amongst all the doubt and worry this event turned out to be alot of fun. i really enjoyed myself. but i also got lucky. the conditions were the best i have ever experienced at this course. in comparison there was hardly any wind and while it was warm it wasnt super hot. i also had a decent nights sleep and woke up feeling like i had some energy. but i think the fuzzy warm feeling was mainly due to having a plan and that plan coming together. and perhaps some relief knowing that even with my iron deficient problem i can do it.
i felt terrible at the start of the swim and was quietly freaking out about actually being able to do it. but i guess this is where three years of doing triathlon really paid off. i started right at the back. pretty much last. i took it easy and did some breast stroke and some freestyle. then i started counting my strokes. five and then a breast stroke. then i was up to 10 and a breast stroke. i remember being really focused on that first buoy. i also remember that i was starting to catch up and pass people and i felt really bad for them. as i turned the first buoy some swimmers from the next wave started coming through. from the last turnaround buoy to the finish i felt okay. started to really use the arms without increasing the kick. it is always easier when you know you are going to make it. the time was 19.53 which is the slowest 750m i have ever swum by at least 3 minutes. but it was no surprise - just a big bonus to be able to do it.
i took my time getting through transition and probably gave up close to three minutes on the day. but no point rushing and making things harder. i said my plan for the bike was to push it and i did. the bike is the easiest of the three when it comes to needing oxygen. especially when the course is flat and the wind is mild. when it is like that you dont need so much power and you can maintain a steady cadence pace without going into the red zone. this is why i had to make the most of the bike. going down the straight and with the wind i was getting up to 45k per hour and zooming past quite a few people. it was soooo much fun. but i had to remind myself of the plan and not go too crazy. plus i could start to feel the need for oxygen and for the next three laps i wasnt quite so fast. i also took it easier going around the narrow and more technical part of the course that did have some headwind. for two laps i had this young kid from stadium tri club on my tail. he really pissed me off as he was getting a free ride and it was so obvious. i never saw the officials once. the last lap i got caught up with a huge amount of riders and a couple on a tandem bike. the only thing i could do was go for it and i zoomed past them all. damn that was pure fun. time 38.49 avg 33.07 km p/h.
i have gone back and compared my time with previous results and it is interesting. the variables are many though. new bike, less wind, more training and low iron. in october i did the same course on a very windy day, on my road bike and after running 5k (duathlon). time 43.06 avg 30 km p/h. same event last year i was on my road bike and another windy day for 43.00 avg 29.3 km p/h. the course was 500m shorter. then at the duathlon in 2010 i did a 43.52 on another windy day avg 29 km p/h. so when i look at my current result of 38.49 avg 33.07 km p/h i am not sure whether it is a great result or not. it saved me from being completely at the back of the pack and i was up with most of the other times and for that i am stoked. i dont want the bike to be confused with all the training i have done but that will happen. people wont look at it and think damn she has trained hard over winter. they will look at it and think you can buy speed. everyone knows this argument and dont get me wrong - the crisis bike is faster than my road bike. but you still have to train on it. then there is the whole iron factor. the impact of this really will not be known until i get my iron stores back to normal. the thing i did notice is that while i struggled to get oxygen my legs were never tired. this is strange as all muscles (including the heart) require oxygen.
and then there was the run. once i get my iron back i can move into the next phase and away from base work. this will allow me to really start improving my run speed so i thought about what i have to look forward to. i was hoping for my long run pace of 6 min kms. first two kms i hit 6.15 pace. then i started feeling like i had a cramp or stitch. km three and four i slowed to 6.30 pace as i walked the aid station and took another break. i felt like i had indigestion and my chest felt funny so it was time to ease back a bit. they say that it can feel like an angina attack and i guess that could be true. the last km i felt better and finished it in 6.15 pace. slowest 5k i have run since my first triathlon. 31.55 avg pace 6.23 min p/km. but who cares. i finished and i wasnt the slowest. i felt a bit overwhelmed at the finish. i also felt very happy about the whole day. dont you just love it when a plan comes together.
next i have the city of perth olympic distance event in two weeks. double the distance and well known for being hot and windy. might have to come up with another plan.