Challenge Melbourne, what can I say other than it lived up to its name...
So you may or may not have been aware that I raced my 11th 70.3 triathlon on Sunday. Going into this race I didn't feel like I was ready for it. The timing of this race makes it hard as you would need to train solid through the festive season. Chuck in my birthday in mid-January and yeah I have been feeling a little out of shape.
I headed out to Brighton on Saturday afternoon to collect my rego pack etc and was slightly concerned as it was windy and there was a big swell in the water. I told myself that the race starts so early it won't be an issue. I went to bed feeling optimistic. When I got up on Sunday morning it was grey and windy and I knew it was going to be a long day. I got to the race start and racked my bike and set up transition. I put my wetsuit on almost immediately to try and stay warm. When we made our way down to the swim start my heart sank. It was CRAZY out there. They announced that you had the option of skipping the swim. You just had to wait for the last person in your age group to leave the water before you could head up to transition. I was seriously considering it. To be honest I came the closest I have ever come to just packing my stuff up and leaving. It was horrible. But I thought I would have a go and see what happened.
When the gun went off I was fairly conservative. I tried to hold a good line to aim for the first buoy but I soon realised that sighting was going to be a huge issue. The swim course was set up in an 'M' shape. But all the turn buoys were yellow and very close together meaning it was easy to get them confused. I had to switch to breastwork several times and it became a matter of survival rather than speed. I was disappointed to see that my Garmin had gone onto auto-pause or something during the swim because I would have liked to see how far I actually swam going off course as often as I did. It was wild and I swallowed so much salt water I vomited twice in the water. I was happy to reach the shore. SWIM TIME 33:17.
My transition had turned into a giant puddle and I had left a wind jacket there for the bike but it was so wet that I didn't bother. There was also a change from last year with a long run to get your bike out of transition. Why they made this change I do not know but the race suffered as a result. T1: 3:39
Out onto the bike. I had big plans for this bike split. I rode a 2:19 here last year and was hoping to improve on that. But as I knew as soon as I had seen the weather it would not be happening this year. If it wasn't raining it was windy. With parts of the coast being protected by trees you would be riding fine and then nearly blown off your bike the next second. It was just tough out there. I ditched my sunnies as they were covered in water and battled through. I was very happy to come off the bike without having a crash or any mechanical issues. I saw many people pulled over with punctures so I considered myself lucky. BIKE SPLT: 2:27:32
Hoping off the bike into T2 meant the same long run with my bike which was made even worse by the fact I had numb feet. Other than that I had a quick T2: 2:44
Early in the day I had decided if I as going to get anything out of the day it was going to be a solid run split. Having raced this course before I had decided to attack the flats and conserve on the hilly sections. I wanted to run consistantly and I am happy to report that I did. Infant I felt really strong on the run. I focused on my technique and nutrition, all the things that I could control. When I reached the final 3kms I put the hammer down. I have always said that I am able to tolerate pain on the bike more than anything else. Those last 3kms of the run was exactly the same. It hurt, but I embraced and enjoyed it. I also wanted to try and enjoy the finish line a little bit. I high-fived all the children and even spotted my wife. I crossed the line really happy. RUN SPLIT: 1:33:41 (PB run split)
I had expected to finish the race in about 4:50ish (based on when I thought I started etc as my garmin hadn't captured my swim) and was so excited to learn I had finished in a time of 4:40:55. Once again I missed going sub 4:30 but I was never going to in those conditions. I felt like I had done a PB as that was the toughest race I have ever done. I pushed myself hard and as a result I have been sick as a dog ever since. Even though I didn't reach the time I wanted, I now know that I will. If I can pull off that race in those conditions than it is only a matter of time. I really enjoyed Sunday. It was wet, horrible and one hell of a challenge but it was hard for completely different reasons to 2014. Anyway if I had to give any feedback I would say the changes to transition were for the worse but other than that it is a great race.
I am not too sure when my next race will be. I have signed up for Cebu 70.3 in August but I might try and change that for Taiwan or Korea. There is also an Olympic Distance race in March I do nearly every year. Who knows. It has been a big 6 months of racing and I am looking forward to a bit of a break.
Anyway that is all for this weeks write up. I hope you enjoyed it.
Train hard, stay safe and remember to TRI!
I lost 50kgs though triathlon and completed the 2016 70.3 World Championships. Aiming to hit 4:05 for a 70.3, the same time it took me to complete my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. I want to bring as many new people to the sport as possible. Whether you are fit and active or want to make positive changes to your life.