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zed

Busso 70.3

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Race report

 

I went into this race with a number of goals, podium, spot at the worlds, sub 4.40 and sun 1.40 for the run. The key is set yourself lots of goals, you’re guaranteed to get at least one of them! I joined a different tri-club and did most of my training with them. Interval run Tuesday, squad swim Wed, ride Sat, long run Sun. On top of that I swam and ran by myself. Typically I’d be doing 10 – 12 hours a week, peaking at 14 hours for a few weeks. Run volume was between 60 – 70km, with a few 80km weeks. Swim was 4 sessions, totalling 12 – 15km and bike volume was usually 1 ride a week of around 90 – 110km. Occasionally I’d do a lunch ride of around 30km. So yeah a bit of imbalance with the training, but I’m all about having fun and enjoying training, I’m a bit conscious of the high burn out rate in this sport and will skips sessions if I need to. If it’s pissing down with rain, I won’t ride and will run on the treadmill instead. I do need to address my low bike volume at some point though if I want to compete with the big boys, they’re about 10mins quicker than me on the bike and they can run too.

 

Swim

It was a rolling start and I started in the 25min – 30min group, placed around 15th from the front. It’s a bit funny starting with a rolling start, not frenetic, very relaxed, it almost doesn’t feel like a race. There were a few people who shouldn’t have been in the first group and promptly got swamped, no idea why they would do that, can’t have been a pleasant start for them. Water was cool, crystal clear as usual, but there was a slight breeze, which had created a bit of chop, so I had to adjust my stroke and breathing slightly. I started steady and slowly started overtaking people. I hadn't managed to find any feet to sit on, it was a little bit harder than usual to draft because of the slight chop. The one guy I did draft off, kicked his feet like madman trying to scare me off. Plan was to get to the turnaround buoy and then pick up the pace the last 800m. We turned and started heading back towards the beach before I hit a guy on a paddleboard. I was just about to abuse him, when he told me to get out the water because of a shark. I climbed up the ladder on the jetty along with 700 others and made my way back to the beach a bit bewildered.. Turns out it was 2 x 2m tiger sharks fairly close to the swimmers, about 600m off the beach.

Aborted swim 1.3km 18min

 

Bike

I was in a bit of a daze as I rode the first 10kms or so, already aware that my chances of podiuming and going to South Africa were most likely gone. Some of the top guys in my AG aren’t strong swimmers and a few of them didn’t even swim, whereas I’d done 1.3km. So they were fresh as daisies. Anyway one of the things I’ve learned in this sport is that being mentally strong and resilient are key. I felt really flat and just wanted to get off my bike and go home, so I needed to dig deep, refocus and crack on. The first 50km were hard mentally and physically, there seemed to a perpetual headwind and there’s a 25km section of dead road, rougher tarmac where you get no love and need to work to maintain a decent pace. I was averaging around 37km/hr which was more or less my target pace. I wasn’t riding to power any more. I sold my PM with my Cervelo P2 and haven’t bothered to get another one. Perhaps I will one day, but it was just something that I never really used and prefer to go on heart rate and feel. So I was keeping an eye on my HR making sure it didn’t creep up. On some of the smoother sections with less rolling resistance it would have been tempting to cane it, but I held back, critically aware I had the small task of running a half marathon on a stinking hot day. It was frustrating and disconcerting as I continually got passed by guys in my AG and club mates who I knew were slower than me, but I stuck to my plan. The last 20kms of the ride were sweet, tarmac smoother than my ballsack and a very welcome tailwind. I was able to sit on 38/39km/hr with little effort and cruised into T2 with a fairly low HR. I’ve got my flying dismount down pat now, jumping off like a pro wowing the crowd before tripping over the timing mat and going arse over tit, I afforded myself a wry chuckle, there seemed to be a few things not going my way today, but nothing was going to interfere with my new found resilience.

Bike time - 2.27

T2

Uneventful. Kneeled down to “put on my shoes” I.e have a wee. Shoes on, race belt on, sunnies on off I go. I ran sans socks for the first time in a half and was hoping to not get blisters. I was running in Asics Hyperseeds and they turned out to be fine, despite being wet with water, sweat and no doubt a little bit of wee sloshing around in there. Aim for the run was sub 1.40, but hoping for low to mid 1.30s. Realistically I knew low 1.30s wasn’t going to happen with the heat and humidity. I don’t necessarily struggle like some do in the heat, but I do run slower. There are some guys that don’t seem to be heat affected at all, I’m not one of those, I’ll always lose a few minutes.

Run

I had my Fenix 5 set to 500m alerts, something I do for races, not training, where it’s set to 1km alerts. The first few kms I went through 4.10 – 4.15 pace which felt good. I deliberately dialled back the pace slightly knowing if was probably too quick and settled in to 4.20 – 4.25 pace.  I went through the first 10km averaging 4.22min/km picking up quite a few people who’d overtaken me on the bike. I’d come off the bike 49th overall and 10th in my AG. I got to 11km and by this stage it had really started heating up. Fortunately I had a jet black trisuit on #sarcasm.

I was feeling a bit sick from the gels and really needed a poo. Pace slowed down and I didn’t push it. Kms 12 – 16, for me anyway, is a danger zone where things can really go pear-shaped. I was smashing water and coke and getting hosed down at every opportunity, trying to cool myself down. So I stopped looking at my splits and waited until I got to 17km before picking up the pace. Looking back at the data after the race, I saw that kms 11 – 17 were really slow, averaging 4.45, I probably could have kept up my 4.20 average, but there is the danger that you can hit the wall, which is what I was worried about. 5kms to go though, despite feeling like shit I knew I could pick up the pace and salvage my run, I was mostly on 4.30s for the last 5km and managed to come home in 1.38. Run was slightly long, so official HM time was 1.37, a 3 minute standalone HM time. I crossed the line spent and desperate for water, ended up having a bizarre conversation with some volunteers.

 

volunteers – Would you like your photo taken?

Me – water, please water

volunteers – Would you like your photo taken first?

Me – I need water, I think I might be dying

volunteers – what about afterwards? We can take your photo then?

Me – water, please

volunteers – returns with a paper plate of whipped cream

Run time - 1.38

 

I managed to come in 5th in my AG and 22nd overall out of 730. Sounds impressive, but a lot of the top guys were racing the full, neverthgeless reasonably happy with my placing considering there was no swim plus the heat. Officially it was supposed to be 34, but I heard it had crept up to 36C. A few people had compared the heat to races like Lang Kawi, but I spoke to a mate who has just raced Lang Kawi and Kona and she just laughed, reckoning it was like a cold winters day In comparison, who knows it felt fvcking hot afterwards sitting in the shade drinking icy cold Coronas…

I spoke to a couple of guys in my AG and they were keen on going to South Africa so I didn’t think I’d get a spot, especially when pretty much every 1st and 2nd placegetter took their spots, but luckily there were 3 spots, 1st and 3rd didn’t take their spots and I got the last one. Not quite the race I wanted and I’d made a promise to myself that I had to podium in order to take the spot, but a lot of people persuaded me to take it, so I did! South Africa here I come!

Edited by zed
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Congrats and well done! It was a tough day, didn't know the shark was that close! Glad they cancelled the swim for IM then, could have been much worse!

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