Jack Martin – Ironman Portugal !October 30th, 2021 by paulhart
Jack Martin – Ironman Portugal Cascais – October 2021
Coached by Paul Whittaker and Paul Hart.
In the lead up after landing in Lisbon I felt amazing – so fresh so ready and so excited. I had my race plan hr zones and knew my body was capable. I had my plan to eat bland for the last couple of days – the last thing I wanted was to have an upset stomach and ruin everything with the shits, this felt good physiologically as well as physically.
Last swim and run sessions of the taper complete I felt great the water was cold but warm enough for my sleeveless wetsuit so I was happy, just a quick spin to shake down the bike with a new friend I made who was racing the 70.3 on Sunday we started the course and quickly discovered the ‘Atlantic breeze’ with a sand drift covering the road and blinded by a sand blasting my new friend Simon found the drop kerb and went head over heels into said sand drift.
Race day was here, eggs and rice for breakfast at the hotel and then a nervous first train to Cascais i finalised my transition set up filled my bottles and headed to the swim start beach. Pre race nerves finally kicked in and after the last phone calls it was game time.
I got to the start gate, A few punches here, grabs there I made good progress, swimming is always my Achilles heel but I’ve been making progress and getting more comfortable and it showed I stayed calm and had a consistent stroke and found myself back in the port before I knew it, still feeling fresh, a 650m dash to T1 which was enough time to gather myself and get in the zone for the next 6 hours.
A steady T1 followed by the longest wee I’ve ever encountered I was out on the bike. My race plan was set – patience, patience and a bit more patience. I sat back and enjoyed the first 30km ish uphill towards the Sintra national park and it was stunning. I remembered to look up and enjoy the scenery and I’m glad I did. at 55km ish it was the race circuit, Then down to the sea front for the long out and back stretch which looked flat on the 2inch map it really wasn’t and was a fun rolling section with views across the ocean so hard to remember the patience and not to kick, Back towards transition a 500m leg snapper and another reminder of patience from my HR alert.
Lap 2 was much the same but without the top of the national park climb which was definitely well received. I spent the majority of the second lap trying to stay aero and reduce my average HR back to the plan…because I’m a good boy… oh and a little run to do the temptation to push and knock up the average speed was very very real but I knew that I had the plan for a reason and my real ‘fun’ was going to be on the run. Back around the race track along the coast and back up the leg snapper, the feet came out of the shoes and I was back at T2 and feeling strong and excited for the Marathon…. Never thought I’d ever say that.
Bike in, trainers on, after another pee I’m off. I can actually say I loved every second of the run and that can only be down to my training and the reminders that I could do it with the guidance from you both. The Km’s ticked down, I was passing people left right and centre. Every aid station saw a bottle of water over my head and a few sips of my hydration pack and keep my head in the game. Every km was marked on the course and it was great to see the numbers going down with my pace staying steady, at the end of the second lap I ran past the female leader (she was obviously a lap ahead of me) after a brief exchange I gave her my best wishes carried on. LAST LAP, 3x park runs yipee!!! I took my 2 gels out of the bag and binned the hydration pack, last lap was about getting across that line feeling good, still passing others my pace started to drop, I was walking 10m at the aid stations to take on electrolytes as I now didn’t have the bag, so I knew where the pace went and it wasn’t bothering me, I still felt good and comfortable. 4km to go, ohhh was that cramp.. ‘shut up legs’ it was mainly downhill so I sacked off the last aid station and pushed on. The last 3-400m was properly downhill and I could open up. Oh – my – god, turning right towards that red carpet was the best feeling ever, my 3 man cheer squad were going crazy and I heard them a mile off, my friend Neil had FaceTimed Laur to see me over the line and I caught a glimpse of her as I ran past with a huge smile to then hear ‘Jack Martin – you – are – an – Ironman’ and then cross the line in 10:59:10. WOW!
I’d mentioned to a few people my A goal would be sub 11 and I cannot explain how happy I am with the day out and hitting my goal. The end result was well worth the effort, seemingly endless hours of training, solo rides, long runs and numerous days of thinking ‘who the f**k signs up for an Ironman….’ Turns out I did and I’m so glad I did.
I honestly can’t thank the two of you enough for picking me up 3.5 months ago and imparting your wisdom, knowledge, patience, encouragement on me. It’s made the the athlete I am after crossing the line with the ability to say I’m an Ironman and a pretty good one. I cannot believe I got my sub 11 on my first (and last) Ironman and just want to thank you both again