So the day finally dawned and the first race of the season was upon me. Rising around 5.30am I had already packed everything in the car the night before, with clothing to prepare for every eventuality.
The morning was cool and drizzly, not the best start for a triathlon, but nevertheless, Will and I drove up arriving at David Lloyd Gym in
just in time for the registration and to rack my bike before the rain came again. Lincoln
Having looked at the profile of the bike route, I knew that there was a short sharp hill initially, but then the rest of it would be rolling and downwards with a short interlude on the A46 (hmmmmm).
I was pretty excited but also really nervous as it would be the first time in Stamford Triathlon Club colours and others from my club would be there too. Paul, Jimmy, Sandie, Karl and a couple of others would be racing too and I felt quite pleased as I dressed in my new trisuit ready to race.
With a slightly more sociable start time of 10.20am, it gave me chance to look around transition and get fully prepared for the race. Starting so late only meant one thing and with a quicker swim time came a chance for the fast people to come past me on the bike. The problem was I felt as though the entire bike was into a headwind, so when Paul and Jimmy flew past me (quite literally) it was a struggle to keep on going through the biting wind.
With the swim going as well as expected, with an official recorded time of 7:05 (which included a 15-20 second run to the timing mat from poolside) I was immediately pleased when I glanced at my watch as it meant that I had swam around 6:40 (confirmed by Will afterwards who watched and timed it), but then the stinging cold wind whipped across my face and wet body and I ran as fast as I could into T1 to pull a jacket over me and get my helmet and shoes on. A quick T1 time (including the jacket) was pleasing again. The bike leg began with a steady climbing road and as I passed one competitor with a puncture I could only shout my apologies for not having anything to assist him and worked my way up the winding village to the top of the ridge. It was a fairly gutsy hill but short enough that you could recover quickly and then turn left into a blustery drizzly rest of the bike leg. However I soon found that it was pretty tough into the wind, as even descending the ridge I was pedalling hard and was fighting to keep on pushing. I was pleased to get a fair way before Jimmy and Paul both passed me, but with others passing me on full TT bikes, it was a hard thing to keep pressing on, but I managed it all the same! After 52 awful minutes I was back into the ground of the gym and ready to run.
Coming into T2
Coming into T2 was a bit of a respite from the weather and managed to grab my cap and running shoes on I was off. I was pressing the pace and with an estimated distance to the first turn around point on the canal being 1.25km I was fairly pleased to see my time being below what I expected and then on approaching the throng of supporters by the finish line (halfway through the run) I was chuffed to actually pass people.
The turn around part was pretty awful though as I began to feel the tiredness creep in and the pain in my stomach increased as I saw the finish line. I was pretty pleased I wasn’t sick, as the cameraman was right in front of the finish! Imagine that photo! I managed a 24:13 for the 5km run which is a PB for a 5km in a triathlon so that was really great. Only problem was I hadn’t anticipated the finish being so close, I was all set out ready for a sprint finish and really wished I had pushed a bit more earlier on so that I could have gone sub-24 minutes.
In the end I was mostly pleased with my result of 1:25:39 and just thought I need to work on my cycling but the swimming and running efforts are clearly paying off and my thoughts are now on Grendon sprint triathlon which is a mere two weeks away! (Pictures are courtesy of Will :)
I was 4th in my age group out of 20 ladies and was 20th lady overall, so nothing too spectacular, but still pretty good all the same! I finished 204th overall out of 444 people in total too.
Also just to keep you in the loop I attended my level 1 BTF coaching course this weekend, and it was fantastic! I will write another post about that once I am finished (20thy May fingers crossed!).