The Outlaw...

Use this to post your race reports, posts must contain references to your obligatory mid pee fart...

The Outlaw...

Postby md6 » 11 Jul 2013 22:10

Where: Nottingham
When: 7-July-2013
Organiser: One Step Beyond
Distance(s): Iron
Marshalling: Brilliant

Well this could be a long one so go get your slippers on and find a comfy seat…

I’ll start at the day before the race as that’s where everything really started. At the start of the drive I was feeling quite relaxed and thinking I had surprisingly not cocked anything up yet…then I realised that I was on autopilot and was driving to south into Kent and not north to Nottingham…. Good start to the day, wake up Mark. Only a 20min delay and we’re back on course. About an hour before reaching Nottingham on the motorway I look in the mirror of the car and see something flapping on the bike. Oh. I realised that it was the pad on my aerobars, just as I spotted it I saw it pop off and fly away at the near 100mph. OK, I need to get some more pads then…
Still no more mishaps and soon at the lake to register and try to find some new pads for my aerobars…no luck time to improvise! I find something - some neoprene toe covers. Put over the arm rests and the jobs a good-un, well 112 miles will tell. All racked and ready, now it was time to go for food and an early night, and to get out of the sun as it was hot. Retired to a nice little pub round the corner from the B&B for dinner 2 beers and a couple of pints of lemonade, then an early night.
Race day! Up at 4 for breakfast and the first mistake of the day, I didn’t eat enough. 3 slices of toast, a cereal bar and a couple of coffees plus a litre of hi-5 zero was all I could manage. Off to the lake. As I’m in the queue for a portaloo I hear a bang…oh dear someone is having a bad start to the day it can’t be me I’m too far away to have heard it if it was,wouldn’t i? Better check…phew. As I come out the loo and the announcer is telling everyone to get in the water, and that the owner of the blown tyre can relax, the marshals had fixed it for them…how nice!

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more:
As I walk out to the lake, I remember that I actually don’t enjoy swimming. It’s a little late for this revelation with 5 minutes to go so I decide not for the last time that day to MTFU. I often struggle with the first few hundred meters of any swim, pool or lake, but it is worse in the lake due to the temperature and a lack of practice. I move into the second pen and float to the back, then the marshals start telling everyone to move backwards and I find I’m in the middle of the group…oh dear. Anyway the hooter goes and I am in the middle of the washing machine, I’m faster than the people in front and constantly running up on them, so I lay off and get my legs tugged a few times. Not fun really but I deal with it. As I start to find my stroke about 250m in, and some slightly clearer water, I start to breath to the left just so I can keep an eye on the bank so I know where I am. Just after getting cut up by someone I decide to look both ways, just as I do I notice I’m almost on top of someone and I’m too close. Next stroke, I get her elbow in my mouth, I can taste blood. Oh, and my goggles are leaking. I head to the side of the lake, stand up, sort my goggles and I’m back on my way. In much clearer water so that’s good – I shouldn’t have started in the first 300 places obviously. I manage to settle and get into a stroke about 750m in, and from there on I was doing ok, picking people off and moving well! Then as I pass one guy, we are stroke for stroke next to each other, both breathing to the gap between us. Then the muppet decide to switch to breast stroke…bang. Direct hit straight to my balls, as I roll out to catch my breath, he kicks again – straight into the ribs. C**t. He knew I was there, had seen me at least 3 times, yet kicked me twice. Not happy, struggling to breathe and feel like I’ve been kicked in the nuts, well mainly because I had! I get back to it and I spot him about 50m ahead, angry and hurting I decide that as he wants a ruck, he can bloody have one. I ease up alongside his waist and then as he continues cutting across my line I plough over the top of him kicking for like it’s a 25m sprint effort. Doesn’t stop me feeling like shit but hopefully will make him think twice about being such a cock in future. Then at the end of the lake and I’m at the turn. Start feeling better, surprisingly so , so I start to up the pace a little, just lengthen out my reach and I’m passing people regularly now. I’m going into the last 300m and still feeling good and strong, those ‘hard 100s’ I’d been doing in the pool must’ve paid off. I dig deep, strong catch and pull – reach as far as I can rotate get as much out of each stroke as I can manage, and I shoot past another 10 people in the last 200, as I approach the exit there’s a guy matching me stroke for stroke…I have to beat him out and so I kick and really go for it. Beat hum out by about 5 seconds…result! Swim time 1:27:12.

My transitions aren’t good – lack of practice. Anyway I get the wetsuit down to my waist and the wetsuit stripper is there and I think its an idea to get some help. After 30 seconds of tugging I’m on my back both feet still stuck in the wettie, laughing and calling ‘heave’ as she yanks at it on the 4th tug the left foot is out, and 2 more then the right is free! And on we go to find the bags…I’m surprised by how many bags are still in transition – I’m not that fast. Anyway, I towel off and apply sunscreen, socks, shoes, gloves, shades, jersey and number belt the long run to get the bike, via a portaloo, after the OMPF I’m ready to roll. T1 10:17 – 5 minutes longer than my T1 in IMCH but these things happen and I think at least 2 minutes of that was me emptying the bladder!

