Thursday, 14 May 2009

Exe Valley Tri

A week after Neolithic Marathon, after training 18hrs in 10 days (my biggest consistant block this year) I found myself in Tiverton for the Exe Valley Sprint Triathlon. So do you rest up in advance of such a race??? Don't be stupid. You bike and run (2.5hrs) the day before and then you cycle 38.5miles just to get to the race. Well actually, you wouldn't do that if you had any sense, but nobody has ever accused me of that.

The bike ride down to the race with my clubmate Phill was easy enough. It's probably fair to say that he did more work than I did and we took the longer less hilly route rather than go direct and spend too much time climbing. We made it to the race hours before my 1:45pm start time which was all good as I'd got team mates to cheer on who were in action from 8am. With us making up over 15% of the field plus all the other folks I knew there was never a time where I'd got nothing going on. I even had time to dispute the benefits of Newton running shoes with a chap at their Trade Stand while abusing a clubmate who wears them, all in my normal tactful style of course.

So onto the race then..... The 400m pool swim was steady enough, I felt a bit tired but chugged along nicely, not on for an especially quick time but it wasn't too bad, maybe 10secs slower than I would normally expect. 8th fastest on the day @ 5:31. Out of the pool and Transition didn't go brilliantly which wasn't helped by my aero helmet not fitting on my fat head, I'd obviously closed up the lock at the back during the close season and it hadn't been touched since. Doh. Never mind, it was soon sorted as I ran out of T1 with my bike in 83secs.

Heading out on the bike I was soon aero and reeling in the competitor ahead of me. As soon as I caught and went past him we hit a small climb, I'd got nothing in my legs at all though and he came tearing back past me. Over the top I caught and went past him again, we hit another small climb and away he went - grrrrrrr!!! After that the course levelled out and I pulled away comfortably. The rest of the bike ride was quiet until right at the end when I caught our waves speedy swimmer who was obviously less comfortable on dry land than in the water. I had a small traffic hold up at a roundabout, but was soon running into T2 to ditch my bike. 9th fastest bike ride @ 38:15. T2 was a comfortable 32secs and I was soon out on the run.

Out on the run and I was hurting, I ran past hoards of yelling clubmates pulling all sorts of faces, but soon I was in my stride and hunting athletes. As we hit the long steady climb which was the courses only ascent and I was in full flow. I had a target ahead who I knew was a good runner and he was coming back to me, happy days. Then it all went a bit pear shaped!!!

We turned onto a small out and back section where we had to run through a gateway. After the big week that gateway was just too much for my quads and they started to cramp up. I eased off the pace a little in hope that it would subside, but I've been here too many times before and I knew there was no escape and soon I was forced to stop as my left quad locked up. A quick self massage and I was back on the move, but not for long though as I was forced to stop another 3 times the last of which had my quad and hamstring cramping up at the same time (trust me, that hurts!!). Finally I jogged into the finish with the 75th fastest run time of 22:44, around 5mins and 70+ places from where I should have been..

Ah well it was still good fun and served as a reminder of everything that goes wrong when I race Ironman. At least this time the run was only 5k because it's a real pain when that happens and there's still 25miles to go. Marazion Middle Distance next on 31st May which will (not) be followed by the Dartmoor Discovery 32miler the following Sunday.

1 comment:

tab said...

Hi there, Iain,
Tabtri from TriTalk here who you may remember from dim and distant days... I was thinking of you this weekend because I had to cycle to and from a sprint race - afraid it was only 34 miles each way though. Anyway, as I pootled along I thought I know of at least one other triathlete who'd do this and so I searched you out and here you are doing exactly that! :-)

I'm also doing Marazion Middle as we're having a holiday down there so I might see you there. It will be my first middle distance so who knows how it'll go.

Hope your legs are okay now.