There a flaw in triathlon

One of the stories goes, about the creation of long distance triathlon… Their was a swimmer, a cyclist and a runner and they wanted to know who the best athlete was. So they put together a race with all 3 and lets see who wins.

Now given the current sport, there is no way that the swimmer could win, unless the runner sank. The cyclist could, but they’d still need to be able to run a decent speed… My point being a good swimmer gives me 5 mins advantage, being a good runner gives you 30min advantage… who wins? Do the math.

I have to apologise to Em and Chloe, the run on Saturday I was have some malicious, nasty, jealous thoughts about them, as they trotted their way past me. I silently cursed them, I cursed all good runners. Just because I was actually feeling happy with my run, didn’t mean I was not envious. Hopefully, give me a couple of years and someone will be cursing me… umm yeh I think I said that a couple of years ago.. crap!

Flat…cold…boring, but the goals were mainly achieved

I always knew that SI Half Ironman main challenge to me would be mental. Or that flat boringness, it isn’t really my “thing”. I was half way around the 2nd lap on the bike, when I just thought “this is supposed to be fun”, but I was not having an ounce of fun, on the bike in the middle of nowhere the only competitor I could see was a mere spec in the distance and the road was just straight.

I was also freezing cold, my feet had turned to ice blocks and I was unaware if they actually still existed. But I had a plan, I had goals, I knew if I could beat this race mentally i’d be in better shape for Wanaka. I achieved most of this, my main goal, I missed out on by a few minutes, but I am not particularly concerned by that…

… Lets start at the beginning

Getting there

The main advantage of having to get up early and drive for 1hr to get to the destination, you can eat your breakfast on the way…

I arrived at the venue bang on the dot of 7, which gave me an hour. But I seemed to be constantly behind the 8 ball. By trisuit zip broke, I put on my wetsuit and then realised I hadn’t put on any sunscreen. Yes it might be overcast and cold right then, but I really needed to put it on for later, so I take the wetsuit off again and put on the sunscreen.. nothing else was going very well either, I seemed to be in a bit of a dither.

But I made it to race start and everything was a ok.. phew.

Swim

31min

I started the swim a bit to far back in the pack. I seem to spend most of the first lap fighting through people. Eventually I got into clear water and start to enjoy myself. I love swimming in fresh water, oh its so much more pleasant than the sea. I was not pushing it hard, and I was feeling really comfortable. I would not have struggled going around the course again. I didn’t think that my time would have been very good though, due to the hold up at the start and not really pushing it. I was very shocked when I got out of the water and saw the clock, 31 min thats a great time for me.

Goals:I had no particular goal, for the swim. Just do it in about 35min. This race was not about the swim

Bike

3hr

It was cold that morning, so I had put a polyprop, arm warmers and a vest in transition. I thought I would decide what I would wear once I got there. In hindsite maybe I should have used the polyprop, but I was concerned I’d get too hot! duh how often do I say its better to be too hot and strip than too cold… well anyway I went with the vest and arm warmers. Though it was the legs that were struck by the cold the most, many times I thought I needed knee warmers.

The course had changed this year, it was now 45 k lap x 2. The roads were long and straight, the first lap you were close to the people in front, over taking a few and being overtaken by a few more. There was barely no wind, though there was a spot 10k before the end of the lap, you seemed to be going straight down the throat of the wind and not getting as much progress as before. I got a lot turned around on the first lap I didn’t know where I was. A marshall had a flag out looking like she was pointing me down that road, where as in fact she was pointing the guy coming the other way down the road, I just didn’t notice. So off I head, it probably took me a minute or 2 to realise I had gone the wrong direction, so probably wasted 5min with that wrong turn.

I got back on track and finished the lap, it was nice coming back into the transition area, people cheering you on etc.

The last lap was a mental test. The field had stretched out. I was not overtaken or did I overtake anyone ( a part from the poor bastard who look like had a puncture and was walking hos bike), it was lonely and deary out there. Eventually the end was in site and I was getting prepared for the run. I wasn’t really looking forward to it, just was trying to mentally psyc myself up for it.

I got in to transition and jump off my bike and tried to run. My body did not want to cooperate, mainly because of the frozen ice blocks on the end of my feet. When I got to my gear, I tried putting on my socks standing up, but because of my numb feet, I just couldn’t, so sat myself down to put them on.

