What a busy weekend! But it definitely ended on a high!
I had been ill most of the week so had a pretty easy week training-wise. On Friday, we spent the entire evening blitzing our flat because we had our 1st flat viewing by a potential tenant! And we were successful! He loved the place so will be moving in in a couple weeks (which makes us homeless – luckily Mum’s flat in town will be lying empty because Emma aka sisterister moves down south soon for a new job…well done sister!!! So we’ll live there for 10 days or so!).
Saturday it was a 6am start to head down the road for Kyle to race the National Hill Climb CYCLING champs in Stirling (he has really caught the bug for cycling uphills! Mental, I know!) It was a 5 minute (or 4.59 for KB!) eyeballs out climb up a 27%er!! AND he came 13th!! Less than 30secs behind the winner for a non-cyclist is pretty impressive to me!
(I love Stirling – it’s so pretty!)
We celebrated by cake in the Tilly Tearoom,Tillicoultry (highly recommended!), followed by shopping at the Sterling Mills outlet, where Kyle’s luck continued after finding his training shoes reduced from £100 to £15 in the Nike outlet!! 3 pairs later and he was one happy guy!
(a good days’ work!)
Ok, on to Sunday…not as early a start this time (ONLY 7.30am – ugh!) for the Huntly Standard Triathlon. We both entered this one (Kyle wanted a race the same day as Loch Ness marathon to take his mind off it – it was originally going to be his debut marathon, hoping for a ridiculous time, but has been injured since the start of the year), as well as Keithey Babez, so we headed to Mum’s house for 9ish to carshare the 40mile journey to Huntly.
Registration was smooth, and we racked our bikes at the only available spots left! With this triathlon series, you just rack your bike where you can, so we didn’t get an ideal spot but it doesn’t make too much difference! At 10.30am it was time for the race briefing, and the 1st heat was off at 11am.
Kyle, Keith and I were in the last heat. For some bizarre reason I was seeded 1st which meant I was going 1st in the fastest lane in the fastest heat (Keith put in a slower time yet is a much faster swimmer…grrr!), but we weren’t up until 1.40pm. Luckily, my uncle Sandy lives there so we went to his for breakfast, stole some amazing veggies from his garden, and chilled for an hour or so.
We headed back just before 1pm and did some final checks. Kyle and I then went for a wee jog to warm up (didn’t need too much warming up as it was 19C, and faffing about with all the bike checks can make me break out in sweat alone!). I put on my new Planet X trisuit (thanks, guys! HALF PRICE NOW!) and headed to poolside.
The Swim: 100m over the standard 1500m distance because the lifeguard lost count – 2nd overall / 1st female
I know what you’re thinking – it is the swimmers’ responsibility to count lengths. BUT what if I exited the pool at what I projected to be 1500m, only to be disqualified because the lifeguard counting my lengths is adamant I was 100m short? I wasn’t taking the risk of being disqualified, but when I got to the full 60 lengths and hadn’t been hit by a float (what they said they’d do with 50m to go), I was getting anxious/annoyed. I eventually stopped at 1600m and sat on the edge of the pool and shrugged as if to say “come on, guys – I know you have sat through nearly 3 hours of counting lengths, but this is what you’re here for right now!”
(that’s me leading the lane! Keith was 3rd in the lane)
Keith had done the extra 100m as well but was still 1st out of the water (I go all the way to Sweden to be 25th overall including pros out the water and still get beat at a local triathlon!)! They let me out and I was still in 2nd place overall after Keith, but I was really annoyed. With the extra 100m as well as time spent complaining, I would have been a good 1.30 – 1.40 quicker than what the time showed.
Apart from that, the swim was pretty non-eventful; my goggles snapped a minute before the start, so fortunately I borrowed a pair from lost and found (they leaked). It wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a little bit of drama!
I was 1st to go in the lane and there was a LOT of splashing with 5 per narrow lane, and a LOT of stopping and starting overtaking people (you can’t overtake during the length – you have to tap the swimmers’ feet so that they stop at the end of the pool) but all of that was expected. My aim was to be under 20 minutes for the 1500m, so with my time of 21.48 (including run into transition) for the 1600m everything included, I would guess my time was pretty much bang on, maybe 19.55.
Keith would have gone about 19.20 I reckon which is awesome!
