About a week and a half ago, I had my first ride where I actually felt a bit like a cyclist. Something just “clicked”. I don’t really know what, and I’ve only been for one ride since so I’m hoping it will continue to stay clicked. A lot of people I know were competing at the Port Macquarie Half Ironman 70.3 that day. I’d seen the massive hill on the bike course(Matthew Flinders Drive) when I was visiting Port a few months ago. Since they were going to have a crack at that, I decided to have a crack at the hill near my home that has been freaking me out. Farrer Hill. (That’s what I call it anyway – it’s near Farrer High School.) Surprise, surprise, I made it to the top. AND SAFELY DOWN THE OTHER SIDE for a round trip ride of just under 20km in approximately 55 minutes. That’s pretty good for me. All the other smaller undulations (which up until then were considered hills) seemed insignificant.
Graph courtesy of garmin connect.
Off the back of that exhilarating experience, I juggled my budget and found $95 to spend on a race entry to another Sprint distance triathlon. I’ve had my eye on it since my last one but couldn’t justify the expense. I still can’t to be honest, but I decided to be irresponsible and registered anyway. It’s in 12 days. Nothing like a short prep-time.
My training program has been focusing on running since I was aiming to go under 33 minutes at the 5km Armidale Fun Run next weekend. I’m letting that goal slide in favour of nailing my triathlon.
While not quite “open water” in the sense of “in the ocean with waves”, this is my first triathlon swim that isn’t in an enclosed pool or man-made lake. I have not done any training in this type of water at all. It’s also my first triathlon that isn’t “women only” other than my local club meets.
I think the run is also on grass through a park. I have only ever trained on concrete paths and roads although again, our local triathlon run leg is on gravel and grass so hopefully it won’t be too bad.
I was toying with the idea of dropping back to the enticer distance for this event and going “hard”. However, the enticer starts at 9.30am and the sprint at 7.00am. So, if I do the longer race I
should will be finished before the enticer even starts. My theory is that I will beat the worst of the heat.
Transition opens 12 hours after I finish work on the Friday night and it’s a 3.5 hour drive to get to Forster. So, I won’t be well rested but I’m sure adrenalin will give me a boost!
Saturday was my first tri for the season at Tamworth Tri Club. My goal was to beat my time from March when I did their long course (200m/10km/2km) for the first time.
It’s a twilight triathlon so we started at about 6.30pm. 33° celsius. The water was nice and cool! It’s a handicapped race – I start at 30 seconds. I didn’t get overtaken in the swim or in T1 but I did on the bike. It was soooo windy. I thought I was going to be blown sideways off the road. There was lightning over the hills (a fair distance away but off-putting out of the corner of my eye). It was starting to get a little dark so I decided I didn’t need my sunnies for the ride. Oops. Forgot about those pesky little things called “bugs” that are around at that time of day. Ewww.
I struggle on the first half of the ride. At times I was able to tell myself “suck it up – you did Farrer Hill, you can do this”. Then I got to the turnaround and realised I must have been riding into a headwind because I was fairly flying on the way back. Up to 38/39 km/hr at times! I’ve never ridden that fast on the downhill (I brake going down – I am most definitely not a speed-freak) let alone on the relative flat. Check out my cadence graph below to see the difference.
I shouldn’t have ridden at 100 cadence although it felt fantastic. It didn’t leave much in my legs for the run. Combine that with my lack of brick training due to the running focus and I had a pretty slow run.
The end result though was a time 1 min 27 sec faster than in March – despite the windy ride. It’s possible that most of that time was made up when I opted to go sockless on both the bike and the run. No fiddling with socks on wet feet.