After ten hours sleep I’m feeling a little more refreshed this morning, even if I’m covered with cuts and bruises.
That was the roughest race swim I’ve been in for a long time, for a women’s only race there was nothing ladylike about it ! It reminded me of Water Polo days. During the race I was kicked, punched, ducked all deliberate and a first I was sworn at mid race.
Where I was punched I have a slightly sore red & bruised cheek, a cut and bruise around my wrist where I got tangled in the middle orange buoy netting and my right foot was scratched the length of sole by finger nails of another swimmer – what must her wetsuit look like, a black doilies with puncture marks ?
I did offer a little retaliation ducking of the foul-mouthed swimmer. However I clocked 26minutes exiting the pontoon so improved time on last years time and came out feeling OK effort wise. There was a bit of satisfaction as I beat the foul mouth punching swimmer out of the water in the end.
The bike was just brutal as the wind was gusting at force 8-9 (40 to 60mph), it swirled around the Avon gouge and buffeted us from all directions. Again I managed a few minutes faster than last year in worse conditions.
Then I the wheels fell off and I wilted and died on the run at around 8k. The run seemed longer than last year and another competitor clocked 5.4k per lap on his Garmin, it was a 2 lap race. Transition was longer and so we had extra run distance from swim exit along the dockside and just getting in and out of a bigger more chaotic transition area took longer. The run is semi trail which has some undulations and a ramps which knocks you out of your stride. Great views of the Clifton Suspension bridge as you run underneath it four times.
So was it bad pacing – too fast on swim & bike?, battling with competitors and weather? or lack of run fitness that slowed me down ?
I’m flip flopping between disappointment and pleased in faster swim & bike times compared to last year in rougher conditions. Running is my nemesis but disappointed/mad at myself that I was 8 minutes slower than last year and probably one of my slowest 10K’s for a long time. I’m never fast but usually manage to hold under the hour in tri’s and trail races.
Or do I put this aside and put it down as a big training session for race experience, transitions ( that were about 200m longer and more chaotic than last year), pacing, getting stuck-in to hold my line and practise nutrition etc. ? And get on to focus on the middle distance events – Henley ?
Any thoughts ? my coach says is he happy with my effort under the circumstance pointing out its not all about time, I came away relatively injury free so to be pleased with how I went about the race and that in the days to come I should also be pleased. I still got a top 10 finish in 7th for age group so not all bad.
I will be back for 2014 as determined to duck under the 3 hour mark on this course 🙂
Official results are up on website and making me feel slightly better, for example the first male in standard distance was plus 8 minutes compared to 2012 results and first female was plus 5 minutes so my plus 3 minutes not too shabby ! Still annoyed by my run though.
My break down was actually 22nd / 46 females, 5th not 7th in age group, even if only ten racing, with 3rd fastest swim, 4th fastest bike and slowest run ( if I had last years time would have been 4th, but thats history, a different day, course, competitors and conditions).