The race season has started!!

The 2019 race season has now begun and what a crazy few weeks it has been!

(That was painful! The finishing line at Chirk tri)

Just to bring the blog up to speed, my coaching via Tri Fitness in Guernsey has been going amazing so far, I have really felt the benefit of having structure to my training. I used to just do what I felt I needed to do or wanted to do previously, whereas now I know exactly what I have to do for the whole week and its great. The coaches Paul and Russell are so fantastic as well, really supportive and encouraging, it really has been such an eye opener. My bike and run have been improving during training which I am obviously super pleased with but I unfortunately picked up an injury with my shoulder which has meant I have not been swimming for about 4 weeks really. I have done the odd splash around to see if there was any progress but this has been met with differing results. Some days I could get in and do maybe 1000 metres and once I could only managed 200 metres and had to get out. I went into the first race of the season hoping that it would be ok for the 400 m swim and luckily I think the adrenaline kicked in and it was fine, although ached the following day. It was also the same going into Ironman 70.3 it had improved but not back to 100% by any means.

So the training and coaching has been going well, the sponsorship with Bikmo has also been going fantastic. They are such a supportive group of people and really are superb at what they do as they are all so passionate about everything bike!

Work wise I have been getting my head down and working hard. The strength and conditioning classes have been so much fun and the response we have had about them has been really encouraging. We have also had requests for another class in another location on another night so we are currently looking into venues which is exciting. I have been continuing with my agency shifts and also some bank work within the local NHS hospital which has been great for keeping my radiography skills up to date and importantly keeping the bills paid!

So my first race of the season was a local sprint triathlon in Chirk, North Wales. I had heard about this event via club members and was told what a great little race it was but it had a challenging run section. As we had a weekend free in the run up to the race e thought we would go and test out the bikes and do a rece of the course. The roads we awful, full of potholes and rubble which didn’t make for a nice ride! we decided to extend the route for another hour or so, so ended up going over the Horseshoe pass. This has a gentle incline and obviously some descents. I am not sure what happened this day as I just wasn’t feeling it at all. I couldn’t keep up with Ian who obviously was jet propelled, or it certainly looked that way! I just wasn’t about to put out the power I wanted, this put me in a mood and I just couldn’t shake it off! We had reached the top of the incline and started to descend down the hill, this is when I realised there was a problem, one of my breaks had failed so I was hurtling down this huge hill with only one break which didn’t improve my mood, ha ha. anyway I managed to complete the ride safely, thank goodness and decided not to run off the bike as planned so we drove it. Now the run route was challenging in the van nevermind on foot! this was going to make for an interesting race!

in the runup to race day the organisers had to cut the bike route short due to roadworks. I wasn’t to happy about this as the bike is one of my strongest parts of a triathlon, so I knew I had to really dig deep and push as hard as I could. What I also didn’t realise going into the event was that there was prize money at stake! Now this might have been optimistic of me but I hoped to do ok at this race, my plan was to use it to get rid of any first race of the season nerves and take it easy. With this new information about prize money I couldn’t take it easy! Triathlon is an expensive sport and every little bit helps!

Anyway I did my usual pre race, stay away from others and the hustle and bustle, keep focused and think about what I had to do. I queued up to start and before I knew it we were off! It was a pool swim and I was very fortunate to end up with the lane to myself for most of the swim which was great, the shoulder held out as well which was a bonus! Transition felt quick and then I was off to dodge pot holes. The bike was short and fast with a little incline on the way back into transition. My T2 transition was awful, I couldn’t get my feet out of one if the shoes in time, as I was to busy avoiding potholes and speed humps, so ended up with one shoe on and one off, hobbling into transition. Run shoes on and it was off up the first hill, ouch!! It was tough after just coming off the bike, but it was done and I had the downhill to enjoy on the way back, so I thought! Up until the halfway point it was actually mainly downhill, which allowed me to get my rhythm and breath back. A few more undulations and I had turned the halfway marker, now just to get back up those hills and get to the finish! Oh boy did I underestimate the hill on the return leg, it was awful and the closet I have been to walking in a race. I knew I had to keep pushing on as there were some very fast runners who would undoubtedly be super speedy on this course, so I just gritted my teeth and pushed on. Up over the top and then the rest was downhill to the finish and it felt great to complete my first race of the season. I was extremely pleased to come 2nd female overall, in what was a tough competition. The bonus of £120 prize money was absolutely fantastic especially as it was my mother birthday on the same day so I spent the money on celebrating with yummy food and drinks, so win win all round I think!

So first race done and dusted next up was Ironman 70.3 in Mallorca!! Bring it on.

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