If I were you I'd sit down, relax, get comfortable and get ready for a good read ... its gonna be a long one.
First and foremost comes the confession/apology ... "forgive me blog readers for I have sinned ... its been nearly one month since my last blogpost."
My last post was Tri 4, and the third sprint at Leybourne Lakes ... Team Outrageous, who I must thank, have been the backbone of my Tri season (3 out of 5 races) and have been a partial gauge of my ongoing improvements.
So what's happened since Tri 4 (on the 8th of August) ... well, to be honest its been 3 weeks of very little training. I've been dogged by a combination of apathy, laziness and being supremely busy at work. I did three 5k runs, one 10k run, 1 swim and 1 bike ride. That was it, over 3 weeks. Excellent prep for a full sprint tri - NOT!!
With little prep let's just say I wasn't particularly confident going into this race, however there were some positives in all of this.
1. I bought a turbo trainer and had one session on it. It was interesting but nothing too exciting. I have to get muc more acquainted with my turbo in the coming weeks.
2. I bought pedals and bike shoes ... I fixed them onto the bike and tried clipping in and out on the turbo trainer. Of course this is nothing like clipping in on a bike on the road (as I was to find out). So as you can imagine, my one bike ride with the pedals was quite interesting. Got to the lakes, got astride the bike, clipped in to one pedal ... pushed forward, attempted to clip in to the other pedal, failed miserably, slowed down, started losing speed, started wobbling, tried to clip out (of the pedal that was clipped in), again ... failed miserably, wobbled more and promptly fell, gashing my knee, my elbow and making a complete fool out of myself in the car park. So i got up, dusted myself off and tried again, with a heavy wobble i finally managed to clip myself and get going. Clipped and unclipped a couple of times (getting decent at it (ish)) and headed off on the Leybourne tri bike course. I had a target of under 38:30 ... which until then had been the fastest I'd ever done it. I didn't have the full 16k in me at full tilt so I slowed down in the last kilometre but I still managed it in 34:15, a full 4 minutes faster. I was mega chuffed. That set up the expectation that I can get my times down.
3. I've now got a coach. Or at least I will have a coach for the winter and in preparation for next season.
Coming back to my fifth and final race of the season, this was an F3 event at Dorney Lake. It was also my club's (yes, I've joined a club - in true fashion - an online club - with a fair few members I chat to through the club's forum - ppl crazy about triathlon, many of them in their first season as well - its fantastic - its the BCTTT!!) first championships (the club was founded this year and I am one of the first members, though the membership is growing regularly).
Dorney Lake is known to be a flat course. The distance was 750/20/5 - full sprint - and the aim was to try and get a better time than London - and in any event, go under 1 hr 45 minutes which was my target time for the sprint in London.
Race day was good. I got to Dorney early and met up with some members of the club. Now bear in mind that many of us had never met and we introduced ourselves by our handles. I must admit, this is the most comfortable and relaxed I've ever been in the build up to a race - cheers guys!!
To the race:
The swim - I hadn't swum in a while so I wasn't sure how it would go. It went - nothing special - I got whacked a few times by other swimmers - a couple of times in the head. Swim time was around 18 minutes. Slow really, but I've barely done any swimming.
T1 - went smoothly - got out of my wetsuit, into my bike shoes (for the first time in a race scenario) got my stuff and ran to the mount line.
The Bike ride - started off with a bang - an uncomfortable one - it was the sound of me falling off the bike, still clipped in, a mere 2 metres from the mount line. At the third attempt - a bad elbow graze and a nasty cut on my hand later I managed to be off (wasting about a minute on that crap). The bike ride wasn't particularly comfortable, the legs weren't up for too much (I did a 5k with Clare the day before and as I hadn't been training too hard that told a bit on my legs). I hadn't worn my bike shorts over my tri bottoms. My bum was sore, my legs were sore and happily I managed to avoid a spill when coming back into transition.
T2 - smooth and fast (in fact I made up 2 places).
The run - uneventful. I have no idea how fast I actually was (split times aren't out yet) but it felt laboured. I had a stitch throughout but kept going and actually overtook more people than I was overtaken by. I did sprint at the end - properly this time, a full, knackering, "can't breathe anymore once past the finish line" type sprint.
The time? Unofficially 1 hr 37 minutes and 49 seconds (I'm told by clare who was standing a few metres away from the finish clock when I crossed the line). A full 10 minutes faster than my London time.
I'm mega chuffed. A good way to end my season and its reasonable to go try and go under 1:30 next season!
More updates soon as I set out my targets for the winter and next season.
A Whole New Meaning to Going the Distance
10 months ago