Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Turning Negatives to Positives; Duathlon Race 2

I just didn't feel it this week leading in, I didn't really time my nutrition to factor with race day, I forgot to foam roll during the week due to being tired and a little lazy, the weather kept me off the bike, backed out of parkrun due to morning rain, so didn't stretch my legs pre-race and I did my long run for the week just 48 hours out from the race leaving me a little tight and sore. It wasn't a good week.

Feeling all out of sorts on Saturday night as I prepared my race bag I chose to watch a movie Wolf of Wall Street; which by the way is a crap film! Why I wanted to watch it I won't know, but I kept thinking about cocky Jordan Belfort and how much I hate power & money for at least the first 2km of the run leg.

Making the walk to the check in desk had a different element this time around, with Super Wife turned Super Supporter having to dash back to get her sweater she left in the car I walked Z-Girl in the pram,  with my kit bag and Bike myself. It was a almost quiet moment where I forgot about performance pressure and how she won't care where I finish, or remember this run other than the cuddle she gets pre race and the one she gets post race.

Even with the sinking feeling of being out of sorts I still felt better prepared than previous races, I had a Sommerville Sports teammate with me which was a comfort having someone to chat to and warm-up with pre-race. And worked on my improvement areas of my warm-up routine, still work in progress but getting a rub down from the Physiohealth pre-race loosened out my already tight calves.

Lining up I let that doubt cloud sneak into my head; I started out hard and fast making the classic mistake of not running to my race plan, my Sommerville Sports guru Ivan is/was/can be a hell of a runner/ cyclist/ triathlete and has historical form in this department, on training runs I've stuck with him to beat PB's but I'm not so sure this was a good idea. Hammering hard on his tail drove me into the early red zone by the 3km mark, and as he drifted off into the distance and around the final turning point I could feel that I may of blown my engine early. I slowed down a little in the final kilometer and recovered heading into the transition area.

To my surprise post race I had come close to running a sub 20 5km, something I thought I couldn't do, so now I'm more confident I can get that sucker next time.

The bike leg started better, I got out in a good rhythm and my gearing was in the right place, but my legs were getting heavy as the ride wore on and my energy levels started to fade. My race plan was to hit up my energy gel on lap 3 heading into the final lap and run, giving me a boost. But this was an emergency so I turned to the back pocket on lap 2 instead.

Bringing my pace back up and pulling in a few other riders gave me some confidence and seeing Ivan on each turn certainly helped as we encouraged each other to keep pushing. I tried to find more power, but felt that I just didn't have anything else in the legs and settled for consistent pace instead of surging movements. Heading into the transition I remembered my slow change from last race and already had my shoes unzipped and made a quick change by a whole 15 secs from previous.

That final run was harder than I ever felt, running out of the transition area tailing another athlete that looked like they had more than me in the tank gave me a running goal to try and stick with them, I kept up for about 1km and then they too started to push further and further away. I shorten my stride as my legs were now burning and tried to keep the steps short but fast, this felt better but it didn't feel faster.

Running on an island is what I call when you're stuck in a race or group run on your own, when you're not at the front, not at the back, and have no one around you. That's the island, and it makes you start to over think things. I needed to get off the island and to do that I needed to find something to challenge me, and there he was Mr Hawthorn Tri-Club (due to his outfit he gets this name) He looked about 50-100 metres in front of me, so I wheeled the legs a little quicker and got to his tail.

A quick check of the watch suddenly had me thinking with 1.5km to go that I might be able to post a PB, in fact if I get a move on I could beat it by almost a minute! But I was stuck! Stuck behind Mr Hawthorn, and on the skinny running track it was hard to find energy & room to overtake, best bet was on the left hand turn into the trail to the finish, so I jumped out to his right, my legs hated me for it and edged my way in front using the down hill section to gain a little space.

The legs wobbled the brain was cooked, in fact the body was fried. I had that contorted face of pain at the finishing line rather than a smile of relief, but I had beaten my previous time by 1min 20 secs; considering my negative thoughts early and getting caught trying to pace with Ivan like a training run, it may of worked in my favour!

With nicer weather meant better athletes turned up, but better weather also meant more crowd support. Was great to have Ivan's wife and in-laws along cheering with Super Wife & Z-Girl, all of them giving you a little boost as you came up the main straight of the race. Family is what I like about Triathlons/ Running events, it's a family event where the kids can join in, Mum & Dad can compete, a friendly atmosphere compared to a rugby ground where half the supporters don't like you or your team.

Everyone is cheering for Everyone there is no booing, and with the week that professional sport has had in Australia around crowds and attitudes, it was nice to say I'm involved in this positive movement of people and fitness. I remember a friend saying to me Triathlon is more a lifestyle than an event, it's a not a season you turn off at the final whistle; you go home and live and breath its positive impact into your life. I'm starting to agree with them.

#dadathlon #trilife #islandrunning #duathlon #forher #IM70

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