For those of you that have been following this Blog, you’ll know that after the Falls Creek Debacle, I’ve been a bit worried about the open swim component of the Triathlon and last weekend’s Supersprint Tri in St Kilda, was a bit of ‘getting back on the horse again’
I’ve been doing my training ‘by the book’ for the past week or so and had an open water swim Saturday last, then a long 5 hour training session on the Sunday (see last post).
The thing that amazed me was that I had no ill effects, or so I thought!
I trained Tuesday with a great run, then had a great pool session on Wednesday night. By Thursday morning however, the dreaded head cold re-emerged and I spend Thursday, Friday, Saturday feeling terrible again. (Though kept training). It’s interesting how my body reacts to the taper phase of races. (on the week before a race you cut back your training (taper) to freshen up before the race)
Everytime, I go into a taper I get sick, which is obviously my body getting it’s own back on the abuse I’ve been dishing out to it. Either that or I’m suffering from Pre Race jitters which comes out in the form of a cold. Either way, it is something I’ll be working on addressing with Brian.
Come race day however, it was a completely different story. Up and awake at stupid o clock (eg 4:00am) ready for breakfast and out of the house at 5:00am. The howling gale of the night before had died away and it was a beautiful morning. Arriving at St Kilda was surreal, in the darkness there was about 2000 equally strange looking lycra clad triathletes scurrying around in the dark, nervously setting up, getting marked, checking out the course etc.
7:30am came and the kids were off doing their short course triathlon. It’s amazing to see some of the up and coming stars out there racing. When I was there age, I wouldn’t have been out of bed a 7:30am, let alone out racing.
The big kids had to wait until 8:30am for our race. Thankfully the waters at St Kilda were quite warm, so whilst it was a wetsuit swim bits of my anatomy didn’t turn blue this time. In fact the swim leg was quite pleasant, not the aqua rugby I’ve become used to. Yes there was the normal kicking, punching, jostling for position, but the organisers had quite sensibly cut the wave size down to about 50 people per time. I also took the decision to start at the back and swim wide. Whilst this probably added another 50m to my swim, I didn’t get kicked in the face this time.
Overall the swim was actually pleasant and easy. A great confidence builder for Port Macquarie Half Ironman in a couple of weeks.
Transition was straightforward, though a bit slow. Rather than doing the Transition, which is basically putting your helmet on, grabbing your bike and taking off, I used the opportunity to practise for the Half Ironman, which involves a few more steps for long term comfort. ie Drying feet, putting on socks, gloves, sunscreen, sunnies etc. It cost me a couple of minutes but was well worth the experience.
The bike was great, pretty much no wind except for a slight headwind at the bottom end of the course. My training has obviously been working as my average speed has risen from 30km to 33.6kmh and I felt like I was just cruising. Again aiming more for a Half Ironman practice than setting a superfast time. That being said I was still working up in the T3+ heart rate zone, so the body was working. It was also quite pleasant to continually overtake riders on the latest $5000+ Carbon Tri bike on my trusty home build steed. As they say, it’s not about the bike but how fast you ride it. That being said, when the elites came past me, they left me for dead. It was awe inspiring to see them come past.
I managed the second transition with no issues and then it was out onto the run.
The first 1km felt hard, but that was until I noticed that I’d put in a 4min25sec km. For someone that usually runs at about a 6min/km pace, it was a tad quick, though not impossible. I eased back slightly to an average 5min/km and felt very comfortable. In fact I ran my fastest 5km in 25:43 and finished with HEAPS in the tank. The weight loss is obviously helping and I’m pretty sure there is a huge possibility for improvement.
Overall I was very happy with my time 1:22:15.
All I’m waiting for now is the photo’s to come out. I wore my VCFS cap for the first time and hope there are a couple of decent shots. Next order of business it to get my VCFS gear together so we can start getting some recognition and raise some money for the cause.