Friday, 12 September 2014

July and August - Where did they go??

So as I sit here 2 days before challenge weymouth and the end of another race season I find myself looking back wondering where the time went!!

After Ironman Nice and the come down from that I took a couple of weeks off before starting to get back into training again.  The first event after Nice was Outlaw where I was riding the bike leg in a relay team. Something I was looking forward to.

Bustinskin Outlaws Taking things Very Seriously

A fantastic group of Bustinskin athletes along with a full crew of family and supporters made the somewhat gruelling journey north to Holme Pierrepont.   A great mix of guys and girls with 2 relay teams and individuals some going long for the first time were all set for an epic day or long course triathlon.  For me the relay was a great race. Not quite the pressure and intensity beforehand and almost a lie in compared to those racing the full event. We got there to watch the swim start and check my bike and then waited in the relay section for Mark to come out the swim. After what sounded like a tough old swim in not pleasant conditions in the lake he was out and I was off on the bike just behind the girls team.

Riding Through The Crowds

Straight away I was passing people and wanted a fast ride and to see what I could do not having to worry about running a marathon.  The first lap flew by and although a stiff headwind on the road up to the second loop I was feeling strong.  Second loop complete and it was back to repeat the first loop before heading to transition.  My pacing wasn't perfect averaging just over 300 watts at 90 km and suffering badly in the last 20 back to the lake. Generally very pleased though and with a 4 hour 49 minute time for the 181 km bike leg came away happy with some very sore legs!! Very happy to be handing my chip over to someone else for the run and to get a massage and an erdinger.

The Awesome Support Crew

All the guys did an awesome job with Tris bringing the guys team home ahead of the girls and amazing performances all around from athletes and supporters.  A great team atmosphere all weekend.

Bustinskin Guys Bringing it Home

After Outlaw and a couple of weeks of mixed training i raced the Bustinskin Weymouth Classic Triathlon.  A last minute entry with zero taper and a windy and grey day greeting the athletes it was time to see if there was any short course speed in the legs.  A strong swim in choppy conditions saw me lead the field out the water and out of T1.  The initial climb on the bike is always horrible and after a little stop to put my rear mech right it was go time.  I felt strong on the bike but not amazing but cam back into T2 still in the lead and couldn't see anyone behind heading out onto the run.  Round the first corner away from he crowds and my legs were hurting.  Fortunately the ache stayed nut didn't get much worse and with a km or 2 to go felt like i was still moving ok.  The final run up Bowleaze Hill is always horrible but a quick look over my shoulder at the top and heading down no one was there and i crossed the line in first place having lead from gun to tape. Very happy with this performance and how it all went and taking a win is always a great feeling.

At The Finish Line With Sprint Winner Luke Voss

Two weeks on and it was back to racing. This time the pool based sprint event at the 1610 pool in Dorchester.  The site of my first race win early season 2013 and again with a solid weeks training leading in and no taper it was a good test.  Heading out towards the end of the swim waves i felt comfortable throughout the whole 400m swim conscious not to blow myself up early.  Out onto the bike and a hilly and technical course was ahead with a couple of idiot drivers on the road to make things even more interesting.  Catastrophes avoided and feeling strong heading back to transition it was tome to head out onto the run.  Initially the first 2 or 3km are lovely and fast on a flat or gradual downhill.  Then it all changes with the leg sapping climb up to Maiden Castle and the jarring descent back down.  A hard race in the bank and also great to have defended my win from last year taking the overall again.  Backing this up later with a further 25km run at IM pace, All in all a good final weekends training.

After the 1610 Dorchester Tri

So here we are - under 36 hours to the last race of the season and one i would love to go well in in front of a home crowd. In one sense Im willing to take a little bit of a risk and if i feel good push on a little bit especially later into the day although that would be a magic position to be in and in no way easy. Up to this point i have had a great season and could be proud of it and what i have achieved this year although adding another great race to that would be amazing and would send me into the end of season brake on a high.  

Im feeling quite calm about the race at the moment. Being at home before a big race seems a little weird and maybe it hasn't quite hit me yet but I'm willing to have a go . . . . shoot for the stars and who knows i may land on the moon, or miss completely and fall into a black hole but only Sunday will tell!