Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rockingham TriSeries Sprint Triathlon

after seven weeks of events every weekend this is the last one before xmas and a two week break. it is also part of the triseries which is supported by triathlon wa and gains you points to be the legend of all triathletes for the year. it is very well organised and has the dudes riding around on motorbikes to ping you for drafting. it is going to be a hot day and the drive to rockingham takes over an hour and i get lost following a dude with ironmanwa number plates. i have heard about the venue and didnt have time to check it out. the swim is flat and shallow for 40m, the bike flat and fast and the run HOT. i meet up with elizabeth and silke. transition is allocated so no drama about getting first spot. we hang out down the beach as it is getting really warm and they are taking their time setting off the enticer waves. so with time to spare i go for a swim and the water feels great. i am hoping i have a positive start but will not get overly excited. people are walking around with wetsuits on and this i find bizarre. i cannot believe it is a wetsuit legal race and that you would bother for 750m. which reminds me this is the first full sprint distance i have completed since my virgin event in march. they send the guys off first and then my wave starts. i have new goggles so no FOGGING. i walk the shallow section as i figure all the numb nutts who are running are sending their heart rates through the roof. get deep enough to start swimming and yep the start is rough for me. so i think make it to the first buoy and see what happens. i see elizabeth 30 metres in front doing breaststroke like her life depended upon it so that is weird. around the first buoy and things get better and after next buoy i am hooting along again and drafting off some guy. i keep swimming in the shallow and the guy pulls me along when he gets up to walk. learnt this from swimming next to the water aerobic ladies. i get up and i am level with elizabeth and silke so good catch up job. confirm that i am quick in transition as i am on the bike before elizabeth and silke. two lap circuit and it is a cross breeze and hot. no advantage or rest either way. some guy tells me to keeping working at it. WTF ? is he my new coach. another guy goes to take off after passing me at a turn around whilst changing gears. i then hear his bike make that noise where you know the chain is coming off. hehe. elizabeth, silke and i change positions for awhile then elizabeth finally gets in front. i come into transition with silke. out for the run and all i can say is HOT HOT HOT. make it to the first station 1km out and they have NO WATER. they have run out. this is very bad. i keep running to the turn around and they have water. i felt like i was crawling along and i may have even walked for about two metres before the brain took back over. someone turned one of the showers on and everyone was running through it. i did a sideways thing so my shoes would stay dry. i didnt care if everyone overtook me. we had to run past transition and then on for another 1km. this was past and then back past all the coffee shops and cafes where people were sitting back relaxing. just before entering the finish line a nice couple were cheering everyone on and saying great supportive things. it was encouraging. saw elizabeth go by after the turn around. cannot remember anyone else. it was a good feeling to run through the finish line and hear simon call your name. had a post race chat to elizabeth and silke. we had all felt the heat. i hung around for the presentations. not that i expected anything but to see who the elites and age group winners were. and to hear their times. back home, shower and relax on sofa out of heat. the times are out early afternoon and i am so excited and chuffed. the first sprint in march took me 1.47. i was happy that i finished and i wasnt DFL. so nine months later and i am twenty minutes quicker. i will concede that i have a new bike but i have trained and clocked the miles on it. total time 1.28.13. swim 17.21, bike 41.40 (previous PB was 43.15 - i was sizzling :)) and run 29.11. MASSIVE FREAKIN EXCITEMENT. this is 5.50 per km - UNDER SIX MINUTES. in the friggin sahara heat as well. this is what it is all about. and i dont give a fuck that for many people this is not impressive. i cracked six minutes and i know that i will run five minute k's and then who knows. whaohooo. p.s. swim has room for and needs improvement :(.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Open Water Swim Champion Lakes

this was the day after the womens power station triathlon. the theory being that the distance was only 1.25km, i had slept after the event yesterday and then it wasnt an extremely early start. the open water series are organised by swimming wa and adhere to FINA rules. that means no wetsuits - ever. they also check your nails and no jewellery or watches etc. if you swim in a wetsuit they will not time you and your are recorded as DNF. this one included a 2.5km, 5km and 10km distance. i was surrounded by very good swimmers - most of the 10km swimmers would be rotto contenders. the lake is man-made and advertised as crystal blue waters. this is so not true. while not bad it is more like bracken brown waters. they regulate the temperature and have all number of things installed to monitor it. they also leave the rowing lanes up so it is very easy to sight but very boring as you cannot see anything. no fish to check out. so the 1.25km swimmers are going first and it is a deep water start - straight down 600m, across 25m then straight back down 600m with another turn into the shore. most of the people are either 12 or 60 years old and a lady with goggles and snorkel ??? this could be embarrassing. i have only swam 1000m once and that was only a few weeks ago but think that another 250m will be okay. very nervous and extremely thankful the toilets are close by. the event starts and i am out the back (as usual). the start is bad - really bad. i feel like i cannot swim 25m let alone 1250. i am tired and feel like i am going to sink. i dont think i put my head under before the start. i cannot remember. i struggle along doing breaststroke - this is very embarrassing. then my goggles fog up. i get mad. i must look like i am drowning. this course allows people to walk along with the swimmers so it is not like i have disappeared from view. i look behind me and there is maybe the lady with the snorkel and the 60 year old is passing me. i stop and try and fix my goggles. then i decide to just friggin swim. i go around the first buoy so half way there and i pass the 60 year old. i start feeling better and as i go around the next buoy i start feeling the rhythm. then wham everything comes together and by the time i get to the last buoy i have been hooting along and passed probably a dozen people. you would have seriously thought it was two different swimmers. i sprint to the shore and the result is 29.23m. the lesson gained is that i KNOW i can swim in open water. but what i cannot do is have that form for the whole race. so i will stick with what shelley taylor smith advised. experience, experience, experience. i went home and signed up for leightons and sorrento. p.s. it was a bloody hot day and most of the 10km swimmers got roasted along with their food/drink suppliers. the fastest 10k swim was a young guy at 2h9m. amazing - he is off to nationals.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Women's Power Station Triathlon

