesome race by the way Dave.) The first 4-5 km’s were very uncomfortable, but eventually the pain subsided and the limping started to more closely resemble a typical gait. I managed to complete the first lap in relative comfort and to my surprise crossed the first lap marker in spot on 1hr. I was on 3hr pace and feeling quite good. Could I actually do this?? But as is the case in IM racing there are the up’s and downs and lap 2 saw some of this deterioration in feeling and form come into play. Not far into lap 2 I could feel the outside couple of toes on my left foot really starting to hurt, something I had never had an issue with before. Obviously I was favouring the right foot to some degree and loading up the left leg in all sorts of ways. I thought to myself ‘whatever is happening down there, it’s got to be bleeding;’ but for some reason never actually bothered to look. It was a funny position to find myself. All the preoccupation with my right foot and now it was the left foot hurting like hell. Eventually the pain subsided; absorbed me thinks into the general all encompassing pain one find themselves in at this point of the race and a feeling of relative comfort returned, probably not unlike the feeling of calm you hear about that washes over someone before they come to terms with the fact they’re about to DIE! Passing the lap marker in 1hr 6min, I was in no uncertain terms reminded by members of my family that all I had to do was run a 1hr 2min last lap to achieve sub 9. In a past life this would have been bread and butter, but today was different. Less than a 14km/hr average for the last lap; a speed I used to joke about that if I ran that slowly I would fall over, however today it was more a case of wishful thinking. In saying that though, I was feeling pretty good and buoyed on by the races’ imminent completion and a belief that I could give this a nudge; I put on a spurt and dug deep. All the mind and motivational elements I had picked up at the Lifesport camp in Kona, whilst already in play all race, were never more so than in that final lap, believing I could do it right up until the first turnaround where sadly the reality of declining splits dictated otherwise. Continuing to give it all I had, I forged on, still completely stoked with the whole experience and my performance regardless. Approximately 4km’s from home I managed to stand on a smallish rock right smack bang under the stress fracture, setting off that all too familiar pain that amazingly enough had been absent since the early stages of the run. It mattered not though. The finish line was nigh and I had really enjoyed my day out. A bit of a surge in the final couple of km’s saw me capture a handful of extra places, including a couple of D’s (male 35-39) which was pretty satisfying. Across the line in 9:08:07, I doubled back immediately up the chute to embrace my family and share the feelings of a job they all, by virtue of their support, played an integral role in. A first look down at my left foot too confirmed my earlier suspicions. I could only manage 1hr 10min for the final lap of a 3:15:59 marathon, the lack of miles ultimately playing it’s part, surprisingly though, this was the third fastest for my age group. In the end, it was enough to earn me another spot to Kona, a race I never imagined getting back too, let alone so soon. Which reminds me, I must get some water on that money tree of mine…maybe some good fertilizer too. Whilst given the nature of injuries etc and the absence of any running since Kona, I am not disappointed with my race. It was a shame to see a goal that was there for the taking on the day, ultimately denied me through injury. But as such the goal remains and it’s great to have something so defined to focus on and shoot for. Well done to everyone from the first to the last across the line, especially to Mat ‘Bulldog’ Jennings for breaking my course record. ( you b#*^rd) A special thanks to Frans from Woodvale Bikeforce. Steve from Padbury Pharmacy. Bryce from Symmetry Cycle Coaching. Keith from Carine Physio and Vivian & Ben from Peak Podiatry. Thanks for all your help and assistance throughout the year and especially to Viv & Ben for getting me to the start line at Busso.


Conferência Internacional Gestão da Informação dos Parlamentos em África Desafios e Oportunidades das TICs para o Reforço da Democracia e Governação Parlamentar DECLARAÇÃO DE NAIROBI A Conferência Internacional sobre a Gestão da Informação dos Parlamentos em África: Desafios e Oportunidades das TICs para o Reforço da Democracia e Governação Parlamentar realizou-se

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