Good morning - the sun is shining and so I thought I'd have some porridge and do my race report :o)
Back to Dorney Lake (where I raced at the end of May) for the "Timex women's only Tri". Quite an action packed day with Novice (250m/5.1/2.5), Sprint (400m/20.4/5) and Challenge (800m/30.6/7.5) races all going on. With the first wave (Challenge relay) going off at 1pm it meant quite a lot of runners converging on the run lap - which was a good thing. The course as I've mentioned before is a flat (no complaints there), although a little monotonous due to the number of laps on both bike (6) and run (3) you have to do.
No velcro action needed in the morning of the race this time, as everything already stuck on! Just some carbs for breakie and pack the bag. Easy. Couldn't wear my runners from the previous weekend as they were still stuffed with paper and pretty much caked in mud so had to break out the newer ones and get the elastic lace in action with them. Got to the venue about an hour and half before my heat fully waterproofed up (yep it was pouring when I got there). Had two tri buddies, Leanne and Angel, in the same heat so we all met up, and after registration huddled in a tent until 30mins before the start before squeezing in to that lovely wetsuit. The rain finally abated and it looked like we could get lucky for the race. With the wetsuit half on - both legs in, top out rather then left or right side in which would be weird! ;o).... off we waddled to transition to rack the bikes, line helmet, shoes etc up and we'd be ready in plenty of time. Or so I thought. Having been told I was in rack 5 I waddled down through transition to find my slot to get to the end and find the last number as 878, oh and mine... 879 typical. So I waddled back through to the other end of transition to find my slot at the beginning of rack 6... grrrr. The lady next to me (880) had obviously decided she could use my space for her kit - why do people do that? So rather then racking my bike over it, I kindly moved it to one side so she could still access her stuff, after all I didn't want anyone touching Biancha ;o) .... It was at this point I realised most of the green hatters (our race hat colour) were already in the lake. Humm. Ok maybe running late - no time for a zip incident today! Hurriedly got my kit out (remembering the race belt this time), unfortunately I discovered at this point my bike shoes had no inner soles in (had taken them out to dry after last weekend), only thing to do was to ignore the problem! So I grabbed my greeney and goggles, asked some kind transition attendent zip me up and off I ran to the water. Angel and I being the last ones in! Ops! Had a quick couple of strokes in the holding bay bit so no real warm up. Angel, Leanne and I started having a bit of a natter and suddenly the guy squeezed the hooter and we were off!!
Well the start couldn't have been more opposite to my last ow swim if it tried. I felt like one of those fishees in a fish ball being chased by some other big fish trying to eat me. It was mad! Thrashing arms and legs everywhere. No chance of any rhythm whatsoever. At one point (before the first buoy) someone swam left right in front of me - no idea where she was going as I was headed straight for the buoy - not to be stopped by such inconvenience I did the unforgivable and swam right over her back/ legs. Felt momentarily bad about that but I'm sure worse happened to me too. The madness didn't stop at the first buoy as we turned right to the second. More thrashing around, to buoy two and finally as we turned to the exit point I managed to have a bit of clear water, swimming alongside people but at least in some sort of rhythm at last. Exit the water (with the traditional wobble), looked at my watch - LAP 1 in 7:57 (about 35s slower then last month, but given the amount of people in the wash I was happy with that). Run through transition back to the start jetty, with the calls from the marshalls of "watch out it's slippery" - I mean I'm no Linford Christie so likelihood of me running that fast (in a wetsuit) to have a mishap is slim, and even then my arse is big enough to bounce ;o)!.. So off I trotted in a wetsuit waddle sort of way - to dive or not to dive that was the question as I approached the jetty... To dive of course. Great as I got ahead of a couple of people, but alas my goggles did kind of move a bit. I did somehow manage to secure the goggles back on my eye balls and off I stretched for lap 2! Much clearer waters, although I was a bit swim tired now... .and just to add insult to that I think I towed a couple of girlies around buoy 1 and 2 before they kicked for the exit. Not that I'm that bothered - really.
Swim Time: 0:17:01
For 800m with a 70m wetsuit dash in the middle - I'm content with that!
Hurrah! Smooth! Wetsuit off, helmet on, socks on, innersoleless bike shoes on, race belt on (!), grab a gel and off I go. Only to have a momentary "EKK" moment as I realised my timing chip was off! Told the marshall and was told to carry on... so pedal pedal pedal I'm off
T1 Time: 0:01:50
Last time at Dorney (the "forgot my race belt" race) T1 was 02:48 - so saving myself nearly a minute. Happy with that!
Rain rain go away come back another day. Amazingly it stayed dry throughout most of the bike. Hurrah. How lucky were we?! Managed to go aero pretty much the whole time, with such a flat course with very few turns it was the ideal time to practice. Overall managed to keep my HR at 155, lower then the last time at the lake and lapped each 5.1k in an average of 10:41, faster then last time (11:15). Didn't bother with the aero bottle thingy (given I've not managed to replace the yellow juice stopper thingy) and opted for a water bottle. Although it wasn't that hot as to need much fluid. Now with this being a 6 lap race and the competitors expected to count their own laps it was inevitable that I would lose count at some point! However I did the 6 and had lots of fun, and was actually really comfortable (my new saddle has obviously been an excellent purchase)! Got a gel down during lap 5 to prep for the run ahead.
Bike Time: 1:04:06
Given my distinct lack of training through June I'm really chuffed I actually went faster then a month ago. I think this was largely due to the aero's, saddle and saddle height. I think I've got my bike set up correctly now!
Pretty smooth dismount and a run all the way through transition to my bike space. I think if it were an ideal world I'd rather my bike space be at the bike exit/ entrance end as you have more run time either on your feet or with trainers on. Clipping along with bike shoes is awkward! Still got through to my slot, racked my trusty stead, swapped shoes, swapped hats and away I went. No reaction to having no inners in my bike shoes. No feeling I was going to barf. No sign of any cramp in my shins (this one due to better bike set up).
T2 Time: 0:01:28
This is slightly slower then last time at Dorney but figure this is due to bike location, last time it was at the other end of the rack!
OMG such pain! I think this is the point where my body decided that it was going to punish me for the champagne gobbling of 48hours previous! The first 2.5k lap was, well in comparison with what was to come, ok. The second 2.5k lap was - well a bit sore. The third lap was pure evil! Although I had no run barf moments, and no initial pain in my legs, by the end of it I felt like a bit of an old granny with my right hip, right achilles and left knee all screaming at me.. or was it evil laughter. Frankly it just hurt :o( However, given again my lack of training through June (I've run about no more then 10k, compared to my usual 60), I should have expected nothing less!
Run Time: 0:43:27
Overall Time: 2:07:55
Position (All challenge): Swim 62/151; Bike 53/151; Run 120/151; Overall 85/151
Position (Age 30-39): Swim 32/63; Bike 30/63; Run 49/63; Overall 42/63
Not difficult to spot the weakest link then!!!
I am now more nervous then ever about London Olympic. I feel like I need to get back to the level of fitness I was at at the end of May to feel more confident. Hoping that the next 5 weeks brings me no new lurgies, and at least year-end madness at work is over so I should be able to get some more hours in. I was confident after the May sprint that my training was going well so now I just need to build back up and get on with it. I did go into this race with a plan to treat it as a training session, which I kind of did but really had nothing left in the tank for the run despite feeling like I was taking it easyish on the bike. In fact I felt I could have gone on on the bike too. Guess I just need to get the trainers on more this month and just run like Forest Gump!