This was the 4th time I have raced Ironman New Zealand. I enjoy coming back to a race I know well. It is easier when you know the course and how to get about the town you are in.
Taupo is a beautiful town and we have enjoyed our time here.
Coming into the race I felt strong and confidant, but I also had to remember this was the first race of 2009 for me.
I found the swim start difficult as it was still quite dark for the pro start (as we started at 6.45am, 15 minutes earlier than the amateur athletes) Swim starts are so intense, so being a bit dark made it more difficult.
On the bike it took me 45 kms to begin to feel comfortable on the bike.
The bike was a very fair ride for the girls as we were not mixed up with the amateur men. However, it was a very lonely time trial for me as I was in no-mans land for 180km! It would have been more fun if I had other girls in sight.
Anyway, I got on with it and did the best I could. I could tell the ride was taking a lot out of my legs so tried to keep the fuel going in so that I would be ready for the run.
When I started the run, I did not have that special bounce in my stride like I sometimes do. I worked away the best I could. At 22km I really felt like stopping. My body felt like it had done enough for the day. But mentally I really did not want to stop. It is an awful feeling to DNF. And the crowds were amazing here in Taupo, there is never a quiet corner to go and hide in!
My old friend, Dave, from Scottish Triathlon Squad days was here to watch the race, I was doing an ugly job already, but pulling out would have been even worse to show him! So I kept going along, having to walk the aid stations to really try to get enough calories in.
I struggled to the end and managed to get 5th place. It was a hard old day for me!
When I saw Stephen, it seemed he had a similar day to me.
We both need a bit more work till we are really hard core again!
It was a good training day.
Well done Lisbeth on your gutsy effort.