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If you want to know about my mental shift as we led up to this race then read my last blog post here.

I always go to international races 10 days before to adjust to the new time zone and different atmosphere. My homestay, Warwick, picked me up at the airport on Thursday. I was so so grateful to have the same amazing homestay as last year! I wasn’t sure they would want me since I was so sick last year; I couldn’t have been too pleasant to have around!


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My sister, Meredith, came a couple days later and we were able to enjoy some swim, bike, runs, and brunches together during our race week. She is the reason I started all this triathlon stuff and has been one of my biggest supporters and cheerleaders through these years so it’s always a treat to race with her.

I felt apprehensive the night before the race. I wasn’t nervous about things going wrong or not accomplishing a certain result, but I knew I was going to be hurting in a few hours so I was starting to brace myself.


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I woke up on race morning and didn’t have time to worry about things. Don’t tell my coach (since I’m supposed to eat 3+ hours before the race), but I got up at 4:35am and ate (2 hours before the race). This has seemed to work well for me, so I’m not messing with a good thing.

When we got to transition, in typical Jocelyn fashion, my power meter battery was low and I forgot to bring extras from the house. Oh well! I race on heart rate anyway so just didn’t have data to analyze after! No issue!

I listened to my three pump up songs for this race (Hall of Fame, Superheroes, and Bleeding Out), on my way down to the swim start. After getting pumped up, saying a prayer and my last goodbyes to my husband and sister, I got in the water for warm up. About ten strokes in I got punched right in the nose from another pro coming back out of the water. I had some blood come out my nose and thought for a second that it was broken (since your race brain always goes to the worst conclusion). The pain wore off and I finished my warm up and went to the start of the race. 

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I was focusing on getting a good start and holding my ground. I’m generally a bashful swimmer and yield to anyone wanting to swim on top of me. This race, however, I did hold my ground and had a good swim, though I didn’t really face anyone fighting me which was nice. The water was rough and it was hard to sight off the buoys so I was in a dark place starting the race! MBK’s quote “the highs will be high, and the lows will be low,” kept going through my head and I kept on trucking.

The chop in the lake was so big that it was nearly impossible to sight off the buoys so it was important to use big landmarks on the horizon. You could tell who had done the race before because Sid took off straight toward the hill you can sight off while the other group of women with Emma, Vanessa, and Yvonne weaved in and out of the buoys the whole way. We all came together at the turn buoys but I’m pretty sure that Emma and crew swam a little farther. When we came around the last turn buoy the group headed off toward the docks and I saw the finish and pulled off in the right direction. It really shows that there is an advantage to knowing the course and doing the race before.

Another focus of mine has been racing through transition so I took off running through and came out with the people who I went in with. SUCCESS!

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The biggest hill comes shortly after transition and that’s when Yvonne and Sid decided to take the lead. Yvonne led most of the first lap except for a couple times when Sid or I went to the front. The whole bike was pretty much an exhibition of my lack of bike handling skills. I would be in good position then we would hit a turn and suddenly I found myself 30 seconds behind. I would put in a little effort to bridge the gap and then get dropped again after slowing down at an aid station or another turn. I used to have more guts on the bike, but after my crash in Mallorca, I haven’t had the same confidence. I think this will be my next focus area so I don’t have to keep putting in efforts after every turn. We only made up a few seconds on the leaders and ended up about 4:30 back by the end of the first half. I wasn’t worried about that though because I knew I had a good run in me.

This is the first race that I have raced the bike with other women. I have never been fortunate or unfortunate enough to find myself in that position. It’s nice to have people to ride with but also challenging to have other people to worry about not getting into the draft zone. 

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The second lap Sid led most of the way while I took a couple pulls, but the whole way home I had to go to the bathroom so bad and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Scott told me we were less than a minute back when we had about 10k to go and I just shook my head in disbelief! I didn’t think there was any way we had made up that kind of time on the leaders!

