Having had a disheartening end to my 2014 race season with a DNF at ETU long distance championships I was keen to get my first race of 2015 completed without any drama. My winter training has been quite different to the previous couple of years seeing me having more rest & increased focused training whilst reducing overall training load. As always, I put my faith in coach Musty, but being me, I was always thinking in the back of my mind, am I doing enough.
So on Saturday morning I went for my first OWS of the season and it was freezing, I’ve gone soft over the winter it seems! Needless to say I wasn’t looking forward to my first ever river swim on Sunday morning. We got to the race venue in St. Neots at around 6:30am after a 4:30 rather unsocial alarm call, I was excited but not nervous at all.
I was in the second wave so got myself to the front line of my swim wave, treading water and waiting for the gun I was pleased to be right at the front – however the gun went off and in a milli-second I was already being overtaken by loads of athletes, I certainly need to work on my deep water swim start! The swim was fairly straight forward for once, no elbows to eyes or kicks in the head for a change, I knew it wasn’t a particularly good swim as my sighting and direction was well off, but I was pleased over all the with my first swim race of the year (15:01). T1 went amazingly well (1:05), and I was off on the bike – getting my feet into my shoes on the move was interesting as my feet were like ice blocks. Once into my shoes and pedalling properly I took the bike really steady and was hoping to push the run harder than I normally do. Coming into T2, again had problems with my shoes and frozen feet so my speedy dismount ended less speedy and more stop, get off and run! (0:45). Trainers on and off out on the run, coach Musty was at the start of the run course encouraging me so I had to push hard from the off so he didn’t think I was slacking, the first lap was like running on concrete feet but by the time I got on to the second lap I could feel my feet again and was getting into a good flow. The second lap hurt, I had a stitch in my side the whole way around but I continued to push as hard as I could and was very relieved to see to the 200m to go sign. I was aware of another female trying to overtake me so I gritted my teeth and pushed hard over the finish line – as my race picture shows, I call it my Quasimodo pout! My run was a surprising 20:10, a 5km PB for me by well over a minute so I was so really happy. Once over the finish line the stitch had me doubled over in pain, I couldn’t stand up straight – seriously, these sprint races hurt like hell, bring on the long stuff!
My overall time was 1:22:00, making me 9th in my AG. Because the field was so strong being the British Championships, I am over the moon with this, although I wasn’t at first, but looking at the stats and splits I can see how well I did now coming 9th of 29 in a field of people who race this distance all the time. I am really happy with this having never raced this distance before I cant call it a PB, but compared to the super-sprints I’ve done in previous years, this shows my winters training is definitely working In the way Musty has planned.
Bring on the Beaver (my next race this coming weekend!).
Thanks as always goes out to our squad sponsors; Triathlon Zone of St Albans, MPG, Bowller and HKR Architects.