Moreton Bay Triathlon -29 September, 2013
Olympic Distance- 1.5/40/10
I must say this race was my worst I the 12 months I have been doing triathlons. Leading into the race I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to go, obviously I have come a long way since my last Olympic distance tri in Hervey Bay in May, however most of my training since then had focused on going the distance for the 70.3, rather than any real speed work. As my goal for the 70.3 was just to finish- a lot if my training was finding that slow and steady pace where I could just keep going.
You may not all be aware that due to my sister being involved in a serious accident I decided not to race the 70.3 two weeks ago, and so this was my first race of the season. Given I have done very little training over the last 3 weeks- especially swimming and running- I wasn’t sure how much fitness I may have lost either. (Yet I still for some reason chose the Olympic distance over sprint- why?! I have no idea!) Regardless, I was determined to race FOR my sister.
Race morning was ok- I woke up energised and managed to remember to pack everything needed (despite being quite concerned I would forget some vital piece of equipment). Had my regular pre race (or almost every day) brekky of whole grain oats with raspberries and blueberries, and my lift soon arrived to pick me up.
Registration and racking all went smoothly (although I did forget up count what row I was in- sooo out of practice!) and then it was just a matter of waiting around for the race briefing and picking the best time to squeeze into my wetsuit for what would be my first wetsuit swim.
Swim: Hmm where to begin…to be honest the swim was one of the least pleasant experiences of my life. A 1500m swim from a deep water start ( requiring at least a 50-100m swim from the jetty) in jellyfish infested waters and having to tread water for 5mins or so before starting. As I mentioned before- this was my first swim ever in a wetsuit and I’m still undecided if I liked it. To be honest I struggled physically and mentally the entire 1500m. Within one minute I had been stung on the lips, every time I touched one of the monster jellies I freaked that I may have just kicked a bull shark (after a not so pleasant conversation with a forensics officer the day before)…so obviously mentally I wanted out of that water as soon as possible. My three week old goggles fogged up shortly after turning around the first buoy. This combine with the morning sun glaring in our eyes from the direction we were swimming in and buoys being approx 400m apart made for a very zig-zagging panicky swim. I occasionally just had to slow to wait for a swimmer to try and swim beside/behind just so I knew where I was going. And finally there was the physical struggle. To be honest, I have NOT been spending as much time in the pool as I should have been (not only in the last 3 weeks but rather most weeks). I think this combined with the different feeling of swimming in a wetsuit made every metre of the swim a struggle. All in all, the swim was awful! Many people were pulled from the swim after ring stung by the jellies. This made me very grateful for my long sleeved wetsuit, but I still got stung on every free bit of skin and even today have an awful welt left on my neck from a particularly nasty sting. Ouch!
Bike: Boy was I glad to be out of the water and I was pretty excited to get to bike leg started. With all the riding I have been doing since I started commuting I was sure the bike leg was going to be my strongest.
My bike was nice and easy to find ( helps when you are one of the last swimmers out of the water. :-p). My transition was slow but I needed the time to catch my breath and recover from the swim and prepare for the ride. I had decided the day before not to bother with my cleats and to just ride with my flat commuting pedals. Very quickly I realised my ride wasn’t going to be quite as good as I had thought. Within 3kms I had a tight aching pain down the back of my legs especially in my glutes and hamstrings. Despite trying different things with my positioning it never quite subsided. I don’t have times yet but I think I averaged just under 30kms/ hr- where I was hoping for just over. After a lot of reflection on what I thought the problem may have been (as I have never had anything quite like it before), I suspect it may have been pressure on my sciatic nerves. I decide that morning to try a suit I had never worn before, this suit only has a fleece liner (also new to me) and I think my saddle area wasn’t quite prepared for that lack of cushioning. My sit bones are still quite sore today, and so I will see how it feels next time I’m on the bike. It will never cease to amaze me just how fast some cyclists can ride. I got overtaken many times and one guy even manage to catch my twice!!! One thing that did go to plan on my ride was staying on top of my hydration and fueling (I even needed to use the bathroom by the time I started my run).
Run: This was the leg that mentally I finally broke. My legs felt ok after 1 km off the bike and once my bladder was empty I manage to find a nice steady pace which I could keep going at. Physically the run was the best leg, I only walked through water stations (yet to master drinking from a cup whilst running). But as I finished my first 5 km lap, with another left to go, I realised I was seeing very little Olympic distance bibs still on course and many of the sprint distances were nearly finished their run lap….meaning I was probably last and if not last very close to last. I was seriously considering pulling out to avoid being the last over the finish line- or worse yet having to run when the course was already packed up.
This is when my partner appeared on the sideline (after originally not being able to make it due to prior commitments). Boy did the tears flow! He asked how I was going…my reply ‘Awful!’ I kept running for 20 metres before having to stop as my crying was making my hyperventilate. On the verge of a panic attack, Dan ran to me and asked what was wrong. I told him I was coming last and I still had 5kms to go. After establishing that I wasn’t struggling with the run…he simply said ‘Who cares if you are coming last?’ I knew at that point he was right, and off I took for the last 5kms (although I must admit I did check with one of the course officials that the course was in fact still open for the slow pokes like me….it was and they simply packed up in my trail :-P) Before I knew it I was at the ‘250m’ to go mark…I was going to finish this race that had tried to destroy me in so many ways. Still today I’m not sure how I feel about the whole experience, but when I stop and think that just 12 months ago, when I did my first tri, a 200m/10k/2k nearly killed me…I realise I have come a LONG way. Results released today proved that…despite just how painful the experience was I still took 4 minutes off my previous OD time! Now to reach the 3:00 mark!
Times were as follows:
Total: 3:13:13 Overall 253/256 Gender 71/73 Category 12/12
Swim: 0:36:17 Ride: 1:32:53 Run: 1:04:02