Saturday, December 18, 2010

Challenge Barcelona Maresme 2010 Race Preamble....

It may be two months since - but it doesn't take much for me to go back in my mind and remember how it felt. So now - for you -

RACE REPORT .....Well the preamble at least!!!!

So I woke up early hours (like 3am) of Friday 1st October to begin my journey to Espanola! I was travelling on my own (ok I did have my bike) with the support crew following from a variety of airports (although to be fair the advance party of Elaine and Hannah were already there). Airport checkin was eased by the decision to go and pay an extra tenner to check in via the Sleazy jet "speedy borders", which meant I queue jumped considerable and thus got to offload my bike and kit quickly and go and chill out with a coffee and some porridge.

Fortunately there were some other competitors on the flight - something I didn't discover until we arrived and waited (and waited and waited) nervously for the bikes to arrive - it took a ridiculous amount of time for them to come out in the excess baggage area to some extreme sigh of relieves (or should that be sighs of relief... discuss)!! Anyway - kit all arrived safely, transport to hotel was easy and I was back in the familiar surrondings of Meresme and the Hotel Maritam. I was thankfully that Jules, Anita and I had raced out there earlier in the year (even though I crashed and got injured - like I've not mentioned that before). Friday consisted of registration and the delight of finding out my race number was "123" .. Did I mention I loved that number... talk about perfect (it felt like the Tri Gods were smiling upon me). I had some considerable issues with my bike on my test ride - rear cassette was all over the place and my gears were slipping like no-ones business.... I tried not to panic... but did anyhow... Thankfully though with some putting on and off the rear wheel and some tweaking with that twiddle thing on the gear cable I resolved the issue by the time I went out on my second test ride Saturday morning. I had a quick dip on Saturday too with Jules - the water temperature if anything was a little warm, but the seas were lush. I prayed for calm weather the next morning.

As you can imagine I did little on Saturday after my swim, ride, bike rack other then eat pasta and drink (no alcohol involved before you wonder).... I had my "last supper" with Dan, Leanne, Jules and Fionna... took me some while to decide what to eat;

So I just decided to have the same dish ... TWICE.. YUM....

The support crew arrived, despite missing flights, late planes, missed trains... by midnight on the Saturday I had the best support team a girl could ever wish for and certainly (well I'm sure) I was the most supported person in town..... Here's a little picture of the crew (although Dan seems to be missing and Popey was behind the camera);

From left to right; KirstyDawn (aka The Reemanator), Spikey Pikey (aka Katharine), Jules, Fionna, Leanne, Elaine, Hannah... DAN is MIA and Popey is behind the camera! You can just make out they were wearing appropiately themed t-shirts with the words "Run Doris Run", or "Swim Doris Swim" or "Bike Doris Bike".. ha ha ha... with associated Pics - well done to Leanne for organising both the t-shirts and caps! Certainly got you and me noticed :)

And then it was time to "sleep" so we'll just call that rest then... sleep didn't come easy and when it did was extremely light.. I was sort of expecting that so didn't stress and figured as long as I was relaxed and my heart beating slowly and stress free that that would do.

4.30 am on Sunday 3rd arrived ... alarm sounded... I went nervously to breakfast and forced some bread and jam into my apprehensive stomach... a cup of coffee... back to the room for a 20min power nap... Made the HUGE mistake of (for some reason) when brushing my teeth of brushing my tongue I knew this would be a mistake on a nervous tum.. and boy did I nearly barf!! Yes the brush tickled the wrong bit and I had to sit down for many minutes to gain control of my retching stomach - there was no way was I losing my breakfast and valuable calories!!!!

It kind of worked out well after that near misjap with Dan, Leanne and Jules joining me for the walk down to transition and race HQ

I don't think I'd have coped with everyone but these guys I've raced with and they kind of know the zone you get in to... so I was quite happy that everyone else was choosing to have a lay in - after all it was going to be a long day for them too!!

I had a very nervous moment on seeing the race clock at the finish line.... and seeing it was counting down... WHOLLY MOLLY THE MOMENT WAS GETTING CLOSE .... It clicked down through the 1:00:00... to 0:59:59... I had to get transition and get my shit together...

I left the guys, went to transition, sorted my bike went to the bag tent... hooked up the bags checking my lists and contents one last time. I took my after race bag, my wetsuit and swim cap and googles and went back to my bike. I sat down  with my iPod on .... getting in to the zone..... I thought about what had got me to this point; the reasons, the training, my family and my friends who despite thinking I was largely completely crazy had supported me in many different ways... I didn't think what lay ahead (cos that was just toooo freaky)... but sucked in the atmosphere.... stretched a little and tuned in. I got mentally ready and excited without being over excited (need to conserve that energy after all!).... I swapped my tracksuit bottoms for my wet suit and headed back out to join the gang - relatively chilled and relaxed considering;

 Jules gave me some last minute instructions... "you get in the water over there" (the start line);

... thanks Jules... so where do I finish... "Oh I think that's over there";

 Cool.... not much more to do then.... forget the warm up....

Let the sun come up...

... Let the Pro's start....

......... Line up....(find out who was shouting my name... look for the taller person arriving near side of the line with the dark goggles next to the other tall person with red on her wetsuit and dark goggles ... I hear my name but I don't know from where - well eventually I get it...)... 

............. Let it begin.... Leading the charge near side... well for a very short while!

1 comment:

  1. wha? I wait two months, and this is what I get? Minced fish? (that's a commercial here in the US in case you don't get it ;-) Spending too much time with teh kittehs! Get on wid it Doris! :-)