so i had been at this venue only four weeks previous. it was another saturday event and i wasnt sure if i was rested enough but figured i would just enjoy it. weather was great and got my usual spot on the bike rack. the water was flat and calm- perfect. a good crowd had turned out and hopefully they would behave on the bike course. again a sports performance event of organised chaos and they never monitor drafting. they only mention that if you do it your are cheating and rely on the competitors to do the right thing. i dont really care if people draft. i just hate it when they ride in the middle of the road. caught up with elizabeth prior to the swim and had a good chat while waiting in the water. the water was flat as a pool (unlike waves, seaweed and stingers from first event). all i remember is really enjoying this swim. had my usual struggle at the beginning of lethargy and getting the rhythm but it felt better. this swim was 9.59 compared to the 12.31. it was different conditions but a 2.30 saving in a swim over 400 metres is good so i was happy happy. i had also read about poeple who suffer from a temp variance. essentially putting a warm face in cold water forces their body to have a negative reaction. so while i had been busy dipping my head in the ocean i dont know if this is the reason why the swim was improved. the bike ride was different as the winds were not coming from the same direction and you didnt have the easy coast along the bigger section but then again didnt have to ride against it either. swapped places with a number of girls during the race and elizabeth ended up in front of me. i think some of the girls drafted behind me heading into the worst of the wind so i think i need to be a bit smarter about that. bike was 44.09 compared to 44.50. these times include transition but i cannot remember where the mats were. organiser does the timing on the cheap. give me blue chip timing anytime. so we are down to the run. from this race and others i am starting to come to the conclusion that i am actually quick in transition. elizabeth was off the bike well in front but i ended up out on the run first and then stayed in front ! this is a new experience. the run felt hard and the first lap was the tougher one. i have also noticed it takes me awhile to get my running rhythm. run was 24.43 compared to 25.50. total improvement was 4.20. i was so excited and happy happy. especially with the improved swim and run. getting closer to cracking the six minute km. great day out.

results 10/29 AG. 9.59 swim, 44.09 bike, 24.43 run. total 1.18.51.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Volunteer Busselton Ironman

after volunteering at the World Long Distance Triathlon i thought this would be a great experience. seeing an ironman up close and personal and a good opportunity to catch up with dad. managed to talk him into coming down to busselton with me and knew that he could at least have a nap in the car until i was done. i had scored the first up swim transition shift so we were up at 3am for the half hour drive to busselton. probably could have gone to bed a bit earlier and maybe the two bottles of wine we polished off didnt help but that is what nurofen is for. initially i helped with storing the street clothes bags and then had time to head off down to watch the start. the professionals took off (34) and then the age groupers. from memory 1000 individual competitors of which 400 were international. the swim was around the busselton jetty and again this was a place that as a young kid i spent plenty of time at. either swimming, fishing or crabbing. but it is along way out and while beautiful and calm in close it got a bit rough 2km out. i was then assigned the task of keeping all the brainless people from crossing in front of competitors coming out of the water. this was great as i got to see everyone come in. highlights - 74 year old lady who finished swim under two hours, guy who sat down beneath the fresh water shower while he took off wetsuit, daniel kowlaski who swam for a team and finished under 45 minutes (amazing), the guy who races with his mate who cannot walk (he carries him through the transitions), the girl who swam in her speedos (who needs wetsuits) and the last five people - while they only had minutes to get in under the cut-off they waited for each other and came through as a group. i then helped set out the bags for run transition and my shift was over. stayed and watched the bike leg for awhile but dad wanted to get back for the cricket. had to drive out on the bike course to leave and by then the heat had started to set in. it was going to be long tough day. turns out only 20 professionals finished. it reached over 35 and they ran out of most supplies. here and now i will make the pledge to be a volunteer every year until i am a competitor.