Given my current mood, anyone would think I had a bad race. Far from it, I went under my target time, PBed it every discipline and placed well. However I still feel like something went wrong, and a series of kit mishaps, including my watch dying on me (again), bike computer stop working and breaking my sunglasses haven’t helped, but hopefully I’m just tired!
I remember thinking this last year too, but halfway through the swim I thought there is no way in hell am I doing this again. I had a horrible swim, and just got completely battered by the waves. The conditions were horrible and I suffered big time. But so did everyone, and nothing could be done so I just plodded on (although they got better as the day improved, especially the wind, giving the 2nd wave a slight advantage). Overall, I actually felt good, and whenever there was a break in the waves, I was swimming well. That was until I got clobbered by another wave and it broke any rhythm I might have had. The waves made it impossible to sight, and my course was questionable. So coming out of the swim and seeing 26 mins, I was rather surprised, and once I had spat out the gallons of sea water I had swallowed I ran into transition.
As ever, I had fun getting my wetsuit off (I really need to trim the limbs) but I didn’t tear it this year. Helmet on, grabbed my bike and I was gone.
Coming onto the bike, you get off the prom, and then straight into the wind and up a big climb. The wind certainly made it a tough course, and the roads were questionable. I’m sure some of the potholes that were marked out were there last year! But I was quickly overtaking lots of people and climbing well. Once my legs warmed up and they woke up, I felt great. Having the last few days as easy meant for once I had some energy in my legs. Having the compact on also allowed me to spin past some of the people on their bling tt bikes who were forced to grind up in big gears. With each lap I felt better and better, helped by the wind dying down, and on all of the climbs I didn’t get overtaken by anyone. I lost time to people on the small amount of flats, which is fair enough as I wasn’t in full aero gear, and on the descents where the dodgy roads made for some interesting descending! However, as my IM tune up, there was no way I was going to take risks flying over potholes and round corners so I’m not going to loose any sleep over it. Coming onto the fourth lap it started to get really busy as all 3 waves were out on the course, but I powered past the big group on the climb, giving me a free descent and run into transition in a time of 1 hour 15.
Once I had found my space, which was difficult given the number of clear plastic boxes there, I racked my bike and then messed about putting my socks on. But as before, the main aim of the race was to make sure everything for my IM is ok. Once the shoes were on, I ran out and was told that I had 11 people in front of me.
Unfortunately, I didn’t see a single one of these 11 people until I got close to the turn around! I was left to run my own race, which was fine by me. I quickly fell into a good rhythm and felt good. Running down the prom I felt comfortable, and then all of a sudden you are faced with a huge hill! This was just a case of slog it up to the top, and over again. Once over the hill we had a fairly flat run to the turn around and I felt good again. I had a small section going up the climb where I had a bit of tightness but it soon loosened up. Getting up to the turnaround, I saw the main pack of people in front of me, but they were just too far in front to catch, apart from one so I pushed on regardless, and then we hit the hill again, and it was TOUGH! Going up however, I caught the girl in front of me (Didn’t get chicked ;D) and then had a good run on the descent and push to the finish, with a run time of 42 mins. Pretty good considering the course. I’m glad my foot held up over the run, though it is hurting now!
Finish time of 2:26:22, which given it is about 15 mins slower than a normal olympic I’m told, I can be pretty happy with. I was 4th in my age group, and 1st and 2nd overall were in my age group too! Overall I was 21st, so not bad, though I would have liked top 20. Will have to wait for the results to come out before I can do some analysis on my times and placings. Yet again, it was a fantastic event, and the town really embrace it, with mainly closed roads and lots of people supporting, especially through the town centre. I may be back next year, that’s if I’ve forgotten the taste of the sea and the sea sickness by then!