After Fraser called me last Thursday, interviewing me for Saturday’s Evening Express article, he planted the racing seed back in my head. I had spoken about how my training was going, but that I didn’t have many races in the diary…therefore asking why he was wasting his time calling me 😉
(He was AMAZING btw! We are blood thinner twinners, both of us coming off the drugs last week, so comparing notes on side effects etc really eases my mind. I really look up to him with all his achievements, so our calls mainly start with some questions for me, I challenge him on why such a legend is asking what I’m up to, we then talk thinner twinner stuff, then finally I bombard him with questions for the next half hour or so…!)
(Not sure if this is readable, but it just talks about last year’s setbacks and goals for the next couple years!)
Anyhoo, as soon as we ended the call, I emailed Fiona at Triathlon Scotland asking if I could enter this weekend’s Westhill duathlon to see where my fitness was at. At that point I couldn’t actually remember the last time I’d raced. Granted, it’s not like I would be tapered or anything, but it would just be fun to get out there again! She agreed and I emailed Steven (the race organiser) to
ask tell him I’d be entering on the day!
Prep wasn’t great – Friday night included Indian takeaway, Saturday included leftover Indian takeaway and nearly 4 hours of training, including a 1hr40 swim at 5.30am with the COASTies, a 2 hour cycle around the Cabrach, then a 2 mile brick run. Oh, and lots of homebakes!
I woke up on Sunday still full from yesterday, but forced down some porridge, pb and a banana, and did some stretching to loosen off yesterday’s DOMS.
After packing up the car, I dropped Kyle off en route so he could do his long run (I’ll force him to write a blog on his London marathon training imminently) and I headed the 20mins or so journey to Westhill, pumping up the pre-race beats to get me motivated!
Registration went smoothly (as usual I was last minute so there weren’t many good bike spots available!) and I did a wee 10 min warm up with the drills I learned at camp (#amateur), then met the legendary Jeremy Kibble for a catch up!
(Jeremy on the left in the left pic, and middle of the right pic. Ignore Callum – this is from the Moray marathon and he was too hungover to come and support…!)
I was feeling pretty relaxed. This was just a training race and I had no idea what kind of speed I had – I was hoping to win it, but with regard to pacing etc I had no idea how that would play out!
We started on time and I was at the front. Straight away about 5 people sprinted off, but within 400m I had realed them in and overtook them. The course was 2 laps down a gradual descent, then up a steep and narrow dogwalker path (some twisty bits were involved here which I definitely lost time on!). I purposefully didn’t wear my watch (and not-on-purpose didn’t take my new inhaler. D’oh!) so that I could just run by feel and push the pace without checking my pace and getting nervous that I’d crash and burn.
There were 3 guys just ahead of me, so I kept my eye on them the entire time and tried not to let them go (JK in particular!). Turns out my 1st run was just over 2.5 miles in 14.58 (5.56 pace) so that’s exactly 10km pace which was pretty much what I was hoping for in a race of around an hour!
Transition was where I lost the 3 guys ahead. To their 31, 31, and 39 second transitions respectively, I give you my 46 seconds. WTF?! I couldn’t get my foot in my cycle shoe, forgot to unclip my helmet, so struggled unclipping/re-clipping that, then was pretty thirsty so thought I’d sacrifice 5 secs to hydrate than to crash and burn, and lose 30secs later on.
So for the 1st 10 mins of the bike I was playing catch up. It was super windy so it would have been nice to have a pack in front to keep an eye on and chase. Eventually I caught up, surprisingly on the headwind hill (!), but at that point 2 more people passed me.
The bike course was also 2 laps, making a total of around 9.5 miles of undulating and twisty roads. It was fun, though, because there was quite a lot of support that I wasn’t expecting, and I was feeling good so was happy that I wasn’t getting dropped by the now 4 guys in front.
In the 2nd lap, I managed to pass JK just after headwind hill, then pushed it to T2, spinning my legs in an easier gear with a couple of minutes to go to get me ready for the next run. I was now entering T2 in 5th.
Oh wait, now I can’t get into my trainers. Uh. With transitions of 21, 32, 30, and 21 ahead of me, I rock up out of T2 in 40. I lost more time! And now JK was back in front and I was in 6th.
After that I was running on anger, passing the 2 guys who overtook me on the cycle pretty much immediately. I was back in 4th and told myself to take it easy, concentrate on my breathing and push the 2nd lap to try and get a podium spot OVERALL.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I didn’t let JK get too far ahead, but I crossed the line in 4th, in a time of 1.00.38. Grr to that 39 seconds. Maybe if I’d worn a watch I would have paid more attention to breaking the hour, but no big deal! Must.improve.transitions.
2nd place female was 5 mins behind me, but I believe she is new to cycling (and a super-fast runner!) so she could be really good soon!
Sorry I don’t have pics for you – I was too busy chatting at the race and didn’t bring my photography crew with me, so instead I will leave you with a kinda relevant motivational picture:
JK I shall get you next year!
Next goal: podium overall
Goal after that: win overall
Goal after that: World domination *evil laugh*
(I told my friend/up and coming triathlete Craig Smith this at Monday morning’s swim training. He laughed, told me to rein it in and that it was only the Westhill duathlon. Way to kill a girl’s dreams, Craig…)
Ever surprised yourself in a race?
Are you good under pressure or better relaxed?
Diluting juice – yay or nay?