MIKES RACE REPORT (Braving the conditions at the local)Mar 30, 2022
using this race as a training run before the A race was really good learning what we need to focus on for the next 5 weeks with the transition and equipment being top of the list, great effort on this mike and glad you enjoyed yourself.
|Weather and conditions were overcast, warm, high humidity with gusting winds and a risk of rain squalls. Open water beach swims with swell and chop. Run and bike course on open roads with limited marshalls.
My preparations for the event were not good as the week leading in found me working long hours on-site and fatigue was higher than normal which impacted training quality. Nutrition was more convenience-based rather than ideal fueling for an event but taking into consideration this event is to be more of a training run in preparation for my main event which is still 5 weeks away.
This is my second sprint tri and new to the group, so nerves are getting the best of me and found myself overthinking equipment preparations. All good to go, everything packed into 1 bag and taken into transition for setup. Everything was laid out so I handed the bag back to my support crew Melly who took it to the car. Then, where are my goggles? Must have left them in the bag so off to the car I go and use this as an excuse to start to warm up. Then where’s my swim cap? You’ve got to be kidding me, oh well, back to the car I go. Now the equipment is ready and the warm-up was done.
The first race briefing was confusing but having studied the course and maps I was confident as opposed to there being a lot of concerns and questions from other competitors.
Down to beach for quick swim and start of another race briefing at water’s edge as there is still confusion about swim leg and how to navigate the buoys for the 2-lap sprint distance.
Open water beach swim. Conditions were rough with the swell, chop, and shore dump. Perfect for me as this is what I prefer. I’m sure most of the others like pool conditions. The only downside with open water swims in the tropics is a high risk of marine stingers which are deadly and due to 1 recent fatality it was mandatory to have 80% body covering so I ended up buying a long sleeve rashy the day before and I’m not used to this.
Started strong and kept in the front pack. Copped the elbows and kicks etc but didn’t phase me. Not good conditions for any speed so stayed relaxed and strong and held my course.
Goggles leaked and fogged up so got rid of them, but again open water at the beach is my element so nothing new here, if anything easier to sight buoys and beach exit.
Long run up the beach to transition. Felt good in the legs.
Poor transition and removing rashy, putting on a dry singlet, socks, bike shoes etc. Lost about 10 positions. Need to get better at this.
Exit T1 and running up to mount line with bike shoes on was slow, then the chain comes off so lost more positions sorting that out.
Once going, all flat with very slight down initial section so kept cadence high and moderate effort at first to settle in for about 2-3 mins then climb over bridge overpass so increased effort to keep the same pace and once over the top upped the gears and effort and pushed hard down and kept cadence high and kept pace and effort high. Increased about 4 positions so this felt good. Lost about 4-5 positions before turnaround but these guys looked elite and were extremely fast. Picked the next guy that passed me as my pacer and kept within sight until he got a blowout. With a courtesy “you all right mate” with a nod and no real intention of stopping, I passed him and with no one else in sight just kept on pushing hard. Oh, and I forgot to start my watch, so yeah another victim to the nerves, and therefore no tech with me on this race so all by feel and by this time the storm squalls had hit, there was torrential rain and no doubt a few dogs were blown off their chain. Into a gusting headwind felt like I was getting nowhere so just head down pushed through thinking aero bars and better aerodynamic position would be nice.
From time to time, I thought about saving some for the run but the race plan was to go hard from start to finish so this motivated me to push on hard and ended up gaining a couple of positions.
The dismount was clumsy and slippery with bike shoes still on, raining and wet roads. My legs are extremely wobbly but getting used to this.
Felt the pain and hurt trying to change into runners. Still too slow in transitions.
By this stage I was cooked and making my way out of transition was off running and sloshing through waterlogged sections trying to find my feet. Nothing was going to be easy so shortened the step and focused on higher tempo and finding my feet as I know this will get me there. Once out of the waterlogged sections and onto well-drained roads and paths increased stride length and pushed on keeping the tempo high. The turnaround was on top of a hill, not too big but a decent climb that had me digging deep. Turnaround then backs down maintaining high tempo and longer stride increased the pace to low 4’s I reckon which set me up for the last 2 k’s where I tried to keep fast still giving 100% effort but not feeling the speed which seemed to be slipping. Pretty sure I’m well above threshold and more than likely at max HR but still got some left.
Visualised getting past the next turn, then the next turn etc and not letting tempo slow was the goal and believing this is no pain or suffering, this is my choice and I’m here where I want to be. I’ve dealt with worse, so this is easy.
Last turn and finish line in sight, approx. 400m and continued the max effort. Hit the finish and traversed the floating carpet finish line just as the calves cramped. Nothing left as planned.
Weather was still torrential and spectators were scarce but stretched out and cooled down watching other competitors cross the line whilst wondering if the timer mats work underwater.
Beat the previous time by just over 1 min so that’s a PB. Overall, a great race but a little disappointed with the result based on the amount of effort I put in but think the weather conditions surely impacted that and look forward to the next one.
T1 and T2 > Enough time for a cup of tea and a biscuit.