Monday, November 16, 2015

Activetri Series: Race 1 Brighton

I received some great news in the lead up to my summer of triathlon madness; and that was Physiohealth were going to back me in again for another series this time a 5 x Sprint Triathlon Series run by Solemotive (new name on the event scene) and Active Tri.

I was keen to get some longer races under my belt in the lead up to Geelong IM70; but the opportunity financially to be covered for the summer out weighted being to picky on what races I enter, I will just have to make up the kilometers on my own in training.

The lead up to Race 1 had been a little rushed, new job (marketing manager) sick baby, sick husband, lack of swimming and little in the way of runs off the bike was a concern, the shining light being a new TT Bike to let rip on the course. I have always ridden a 9 speed, yes you read correct a 9 speed, I take that sucker up hills and have raced it everywhere so changing to a TT Bike kitted out for triathlons I was interested to see the time difference.

Team Reid Photo: Not sure why they make a bald man wear a swim cap! 

Race 1 was in Brighton, and something I will enjoy about the series is that the races are spaced out across different starting points around the bay; I must admit I found the Gatorade Series to be a bit 'same same' using just Elwood & St Kilda as the bike course overlaps and doesn't offer a different challenge on the run. From the outset the morning was going well, remembered my helmet (that old mistake) and the support crew of super wife and Z-Girl were on board bright and early.

Check-in at the event finish line was easy, and there was a great vibe as people get ready for the start of the season and being a little later than normal with an 8am start was quite nice compared to 6am kick-offs last year. Still no wetsuit for the swim leg, and the water was a little fresh but conditions good, gun goes bang and we dive in the water. It was a small starting pack in my age group (30-34) and I jumped on the heels of leading swimmers pretty quickly. The fresh water, a litte more chop than Ivanhoe Leisure Center threw my stroke count out and then my Man-Flu started to restrict my breathing, in fact I was gasping! chocking, looking for more oxygen as my nose just stopped taking any in, I had a little panic - just a little one as I slowly was spat out the back of the group on first turn of the swim. I felt embarrassed, I am a strong swimmer and I felt like an idiot getting out of the water on my own (a small pack was behind me)

Getting to the transition my body felt weak already, it was a long run up the beach and then up a flight of stairs! Who puts stairs on the course? My cold had knocked me around and I used a lot of energy just to finish the swim in a quick time (under 10mins) slipping my bike shoes on, I still am yet to master the flying transition maybe for the next event. As I looked down I felt a little light headed, stuffing a gel in my pocket I got moving.

Leaping onto the bike just in time to see the support crew look in the other direction, I yelled out but they missed me, typical. The course was set with a flat start and then it slowly climbed its way to Sandringham and then turned around the downhill section perfect opportunity to pump hard and gain some time back. I got my breathing right and settle my arms into the TT Position something I still find uncomfortable.

Gaining a few positions back I started to relax, and let my legs do the talking as I pushed hard on the final lap coming into the run, I knew my legs would be shot on the run so I had to get some distance on a couple of age groupers now. Getting off the bike I felt pretty good as started off, cap on and grabbing a quick water for the final 5km. A hallmark of my triathlons is the middle of the run, I just lose time and I can't figure it out. The stats show it every time I set off good get into a good pace and then come km 3 or 4 I just slow down sometimes without knowing it and speed back up again for Km 5. This was the case again!

I put in a great 5km effort around the 22 mark, the course was a nice hard loop, but I felt a few getting me back as I got towards the finish, the small crowd made it easy to spot the Team Reid as I got towards the finish. My lungs were busted and the man-flu had almost beaten me.

The final lung buster
I finished 12th in my age group, 1:12mins. I knocked off a good 6mins from last year in the same distance and with such a poor swim and run I could have gotten closer to 1:10. Was AMAZING to have Z-Girl and the finish, full of beans with no idea I was spent, she just wanted to play with my running cap and drink all my water! I could have done just as well without them being there but it wouldn't be the same as sharing the event with my wife and Z. I'm looking forward to 5 more (I have one Gatorade Race I paid for before I got the Physiohealth help) races by the beach this year.

It was a quick dash back to the car and off to lunch; which was a shame as I wanted to to relax on the sand for a bit with the family, but a Dadathlons Life is never dull - on-wards to Nov 29th and Dec 6th Back to Back Race Weekends!

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