Firstly, I'm super new to this forum, but in only a week or two it's been great and you guys are really supportive - thank you!
I've only done a handful of sprints and 1 Olympic before this and then someone in my training group suggested WS as a first 70.3 and before I knew it I was training for it and entered...
I've never been very athletic (I was the girl who cried when she got picked for the 1500m at school) and never ever thought I'd be able to do this. That's the excuses for a slow time out of the way!
I had a really good training programme beforehand and train with a squad here in Newcastle who are all hugely supportive and motivating which was brilliant. The training was bloody hard to fit around life and work although I know that's nothing new to you guys, and I'm fitter than I've ever been right now and feel great - even the day after!
We were staying in Penrith on Saturday night and checked in in the afternoon and racked my bike then went back to the hotel. Got bugger all sleep on Saturday night and left for the venue about 4am. My husband had a work commitment in Sydney which he couldn't get out of so he had to leave me on Saturday morning on my own and very nervous! I got to transition and sorted my kit out, and the remaining time went really fast.
I knew this would be slow, and it really was. I'm slow anyway, my recent outdoor pool swims in a wetsuit have been 1.47 ish/100m and 2.10 without so I was hoping for around 45 minutes. I was relaxed in the water and concentrated on not trying too hard because I didn't want to get too tired. I should maybe have tried a little harder because I ended up at 55 minutes! It felt like a very long way...
This is where I learned another couple of lessons for next time (not that I'm ever going to do another one right?!). I wanted to keep my heart rate at about 70% so I didn't burn out on the run and was aiming for 28-30kph at this rate. I couldn't even manage 25kph and keep my heart rate that low. I was still quite hyped up by the whole thing which wouldn't have helped and it was starting to get hot. I just didn't have enough power in my legs to go faster without my heart rate going crazy. Need to do strength work on my legs.
I also concentrated on eating enough and drinking a lot so I didn't bonk on the run and that went well although I do also need better bike skills so I can refill bottles faster on the move cos I reckon I lost a a fair bit of time stopping and slowing down for that. I went just under 3.30.
I really enjoyed the run. I'm not a fast runner (spotting a pattern?), but my heart rate was where I wanted it and my pace was good. I felt really good for the first 10k, the next 5 started to hurt a bit, the next 2 or 3 were a case of mentally knowing I could do it, then my husband got there and I saw him on the way past which was a fantastic boost, then all of a sudden there was only 3k to go and I knew I was going to do it. I even had a mini sprint over the line. Then felt a bit emotional, and so, so happy. 2.23 I got on my Garmin.
I woke up this morning - after 11 hours sleep - with a massive smile on my face and feel really chuffed to have done it. I'd wanted to do around 6.30 and ended up at 6.55. By the second lap of the bike course all thoughts of a time had gone and I was just concentrating on finishing feeling good but I am still really happy to come in under 7 hours. I didn't finish feeling like I could have gone harder and know where I want to improve.
It's a great race, the venue is amazing and the organisation and volunteers were exceptional.
Tired but happy!