Monday, March 14, 2011

TriShave Womens Sprint Tri 2011.

So I am finally awake and able to post my race report from yesterday. Boy was I smashed, headed to bed at 7:30pm yesterday and woke at 5:30am this morning. After all that nervous energy dissipated from my body - I was left feeling like a heavy wobbly lump on the couch.

The usual pre-race jitters are always there. I would love to say that I will try my hardest to get them under control but I know that's never going to happen - I have always been like that. As a child I would get that nervous before a race, that I would stand behind the blocks and then feel like I needed to pee. So for the next minute or so waiting to start my race would see me crossing my legs behind the blocks wishing I had of listened to my Mum's wise words of "go to the toilet" yet again. I don't do the cross legged thing anymore, but I still need to pee.

I headed off to the Regatta nice and early this morning with Elissa. She is such a great friend, always there to support me. Sadly she was not able to compete herself as she had hurt her groin but she still wanted to come and give myself and all the other PTC girls competing support. We are forever grateful Elissa.
When we arrived at registration I caught up with Larisa (CEO of TriShaveAustralia) whom was also not only organising this huge event but also competing in her first Triathlon too. If you remember a few posts ago I mentioned having had the pleasure of meeting her at the Homebush Aquatic Centre and how inspired I was by her amazing energy and vision. And might I add did absolutely fantastic on her first attempt. Her smile could be seen from miles away as she made her way to the finish line.
photo courtesy of TriShave photographers.

I also ended up catching up with Tracy, Kelly and Mel who were all competing in the Enticer event. You girls totally smashed it. We had the perfect day for it girls.

We had a few mishaps this morning I might add. Sarah got a flat tyre and in the process had a massive gash in the rear wheel. Lucky Elissa had loaned me her Zipp wheels for today so I loaned Sarah my rear wheel. Problem fixed. I forgot my race belt so out came the mobile to ring my dear hubby and he brought it to me - love you Stephen. Nikki did the same thing so I came up with the idea of using the elastic with the toggle from her bag to make that as her race belt - worked a treat I think. We all started laughing cause I said I could be the next Bear Grylls.

In amongst all of this I had the pleasure of meeting the President of TriNSW Steve Tudjman and World Champion Triathlete Nicole Hackett and her husband. What an awesome morning this was turning out to be.

Transition set up went smoothly, all us PTC chicks ended up racking our bikes in the same spot close to the bike entry and run exit. And then it was pretty much time to just try and chill and catch up with my family and friends before the race. Stephen, the kids, Mum, Elissa, Paul and Jennie and their gorgeous girls and each of the PTC girls - Sarah and her husband Mark and their 2 mini me's (so cute) and Nikki and Susan made for a very special morning. There was also another PTC member who I had met a couple of times before -Corinna taking part. Really nice catching up with her too.

So it was finally time for the race to begin. I could finally put all this nervous energy to use. I just wanted to get out there and see if I could atleast beat my time by 2mins.
I kept going over my plan in my head - not that it was a well thought out one, but nonetheless it was to hold my own in the swim, focus on technique on the bike and maintain good form and cadence on the run. And if all went well I should be able to knock off those 2 mins.
As we made our way into the water, even though I was all smiles, all I wanted to do was get a good posi and get this ball rolling. All this waiting makes me feel sick. In amongst all my nervousness I got to meet some great women in the water - all I'm sure with their own reasons why they have chosen to take part in today. Their smiles conveyed their feelings without a single word needing to be said.
As the countdown began we all wished eachother luck and then it was GAME ON. As the siren sounded I took off in my usual form but something just didn't feel right today in the water. I felt quite heavy and really tired in my arms. I was finding it hard to find my usual rhythm in the water and my usual stroke was becoming shorter and shorter. I found myself having to tag behind the second girl and then try to navigate through the previous wave when we finally approached them. Although my time wasn't crash hot I still managed to exit the water in a time of 8:17 for the 500m but actual chip time included the run to T1 so it was 8:56.
T1 went ok, it wasn't exceptionally fast nor too slow, it just went along smoothly and I was able to make my way to the bike exit without too much delay. I have to practice leaving my shoes on the bike so I can cut some time but it still feels so foreign, so will practice this for Port.
I felt so strong on my bike, such a total contrast to my last club race. I am so used to people totally smokin' me on the bike but yesterday was my day. I have never had 20km go by so fast without feeling too much distress either. I am sure the ZIPP wheels and my new fancy aero helmet and the fact that it was ideal conditions all contributed to this.
Here are my bike splits for each 5km lap:
  • 8:29
  • 8:07
  • 8:15
  • 9:03
I usually average above the 10 closer to the 11min mark for each - but not yesterday. It was nice to feel like those who I aspire to be like from my club.
Actual 20km bike time was 34:33 but with T1 and T2 included it was 37:20. Average pacing over the 20km was 34.8km/hr. Totally unheard of for me and I can not believe it. I do need to practice on my transition in making it faster and smoother.
As I racked my bike and tried to get my runners on, both calf muscles started to cramp. Everytime I tried to push down into my sneaker my calf would lock up so I just had to bite the bullet and get them on as quickly as I could. Then it was time to try and run on very very heavy legs.
I still, no matter how many times I run off the bike can get used to that odd sensation. It's like my legs belong to someone else and I have absolutely no control over them whatsoever. But it was time to try to focus on making sure this run was something I was going to be proud of. I really tried to hard to keep the beat in my head from last weeks track session. The beat of what I knew my cadence should be to maintain close to a 5min/km pacing. But that first 2.5km really hurt. Not just in my legs but in my lungs. I took a puff of my Ventolin and just hoped they would get accustomed to the heat out there - yesterday was planning on hitting a high of 32 degrees celsius in the west and I think it did. The sun was so strong and I could feel it burning my head.
Making my way out for that last 2.5kms for me was all about trying to catch the person in front of. Sometimes it worked, and other times it didn't. And even though the out and back x 2 for the run can be mentally challenging, it was good because I got to see all my friends out there going through and experiencing the same sort of emotions as I. We were High5'ing eachother and giving eachother words of encouragement the whole way through. PTC'ers rule. I managed to complete my 5km run portion in 25:26. Holding a 5:05 pacing. I couldn't be happier. All my training is finally starting pay off.
Running through that finishing chute I was none the wiser has to what I had just accomplished. So when I finally saw my friends and family members and they told me I had completed my Sprint Tri in 1hr 11min 43secs, to say that I was elated was an understatement. The 2min PB that I was hoping to achieve was squashed royally by a total of 7mins. I wanted to cry and laugh and jump around like a giddy child, and if my memory serves me well, I think I did.

I know that by training you are meant to do well, but I never in my wildest dreams expected to do this. The feeling is something I fail to find the right words for. All the PTC girls did great. Actually the 4 of us scored in the Top 9 for our age group. How cool is that.

I was so glad that one of my best friends was able to join me for the day and give me awesome words of encouragement throughout the run leg. Thankyou Susan.
How could yesterday get any better. I can't wait to do another one TriShave event. I am hooked, can you tell?

I came 6th in my age category. Last year I came 9th. I am so proud of me and all of my friends who competed.

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