Women's Tri Hillarys 2013

Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 18:11

TriathlonOz - Michelle

Today's women's triathlon at Hillarys was a family affair with Chardae doing the Tadpoles race, me doing the Long Course, and Leah & David there to cheer us on. Chardae only entered yesterday when I went to collect my race pack and she realised I hadn't entered her! She had started crying and insisted that I try to get her a late entry (thankfully I succeeded), so it's all her own idea and I'm really proud of her for giving it a go.

Our morning routine began with a 5:30am alarm, a quick breakfast of museli, sliced banana and kefir for me, and Wheet-Bix and banana for Chardae and then we left at 6:15am. We had plenty of time to get body marking done and walk down to the beach for the kids (Tadpoles) briefing and swim start at 7am and although my race didn't start until 8:22am I also had to have all my transition down early so David helped Chardae and I looked after myself. I later realised I had forgotten to check exactly where my bike was racked! Big oops and had to ask Arron, who was on marshalling duty to point it out to me! He was not impressed and said it was "rooky mistake", he was right.

The kids "Tadpoles" event is not timed so they are set off from the beach in small groups of about 10 every 20 seconds or so to the sound of an air horn. Chardae went off in about the 4th wave group. She's been doing well with her swimming and has started to do squad training now but didn't want to put her head down in the water today (open water is so different to swimming in the pool) so she probably didn't progress as smoothly as she might have wanted but came out strong and ran up the hill to the bikes. We were able to watch all stages of her race and get these lovely photos. It's beautiful to see your kids being so brave - triathlon is not easy and she really had to dig deep towards the end and she looked very pale and exhausted at the end but was happy and proud of herself and the finishers medal she'd earned.

When the kids finished their race, they got a free breakfast (sausage and sauce in a bun) and a finisher's medal. The kids event had started at 7am and my race didn't start until 8:22am so instead of making them hang around, David took the kids home and came back to get some photos of me.

Finally, some pics with my new blue race helmet, and a full set of race wheels on my bike (I usually get too scared to use the big front race wheel as any puff of wind and I get too knocked around but always use the rear race wheel so it looks kinda weird. And this time I was using David's Zipps! Yippee!). I knew I'd done a decent swim but you never know until you see the results how you stack up against your age group so I was thrilled to get second place. I was a little slow with transiiton and I'm so pathetic at bike mount - too scared to try a proper triathlon mount and sure enough people noticed and commented!! (Yes, Mez I heard you loud and clear and yes I will do something about it - wanna teach me??).

Out on the bike course I pushed myself the hardest I have ever gone on the bike (in terms of effort). After the first lap I had to slow down and recover because I thought I was going to lose all my stomach insides so it was just a game with myself of push, recover, push, recover (making sure to push when I was near the crowd and the camera of course!) haha! Having David there was really encouraging and because I was on my home course, there were many in the crowd that I knew so hearing your own name cheered out helps to spur you on.

When I came back into transition it looked completely empty of bikes, which was encouraging, and only 1 in my entire row so I knew that meant I'd done well on the ride. I knew all I had to do was just keep it up for the run. Oh I really wish my body would run effortlessly for me. Some people just make it look so easy as they mow me down and leave me in their wake! I did manage to hang on the back of the heels of a girl doing a nice steady pace just above what I'd do on my own so I stayed with her for as long as I could but I started to feel sick (of running) and doing that whole bargaining with your brain trick to keep moving. I had to walk through the end water station to take on a gel and I lingered and moaned how much I hated running but those damns North Coasters wouldn't give me any peace! Helen Vagnoni coaxed me back into moving again and then the gel kicked in and I managed to put in a final effort to the end.

In the finishers area I was a bit concerned to see my left arm was shaking uncontrollably every so often so after I realised David had gone back home (as we had discussed) I went and sat by the first aid tent just to be near help if it was needed but I came good after a few minutes and went off to chat with the other girls I knew.

The results were posted on a computer but I could only see my age group placing. 4th - again! I had no idea how far behind 3rd place I was but decided I would just go home and forget about it. No need for me to stay for presentations today. I had a backpack to put all my gear into and rode my bike home (its not far) and now I've just found my results and am so encouraged to see that I was only 35 seconds behind 3rd place! I actually beat the girl that came first in my age group on both the swim and the bike and I got out on the run 1 minute 35 secs ahead of her but (to be expected) she did that run a whole 5 minutes 12 seconds faster than me!!

On looking at the times, I've worked out that I would need to run my 5km leg in about 22 mins to get on the podium in this age group (40-44). I typically run the 5km in a sprint triathlon in 26-28 mins and today it was 27. So I need to find out how to shave 5 minutes off my pace - that's heaps of work! Bugger!! I really don't know if at 45 years old I can do that but hey, it feels like there's a carrot right there in front of nose - teasing me to reach out for it. To be honest, after a year of knee problems and very little running I am not disappointed at all and in fact I'm totally fine with it and I'm only doing this for fitness and fun too but it's nice to dream!
Some wish for it, others work for it!
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