My first IRONMAN – Stan Stadniczenko

My first IRONMAN – Borowno 2012

Stan Stadniczenko blogs about his first ever Ironman – this is a translated and edited version of the original, which you can read in Polish here.

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After 11 months of training the long-awaited weekend arrives. The day before the race we picked up our race numbers and packs and in the evening laid out our equipment in separate bags so we wouldn’t waste time in the morning (as this year the transition areas for bikes and clothes were in 2 different places).

The night before the race wasn’t one of the best, the stress and large quantity of pasta led to several trips to the toilet. After waking-up at 5.30, followed by a breakfast of muesli, yoghurt and 2 bananas, we then jump in the car.

We arrive at the transition zone, leave our equipment there, put on our wetsuits and are lakeside 7 minutes before the start – just in time for a quick warm-up. The weather is great, the sun is coming up over the horizon across the lake, the fog is lifting and the water temperature is excellent – you couldn’t have imagined better weather and atmosphere for a race! It’s great!

Swim

…you couldn’t have imagined better weather and atmosphere for a race!

The swim goes well, the water temperature is pleasant, the sun is shining – it’s beautiful. After each lap you have to get out of the water and go around a marker which costs a few seconds but provides a few moments of rest. Because only 100 people started the race the lake isn’t crowded and there isn’t the pushing and shoving you get a half Ironman races like Susz. The 4 laps go quickly and I come out of the water in 50th place with a time of 1:19. As planned I am not tired and nothing hurts, so the warm-up did its job. I take my wetsuit off on the beach and give it to one of the club supporters, put on my shoes and run to the transition zone which is 200-300 metres from the shore. The route between the lake and the transition zones does not have mats laid out which is why I think the removal of my wetsuit on the shore and running in shoes was a good solution. Unless someone likes a foot massage with tarmac and stones :). The first transition goes well.

Bike

Good advice from Stan: “I treat the first lap as a warm-up – I don’t push too hard and get to know the route

I treat the first lap as a warm-up – I don’t push too hard and get to know the route. The route was the same as any other, Polish roads with quite a few holes and uneven tarmac but at times it was also possible to ride on a flat surface. After 90km I feel strong so ride the next 60km at a very good speed. After 160km I feel that my body has too much sugar and I am about to throw up. Luckily there was a water station here, so I grab a bottle of water and after diluting my stomach I ride the last lap slower than the 2 previous ones. In the end I finished the bike ride in 16th place with a time of 5:30 which I think was a huge success.

Run

The last 20 km is a real ordeal but luckily a friend helps me out, setting the tempo and pushing me on

After getting off the bike I feel a pain in the middle of my right foot. My right foot is the one which pushes more on the bike and the rigid carbon soles of the shoes aggravated it. I start running the first 5 km in great pain but run the next 15 km much better at a speed of 11 km/h and above. The last 20 km are a real ordeal but luckily a friend helps me out, setting the tempo and pushing me on. The whole time I still believed I could beat 11h but around 10km from the finish I had to accept the fact that I won’t manage it. At the half-way point of the run I take a gel with caffeine and start drinking Red Bull, I stop at the food stations, eat bananas and rest for 20 steps. My stomach muscles are as tight as can be and I have to massage them with my fingers every few kilometres. I finally finish the marathon in 27th place with a time of 4:05.

I finished the whole event in 22nd place with a time of 11:07. As it was the first time in my life I had swam more than 3km, cycled more than 150km and run a marathon I think it was a great success and the training plan worked excellently.

Once you’ve got into this sport you find you can’t live without it!

As I sip a beer, happy yet tired with huge pain in my legs, I swear I won’t ever do this again!

Of course 3 days later I signed up for Sieraków 2013 :)

Once you’ve got into this sport you find you can’t live without it!

May the force be with you! :)

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