Goals: Once again no particular goals. I wanted to do with 3:10, but weather dependant. I had a silent goal (not voiced till now) beat the other girls to T2. Which I achieved, I knew some will be catching me on the run, that my silent victory. But mainly the bike was about not going too hard. At times I was pushing this limit, but I still remained  within myself.

run

2:13

Once my feet started to thaw out I actually started to feel comfortable. I was running within my times marked on my arms. Rach caught me about 1K to the end of the first lap and then Em caught me, as predicted, at the 10k mark. But I was happy, I didn’t need to try and catch them, I was running this in my time. About 3/4 the way through the 2nd lap I had to stop and go to the toilet (I not sure it took 3 min, but I am going to say it did, makes my goal reached). After that things started to get painful, but I refused to walk.

The last lap was painful and was never happier to get on the Broadwalk and see the finish

goals: 2:10 this was the main goal of the race. I missed it by 3 min, but I not going to get overly upset about that. Not to walk. I was having “walk” thoughts. On the 2nd lap, maybe you can walk next lap. On the last lap… it not far to go now, why walk? The mental games I play…

Overall

5:50

I would have like to go under 6hrs, and I did. This race had gone to plan. I had achieved what I intended to. Plus my body seems to have come out well. Its a little stiff, but not as bad as you might expect (though I might want to wait to tomorrow in that respect). No twinges in my knee, and just a tiny blister on my toe… my feet survived.

Not sure if this is a race I’d want to do again, it is good if you want a fast time though. The bike might have been better if it had been sunny… you never know

Is that all??

This time 3 years ago, I had all my gear spawled across the lounge, devided into little piles for each discipline. Phew it seemed like a lot of gear. I had also taken the entire day of work, and driven down to ahsburton to undertake a sprint triathlon. I was the longest tri I had yet to undertake and the nerves were making me jumpy.

Jump ahead 3 years, the night before a half ironman. I am still at home, I worked all day. As soon as I got home I scrumaged around the house, threw the gear into my box… is that all? After doing multisport and the gear that kayaking requires you to bring, a wetsuit doesn’t much compare, there really not much stuff in there.

I am slightly nervous, maybe more worried. Not looking forward to tommorow if the predicted rain and southerlies stay longer than predicted. I am looking at the weather now, it seems completely calm, I want the wind to blow and the wather to rage and hopefully blow it self out way before morning… come on weather!

I am also feeling unbelievably tired, is it my mind playing tricks on me? I could go to bed right now, but then I would probably not sleep properly, so I’ll leave it another hour or so.

I’m driving all the way to ashburton in the morning, I contemplated the idea of going down tonight, but I was feeling way to stingy to pay for the accomodation. So early start it will be.

Just remembered, to write my half marathon times on my arm… I’ll go do that now… be back tommorrow

Race plan

SI Half Ironman is now just a week away. I have largely ignored its existence in my training plan. It was just a little blip along the way. I think I once said to Rachel to give it the respect it deserved, I was actually talking to myself, because I have really been struggling to think of it as anything greater than a hard training day.. well that was until Wednesday.

Wednesday I had a 2hr flat ride with a few intervals along the way. Not long after the start I began to think, about Wanaka and SI half and mild panic hit me and continued with me for the entire ride. Ok so it was more thinking about Wanaka than the half, but there were thoughts of it in there as well. Its not like me to have stressful panic filled moments like that. I normally just plug away and shite myself a few times that it is coming to fast and I not prepared enough but that’s about that.

I got over the mild panic and after the ride was back to my normal calm thoughts. But has made me think about my unpreparedness for the half.

Today I had a 2.5 hr flat ride, it started out calm but then the nor’west hit and almost blew me to a stop. It was a nasty wind, but I was determined, I wanted to stay in the aero bars as much as I possibly could, and even though I scared myself silly sometimes, I stayed in aero and over came some of that fear of been hit from the side by the gusty NW in aero position. One thing I was thinking about was this time next week the wind could be equally as bad so keep going and get used to it.

So after that and also having a good run off the bike I feel  a little bit better about the half. But I also was thinking about my plan for the day while out on the bike.

So going by past experience and current form, heres my thoughts of how the day goes.

The swim I will do OK, I probably come out in the second wave of people. The bike I should hold my own, I might overtake a couple of the strong swimming females and get overtaken by the stronger cyclists, but I should still come in to T2 in a reasonable time (though having said that the majority of the bikes will be back, I blame that on all the male competitors already on the run). But the run as always will be my downfall, I could very easily crack like I did at Auckland half, but given my current form and the fact that the cycle is entirely flat, that is less likely.

So the run is the key to whether or not this race was a success or not, I have decided 2:10 for the run would be a reasonable and achievable goal. I might even write the times on my arm so I make sure I meet this time. So thats really it, I would like to do sub 6hrs, but even if something goes horribly wrong in either of the other disciplines as long as I get that 2:10 I’ll be happy 🙂

 

Tennis Anyone?