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war:
As I set off on the bike, it’s warm but not overly so at 20 degrees. I decide to make hay before the sun shines and set off at my target pace of 20mph until the heat gets too much then back off and survive. My bike is an absolute beast, like a missile that I’m lucky to hang onto. The first 20 miles slip by easily as I’m warming up to the ride, the first 20 done in just over an hour, I’m only around 30s off target pace. Everything is going well. Right up until about 32 miles, as I reach for a bottle behind my seat I can’t find one…wtf? I slow to investigate and a passing Pirate tells me my cage is about to fall off. I stop and have a look, and find the bolt has come off and the cage is hanging upside down. I tape it up with the electrical tape I always loop around the seat tube as my cable ties went missing when the cage flipped. It doesn’t hold. I make it to the aid station and ask for some cable ties. Someone runs off to find some so I take the time to cool off with some water and refill the aero bottle. They come back but could only find an elastic band which we jerry rig to hold the cage but means I can’t really use the bottle…bugger. Anyway I’m back on the move and not particularly happy. But I can’t let that phase me, I have people to retake. I put the hammer down re-pass the 15 or 20 people who had gone by at the aid station and I’m keeping count on how many pass me on the road. So far, only 5.

A few miles on, I realise the elastic band won’t work I’ll get to the next aid station and ask again for some cable ties. I pass all the people who had been past me and I make it to the next aid station and find some cable ties! Hallelujah! Lost another 5 minutes but, I take the time to cool get some water and a banana down and check I’m on top of my nutrition. It was going to be key today in this weather. I was going to try and get by with minimal solids. I’m taking 2 gels per hour (at 25 and 55 mins to be precise) and I was drinking a bottle of water and a bottle of high-5 every hour too. I get back on the move, and I am still flying along, but the temp is rising. I make it to the half-way point in 2’57, not quite on target for the 5:45 I wanted but given the 2 stops cost me more than 10 minutes I’m not too concerned, keeping hydrated. Perhaps a little too hydrated as I am dying for a pee. I stop at the next aid station and run in to the loo. Jebus save me. It is hot as hell, and smells even. I nearly fainted. Back on the bike and decide to try and make up some of the 5 minutes I lost waiting for the lav and the stop etc. the next 7 miles or so I averaged about 24mph. Back in the game! Of course, it was never going to be that simple and the temperature was really up by then, I’ve since seen my garmin recorded it as 31 degrees…To give an idea of the heat, I was descending at 30 mph into a headwind and rather than sweet relief the wind was hot, it was heating my body not cooling it – I zip back up and soak my jersey to cool off. At this point I decided that discretion is the better part of valour, and backed off. I was not longer riding at the 90% effort I could hold for the distance and was at 80 to 85% to survive the heat. Average speed dropped at this point from 19/20mph to 17/18. By this point my improvised pads are killing my arms, neoprene is not the most forgiving of materials for that, add in the spilt drink, gels etc making it sticky, damp and it has rubbed my elbow/forearm raw. Not happy but you just have to roll with the punches. Then my next mechanical hit, the chain dropped off. Just as I was shifting out of the big ring to spin the legs easier off it comes, my legs shoot round (220 cadence according to the garmin) and I slip on the saddle. A bit of a wobble and I’m desperately trying to shift back up to the big ring to get the chain on anything …as I roll down still trying to get my chain to grip I notice that I’m going up a slight incline…f**k. I get off and throw the chain on, get it into the gear I wanted and I’m back on my way…my chain has only ever come off this bike twice before, both times were in IMCH…I hope history doesn’t repeat as it got stuck the second time and was a pain to get back on.

