Thursday 22 September 2011

Back in Stirling

It has been a while since I updated this but just with getting back over to Uni in Stirling and settling in to my new house it has just took up a bit of time, but I have finally got around to it tonight.

Just before I headed back over here I competed in my last triathlon of the season at Newtonabbey (Stenaline Triathlon) two years ago this was my 1st ever triathlon when I was just a swimmer. Back then I got my bike on the Friday, fell off it a few times on the Saturday getting used to clipless pedals and competed in the Triathlon on the Sunday, so I was a complete novice at it back then. I swan in swim jammer shorts, and put on a cycling top in transition, put socks on and put my bike shoes on in transition, all the usual 1st timer stuff.

I came 11th overall 1st junior and in a time of 1.11.03 where as this year I came 2nd overall 1st junior and in a time of 0.59.51. Over 11mins faster is not a bad improvement, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the win. Brian Campbell (former Commonwealth Games Triathlete) was just too strong for me on the run, so I had to settle for 2nd. I was still very pleased with my performance on the day and not a bad way to wrap up the season, and a good marker to see where I have came from in two years.

I love racing and being competitive, so I ended up entering the Stirling 10km when I realised it was on when I was back over. I wanted to use it as a benchmark of where I was before my winter training over 10km distance especially when I didn’t get the chance to do the run at the Dublin City triathlon due to my puncture. Lets just say I didn’t have the best preparation for the race as it was at the very end of Fresher’s week which involved a lot of late nights and also I was on my 2weeks off training as it was the end of my season. This didn’t bother me as it was really just a bit of fun and very opportunistic the way it came about.

I managed to do it in a time of 33.46 which I was very pleased with as my aim before hand was to go sub 34mins. I am really glad that I got a 10km fitted in before next season and lets me know where I am and helps me to create realistic aims for this forthcoming season moving into Olympic distance. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that I managed to come 2nd Junior which got me abit of prize money which is always nice.

My love for racing has also caused me to enter Scottish Aquathon Champs this weekend, so that will also give me a chance to do another pressure free race for fun.

I will try and keep on top of my blog and update it more consistently in the near future.

Thursday 1 September 2011

A race report for half a race.

The Dublin City Triathlon, my first ever Olympic distance … didn’t exactly go to plan.

I decided I would enter an Olympic distance at the end of this season as it was my last year a Junior and I wanted to try one to see what I was going to be up against next year, and to have a good idea what I was going to have to train for over the winter.

So Dublin Tri it was. An early start to get down and register before hand, didn’t really mind because I just slept the whole way down in the car (thanks dad J). Down and registered and got probably the best race pack I have ever got, it was completely packed. The only thing it didn’t have was a t-shirt. For once it was a finisher t-shirt so you got it at the finish line. Imagine that, in my first ever triathlon that I didn’t finish, but yeah awesome race pack.

Anyway on to the race, I was in the 1st wave of the swim, while setting up transition all wave 1 where in on the same rack, and I think I was the only non-TT bike on the rack, some real nice bike bling indeed. I knew I needed a good swim to give me the advantage I would need on the bike. I am currently really pleased with my biking at the minute but still knew it would be my weakness. (thanks to Kevin from BCC for fixing my position to give me every advantage).

I took the swim fairly steady because I didn’t really know how I would cope with the distance and also on the way back my goggles had fogged up and the sun was in my eyes (bad goggle choice) I didn’t really have a clue where I was going I just tried to stay on the right hand side until I could see the buoy again this really slowed me down.

I still managed to be first out of the water and onto the bike, I got caught at the turnaround at the far end of the first lap, it didn’t help that it want marshalled and I cycled past the turnaround for 50m until one marshal screamed and chased after me, it didn’t cost me that much but it was extra time none the less.

It nearly helped that I got passed as I definitely went faster; I was able to keep a legal distance and hold the same pace, knowing that I was still feeling comfortable and ready for my 1st 10km off a bike.

I was pleased with how my first Olympic distance was panning out, I wasn’t losing as much on the bike as I thought I might and then my lucky ran out! Ppsssssssssss…. PUNCTURED! I heard it first and then I thought I would still be ok, it didn’t feel that soft, but it was it just kept going down on till I felt the rim slide, I knew my day was over. There was nothing I could do.

It was quite strange as the night before I had came across an old 220 magazine and flicked through it, I read Vicky Holland’s column and it was all about how she punctured for the first time in a race at Dunkirk French GP.

I was gutted I really wanted to see how I would cope with the 10km run at the end, it will just have to wait to the next time.

All I could do now was follow the course back pushing the bike, thankfully I got offered a lift back part of the way which saved my bare feet a bit, it was a great help.

So I have still never done a full Olympic distance, but there will be plenty more in the future, and everything happens for a reason so it just wasn’t meant to be.

I was glad I entered Newtownabbey Sprint at the last minute which is on this Sunday, I didn’t want to end my season on a DNF, well that’s hoping that nothing goes wrong and I am able to finish on Sunday.

Newtownabbey tri is quite significant, two years ago it was my 1st ever triathlon, I got a bike on the Friday, fell off it a few times getting used to clipless peddles on the Saturday and then did the triathlon on the Sunday, I ended up coming 1st junior and 8th over all. So it will be a good marker for how much I have improved in two years.