Saturday, December 18, 2010

Panther Cycles Family Race Day/Enduro Race

What a night. Probably the best night I have had in a while. Not just because I got to race but because I got to spend it with the best club in the world - PTC. Yeah, I know I'm biased, but what can I say - never in my life have I had that much support out on a race field. I am used to the whole solitary, water in the ears, can't hear a thing kind of environment. So to be part of a community where all I can hear is "Go Barb, doing good" spurs me on to no end.

What made it even more fun is that I got to dress up my helmet.

I even had a pair of Jingle Bells just under my bike saddle, kind of cute and happy sounding initially, but by the end - those jingle sounds were driving me a bit batty.

The Panther Cycles Family Race Day is a yearly event. The aim of the day was to get the whole club together all at the one time - enjoying the atmosphere, spending time together, having a race and then a great feed afterwards. The race I had signed up for was the Enduro Race. Basically, it was a 250m swim, 10km cycle, 2km run TWICE OVER.

Hard as!!!!!
My heart rate had not one minute to drop to within normal realms. But really, I didn't care. What I liked was that because I knew this was a fun event there was no pressure on me (by me) to try to go all like a crazy person. In the first swim, I always position myself out in the front, but this meant I was up with all the guys - fast guys and their arms and legs. Kind of felt like a huge washing machine. Couldn't really see a thing so I followed the bubbles. I even scored a kick in the forehead which didn't hurt too bad but it left me a bit bewildered.

Not sure of my swim exit position but I do know there were a tonne of people in front of me, so by the time I got to T1 there alot of bikes already off their racks. Out on bike number one I felt okay apart from taking one corner slightly wide which saw me come face to face with the grass for a couple of seconds (what a dill). I couldn't even hide from that as one of the guys rode past and said "took that one a bit wide" - yep, sure did. Don't know what happened other than I was already tired or my manouvering skills are up S*#t creek.

As I continued cycling the normal thing happened - I kept getting passed by the guys and girls. It's amazing all I can hear is the deep swooshing sounds of their tyres as they so elegantly ride past - making it all seem so effortless - whilst I peddle like a maniac. But for all of those that passed me they all had praise to give to me. What more could a girl want.

Back into T2 and it was on with the sneakers and out for the 2km run. I was feeling okay actually. I was enjoying watching everyone as they ran past me or towards me (depending how far ahead they were). Love being in amongst the atmosphere. The camaraderie is just more than I have ever anticipated. No-one was short of encouraging words even whilst they were all hurting and pushing themselves, they all looked my way and either smiled, gave me a much needed tap on the shoulder or told me how good I was doing.

As I ran back into transition I was contemplating whether to put my swim cap on again - I decided not to - too much energy so I grabbed the goggles and headed back out. Cal (one of the officials) said "give us your best dive". With what little energy I had left I mustered up a "horsie"

This time in the water I didn't feel like a speed boat - more like a barge. My arms felt so heavy and I just couldn't get my breath, so when I finally exited the water it was a welcome relief - I know shock horror. I have never said that before. The next bike leg I think went a bit better than the first. I got to enjoy some great company for a brief period along the way - Compression Man and Shane kept me laughing.
Compression Man Rocks.
I even got to run arm in arm with this handsome chap. How lucky am I. He truly was a sight for sore eyes - those long golden locks flowing in the breeze. I was a happy girl - all the pain in my legs forgotten. Underneath all this gear is a really nice person to boot - Jason.

I didn't finish with any great times - lord knows I am no wonder triathlete - but F.U.N I had in abundance. My finishing time was 1:08:28 - I am happy. After all was said and done and I got to enjoy some great food and mingle with everyone. Unfortunately hubby got stuck at work and couldn't see me race but he made it just after I finished. We didn't end up leaving the Regatta Centre till close to 9pm as we ended up chatting (another passion of mine).

Yesterday I did my usual Saturday swim session with TopNotch. It was a really good session - we focused alot on drills - you can never get enough drills I think. Constant repetition makes for better and faster swimming.

Then this morning it was our usual bunch ride. There were 8 of us today - Me, Cloe, Elissa, Kylie, Drew, Josh, Matt and Sarah. What a great ride. Was not expecting the fella's - but it sure made for another fun ride. I got helped up one small mole hill by Drew - thankyou. I am even contemplating attempting Yarramundi. Maybe early next year. Yes I know next year is only 12 days away. Give me a couple more attempts at Cobbitty and then I will try it. But like I have said - you all will be waiting forever for me to climb those hills and you will have eaten lunch and afternoon tea AND had a nanna nap before I get to the top.

113km under the belt
I have to give a massive shout out to both Sarah and Elissa. To Sarah because she did her longest ride to date and did stupendously. Well done. And to Elissa because she did her first century ride plus some. What a great morning. My second Century Ride in a week. Too Good.

Upon returning home there was no rest for the wicked - Grocery Shopping was next on the list BLAH. But I did get spoilt by my daughter after it was all said and done - she prepared a wonderful Radox bath to soothe my weary muscles. Love you Tails. What a great weekend.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage