Wednesday, April 24, 2013

back to karri valley 2013

last year i was at the pointy end of training for busselton 70.3.  this year i was still trying to recover from a five hour race less than two weeks ago when it was time to head down to pemberton again.  i had really been looking forward to getting away, staying in a hotel and sleeping in undisturbed the day after.  

i had friday off from work so had the car packed up and the dogs ready to go early in the morning.  i always forget just how far pemberton and karri valley is.  drove down to bunbury and dropt the dogs off at mum and dads.  i didnt stay long and really just wanted to be on my way.  i always seem to think that pemberton is just 30 minutes down the road from bunbury but it is more like 90 minutes.  this trip it seems my luck had run out.  just after bridgetown a rock flew up from a truck and hit my car and by the time i reached manjimup two cracks were slowly creeping up my windscreen.  i stopped at manjimup and checked that my windscreen wasnt going to implode on me before continuing on.  i was very happy to reach pemberton and check in to the hotel.

i unpacked the car, got my gear organised for tomorrow and then headed down to the restaurant for dinner.  quite a few people around but i quickly ate and headed back to my room and veged out watching tv.  asleep by 9 pm only to be woken around 2 am when murray (a local piss head idiot) decided to make a huge scene outside and was lying in the middle of the main street yelling and screaming.  murrays mates arrived in a  van and were trying to get him up and into the car.  at one point he fell to the ground like he was a tree that had been chopped down.  i am surprised he didnt injure himself.  his friends were kicking him to see if he was conscious.  finally they got murray into the car and all was quiet again.  if i didnt need to sleep i would have found this funny.

the race start was around 10 am so it was a special treat to be able to have a bit of a sleep in.  i headed out with no enthusiasm for the day at all.  it looked like the weather would be okay and the rain would stay away this year.  did all the usual crap and racked my bike and set up transition.  seemed to hang around forever for the start.  chatted to the girls next to me and also caught up with alanna.  finally got through the race briefing and put the wet suit on.  headed down to the lake and warmed up while the sprint race go underway.  this there were two waves - open and then everyone else.  i thought it would be brutal but it turned out to be fine.

the fresh water was a bit chilly but i soon warmed up and found my rhythm.  it was strange.  as i sat off the back of the pack it looked like everyone else was swimming very wide of the buoys.  i was gaining on people as i came around every buoy.  it is a two lap course and i felt much better on the second lap.  very few people got in my way.  i really hate swimmers with thumping kicks.  it is annoying and disrupts me and i should get over it.  i felt my feet and legs getting a bit chilly towards the end and as i came into finish i had trouble standing up.   my legs felt weird and the troublesome back did not want to straighten out.  i got up like an old woman.  as i ran the 600m back to transition i had these sharp stabbing pains in my lower leg.  fark.  i had to walk and figured it would not be a problem unless i couldnt ride my bike.

i really love riding my bike.  it truly has become my favourite thing.  this course is loved by all the long time old school triathletes.  it is hilly and perhaps has only a few kms that you are not either going up or coming down.  the run is on trails and is not flat either.  it took me the first 30k lap to warm up and on the second i was really having a great deal of fun.  i love my trek and it loves cross winds.  i passed a bunch of people on the second lap who had either gone out too hard or just didnt have the endurance.  so while last year it rained the whole time this year wind was the big factor.  i was really happy with this ride and came in about ten minutes quicker.

the run is what it is.  i was thinking most of the way about why i suck at running.  am i just too old ?  did smoking for all those years just do too much damage ?  am i soft and not willing to suffer enough ?  as you get older you are meant to slow down so why do i expect to get faster ?  on my third lap the winners of the race (who are a couple i think ?!?) were also back on course doing a cool down run.  the female winner has won a couple of ironman races.  they were running faster.  bwhahah.  i felt pretty good on the last lap and had a few good kms.

in the end i finished about a minute quicker than last year.  just over 4 hours for a 1500m swim, 60k bike and 12.5k run.  i also let go of whatever was pissing me off.  i didnt hang around afterwards and headed back to the hotel.  i sorted out my gear and got organised so i didnt have to do it in the morning.  when i went down for dinner the two girls i had been chatting to earlier in the day were also there.  the girls are just like me.  back of the packers just trying to improve and have fun.  i really enjoyed my time with them and hope to see them around again.

i had a great sleep in but it was still a long drive home.  aside from cairns 70.3 in june this was my last race of the season. since then and probably beforehand i have become the queen of inconsistent training.  but that is for a whole other blog.

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