Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lessons From Ironman Zurich 2012

What did I learn from racing in my 12th M-Dot race, and 13th Ironman triathlon (to date)?
1) A bike-case with upright wheels is best for commuting at the airport. I use a pre-owned Sci-Con bike box. Use a variety of packing-material like newspapers, cable-tie, and bubble-wrap to protect the bicycle frame. Pack as much light material in your bike-case.
2) Bring your own nutrition ONLY. Never veer towards something unfamiliar because they tout it at the race-exposition. It will only expose your gastro-intestinal (GI) weakness. I used Hammer Nutrition Perpeteum powder  and Solids on my ride and run legs.
3) Take it easy on the caffeine! I took a little too much, as it came from hidden sources like Coca-Cola and Red Bull shots (tastes like hell, but it gave me wings!).
4) Dress warmly if it is windy and raining. I was glad to wear a long-sleeved Pearl Izumi riding top which keep me fairly warm, and protected from rain and the hailstones (pelted halfway on my ride). You can always peel your extra top off if it gets too warm.
5) Thank the spectators and volunteers. I cannot over-emphasise this key point. Without volunteers we will not enjoy our personal glories.
6) Dig deep. That was what a spectator asked to do at my second attempt at Heartbreak Hill. Positive affirmations and encouragement work, However, digging deep hurts initially.
7) Focus on your goals and mantras. I focused on appreciating my donors for Ironman New Zealand. It was my way of paying back my gratitude at a different race. Thank you charitable friends!
8) Be aware and cognizant of what's around you. There is more to the race than 'tunnel vision' racing. Smile, say 'thank you' to volunteers and spectators, acknowledge your competitors, and give yourself a self-compliment.
9) You are not alone. 1,800 competitors including professionals and 'virgin Ironman' are there to spur you on. And, we had original Ironman Dave Orlowski race side-by-side with us. It was a touching and precious moment.
10) Thank your Iron-Mate crew. They are more to us than a medal, t-shirt,  towel or race merchandise. Share your 'high' with them. Celebrate immediately with them after the race.

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