Sunday, 10 August 2014

April 21st - August 8th about time I updated this blog

I have been extremely remiss in not updating the blog this year, and at this rate the season will be over so time to get things up to date.  Rather than go into full detail, I'll give just a small breakdown of what I have been up to.

Slateman Tri and has an reputation for being a tough event.The 1k swim went without incident, it was a little choppy on the return leg but nothing that wasn't un-managable.  Swim to T1 entry was 20:47 a very satisfactory result indeed, especially as it was my first open water race since 2002.

The bike course has one major climb early on up he Llanberis Pass, but other than than it was a fairly fast affair 1:39:12.

Its the run that everyone talks about at the Slateman and with good reason, it's an 11k effort with a nasty section through an old slate quarry and some more nasty climbs in the Padarn country Park.  The final climb in the park and my legs had gone completely, thankfully it was downhill to the finish from there.  Run times was 1:04:36 and a total time of 3:08:07 for my first tri of the year.

Two weeks later on the 1st June  it was a trip to Nottingham for my first A race of the year the Outlaw Half.
It was my return to longer distance racing and to say I was nervous was an understatement.  Though as things panned out I needn't have been.  Gail and I camped over and it was definitely a good decision as it was only a 5 minute walk to the transition.
The swim went well, navigation was easy, drafting less so as the only set of feet in front of me were possessed by someone who couldn't swim in a straight line.  Really pleased to be out of the water and into T1 in 31:34.
The bike is a predominantly fast course, some undulations and one small climb but generally fast and this was reflected in my bike time of 2:34:35 - I was blown away by that performance.  Onto the run and initially I felt good, but whilst the wheels didn't fall off, in the heat of the day I found it a real slog.  Walking the aid stations it was a slow procession to a 2:03:08 half marathon, overall time was an astounding 5h13m14s.  I never imagined I was going to go that quick so my overall result for the day was a true surprise.  I would be lying if I said I didn't get emotional on a couple of occasions after I had crossed the line, especially when I thought about where I had been physically in 2012.

A few weeks later on the 21st June it was the Dee Mile mile swim in Chester, my first ever swim only race. Although it is called the Dee Mile it is in fact 2k long so more like 1.25 miles.  This race has been going for over 90 years now, and is currently organised by Chester Tri Club.  Year on year times vary according to the flow on the river, this year there wasn't much flow at all, so it was a solid effort with no assistance and a time of 32:22.

A few weeks break until the next event on 13th July - Boundary Breeze Sprint Triathlon.  A local event and the Warrington Tri Club fielded a large number of 23 athletes on the day with some great performances all round.  Especially the ladies who recorded the team win.

 The main concern of the day was the amount of weed in the lake which had steadily been increasing each week (this is my normal open water training venue).  In the end it wasn't really an issue at all except for a small section at the start.
It was also the first time that I attempted to do a flying start on the bike with the shoes already attached.  I'd been practising with Laura earlier in the week and it went without a hitch. Good ride no dramas and it was a good exit from the bike.  T2 was a bit of a drama as despite efforts to make sure I knew where my shoes were, I went straight past them and lost at least 30 seconds in T2
Onto the run and I actually felt pretty good and kept the pace up right through to the end and recorded a 5k pb of 23:25.  Overall race time of 1:17:18.

A week later and I was entered in my first time trial of the year and I think the first one since about 2001. Organised by the Warrington Road Club and round 13 of the Cheshire Points Series.  The course was J2/9, starting near Goosetry and Jodrell Bank.  The route is a one and half laps, it's not a pancake flat course and the headwinds were fun at times.  I had a bit of a disaster at the start when I took my jacket off and managed to pull all bar one of the pins holding my number on, off.  So there I was with the number flapping around behind me like Supermans cape.  It was a hard effort but thoroughly enjoyable to push on the bike with no run to follow.  Final time was 1:04:01.

So that's what I have been up to this year so far, in between times I have of course been putting in the hours training.  Loving the running at Delamere Forest and especially enjoying a latte at Costa afterwards in Frodsham.  Other news is that I have signed up with a nutritionist to try and achieve some further weight loss and get back down to my old race weight.

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