Of course, a few miles later, the inevitable happens and the chain goes again. It took quite a while to get back on, I think with both chain drops I’m now looking at another 10 mins lost. Definitely not going to get my target, but my back up of 6 hours is slipping away too. And I need a pee. I decide to hold on for the next aid station as I’m at about 90, and I’m pretty sure there’s one between 95 and 100 miles. My pace starts to drop massively, my ribs are killing me from the kick I took I’m running low on fluids and I am bursting for a pee. At 100miles still no aid station, I stop and take a leak at the side of the road. Ah sweet relief! Then I am back and my pace improves back to 18 or so, I turn a corner and there’s the aid station! I stop to cool off get fuelled and I’m back on my way. I decide I want to claw as much time back as I can, I won’t manage 6 hours but 6:15 is on. I push on and feel like I’m going to break; my right quad on the brink of a cramp. Normally I just stick my foot up on the saddle and stretch my quad out that way whilst rolling, but as I tried to do that my hammy started to protest – so I swung my foot down and decided just to shake it out. There will be no cramp today! Just after I sort this my next mechanical hits. My behind the saddle cage slips down, out of reach, and my leg hits the end every time I turn the pedals. I slow and try to fix it, but the bolt has gone loose and so every time I lift it, a few minutes later it is flat again. This makes drinking hard and I lose a bottle. Still its not too bad I had already had 9 bottles in total and was feeling a little bloated – the problem of fuelling on gels and fluids only! I get off and try to tape the cages up to protect my legs but not happening, I decide to MTFU and get on with it so I push on and put the hammer down –nearly 19 mph. head to the end of the ride, 3 miles to go and I will comfortably make the 6:15 fall back target, not ideal but less than half an hour behind schedule, given I had around 20 minutes of mechanicals I’m not too unhappy. The last few miles of the bike are twisty, bumpy and narrow, so I end up in the middle of a loose group of 7 or 8, no one wants to push on because the speed bumps in the shade are invisible until hit, we all just cruise round the last mile at about 15 mph loosening legs and getting ready for the run. I’m already cooked but at least there is a slight breeze! Off the bike in 6:11:00 and still feeling good, apart from the sore ribs, aching neck from being on the aerobars for about 5:30 of that 6:11 and feeling a little hot and bothered.

T2, I don’t know what to say, I took my time and made sure I had smothered myself in factor 50, decided to lose the jersey and go just in the trisuit. Off I go, stopping to have some more sun screen rubbed on me by the two young ladies at the exit of the tent…they were in swimsuits at the exit of T1 – why I didn’t stop and have them apply some to me there I don’t know – but I berated myself suitably for the first 50 miles of the bike for that mishap! OK Mark, time to MTFU and get moving. Out of T2 and on to the run in 9:48.

A horse! A horse! My Kingdom for a horse!
This was the one part of the day where I had actually thought about it, had a plan, and was going to stick with it…ha ok no I didn’t. I started to run with a loose idea: run a mile, walk a bit then run the rest of the mile and walk through the aid stations. Well I guess that counts as a plan. I had targeted 4 hours to finish here, on the basis that my target for this race was to finish in 11:30 - made up of 1:30 for swim and T1, 5:50 for the bike and T2 then 4 hours for the run. Of course, the heat had put paid to that, as did my extended stays in transition and mechanicals. As I came out of transition the heat made me feel a little apprehensive, I don’t do well in heat, I’m too big, hairy, sweaty. I decided then that the run/walk strategy was going to remain, but that I would be running to HR not worrying about pace. I would not let the HR go over 150, if it did I would back off and bring it down, then keep going again until it peaked again. I also decided that my walk break length would be determined by how long it took my HR to drop 15 or 20 bpm – aiming to run again at between 130 and 135. This was one way to make sure I didn’t blow up too badly in the heat and to pace myself round. The first few miles I was perhaps overly cautious and kept the HR around 140 averaging just under 10 min mile pace. Not too bad, but won’t be a 4 hour marathon. I reconciled that I would be happy with 4:15 or 4:25 today. The aid stations were brilliant, really friendly and encouraging, at one point there were some girls at the transition tent running up and down to the bar brining down chests of ice and handing it out, oh god how good that felt down the tri suit, until it slipped and I got a little chilled on my um…saddle soreness. Surprisingly that felt nice after the initial shock.

