Time: 4:52:19 Swim (1.9k): 24:31 T1: 2:30 Bike (85k): 2:18:45 T2: 1:33 Run (21km): 2:04:57
Race Analysis here.
I felt very relaxed for this race. My foot had been really playing up recently and I hadn’t managed to run for a week so my intention was not to do the run. Well… I was in two minds. Either not start the run or start, test the foot out and stop if it felt painful. I’d been getting lots of egging on to throttle the swim and bike knowing I wouldn’t run but to be honest I felt more that I shouldn’t do that as I didn’t want to have to have any recovery time following the race. So … I felt very relaxed heading in to this.
The swim start was incredibly civilised – no battling for the front line. I’d planned to set off steady, no massive sprint and thats what I did, there really was no need for anything else. I felt one guy on my feet for about a minute but he was soon dropped. For two laps I had a good smooth controlled swim spending the whole time passing people from previous waves. I came out first in my wave and thus leading my age group. Felt pretty good when I heard it announced as I went in to T1. Turns out I had the 3rd fastest swim split overall !
Out onto the bike I intentionally set off very controlled. I kept my effort levels under control for the first few KMs. This course is both great and frustrating. It’s lovely rolling roads giving nice variety but there is a lot of traffic. The first time going over the Rutland Ripples I got stuck behind an oversized load that couldn’t get past a slow riding from the previous wave. I spent about 10 minutes just sat up with hands on the hoods going steady. I think this combined with my early control served me well since once past this hold up I got in to my top gear and just felt like a could hammer. I did the whole thing on feel, didn’t check average speed or elapsed time. It was an awesome feeling, any incline or headwind and I felt I had reserves of power to push through. I was pleased to get this evidence that my bike training has really produced some results. Absolutely no one passed me on the bike so I came into and out of T2 leading my age group.
Yes I decided to run. I felt that I couldn’t drop out as long as I was leading my age group. About a mile in to the run I started to feel my foot but still being in the lead I kept going. I ran on the grass beside the path and that helped a lot. Decided to get to the turn around (5km) where my family should be and get a lift from them. They weren’t there ! so I turned back. A couple of KM from the end of the first lap the foot felt too bad so I stopped and started walking. I did this for about 15 minutes with this battle going on in my head. The logic and sense part saying stop but some other part saying you can’t quit, don’t use the foot as an excuse. Once you quit once it’ll be easier to do it again in the future. I learnt something about myself …. I just couldn’t not complete. I started running again and managed to stay on the grass alot, adjust my foot fall a little and hobbled round the run. I finished 22nd in my age group despite this. Turns out a 1:39 would have got me third and a 1:23 would have won me my age group. I’m so pleased I finished and very satisfied with how the swim and bike went. Just need to learn how to run again.