Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Ahhhh Balls!!

Just as things finally seem to be happening there's a problem - grrrrr!!!!!

Training actually went pretty well last week. It wasn't the longest week in the world but I managed 2 x 20mile bike rides (Monday & Wednesday) and 2 x 40mile bike rides (Saturday and Sunday) with Sundays hilly and windy ride to Bude followed by a Sprint Triathon. The Triathlon is where the problems started though.
It's a long time since I've done a bike heavy week and although the distances weren't great it was a good solid start to biking fitness and I was happy with it. The Monday ride was a Time Trial with tired legs in which I wasn't too far off last years pace and Sundays ride was a Point to Point with a constant headwind and close to 2,300ft of climbing.
So onto the race .......

Bude Sprint Triathlon 2008 - 500m sea swim/10.5mile bike/5k run.

The swim was a real bun fight. The biggest swim scrap I'd been in for a long time. There were tales after the race about how we were funnelled through a small gap inbetween some boats and how a wave caught a bouy and moved it about 10ft just as we all got to it, I never pay to much attention to my surroundings though and can't really comment on any of it. All I know is that I got puched a lot. It seemed to take a long while to escape the pounding but soon we were turning the bouy and heading in which (as always) meant I was catching and passing people with the added benefit of a bit of bodysurfing as the breakers came in. The swim out was hard work, the swim back was great fun

Out of the water and onto the beach I could see a couple of my clubmates around me (we made up 10% of the field so it wasn't hard) who are about my swim standard so I was relatively happy, as we ran up the beach towards T1 I ran past them while trying, trying and trying again to unzip my wetsuit. Both clubmates had put their bikes in prime slots and were soon out on the road, I'd been a bit more casual with my racking choice as I'd ridden down and wasn't expecting great things, then as I removed my wetsuit fully there was a near disaster. While trying to get my wetsuit over my sizeable feet I felt a small cramp like twinge in my right Hamstring. Immediately I stopped what I was doing and thankfully the cramping subsided just as quickly.

Finally out onto the bike and my clubmates were out of sight and well on their way, I didn't feel that I could go chasing them because a) I'd already done 40 hard miles and b) I was mindful that the cramp I'd just had could return at any time. I decided that the steady option was the way to go, having said that though I'd left T1 in a small group of 3 and the others were soon dropped as I 'steadily' headed off in search on my clubmate prey. Around halfway up the bike courses main climb I caught and passed the first of my clubmates. The rest of the ride was a lonely affair as the other one who exited the water with us was taking time out of me but one of the lads who'd swam faster than us slowly came into sight.

After a couple of traffic problems near the end of the bike section I made it to T2 only to spend what seemed like an age looking around for my transition spot (idiot). Finally I found my trainers and got myself sorted for the run, now it was time to make up some places. The closest person to me was my clubs speedy swimmer who was leaving T2 as I entered which meant that he was a good way ahead and I'd only got 5k to run him down.

I ran out of T2 like a man on a mission, it starts with a good small but sharp climb and I flew up it, that's followed by a small run through the town where we'd pass loads of supporters as we head out to the canal. I hit the canal hard and I couldn't have been happier, I was flying. Not only had I already almost run down my clubs swimmer but there were two other people in sight and moving a lot slower than I was - happy days. Next target was my Tri clubs lead man, he was quickly dispensed with and I could now relax safe in the knowledge that all I had to do was run people down and that nobody from my club was likely to catch me.

By the time we exited the canal I'd cut the next runners lead in half and we'd got a real biatch of a hill to climb, he was mine for the taking............. or so I thought!!! As soon as I hit the hill BANG!! My quads just exploded with cramps, both together. I stopped so suddenly that I nearly fell over, I gave them a quick rub and the cramping seemed to subside a bit so I started running again, not catching the lad in front wasn't a problem I just needed to cruise in and finish first in my club. BANG!! There they went again and my language turned blue, I looked down the hill just as the first of my clubmates came around the corner - balls!

That was it really. I ran a bit, cramped a bit, jogged some more, cramped some more and slowly drifted further and further back through the field (no idea how far, there's no results yet). Ah well, these things happen I suppose. I put it all down to experience and hobbled back to the finish line where I rejoined my clubmates and we all went out for a feed (which was great).

Now is where I have my problem though........ My quads which spent the last 2k of the run constantly cramping are fine. My hamstring though which had a tiny little spasm as I removed my wetsuit feels totally wrecked and is causing PAIN! I managed a steady 40min run with the dog last night without anything snapping but it's struggle to straighten my leg at the moment. I'm hoping that a few days of kneeding it and Nurofen will sort it out, but if it's still niggling me next week I'll be looking up one of those dreaded Physio type folks - grrrr!

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