I came into T2 to see the top five women all in the tent together! I also need to focus on racing through T2 since I was the last one out of that tent and everyone put time into me. 


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The start of the run was exciting for all the spectators since the top five were within one minute of each other. I was running in fifth. Nothing is ever sure in an Ironman especially during mile one of the run, but I knew that if I executed the run I was capable of, I was going to be giving my hubby another elated, sweaty hug at the finish line.

I came up on Yvonne around mile 3 and later Sid when I took a turn into the neighborhoods. I could tell the yo-yoing I did on the bike took a little toll on my legs, but I also knew my run was in the best place it’s been in my life.  Experience is the only way to become really good at coping with the discomforts and stresses of endurance sports and I had put myself through a great deal of discomfort and stress on my training runs leading up to this race. There was one workout I remember doing on the treadmill that included 5 X 1 mile efforts. I did the last one in 5:03 and knew that was a workout to hold in the mind bank. 

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I made the pass into second and Annabell Luxford tried to stick with me for a little bit but eventually fell back. I could see Meredith Kessler and knew that I could move into first as we started running along the waterfront. The city of Taupo has a deep love for Meredith and as we ran side by side for a couple miles along the most populated part of the course, I thought I was going to go deaf with all the cheering, yelling, and screaming for Meredith. During those miles, I heard two people cheer “Go Jocelyn” and I just laughed since they sounded so out of place! As we rounded the turn-around for the second lap I could tell Meredith was drifting further behind while I kept going at the same effort. The entire first loop I was struggling to get my heart rate up to my target but reevaluated and made a new heart rate goal for the remaining two laps. 

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One of the highlights of the day was seeing my sister on the run course for the first time. She first saw me and cheered “Go J!” and then as I came out of the aid station she saw the “lead woman” cyclist and in her excitement yelled something unprintable followed by, “Go J!!!” Her genuine excitement for me was something I held onto for the rest of the run.

That last lap I was struggling and just focused on staying hydrated and fueled for the rest of the race. I had another MBK quote “when things get tough, think of those who can’t.” I dedicated this race to a friend who was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer so she was my inspiration and drive for many hard workouts and for this race. I am overcome with gratitude instead of self-pity for the pain I am in when I think of these people.

I wasn’t getting any splits of how far ahead I was from second which was probably for the better. Spectators were saying, “wow you can run”, more than cheering at all. I stopped seeing Scott as I headed back into town for the last time and knew that he had left to go secure a spot in the finish chute.

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Around the same place I had come alongside Meredith Kessler on the first lap, a motorcycle with media came and started videoing me the last 3km. People along the waterfront were cheering that I had it in the bag or “good win”, but I don’t ever believe spectators. I was still running scared with the knowledge that the legend, MBK, and the comeback queen, Sid, were still running hard behind me.

It really hit me when I came up on the grandstands and heard Mike Riley say “Here comes your Ironman New Zealand female champion.” I knew he wouldn’t say that unless it was certain so I just soaked it in. Just like in Mallorca, there were a flood of emotions as I hit the finish chute: happiness, fulfillment, disbelief, relief. I ran through the chute, screamed, found Scott, and got the best hug in the world. My parents were there as well and got to celebrate with me along with so many others that have helped me in NZ – my homestay (Warwick and his girlfriend Julie), my massage therapist in NZ (Sandy), and some Ironman Staff who have become friends, Leanna. My dream, years in the making, had happened. I don’t know why this race became so special to me, maybe all the struggles I’ve had there, maybe because it was my first professional race, and maybe just all the magic Taupo and the people there bring, but this win will always be remembered fondly. 

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Right before Mike did my finish line interview he said to me “I think you broke 3 hours, right?” I hadn’t even stopped my watch so didn’t know what my run time was. I quickly stopped it and it read 3:00:57 so I wasn’t sure if I had broken 3 hours. I found out later that I had (2:59:40) and just didn’t believe it! Breaking 3 hours in an IM marathon is something I’ve wanted to do since I did my first one. I had set the goal and told myself I got to get a new frying pan if I did… yes, we are getting a new one. Oh the little things in life!

