Saturday 16th - The Dambuster Triathlon at Rutland Waters. Due to all the recent shitty weather in the UK several triathlon events around the country had been canceled or turned into duathlons, as such the lake temperature was down to 12*, Rumors on the forums had started Friday night that the swim portion was now down to 1k due to the temp, I didn't mind this as swimming aint my favorite part.
Woke up at 3:15am, the night before I did a list and double checked everything to make sure I wouldn't forget any of it, this ment going to bed at 10:30pm and only getting 5hrs sleep! I kept breakfast down to a bowl of cereal and a banana, I was thinking if this was enough but i don't work well on a half/full-ish stomach even if I did have 3hrs to go before the race, so woofed it down, packed up and drove the 1h 15mins to Rutland.
Apon turning up at what I though was the venue, I just saw a deserted car park and a few banners about, my heart sank thinking they had canceled the whole thing! So I got back on the road and found the right entrance. I looked out to the lake and boy was it choppy! wind was quite strong and I was quite cold in my hoody, starting to think....shite, I gonna need my gloves and jersey for the bike section, which I had bough just in case. I got registered, got my gear and set up in transition. Nerves started to kick in so used the portaloo's before they got ruined, 1hr to go I noticed some nice flapjack for sale so scoffed it quickly as it might give me abit of slow release energy later. 15mins prior to race we are called up for last minute info, the swim had indeed been cut to 1k, it wasn't to be a start in the water but instead a "beach start" so no acclimatising to the chilly 12* water....great. I got my wetsuit on, put my cap on, adjusted my goggles and wandered up to the beach, no sooner had I got there the hooter went and it was mass panic into the water! This took me totally out of my comfort zone with several kicks to the face and elbows, I decided to let the rush go as it completely stunned me for abit, I was back of the pack because as soon at I got into my rhythm I was on someones toes or bumping into someone, so I had to breast stroke for quite alot of the swim, the panic and the coldness caught me off guard, I was just happy to get back to the shore and start the next part of the race.....coming out the water, cap off, goggles off, zip down, first shoulder down, at my bike, second shoulder down, arm out....left arm......left arm...stuck!! F**KING WATCH!!! in practice it slid right over my wet suit no problem, but this time it was stuck and my weak arms was struggling to get it out, this took up way too much time, plus drying my feet to put in my bike shoes...oh well, lets get on now, sod the warm jersey and gloves I was cooking!!, so out of T1 and mounted my bike ready for the 42k.
Leaving the venue I took 1k or so just to get comfortable, check my watch and see how I was doing for time...oh FFS!! I never even started the damn thing! so it was useless anyhow, I just had to go by the time from 7am to work out how I was doing. Lots of little hills going up and down alot, but loads of time to get some decent speed up...got into aero position for most of it and over took a few riders, but then it was my turn, some of these carbon fiber TT bikes over took me like I was standing still! I was hammering it down this hill in my top gear, tucked in as much as I could and got wasted! Nevermind...I have one of them one day. Half way round I got a gel down me to give me abit of pep. More ups and downs and a few people out to cheer us on, dont blame them for not turning out, the weather was shite. Coming back into Rutland to start the run section now....uncliped my shoes, didnt want to risk a crappy dismount as not been practicing brick sessions or dismounting, now for the run...
Racked my bike, took of the helmet, bike shoes, put my trainers on....where is my gel for the run? it was here!! oh FFS! oh well no time off I go.....jelly legs for the first 400m (must do brick sessions..must do brick sessions!) ...2km in, oh crap here come hamstring starting to tighten on my right leg, slow it down a little, dont want full on cramps! wind blowing like crazy over the dam, the look on peoples faces as they pass me on the loops, you can see the pain in some of them...I know as I was feeling it too!. the final run back going round every corner thinking, this is the end...its gotta be!! and soon it was there...passed the finish line, timing chip off and straight into that ice cold lake to cool my legs down :-).
T1: 3.11 (Damn you watch!)
Bike: 1h 19min
Total: 2hrs 25mins
Totally happy with the time, I recon it would of been about 2:30-35 if the swim was the full 1.5k, but other than that I loved the race and will be back next year to do it again. Got home and ate like a horse! glutes were just dead! Started cleaning all my gear and putting it away I though my left trainer felt abit cramped and wondered why i had blisters on just my left foot? reached into the end of my shoe and found my "missing gel" it had fallen into my bloody shoe, me rushing about in T2 I just shoved my foot in and ran not thinking....next time, leave ill leave the gels on top or on my belt ;-).