I’m shocked! Simply shocked! The number of people who play tennis (and croquette) but not the number who play bowls. Actually I would have thought the bowls coursts would be busier… I never knew it was so popular. Since moving and over looking tennis, courquette and bowls courts the weekends are a buzz of activity.

I find it slightly funny seeing these people in their tennis outfits, wouldn’t a shorts and t-shirt do? Though they probably think all those road cyclists in their roadie gear a rather strange oddity.

Maybe once the challenge Wanaka thing is done, I should invest in a tennis raquet… ahh maybe not, hand eye cordination is not good. I alwasy sux at ball sports…. maybe a corquette raquet???? ummm hammer??? well whatever you hit the balls with…

A new philosophy

Ok, it might not be exactly “New”. But it was my main motivation for me on my run this morning.

Firstly though, I had a 40min open water swim. So I was up early and off to the bay. It was a great morning for a swim (though I was feeling extremely Jealous of Nades who was doing the ride I did yesterday, and today would have been so much easier and more pleasant. My only positive thought, I got more hard pills out of yesterday 🙂 ). Any way had a really great swim 2 laps of the triangle through the yachts. I don’t honestly think I good have swam much further, the cold water was taking its toll near the end. I hope it starts to warm up some time soon. Yeh I know good practice for Wanaka, that water will always be cold.

Once I got back home from the swim went straight out for the run. I had been instructed to make sure its flat. I think Jo has twigged to the fact that when I feel tired and I will actually prefer to run up a hill than run on the flat. So I headed out along the base of the hill and acquainted myself with the course of the Heathcote river.

Oh yeh the philosophy…

It may be hurting now, but if you don’t keep on going and do this, it will hurt Double in January.

My legs were feeling fine, my heart rate was 150 (which is low for me running), but I was feeling empty. All my energy had been drained after yesterdays ride and this mornings swim. But kept telling myself grin and bear it, it’ll be over soon.

I have come across this philosophy a few times in the past, but I think this time I am aware how much Wanaka could hurt and exactly what is required. In the past where I had been going was slightly unknownn, thus the pain to come was unknow 🙂

A wind that came straight from Hades

What a ride I had today! It was somewhat awesome, I was feeling good. But the last 2hours I struggled through the most horrible wind I have come across yet (well, I probably say that every time I’ve had a tough day in the saddle in the wind)

The suggested ride for today was revesre long bays with a detour to perau and then a trip home through Lincoln. It ws to be 5hours, thats a long time for me to sit in a saddle. It started of as it was to end. I struggled across the causeway to Sumner at 20K/h. I had left nice and early to hopefully miss the worse of the predict no’west. This one was coming from the east though and I was just hoping by the time I hit the flat on the other side that it had changed direction.

I was feeling good, groaned a bit at the detour in Lytellton that made me climb a nasty little street. Got out to purau in good time. My plan was to find water there and fill up, but the sign said not to drink the water. So headed back to Diamond harbour and tried to find some taps there, but couldn’t be bothered looking to hard, so just bought some very expensive bottled water from the general store. I have been using balance the last few weeks, as it is the on course nutrition, but it doesn’t seem to give me the kick I am used to. So today I thought I’d start out with perpetum and then change to Balance and see how that worked out. What I like about Perpetum, you just don’t need to eat anything else. I’d normally have a couple of lollies or something to mix it up a bit. But because of my plan I left the house this morning with my pockets overflowing and feeling a bit silly.

I would have preferred to have Perpetum the whole way, but it seemed to work ok.

Had a fun tail wind climb up Gebbies and was up the top in just over 3hrs, feeling rather happy with that. The decent turned a bit scary. The wind was being very gusty on the way down and there were a couple of points where I was blown across the road. I had a nice fast ride down the valley with a wickedly strong tail wind and the slight decent, I was doing over 40K with hardly any effort on the peddles and feeling rather sorry for all those going the other way.

Once on to the main road the gusty wind was hitting me from the side, I was way to scared to use the aero’s and I was getting blown all over the place. On the way to Linclon it seemed to be lessening, but the road to Prebbelton was a crawl. I eventually made my way to the downs, but at the end I was still 25min to early. I probably would have been happy with 15-10min early but that was not right. So I decided to go do a lap that would take me over the downs again. Man that was hard, the wind was being fierce along the downs. I eventually crawled my way home at exactly 5hrs.

I ended up fluffing about before the run, mainly because the key wouldn’t unlock the door for some reason so had to find an alternative way in. I was worried about the 20min run after such a tough bike, but it went pretty well, I was actually running properly and not shuffling. Not going to say it was easy, but I was feeling pretty happy anyway.