Many people have asked if I was surprised by my win. I think very rarely in sport can winning be a surprise to the winner. I have visualized crossing that tape first and raising it above my head in triumph since before last year’s race. Now that the dream is a reality, it’s not a surprise; it just feels like I am still dreaming.    

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My biggest thanks to my new team Big Sexy Racing for getting me everything I needed for this race in short notice! When your first race is less than 4 weeks after you join a team, miracles need to happen to get gear in time! I look forward to more fun with them the rest of the year.


Quintanaroo Bikes- I've been with QR since I started as a pro because their bikes are fast and their service is better than anyone out there. The 2016 PRfive won the triathlon innovation of the year at Interbike. 

TriSports- Like the Amazon of triathlon gear! They have the best prices on all things triathlon and great customer support! For 20% off their low prices use this link.

Big Sexy Gear - the most comfortable kit I have ever worn! They will do custom kits with NO minimum orders! No other apparel company will match their quality and support.

Ruby’s Lube - No horrible chaffing from my wetsuit this time! I usually end up with what people later think are hickeys.

F2C - I look forward to training and recovering faster with better nutrition.

Zone3 USA - I flew in my wetsuit even with the horrible water conditions. Their goggles also make open water swimming so much better with a greater range of site.

NormaTec - I loved being able to flush my legs out during my hard training days, the days leading up to the race, as well as post-race recovery.

Ice Friction - Free speed with iced chains that decrease friction. The ice on the chains last for 600 miles then you can send them back to get re-iced! Save watts and money!

Reynolds - Aero wheels for your budget! They have a range of anything from training wheels to their element disc, which I raced on at IMNZ!

Beyond Exercise - Physical therapy that is preventative as well as reactive. I owe my healthy body to them!

BioWheels - Best place to get a bike fit hands down. Mitch combines a retul and GURU fit to make the perfect and most efficient fit out there. Also best wrench you can find!

Impact - Dr. TJ has been instrumental in the overall health of my body!

Buckeye Running - Supplying me with the best shoes a runner could ask for!

Photo Credit: Darryl Carey, Scott McCauley, Meredith Gardner

Work on:
· Bike handling skills
· Race through T2
· Add Batteries to my transition packing list

Did well:
· Raced through T1
· Fueled and hydrated well
· Reevaluated heart rate expectations on the run

 


Comments

Gloria Gardner
03/21/2017 5:23pm

Love your professionalism, humanity, zest, and analyses. Most of all, I love you!!!
And your family and sisters and parents...

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This is a very inspiring story to read. I haven't yet experienced in going in any races in my life. But reading your post really made me want to experience this kind of race. I'm not really fit in this kind of race, but I'm currently going to the gym to become fit again. Good luck to your next participation in this race and I hope you will win again.

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03/22/2017 5:20am

I am sure it was a great race for you. I wish I would strong enough to participate.

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I really see the passion in you. It seems that race like this fills a big space in your heart. I can just imagine the tiredness and perspiration you have endured just to finish the race. If it was me, I could have given up and chose not to finish the race instead. That's why I have so much respect for the people who are into this sport.

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Sometime we really want to have make sure that we will always make sure that we need to compare something better in life to become supportive in life.

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04/01/2017 5:39am

We always have to make sure that we need a full sucessful think that we always keep remember that we need success in life

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This jacket is really famous but we will always having a good life to cover something great in life.

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04/05/2017 11:23pm

Congrats to the winners.

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It would be a lovely experience.

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04/13/2017 12:02am

Nice post.

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This is really going good to be but we always want to make sure that we need to cover better change in life to become good and supportive.

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Congrats to her for such a great win.

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Bicycling is the healthiest sports for your body.

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Great post.

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05/26/2017 2:31am

Thanks for sharing.

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