Before Shropshire I had some issues with my glutes and my calfs and spent most of the interim week seeing Phil Mortimer for treatment (and follow-up on a RC injury to my left shoulder).
Impressions of course
Looked like a really nice swim although a virtual U Turn only 300m in looked as though it may cause problems, especially in the 30-39 wave which was one of the largest - this showed in a lot of times
Long uphill run and long run with bike on concrete meant slow times were expected - could these make a difference to coming in under 2hrs like hoped??
Dull and Dull bike, straight out, flat into a headwind but fast on way back with some windy assistance. Nothing technical to break up riders which is a shame as I like hills. Not looking forward to the wind being 6'4"
Hilly and winding windy run. This ended up being changed for pros due to tiles falling from roofs. Run was also long for AG which wasnt the best for me.
The Race itself.
Manged to get everything done in transition that I needed despite the mass panic that occured when discs were banned 1hr before race and 3o mins before Trans was closed. I have never seen so many athletes in panic/shock/tears as I had at that moment with begging borrowing and stealing the order of the moring. I really wanted to ride the disc as well! It seemed a funny decision as a lot of very deep section fronts were still allowed which is generally where the handling problems come in!
The swim felt good once I had got out of the bunch, I cam in on 20:44 which was slow for me but the mass start caused me to loose time on a couple of athletes I would have expected to come in with. I also had to come with someone grabbing my fee over the last 400m or so which was really really annoying. I dont mind people drafting just dont pull my legs!!! I wanted to keep with Alan Copland on the swim but lost some time to him. He has been quicker in the past but I think in the risght race I will put one over on him.
T1 as noted was long but I caught a number of faster swimmers up on the way in and had a pretty good change and off - no issues like last week :)
The bike actually turned out to be really good- rain and wind in the face and a real test of character. I made the mistake of taking arm warmers with me which I didnt actually get on until the turn around (and I also almost fell off when I got one caught on my brake lever at the dead turn). These were a time waster and I essentially lost about 30seconds due to them (putting on, getting caught, picking up in T1 etc). I passed a lot of riders in the bike, mainly on the windy wet outleg, I had Alan in my sights and just managed to take him on the final stretch into town. On the way into T2 i got boxed in by a slower female rider who cut me off but had a great dismount and T2. I was only passed by 1 rider on the bike O'Grady - V Strong when he went past.
I felt really good at the start of the run going past O Grady, Copland and a number of others and gaining on 1st overall and getting to 2nd in my age. The calfs were sore but manageable for 1 - 2laps and I knew alan was close to me all the way up to this point.
I knew it was coming but couldn't do anything about it, my calfs started to seize and I lost the ability to run fluidly. This put extra pressure on my quads and the work I had put in on the bike started to effect me as well. To start I lost Alan on a down hill (which is usually my strong point). I could also see Carl Shaw and Paul Savage closing in on me but had nothing in the legs to allow me to kick. I wasnt feeling fatigued and knew I had beaten both previously. In the last 3/4 of the run I dropped 3 Age places and 15 places overall. Gutted.
However, I now know that I can compete with the best, it has given me confidence to know that on a day with full fitness and a bit more endurance which will come during the year I could nail one of these races.
I have a few more major races this year, Worthing, Bedford the Worlds and possibly Parc Brynn Elite (If they let me on). I just need to resolve the calf issues so I can train between races - I am really looking forward to seeing how fast I could actually be if I managed some run training!!!!!
- As an ex-National League Basketball player I took up triathlon as a development from cross training. I won my first Sprint distance race and placed second in my first Olympic distance. Since then I have raced the UK Elite Superseries coming 24th in the National Elite Champs, raced Vegas 70.3 WChamps and helped Paratriathlete Iain Dawson to World, European and National Titles. In 2011 I obtained Pro authorisation from the BTF and am pushing my development by stepping up to top level competition in 2012. Aside from this I am a L1 Swim and Tri coach and Professional Lloyds Broker.