Monday, February 6, 2012

Gatorade Race 4 - Sandringham

The lead up 

The lead up to my first OD has been interesting to say the least. Two weeks ago, my confidence was soaring after Race 3, but some late nights (and maybe one too many glasses of wine), had led to one or two pretty average (& tough!) long runs.... and I was starting to worry. Looking back, it seems silly to have even given it a second thought, but for some reason I couldn't shake how much the 10km was going to hurt. Hindsight. To go from worrying about the 1.5km swim (when I first signed up to OD), to feeling this way about the run was completely new to me, but lucky I have some amazing people around me to constantly remind me how I've much work I've really done. Running always hurts anyway, so I know I just have to work on my relationship with the dread "h" word :)

On a more positive note, it's so nice to have my open water mojo and be looking forward to the swim. Last season I barely got through the swim, so what a difference 12 months makes!

Race Day
After seeing 55km/hr winds forecast, I had decided against setting a goal time for the bike and instead, focused on the swim/run. I wanted to swim a 35min 1.5km and run a sub-60 10km. And I did! My main aim though, was just to finish and set a benchmark for many more OD's to come. 

Official time - 3:16:21.2
Splits - 38:53  3:14  1:33:55  2:12  58:05

What I learned
- Sandringham is a race of it's own! I raced the sprint distance there last year, but it's funny how you forget. I came out of the water at 35mins, but the hill run up to transition adds another 3-4mins it seems! I felt good though and had my heart rate under control, which is distinctly different to what I do remember from last year. I really enjoyed the swim. Yep, you heard it here first - I enjoy open water swimming!
- I have a lot of work to do: on the bike and with my relationship with pain. I knew it was going to be tough in the wind, but when my lower back flared up pretty much as soon as I faced the headwind, I was in the hurt locker. I thought I had resolved my back pain following training camp earlier in the year, but when it comes down to it, I absolutely have to get a new bike before I race again. I don't want to sound like I'm laying blame, but I know the bike really contributed to how much I struggled yesterday. I was uncomfortable, the gears are almost shot, the chain fell off - it was just a debacle really. And my time says it all. 1:33 for a 40km?! I know it was windy, but I've ridden in the wind before, and I can ride faster than that!
- Two out three ain't bad! 
- I may need to adjust my new race suit rules (from Race 3). I saw photos of me post-race and they are not pretty. So practical but possibly the most unflattering photos I've ever seen!
- What I love most about triathlons is inspiring others. We were all in the hurt locker out there, and to run past someone and offer words of encouragement, is really what it's all about. To Pete Battrick, the gentlemen in the 65+ age group who finished last, with the course being packed down around him - you inspire me! I hope I'm still doing the same when I'm his age!

First OD: check! Time to focus on speed before #2 (which I'm yet to enter) and then a big winter to get sub-3 for Noosa later in the year. But first, I have Race 5 in 2 weeks and then the BRW to wrap up February - it's going to be a big month!

1 comment:

  1. First off, congrats on finishing your first Oly!

    Second, let me say that you had an awesome outlook for your first Oly. It's great to have a time to shoot for, but still with an understanding that things can go wrong. It takes time to really be ready for the "bumps in the road."

    Too bad to hear about the bike being sub-par, but just think about how much better it'll be with a new bike. I know the feeling too; I raced a cheap bike for a year before getting something official (that actually worked like it was supposed to).