Transition was pretty pathetic – I swallowed so much water and was angry that I was a little disorientated and couldn’t clip my bib on: 1.04
(not flattering but, in my defence, I was in a bad mood! photo courtesy of John Huston)
The Cycle: Holy Moly I am actually going fast! –5th overall / 1st female
I was frustrated in the cycle after that swim. Keith had left transition maybe 10 secs before me, and another guy out the water had been a little speedier in transition and beat me out by a couple seconds. I passed Keith just before coming out of the town, and I overtook other guy just after we turned the corner onto the country road towards Aberchirder. I said “well done – I’m screwed from that swim!” trying to make a joke, but got nothing back so went on my merry way. Turns out he decided to draft me for a few miles. Unbeknown to me, he suffered a puncture (karma) and Keith had noticed the cheating, so said some stern words to him in passing! Rules are rules 😉
I was alone for 12 whole miles after that, LEADING the whole d4mn thing! It was really pretty but challenging in places. My TT bike, although amazing on the flats/downhill (thanks Planet X!), struggles to make some of the steep inclines – then again, that could just be my poor leggies!
15 miles into the 22.5 mile course, and I FINALLY get overtaken, by none other than KYLIE BABEZ!! He had come out the water only 3 mins after me and my 100m additional swim, and was FLYNG! He never realised I was in 1st overall, so when I shouted that he was going to win the thing I don’t think he understood!
Noone else overtook me (I must be getting better on the bike!) but my last 5 miles I was struggling quite a lot. What started as an angry adrenaline determination cycle, ended as a broken I’m-not-fit-enough-to-maintain-this-pace cycle. 22mph average fell to 21.1mph average because of this.
Oh, and I took a wrong turn into transition so had to go over grass. Oops. That also slowed me down a bit.
22.5 miles in 63.40
The Run: Kill Me Now – 12th overall / 1st Female
“May have gone a little too hard on that run, Debz. Plus remember those blood thinners you’re on which makes you really suffer doing high intensity stuff? Yeah, you’re going to feel that now.”
(on a high after that speedy cycle! thanks for the advice too, Mum!)
My transition was horrendous (60seconds). I couldn’t feel my feet from the wind (I have bad circulation) which had picked up in the 2nd half, so my plans changed and I decided to spend time putting on socks before running shoes.
The 1st half mile is downhill which is really good to get your legs going. I ended up not feeling my feet for the entire 1st lap (5.2km) so I was just focussing on cadence and racing “within myself”; I can’t push myself at the moment because of my health.
I purposefully didn’t wear a watch because I didn’t want to get frustrated at my necessary slow pace, but I reckon my first lap was done in around 6.30min/mile pace. I’d passed about 5 people from the previous heat and was feeling ok. Not too hard, and certainly not easy.
(half way through the run! photo courtesy of John Huston)
Ok lap 2 is where the wheels fell off. Not only didn’t my heart rate SOAR at any slight incline, but it got so bad that I had to walk all the hills. Stupid thin blood!! My breathing was a lot heavier. At one point, I stopped to assess whether I could keep going. I had been passed by 2 people (ggrrrrrr I was no longer in 2nd OVERALL so would have to settle for 1st female – I wanted 2 awards!), my legs felt fine, but my lungs/heart/mindset was struggling.
I kept telling myself I’m off of blood thinners in January and I will only get better – just relax and enjoy the final 15 minutes. You got this! I reckon my 2nd 5.2km was done in around 25 minutes which would make sense that my overall time was 46.45. Pretty sucky time if I had been healthy, but hey ho I still came 4th overall!
(woohoo finally finished!)
(so happy to see that line! photo courtesy of John Huston)
(approximately 4 secs after passing that line…told you it was painful! photo courtesy of John Huston)
AND I was/am so proud of Kyle for coming 1st!!!! He can’t even tumble turn (despite me trying for years to help him) and only started cycling after he got injured this year!!!
(Kyle rocking 1st place! photo courtesy of John Huston)
Keith had managed 15th place with a faster time than last year (3rd in his age category!!), so there were good yet broken spirits on the car ride home!
Last year my splits were: 20.39 swim, 1.08.34 cycle, 47.19 run (injured!) for a 2.18.59 overall (inc penalty in the swim) for 8th overall and 1st female.
This year I got a 2.14.18 for 4th overall and 1st female (can we pretend I didn’t do the extra swim and say my time was 2.12 please?)
So this year I was exactly 5 MINUTES faster on othe cycle alone – I’m getting there! And I got a COURSE RECORD by 4 minutes too!
We treated ourselves to Dominoes pizzas when we got back which really hit the spot and I was in bed by 8pm! It was such a fun, albeit long, day and a big shout out to “IronMum Moore” who was cheerleader/photographer/pizza orderer and wore her tshirt!
Who was racing this weekend? How did you get on?
Well done to all you Berliners, Loch Nessers and Etapers!!!