Saturday, 10 October 2009

Sunday 20th Sept Milton Keynes OD Triathlon


(no not overdosing on triathlons - Olympic Distance Tri )

So today saw me getting up at the time I love best and leaving home at 4.45 to get to registration for 6.30. Got there, got my bag of stuff, racked my bike, went to the toilet three times, each time seeing the reflection of a girl waiting on death row!

I've been super excited about this for the last few weeks but at the same time shitting myself for the swim leg. People all realy lovely and friendly and some seriously gorgeous men!! (i didnt get into this sport just for the love of it!! )

So, the Swim: 1500m in a lake, had donned my wetsuit and got me hat and goggles on. Was really aprehensive as i've only swam OW 3 times and 2 of them were quite horrific... lake was nice and clean (ish), v slippery getting in and a few people slipped on their bums so everyone who saw went in on their bums to save this happening. Wasnt as cold as i was expecting. Course was a lap of 3 buoys spaced 250m apart to go round twice.

I shimmied near the back of the pack cos I'm not very good at swimming and I've heard alsorts of horror stories about bleeding noses, people swimming over each other and for my first lake race I just wanted to get out without the use of a life raft!!

So set off, and let anyone go past that seemed to be quicker and tried to keep away from anyone. Got into my slow rhythm and trundled off round the buoys... fairly uneventful, i was trying to concentrate on things various people have been giving me tips on... keep your head down, feet up, stay calm, long strokes...... a few times I looked up for the buoys and some of the swim caps were the same bright yellow colour so couldnt tell if it was head or buoy, veered off course slightly between 2nd and 3rd buoy but not too badly. lap two also uneventful, the last 250m I felt that I could push it a bit more so picked up the pace.

Being pretty new to swimming I don't really know my limits yet or how hard to push and when. kicked my legs hard for the last 50 or so metres as someone had previously suggested doing to get the blood flowing again.

Trotted up the bank and into transition stripping off in a really seductive way! (not) Time for swim wass 32:56 which I'm totally over the moon with as I had given myself 45 mins minimum to do it. Whats more, i looked behind and there were a few heads still bobbing in the water - I wasnt totally last out!! yay!!!

T1 - Took a bit of effort to get my feet out the wetsuit but not too bad considering, and was faster than last weeks shambolic performance even with rubber to get out of!! Thanks to Jacqui for the race belt, this save the embarrassment of ripping my number and pinning myself together again!!

The Bike: 40k course.
Out of transition and across some field and track type thing then wigged down towards a dam, there was no chance of speed here at all, plus I hate taking my pride and joy on gravel as I'm paranoid about punctres - spesh since i think i overfilled my tyres due to gyppy gauge on my track pump.

The first few miles was weaving in and out of an estate and over speed bumps and really annoying. It finally got on to the main road which was really rough with quite a few pot holes and making me yet more paranoid of punctures. It wasnt the flattest of courses either to say the least!! about 4 or 5 miles in, came an enormous steep hill which i have named "ball buster hill" as i'm pretty sure its the sort of thing i'll be coming up against on the ball buster duathlon.

I passed a couple of grown men walking up it i refused to be beaten, as i finally came near the top at an excruciatingly slow speed i heard a voice;

"anna, what have we ever done to you to deserve this?" it ws my legs... they weren't happy i gave my quads a little rub and let them spin on the flat for a minute. Got going again and there wer a few more drags, a few down hill bits, but these were annoying cos as soon as you got to a fun speed the course then took a sharp right turn or left turn and it made my face do this :-S cos i wanted to go whizz!

I dropped my chain going down one hill so had to stop to put it back on, passed a ccouple of people with punctures - prayed i wouldnt get one! Went past an amazing smelling market - smelt of gravy!!

Then back round the middle loop again - which started with BALL BUSTER HILL! My legs knew it was coming and they knew i wasnt going to let them stop and i'd drank half a bottle of energy drink to give them a helping hand, off i went,... this time even more men and women walking up it... being stubborn i wasnt going to. Some old man doing some gardening at the top clapped me and said "steep aint it" - yuh think? (smiled politely through gasps!)

Loop as before, painful on the hills, whizzy on the downys. last few miles was back through the estates, i took a wrong turn and the guy behind me followed so we were lost together for a bit, found the way back, off bike and ran back into transition.

Time for bike was 1hr28. Not too bad at all i was expecting 1hr 40 when i was at the half way point and i've been realy struggling lately with my riding.

T2 - thought it easier to sit on the floor for this, so shoes off, socks and trainers on, helmet etc off, off i zip.

The Run: 10k.

(whats worse than out and back? Out and back and out and back!) there was a sprint event on too so the 5k was out and back the 10k was that twice turned out to be really good for me. I dont seem anymore to get the wibbly knees that i used to when i first started brick training for my duathlons and bounded out like a bunny.... as previous ones ive done, i always look forward to the run as its my strongest...

Whilst on the bike i'd been contemplating if i could get the sub 42 min goal I've been hoping for this year and thought id give it a go....because it was an out and back and out and back it was hard to know if people coming back were on the 1st or 2nd lap, so my main plan was to push as hard as poss for as long as poss, and using people as markers gradually pass them, and try and make up for my slower swim and bike legs.

The course went round part of the lake, pretty flat on a gravel firm surface. My legs loved it, they did protest briefly up a small hilly bit saying "scuse me, but when was the last time we raced more than 8.5k? that will be May's half marathon won't it?" shhhh legs... enjoy it!

Got to the first turn around, and checked my watch and nearly choked... 9 mins it had taken me for 2.5k! This spurred me on, and i set back the way i had come, overtaking as many people as i could, back down the other end, round turn around, 9min30!! wtf? I'd not only got my sub 42 in sight, but potentially sub 40. So i kept at it, using the markers (people) to keep my pace as i often find mysef in races sitting behind someone instead of overtaking. but no... they beat me on the swim and bike i'm having them for the run!

Back down the last 2.5k, still overtaking what i could catch, most of them tiring by now but i was still maintaining the same pace. past the turn aroudn and up small hill through the finish, checked my watch and chip time confirmed 36:37!!!!! Wweeeee!! i'm over the moon, not only with my swim but i also got my sub 42 10k.. does it count that it wasnt just a 10k run!? hmm..

Got through the finish and finally breathed and nearly vomitted.

Total time was 2hr43 and 13th lady in my category 19th lady overall. So chuffed, got creaky knees and achy quads now thnk my sports massage maybe did something magical to me!

No cake... poor show. saw someone after i'd got changed who id overtaken up the hils on bike and he'd overtaken me on the flat, i'd apparently overtaken him on the run and he said "are you the girl with bike ccain oil all over her bum? i'd not expected you to come past me on the run, i take it runnings your thing?" you think he was trying to say the the other two aint?

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This latest blog will be hopefully following my transwales experience. Enjoy with me :-)