New Year’s Day Triathlon
The first race of 2013 was on the first day of the year and was the first in my new “shorter, faster” plan!
The initial challenge was getting to the start line in one piece. I had my training for the weeks leading up to the race all planned out. I even went and did the Christmas day ParkRun to keep my legs turning over nice and fast. And then I got a chest infection and was knocked out for a week!
By New Year’s Day I was feeling human again, though nerves were getting the better of me at breakfast and I felt a little queasy. This is usually a good sign, though it felt worse than usual. A short pedal up to the Commonwealth Pool (the Commie) to register and get set up. How nice to race without a long train journey first!
I was worried my kit would blow away in transition, I fretted I might get a puncture, I couldn’t decide how much water to carry. One thing I wasn’t worried about which everyone else seemed to be – the cold! Lots of winter racing means this weather looked balmy to me … dry, sunny and only a little bit windy :D.
It was great to be able to get a proper warm up in the diving pool. Then before I knew it, I was off. The heat was 50 people following each other at 5 second intervals up and down each of eight 50m lanes, ducking under the lane rope at each end. The first 3 or 4 lengths were fairly orderly, with slower people on one side and overtakers the other. Then it turned into a melee as we all bunched up and it was a free for all! Lucky I am more used to open water swims, so I claimed my patch of water, swam hard and tried to maintain position.
It was a bit chilly on the feet running outside to transition and I struggled into my fleecy top. Once I was off on the bike I felt great though. Because the faster swimmers went last, and it was a three lap course of Arthur’s Seat on the bike, we were soon passing slower riders. I followed my plan and worked hard off the top of the hill and into the wind before screaming down the hill the other side :-).
After the bike I wasn’t looking forward to running but it had to be done! I surprised myself as I set off feeling quite sprightly. Maybe it was the effect of my brand new, unworn, lightweight shoes with sparkly bits, though they were rubbing my dodgy ankle by the time I got back! Up the hill for the final time I told myself it wasn’t really that long and I would have to run up far more hills on Sunday (at the Open 5). I can play a lot of mind games when I’m racing. I even tried to follow a couple of runners who came past me but they were going just a little bit too fast.
Over the top and I relaxed into the downhill before attacking the final little climb back to the pool for a sprint finish.
That’s when the coughing fit that lasted about an hour started. I had been fine in the race though. I was worried I hadn’t worked hard enough, but I soon felt wibbly wobbly and needed a little sit down. 😀 I had a target time of 1:15:30 and got 1:15:15. My transitions were very slow compared to other people, the swim was OK, my bike was ace (fastest female!) and my run was ‘not bad considering’ and 3 minutes faster than I planned.
Final result – 2nd female. A good start to the year, in my first short fast one!
The race was followed by some great grub in the congenial company of clubmates before dragging ourselves back onto the bikes for a slightly wobbly ride home! Only joking – my mulled wine intake was moderated :D.