Monday, January 30, 2012

city of perth race report 2012

i have to admit that i am quietly content with my result at this event.  it has made every tough and hard hour, day or training session over the last six weeks worth it.  while i didnt really have a plan that was any different from the champion lakes race i knew that i would just have to take each part as it came, keep the pace around training level and just hope that i could hang on and cross the finish line.  in some ways i got lucky again.  while the wind played havoc it was easier to deal with than the 42 degree heat we experienced the previous day and during the week.

the swim

since the iron drama began the longest endurance swim was the 750m swim at champion lakes.  all my swim sessions have been around 3k but mostly short 300m sets made up of drills to correct my crappy stroke.  the swan river is known for the jelly fish and the crappy brown water.  you cannot see a thing.  because of the wind the chop was evident and you could see the current moving west.  we had to swim west, turn right and swim across before turning right again and swimming back up to a large red buoy before turning left and heading to shore.   i am really proud of this swim.  and speedy pip is right.  if this was your first event or you struggle in the water this would have been a scary nightmare.  i remember thinking again that everything i have been through had brought me to this moment where i could handle it.  while waves and chop were throwing me about i heard paul in my head telling me to tuck my head down so i wouldnt cop a mouth full of water.  when people got in my space i fought them off instead of politely going around.  damn some people swim all over the place and i am sure add metres to their swim.  so while it was choppy going west i think we did have some current assistance.  the hardest part was when we made the final turn to head back up and we were against the current and chop.  we were also swimming into the sun.  for about 10 metres i decided i wanted to head off to south perth but otherwise i really hit those buoys dead on.  i love deep water starts and from the beginning i felt pretty good and relaxed.  i really do think my stroke has improved and i while my stroke rate wasnt super fast i think my distance per stroke has improved.  again paul was in my head and i made sure my stroke height took into account the choppy conditions.  i felt great coming into transition and no matter the time i was really proud that i finished a really tough swim and was far from being last out of the water.  time 34.21.

the bike

i havent mentioned yet just how well rested i was.  last week i did 13.5 hours of training.  this week i did 6.5 including the race.  i had crashed and burned on friday and slept most of the day and really wondered if i would have the energy back by sunday.  i had a massage on monday and all the knots worked out and the legs felt great.  better than they had in awhile.  this is the biggest taper i have done since busselton 70.3 last year and i think it paid off big time. 

when i first got on the bike it felt really weird like something was broken.  but it was just the crosswind and it played havoc the whole way.  every now and then you would get a true tailwind or headwind and then without warning you would cop a gust of crosswind.  it was a little scary at times and i felt my bike really moving under me.  i still need more time under these conditions.  last year the course was 44.5k and this year it was short at 39k.  the green zone was a joke and for an area that was meant to be no overtaking that was all people were doing.  i will confess to giving in once and passing a girl on a mountain bike.  seriously if i went that slow my bike would fall over.  i didnt really push it hard on the bike.  i did stay in a higher gear, worked that and played it safe.  i did not want to crash the crisis bike doing something stupid.  at times it was hard to stay aero and that would have cost me some time.  still this was my most competitive leg. time 1.14.42. 

the run

i was glad to get off the scary bike.  normally the run is the hardest part of the race due to the heat.  last year it was a killer.  however this year it was the easiest.  and i love the new course.  while sections did cop the sun and some wind it was interesting and fun.  and the view was superb.  what a fantastic location.  i had no idea how this would go but i had my little bottle of redbull to give me wings, my feet felt great in the new shoe set up and all i had left to do was two five k laps.  just another training session.  and that is pretty much the way it went.  the thing with low iron is that while it does fatigue your muscles due to reduced oxygen moving around the body my legs felt really good.  what did not feel good was my ability to get air.  i knew that from the 7k mark i was running faster.  i felt good and thought why not.  problem was i also started to struggle for air in a bad way and running into the wind did not help.  i wasnt really worried about my overall time and was actually excited to see the clock showing just under three hours so i sprinted to the finish line.  duh - we were not the first wave !!  i really dont know if it was the effort or  a combination of stress relief as well but by the time i reached down to take off my timing chip and pip came over i was having trouble breathing and it probably stressed me out more.  i think everything just hit me at once and i forgot to breathe.  thanks pip for being there !  trievents did such a fantastic job at this event.  i was really impressed and the ice bath was awesome.  total time 2.52.27. 

in my age group i was 6/10.  this year i have noticed that there are a few new girls but surprisingly there are quite a few girls missing in action.  the front of the pack girls are still there and they are tough competitors who have been racing for a long time.  i am currently placing more in the middle of the pack.  i was 30 minutes behind the winner in my age group but i am closing the gap when it comes to the bike.  i am only 4-5 minutes slower.  my big weakness is the run.  no secret there.  but if i compare this event to my last olympic distance at bunbury on a similar course then i had a great day.  my swim was faster in rough conditions and i wasnt wearing a wetsuit.  i didnt get a 3 minute penalty on the bike so that helped.  my run was slower but only by 2 minutes or so.  i smashed my previous time by at least 7 minutes and this makes me feel good.  now the pressure is on to see what i can do once i get my iron levels back to normal.  bring it on !

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