Monday, July 13, 2015

Brooks Duathlon Series Race 1 July 2015

Physioheath/ Tri Vic Team 

First race of the year, and proudly my first as Physiohealth Team Member. Physiohealth have been great to offer spots on their team for for the 4 race series from July - Sep to the not so elite and the super elite, making for great team dynamics.

Sunday morning was FROSTY! and a little moisture in the air - bravely the super wife and Z-Girl were up and about for the event, always gets me excited to see the wife & Z-Girl on the sidelines even in those conditions it brings a smile to my face and increases my effort level when I hear them as I ride/run past!

I felt super confident even if it was a little cold coming into this, confident but nervous - as I wanted to do well for the Physiohealth Team for helping me out and also to really set a good benchmark to start the series off.

My confidence I think has come from doing more of these events, knowing what to pack, how to prepare, set-up my bike and transition area. I think the one place I really lack and maybe due to not being in a club or team previously is my warm-up routine - it's a bit here and there and I need to sort that out for the next race.

Start line on a frosty morning
Getting the sponsor photos ( Physiohealth & Sommerville Sports AU) and doing a light warm-up had me ready, and Z-Girl was so excited for Dad she fell asleep right before the race started!

Marshals were concerned for the water on the course, with the route not having changed at all from previous years, 5km run out and back past transition, 4 laps of the bike course (20km) and then a run out the back for the final 3km. Plenty of talk of slowing down into the bike turn around points with the expectation of some falls!

Gun goes off, we get out for the run - strong start as I tried to match myself with some of the better known athletes in the race, rightly or wrongly I was happy to go hard for the first 4 kms and taper back to reserve my energy going into transition was going to be my race plan from the beginning.

By the first turn around point the group was starting to spread out, checking my splits I was looking pretty fast for the first 5km - in fact it was PB Territory, knocking off 30secs off my current PB and whole minute faster than last year.

Transition was a little awkward, maybe the cold or the rapid heart beat but I just couldn't get my left cycling shoe on!! I haven't yet mastered the flying mount on the bike. And my cold hands and excitement levels meant I lost a little time - the bike wasn't quite in the right gear (forgot to double check this on a warm-up ride) but I got away ok concerned about falling over leaving the transition area.

I gave up some time early on bike lap as started a little slow to get the muscles going, but then I got into good cadence. Having read recently about pedal strokes I just focused on having a slightly lower gear and turning the legs with rhythm to create power - working at just short of 195watts and averaging around 31kph I posted my best single lap time, and on a dry day I would have shown more bravado! I started to lap a couple of competitors and kept myself between the leaders of the middle aged pack. Watched the Elite Guys & Gals zip past me and was pleased to see Physioheath Team had few in the running for a medal.

Same plan as my run to work hard in the middle of the 4 laps and real fuel bottom of the 3rd lap, and conserve some energy coming into transition.

By now my hands were frozen, shoulder was giving me cramps from the bike, and my calf started to cramp a little from the cold. Again a little fumbling getting into my shoes and I couldn't get my helmet off!! Seriously it was stuck! I wrestled with getting feeling in my hands to try and press the clip - the thought of just running the 3km in it briefly crossed my mind.

Plenty of smiles even in the cold! 
Coming out of the transition I wanted to get my running legs back and the trail leading out is tight with little chance to overtake, put pacing with a guy gave me this opportunity as the road widened out I took my chance and pushed on - the right knee that I tend to favor was now showing some soreness and I couldn't seem to get into long strides due to the cold and cramps - instead just moving the legs in short sharp steps. As expected I started to chase down a few runners in this final push.

Passing Grant Cosgriff from Tri Victoria going in the other direction was a great boost! the little power house gave me the thumbs up as we smiled between the rain drops. Again near the turn around point another Physioheath Team mate and I crossed paths and we gave each other a little nudge to keep going.

Determined not to be over taken by anyone else and hold if not improve my position was the goal for the last 1.5km and keep my pace at 4.30 really helped.

The mark has been set - official times I will update the blog with but on reflection I looked to have shaved 4 mins from last year, set a 5km PB and know I still have areas I can get better in, along with the weather being a bit more race friendly. It was an exciting start to the year of racing, and this series is a great builder into the Spring & Summer.

Huge Thanks to my supporters:

  • Super Wife & Z-Girl - getting out in the drizzle to take photos and cheer me on AMAZING! 
  • Sommerville Sports AU - great cycling kits, super positive company that is backing this blog 
  • Physiohealth/ Tri Vic Team a soggy start but great team and recovery support on the tables, going to be a fantastic series can feel it, already collecting medals! 
  • Ivan - this guy has been on the early morning rides in the winter and pushed me to go faster on our runs 
#duathlon #physiohealth #sommervillsportsau #forher #dadathlon

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