Just as a recap, last year I did the triathlon in 3:29.07, and was 114/122 in my age group (ouch). I was really uphappy with my time, but I don't think I realised what a big impact being sick made on me, it really made me lose my edge. This year, I dropped a whopping 18 minutes off my time (okay, I'm rounding!) for a 3:11.55! And I was 87/133 (there were 140, but 7 DNF). I'd like to be in the top half, but I definite improvement over last year!
Itching to start!
Last year: 29.39
Um, how did that happen? The one leg I certainly WASN'T working on was my swimming leg! But this year, I decided to hire a proper swimming wetsuit and what a difference it made! Last year, I was so exhausted after the swim, I barely had the arm strength to unzip myself. This year, I felt just amazing on the swim, I could have gone on forever. In fact, about 2/3 in , I remember thinking, 'Boy, I really don't want the swim to end because then I have to cycle and run.' I just kept everything nice and smooth, breathing every 3rd and sighting every 8-10 strokes. I wore a watch this year, and caught a glimpse coming into T1 and saw I swum sub 27, and it felt awesome! I think if I worked on my swimming, I could definitely knock a couple more minutes off, but I was so chuffed to knock 4 full minutes off my time from last year! And I'm pretty sure I finished in the top 15 in my age group.
And they're off!
Last year: 7.24
Like I said, I felt great after the swim, and really wanted to push it through to the bike. Last year, I was so miserable at this point, but I felt really optimistic this year that I could hit 3 hours. Side note, I'm really disappointed SportCam doesn't have the women's swimming photos up! Who can I complain to???
Last year: 1:39.27
Last year, I had almost zero on-bike training. I literally bought a bike with less than a month to go, and had maybe an hour total time on the saddle before the big day. And boy did it show. I was so stiff and achy and sore on the day because I just wasn't used to it. And I was being passed by everyone and their mother and their dog. This year, I made sure to put in the hours on the bike. And it really helped. I only got passed by everyone and their dog. After the first lap, I was a few minutes under 1:30, so I really thought I was on course to go sub 3 hours. But coming off the bike, I saw that I was already over 2 hours at that point and wasn't going to sub an hour on the run. Looking over other people's times, I can see that the 14km/26km laps they said just weren't the case, as I split 25.31 and 1:05.58, and others were similar to that (with the second lap being a good 10 - 15 minutes slower than a double first lap). Oh well. I felt strong on the bike, took in plenty of water, and thought I would be good going into the run. R suggested I might need new/more gears though, because I definitely maxed out a lot where I didn't have any range left to power through flats/downhills. Is it time to invest in a proper bike?
Too fast for the camera man!
Last year: 5.18
Wow. Spot the difference! I think this goes to show just how incredibly knackered I was last year, I had NOTHING left in me. This year, I wanted to hustle hustle hustle. I literally just dropped my bike and helmet and head for the run. My time is faster than some of the top ten girls in my AG!
Last year: 1:07.20
This is definitely the most baffling part of the triathlon. I checked my watch on the start of the run, and I was at 10.35, so I would have needed a 55 minute run to hit my 3 hour mark and I knew that just wasn't going to happen. So my adjusted goal was to hit 3:09, so I could say I cut a full 20 minutes off my time. But the power just wasn't there. I hit the jelly legs definitely, and after a km or two, I started to feel a bit more normal. But I just didn't have the speed. It was really frustrating because I focused on brick sessions a lot this year. I had in a good 3-4 sessions in July, including 17 mile bike ride with a 4.75 mile run (which I did in 45 minutes!!!) And I ran the whole 6.2 miles this year. Which is why it's so disappointing to see me drop less than a minute off my time from last year. I honestly think I would have gone faster if I had walked a bit, but I'm proud of myself for charging through the whole thing. And the worst bit? 4 short laps instead of 2 longer ones. Mentally, 4 laps is just a nightmare. UGH! But check out that finish:
I am so happy I dropped almost 18 minutes from last year's time. I felt solid and strong throughout (except the run of course!) And I know with the right training, I could easily break 3 hours. Despite concentrating on my running and cycling, I dropped the most time from my swim and my transitions. I think I could easily drop another 5-10 minutes on my cycle, too. The demon? That run. I was dissapointed at the time, but can still appreciate that I had a great race overall. I've learned that no matter how slow you train, you're gonna race even slower! So, if I want to run 9.30-10 minute miles in a race, I need to be running faster than that in training. I've got the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon in 2 months, and I'm hoping to run that in under 2:10, so I've got my speed and endurance to work on!