Scottish Aquathlon Champs – 3rd female

Positive: Glad I did it to get the race experience, good to get used to getting knocked about on the swim (and experience racing outdoors), got some dolla dolla $$, didn’t give up after being behind after transition, it was a glorious day!

Negative: Got knocked and fell back on the swim, swallowed so much water I couldn’t run fast, couldn’t get wetsuit off, couldn’t get either foot in either shoe, transition was about 20 seconds slower than anyone else in the top 15/20, probably didn’t push the run as hard as I could have (I was apprehensive given I have been/am injured, and already admitted defeat beforehand “I can’t run cross country”)

What a gorgeous day!! There were no excuses weather-wise! Zero wind (until the relays), bright sunshine (my face is still rosy!) and warm temperature (unless you were in the loch. That wasn’t warm at 15C!).

It was my 1st mass start from the water (Kalmar people jumped in the sea in waves of their predicted time) so that was…erm…interesting. I got kicked a few times and crossed elbows after the gun went off, but it was quite fun! My Kaiman Exo goggles from Aqua Sphere were actually phenomenal! They never fogged or leaked once, and usually at races I am panicking rubbing my lenses a good dozen times beforehand!

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Coming back round to the boathouse, I passed a couple of people but kept swallowing water (ewwww to drinking a litre of lake water in under 10 minutes!) then out I got with a stomach sloshing away and failing to unzip my suit because I wasn’t feeling great. When I got to my shoes and eventually pulled off my wetsuit, despite my towel lying there, I couldn’t get my feet dry enough to fit into my trainers! Cue a bazillion people leaving transition before me.

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I kept trying to pick people off, particularly on the wee hill we went up a couple of times, and by the time we got to the forest, I was about 30s down on Julie (who smashed it and came 2nd overall!), and could just about see her in the distance. I managed to narrow the gap in the 2nd lap, but not by much, so I crossed the line in 3rd place behind Natalie and Julie! I’m really glad I got the experience and it gives me more confidence for future races with outdoor swims!

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(Top: girl winners, Middle: age group winners, Bottom: overall winners)

 

Mixed Relay

A couple hours later, we were taking part in the mixed relay. There were 2 Triathlon Scotland Performance teams going head to head, and I was to go last in our team, comprising of Stefan (a PHENOMENAL para-triathlete!), Sarah (who is flying having broken her arm recently) and Kate (she is in the youth squad but could kick all the senior boys’ butts in a track race 😉 !)

Because I had 2 swims, I brought 2 wetsuits, keeping my Aqua Sphere Phantom wetsuit for the relay to try and win for the team! Fiona was calling out splits, so when Stefan slapped me and it was my turn to go, I was just over a minute behind the other TS team! I swam hard (perhaps venturing off course slightly…oops to getting overexcited and forgetting to look where I was going), managed to get my wetsuit off in good time this time, but couldn’t jump on the bike (get some confidence girl!), so another poor T1 time for me!

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The wind had really picked up now and I was riding solo, but I felt strong going into the dead turn. After probably the slowest turn of the day, I got round the cone and tried really hard to nail it up the hill into the headwind. When I got back to about 200m from transition, I had to slow down for an ambulance who had come to rescue Tracy (she broke her toe after a nasty crash…SPEEDY recovery so you can SMASH Celtman in 4 weeks!), which again made me panic a bit getting of my bike, so coming off my shoe hit the ground and came off the bike.

The run was pretty slow for me. My legs were a little tired from earlier but I just kept trying to pick up the cadence. I was 40seconds down on the other TS team after the cycle so I tried to keep pushing so catch him! Again, the run was just that little bit too short and I managed to close the gap to 15seconds behind them. Grrr!!!! Next time!

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It was a really fun day and getting back home around 4.30 meant we could get the BBQ we bought on Saturday going, and have a few protein shakes beers in the sun before it disappeared and the working week started again!

Hope you had a good weekend and IF you happen to be reading the Scottish Herald on Saturday, look out for a certain Debzie Babez…! 😉

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Sponsorship & an Elite Entry

I am THRILLED to announce that next season I shall continue to be sponsored by Planet X, and have a new sponsor in Aqua Sphere!!

Planet X have provided me with super fast, lightweight, “snazzy” bikes: a road bike and two (poor smashed to smithereens bike number 1) TT bikes. We have had our ups and our downs, but overall I have LOVED riding them and cannot WAIT to improve even more next year!

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Aqua Sphere is a super exciting one!! They showed an interest after I won the swim at Ironman Sweden. After researching their brand some more (I am fussy with goggles and fast racing suits), I found out that, basically, they have STOLEN MICHAEL PHELPS‘ HEART!! He is now using their brand and is kicking butt!!

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More on the above products later – I will be giving 100% honest opinions on their goodies – but in more news:

Kylie Babez and I have scored ELITE entries to the Ribble Valley 10km (North of England Champs) this Sunday. My biggest fear is how much Prague has had/Christmas will have an effect on us, but also the weather is meant to be horrendous 😦

BUT we did it last year and LOVED it! It is undulating with a great field, fantastic support, pretty views, and amazing organisation, and I highly recommend it if you want a PB!

I managed a 37.30 and Kyle a 30.46 there and we would both REALLY love to smash those times this weekend…fingers crossed and wish us luck 🙂

Then I’ll be down to some real hard work and heavy training because I of the Girls for Gold Coast Squad! Not only that, they were so impressed by my performance at the Assessment Day, that I was the only one from it to be invited to a warm weather camp with some superstar British triathletes in Feb!!

I hope everyone has an even better year than they had last year! As we saw at “Lennon Wall” in Prague:

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(“May the best of your past be the worst of your future”)