Windsor 2009 race report
I did the race today and came home kind of disappointed. I was expecting all of this ironman training to have made me quicker. I guess it has, but I didn’t show it at Windsor today.
As usual it was a well organised race. The weather was good, getting warmer as the day progressed and little wind. The river didn’t have too much of a current either.
About 10pm last night I was not going to do it. I was in bed coughing my heart out, and had been all day. The glands in my neck were sore, especially when I coughed. But most of the coughing was gone by the time the race started:
- Swim: I was second out of the water in my wave. Woohoo! Unfortunately the guy in front was quite a way in front so I couldn’t draft. I don’t think I was as fast as T1 as last year but overall I was 31 seconds quicker than last year and 4.7th percentile for the swim (29.8th percentile for T1). When I get the hang of the tri bike shoes, I’ll definitely be quicker!
- Bike: I was 1:02 slower than last year (including T2). T2 was probably the same as last year. I was hoping to be quicker but I wasn’t. The main reason for no improvement is probably the fact that I don’t practice hurting for that long. The other is another bike problem. I rode the bike Friday and everything was fine. I walked it to transition on Saturday and had two children to supervise so didn’t ride it or test it properly (and to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have if I was by myself). However, I couldn’t get the chain on to the two smallest cogs (and had to move it to friction change to get some of the other gears). This meant I lost a huge amount of time on the faster downhill bit. Someone overtook me on one of the faster bits on Drift Road. I then stayed 20m or so behind him until we got to the Great Park. Then I lost well over 400m on him. I was also demotivated at one stage with the gears. Two people who I had overtaken went back past me. Then I stayed behind them for a while not wanting to overtake. Then when I got my mind in gear, I went past them quite quickly. Overall bike was 1:12:17 which was 22.7th percentile.
I need to get a disk so that I can be heard coming up behind people! The number of people who suddenly darted out to the middle of the road while I was overtaking was quite scary.
Edit: Just been looking at my power numbers on the bike, comparing them to last year. My average power was down from 221W (NP=224W) in 2008 to 205W (NP=212W). So my average power was down 7.3%. Some of this may be illusory in that I don’t know whether I recalibrated the powertap last time. One difference I did notice was the fast bit on the Great Park. This time my average power for a 2k stretch was 120W and my average speed was 44.8kph (last time AP=189W, av speed 43.0kph). What does this show? I couldn’t put any more power down because I was spinning out (max cadence was 126!). It also shows that I was actually quicker. I used the same bike, with the same wheels. This time I was in the aero position – last time I was scared of the cross winds.
So it wasn’t the gear problem that slowed me down on this bit, it was my lack of power on the rest of the course! Not a good thought.
Run: First lap I might have gone a little fast (14:32) but not much. I got the start of pins and needles on the second lap and slowed a bit (14:53). Took me a while to notice that my breathing was not as hard as it should have been. Third lap my feet were very sore because of the pins and needles. I pushed up the pace and did it in 14:33. Overall time, including the finish, was 44:39. This is 18.6th percentile.
Overall: I finished in 2:25:16 which was 6 seconds slower than last year. This is 11.7th percentile. Six seconds! If I had done x, y or z, I would have had those six seconds!
Next year? No, I probably won’t do it. The course is fine but, like the transition, the entry fee is huge. Also, I was very unimpressed paying £10 to park. That, together with having to rack my bike the day before means that I won’t do it in 2010.