Posted by: lepages | April 5, 2010

First Tri of 2010

Well, had a great Easter Sunday, followed by an appalling night’s sleep – or lack of it – cough and sore throat that had been coming on got worse in the night – alarm set for 4am, but fed up of laying in bed so got up at 3.45am – on the road down to Hampton Pool by soon after 4.30am, arriving soon after 6am, joining the battle of the many trying to find parking spaces in side streets near the pool. Through and join the queues to register – all seemed to go efficiently enough. All done and dusted, bike racked etc by time for race briefing at 6.45am – then the long wait! I was scheduled to go off in the second wave at 493 (out of 495!) The guys either side of me were all in younger age cats, so I was fearful of being the last person to finish…. fortunately I needn’t have worried – my bike strength saw me through – even if I felt I had a bad day.

During the first wave stood by the pool to keep warm – water steaming at 28degrees – lovely!! Then it was off to have a gentle run and stretch to warm up. By the time I was stripped off for the start, warm was not the operative word. During the first wave, the sun started to try and break through and I thought it was going to turn nice…. by the time I came to go, the clouds had thickened and darkened, the wind had got up and whilst it never rained, the air felt damp.

Into the swim. Target for Swim & T1 was 11mins – think I did the 426m swim in just a shade over 9mins, so okay – T1 seemed to go okay – nicely warmed up now after a few minutes in the pool – not sure how T1 took nearly 2 1/2mins – though there was a long run to the bike and from the bike to the mounting point.

Off on the bike – seemed to be doing okay – pretty soon swallowing up a few folk on the way – encouraging stuff – then on to the long stretch with humps – into the wind – harder going, but kept the pace okish, reasoning I’d have a faster return, then there was the bus – buses don’t proceed fast over humps…. conscious of the draft busters tried to hang back… but every time it slowed to negotiate a hump and I thought I could slip past there seemed to be a car coming the other way…. eventually another guy I’d passed came past me and went for a sprint between humps to pass…. followed suit….. caught him a while later and went past again…. very slight incline towards the end before the turn point so thought when I’d turned with the wind behind and slight downward incline I should wind up the pace – turned and struggled to get back up to 32kph, let alone my target of 34….. wind turned out to be not really head but strong side wind which just kept slowing in both directions, apart from the odd short stretches where either shelter or direction provided some relief for a short distance – managed to push up to the high 30kphs for these short bits (bike computer tells me I hit a max of 40 at some point – not sure when – maybe it was when I went for the sprint past the bus). By return journey arms and feet cold, but body staying warm at least – glad I hadn’t put cycling jersey on as think I’d have been too hot for the run. Disappointed with the bike – around 2mins slower than intended…

Through the ‘non-competing zone’ – easy cycle back, stop at traffic lights, consume a gel, finish bottle of SIS fluid, walk to recommencement of clock as I go into T2 – not sure this helps me.. think I kind of get ‘out of the zone’ – and then have to try and get back in – going from gentle state to hard, its more difficult to judge pace – my target was 4min30secs per k – at 1stk marker found myself at almost 5mins – no!! Turned the corner and then into the wind – next k seemed really hard going… and then once turning off tarmac ground got quite muddy and slippy in places – 2-4k had wind behind or alongside so not so bad – 2-3 got down to my target time – pleased to overtake a couple of runners, but galled to have 3/4 that I had overtaken some way back on the bike come belting past me…. tried to pick tempo up and follow…. but body just didn’t seem to want to play…. completed and collapsed in a heap on the grass, spent a good while hacking away with my cough – unsure what time I’d done – thought I’d beaten last years… but not by the 3 minutes I’d hoped!

Grateful to have Julie with me to see me back to the pool – starting to feel cold and chilled! Collected bike and returned to car, collecting goodie bag en route – included a specially prepared Thames Turbo branded bottle of bitter – being enjoyed as I type!!

Once things deposited in car back for a shower, alternating between hot and cold – just what you need when you’re feeling chilled – not!

Inspite of varying water temp. felt better for shower – joined Julie for a bacon and egg roll and a nice hot chocolate. Took a while before final results up, but managed to get a pic

surprised to find when I got home that results were in fact already online on the Thames Turbo site

Anyway, results were as follows

Swim (426m) & T1 11:28 243rd 59th in cat M40-49 (99 in cat)
Bike (21k) 39.04 83rd 24th in cat
Run (5k) & T2 25:00 198th 40th in cat
Total 1:15:32 135th 33rd in cat

Not as fast as I’d hoped, but puts me in to top 1/3 – so that’s pleasing – and it is faster than last year – apart from the bike… and the run… and my swim is still the weakest point!! (Though at least I got in to the top 1/2 this time!)

Results from last year for you to compare:-
Easter Monday 2009
Swim & T1 13:57 368 93 in cat M40-49
Bike 39.21 123 36 in cat
Run & T2 25:42 223 58 in cat
Total 1:19:00 213 52 in cat

May Bank Holiday 2009
Swim & T1 12:35 313 72 in cat M40-49
Bike 38.31 73 25 in cat
Run & T2 24:59 192 49 in cat
Total 1:16:05 157 44 in cat

Tired for journey home – as a result did around 30 extra miles!
Sign on road said ‘M25′ – that’s where I need to go! Only after about 10mins driving I noticed a sign saying 20miles to Gatwick…. we were going the wrong way round the M25!!! Turn at next junction – journey time increased to 2hours – leg aching by time getting towards home – first time in ages when driving – hopefully it’ll pass! Getting out of car, discovered its not the only bit of me aching!!

Quiet afternoon sitting in chair, updating blog, watching ’24’ and just chilling. Lovely tea of jacket potatoes and chilli. Thanks Julie!!

How long will I last into the evening before retiring to bed??!!

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