First 10k done and I’m feeling really good, not stressed and the HR hasn’t been above 145. The heat was a real problem, I started to feel a little sick. OK MTFU and keep moving. The next part of the run is a little hazy for me if I’m honest, I think I was starting to get some heat stroke and really suffered. I was running along the river, that I know, and after passing an aid station and having a coke I started to feel sick- lots of belching and my temp and hr start to spike. I walk, again, I’m only about 300m into the mile and I’m walking. I throw water all over me to cool down and I’m soaked to the skin, my shoes are squelching and I’m cooling down. I then hit a nice shady part of the course, thank god! I stand in the breeze for a second to savour the shade but realised I should be running I get moving again. Within a few minutes I start to shiver uncontrollably, and my hands are a bit wobbly. This can’t be good, there isn’t a marshal in sight so I decide to push on to the next aid station. Its then that I was sick for the first time, mostly dry heaving but something does come up, just keep moving boy you aren’t even half way yet! Back in the sun and start to feel a little better, warmer and although not feeling great I keep pushing on, just keep moving forward. I get to the aid station and have a gel and some banananananaaaa and some coke. Unfortunately it wasn’t flat, and a little later, I start to feel sick again. Just as I pass Nottingham Forrest ground my stomach makes its feelings known and I let loose the remaining contents of my guts all over the wall of the stadium…I carry on running and start to feel a bit better then I start to feel good again. My pace picks up and I am controlling the HR. I settle into a rhythm and pace that has my hr at about 147 and I stay there, I didn’t hear the mile beep so kept going, HR still in the zone and this is great. I hear the next mile and see that I’ve just done a very comfortable 8’30something…nice. I have a walk and start trying to calculate how long I have been out and possible finish times, with 8 miles to go 4 hours is still on. Caught up to Sar as she was on her first out loop so decided to pace with her and have a chat. Just as I was pushing on as I think my pace was a bit high for her, the strangest thing happened. The path suddenly moved out of my way and I was on the grass, then the path, then the grass again. I look up as some bloke is asking if I’m ok and I realise that I was bent over staring at my feet wobbling. Oh. Yeah I’m ok, just need to walk a bit, then I get back moving – I think Sar may have told me off at this point for being a muppet. Next thing I remember I could hear the announcer calling people over the line and I picked up the pace a little. I get back to the lake, stopped at the aid station to have a chat with King Sad, had a drink and got going. I didn’t want to push too hard as I felt that I was fading hard so I made sure I kept to my strategy and focused on keeping the HR in check made it to the next aid station, thanked all the volunteers and pushed on to the finish. I managed to get going reasonably well for the last couple of hundred meters, and finished to the announcer calling ‘Mark you oh, um, your number hasn’t come up dude, but you’re an outlaw anyway, oh there it is your number just came up’ I think that in itself sums up my outlaw experience. Run 4:22:57
Total time 12:21:15
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Re: The Outlaw...

Postby King Sad » 11 Jul 2013 22:48

Well done Mark :D A good race, shame about the bike mishaps - damn fine effort - damn fine result :D
It seemed like a good idea at the time :? .

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Re: The Outlaw...

Postby Bopomofo » 12 Jul 2013 00:27

Feck me! That was a bloody hard day's work, Mark!

Glad you gave Billy Bollock-Kicker some pay-back in the swim. His actions can only have been deliberate or stupidly careless. Suddenly switching stroke to BS without a thought for the people beside or behind you is negligent and dangerous. If you need to stop swimming get yourself to a place where it is SAFE to stop swimming... don't just quit and break somebody else's nose/shoulder/ribs/nuts because you're shit. :twisted:

Overall, what a horror of a race. You get full marks for keeping going in the face of the tri-gods who were throwing bottles of wee at you, Cav-style.

Your marathon report was as desolate as I'd expect it to be. Great reading.

I NEVER want to do one of these stupid races. Apart from not having the time to train, I'm simply not strong enough to overcome the crap that goes with them. The missing aero-bar pad would have finished me off.

Utterly amazing efforts, Mark. And an impressive time, too.

Well done, Mark. Be proud. :o 8-)
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Re: The Outlaw...

Postby Jimba » 12 Jul 2013 07:22

Great race and a cracking report. I have never done the distance, but your report gives a great insight into just how much MTFU is needed. Well done, very impressive grit.
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Re: The Outlaw...

Postby Sir Jibbenstein » 12 Jul 2013 08:45

Great effort Mark. Nothing like a little swim rage to get you moving through the water faster :D

Sounds an all too familiar shocker of a run. The heat changes things. A great time irrespective of the conditions, all the much better given how hot it was. Well done.
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Re: The Outlaw...

Postby M005 » 12 Jul 2013 09:10

Amazing race and report, to keep going through all that and still post a quick time is incredible.

I don't think I'd have had the patience to keep faffing with the bottle cage - it'd have ended up in a hedge somewhere :lol:
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Re: The Outlaw...

Postby kfjatek » 12 Jul 2013 12:11

Well done Mark, that bike leg sure was excessively adventurous!

Amazing effort, congratulations!

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Re: The Outlaw...

Postby Tritans » 12 Jul 2013 13:35

Great read Mark. Well done, a fantastic time especially given the heat.

Although I have to admit with 5 weeks to go till Sweden I regret reading it. I don't need reminding how bloody hard it is.
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Re: The Outlaw...

Postby md6 » 12 Jul 2013 14:12

cheers all, it was a good day and i enjoyed it (mostly) so that was good at least. of course i am still in that Post-IM 'I want to do another one' phase, mainly because i want to do one and actually train properly to see how fas i could go...but that won't be for a few years, i took on too much all at once this time and that showed in the amount of training missed. Work, study, moving house, and IM training - something had to give and it was the training, then study and then work to some extent. I don't want to have that happen again so i will wait a few years till its settled and see how i feel there.

Ade, you'll be find in Sweeden that 100m TT you did was very solid and further than my longest ride in training by about 22 miles :lol: :) :shock: :oops:
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Re: The Outlaw...

Postby Latinobeat » 14 Jul 2013 16:40

That was a great read, well done on completing it sounds like a pretty amazing mind over matter achievement.
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