Swim: there was quite a strong current while we were waiting for the start so I started swimming towards the far bank when the horn sounded and we were off, swimming straight into the sun. Almost immediately I got an elbow to the nose but carried on swimming. I now have a bruise where the nose bridge of the goggles go. At the time I wondered if there was blood, but there wasn’t.
I followed the bubbles of the person in front of me but had absolutely no idea where I was going, the sun was so bright. I only spotted the turn around buoy about 30 metres away. I knew that it was into a strong current so I pushed quite hard on the out lap.
Round the buoy I took another elbow in the face. No worries this time. I took the swim easy on the way back. It felt like it took a quarter of the time to get back to the start of the lap.
I pushed the effort up for the out leg on second out lap and took a tactical decision to follow someone towards the left rather than straight up the middle. I figured that the current would be less close in. Good decision. I started over taking people still on the first lap almost immediately. I am not sure if they started late but if they did start with us, they would have been in there a looooong time. The breast strokers were the first to be overtaken. Then the backstrokers and finally the front crawl people.
I stayed a bit too far away from the guy who went left most of the way to the turn around. I just could get close enough to make it easy but I did have bubbles to follow. I knew someone was following me as they kept tapping my feet. Towards the end of the third leg I went a bit wrong trying to work out where the turn around buoy was (sun was still too bright and in the way) and my feet got away.
I ran up the hill taking my goggles and arms out. I was going well so I carried on up the hill with the wetsuit around my waist. I lost a few places in T1 as I sat there putting my shoes on.
Swim + T1 was 36:35. This is 5th percentile. Not bad.
Bike: My heart rate was very high at the start. I felt slow. My neck hurt. I knew I was under trained on the bike. And I felt it. And like normal, loads of people screamed by me. Knowing I was under-prepared made me feel bad.
The second lap was much better and only a few people went by. A group built up going past a horse that was out of control (its rider only just stayed on). I then tried to stay with them but not to draft. Almost everyone looked honest, although there was one person who was consistently closer than I thought fair.
Every now and then the gap in front of the person I was (legally) following grew to big and so I sped up and over took them before following back in line. It is the first time that I had ridden in a triathlon like that. It was much more fun. I was concentrating on riding rather than feeling bad.
The difference can be seen in my appallingly lower power: AP=185W NP=191W (VI = 1.03) Av HR =151 before the horse incident.
After the horse, it was: AP=180W, NP=197W (VI=1.09) av HR=148W
The forest is so wonderful to ride and we even got to go by the beach. There must have been some thirsty people out there as there were lots of bottles on the road (esp by the cattle grids).
Time: 2:28:53 = 41st percentile - Not too bad I suppose but not surprising bearing in mind how little I have seen my time.
Run: Hot, very hot. Did the first lap ok in 55:10 (just under 5 mins per km). I stopped once to put the timing band over my sock as it was digging in.
Like normal my left foot started to get pins and needle. Noticed it properly at 29mins 30. Typical. Then it got worse but I carried on.
At the end of the first lap I pushed the effort because of the crowd. Then I kept up the pace for the next three miles but I went too hard and had to slow. It was hot and I was drinking less than half a cup of water at the aid stations. I eased off a bit. Then a bit more. My heart rate still in the 160′s even now.
Just before we got on to a downhill path I decided to stop and get a big drink. And then another. Then I carried on. Two miles to go. Then my tummy played and I walked 20m, to the next shadow. Down the rest of the hill and I turned the corner and walked another 20m. A bit later another 20m. I spoke to someone wearing TriTalk kit and after that had to carry on running. Eventually I got to the bottom of the hill and sprinted up it. I felt bad over taking someone running to the finish with their son. But I did.
I got quite a few blisters on my left foot because of the pins and needles.
Time: 1:53:03 for the 14 miles. 2mins 30 more for T2. This was 31st percentile. That’s good.
There was no official time for my run but this is based on my GPS time and also knowing where I finished compared with three other people. So I might be a few seconds out but it is not too far out.
Overall: 5:00:50. That’s 23rd percentile. OK. I need to practice the bike more.
Today’s been a rest day. I ache all over.