Saturday, 15 August 2009

Saturday 15th August

Lough Neagh olympic distance triathlon today.

The swim start was a deep water mass start which made for a bit of a battle with 300 people trying to get through the mouth of the marina at the one time before heading out into Lough Neagh itself. I kicked my way into open water and had a steady swim until nearing the last buoy. Looking up I thought, that buoy is moving, and then said to myself no don't be stupid it must just be the waves as it was quite choppy in the water. But I looked again and yes, the buoy was being moved mid race! Apparently this completely confused the lead swimmers! Anyhow back into shore and then a bid of a wade through the water to get out and a run to transition.

I had a reasonable T1 and out onto the bike - undulating for the first bit but into a 20mph head wind with 30mph gusts which made it very tough. About 4 miles of this per lap and then a quick couple of miles with a tail wind to the end of the lap. My first lap was quite fast and then I ran into problems with fatigue in the second lap. By the third lap my legs had gone and I had nothing left to push with. By the fourth lap my speed was well down. I ate an energy bar and drank plenty of Nuun to see if that would help. A very slow and disappointing 26.5 miles of cycling and then I was into T2 - this was a bit muddled as I was knackered. But I managed to get going onto the four lap run.

I desperately struggled on the run with a mix of running and walking and sheer mental determination. It was the longest 6.5 miles I have ever done. I was so glad to get onto the fourth lap and to finish. The tri club members were all waiting for me at the end which was very nice. I haven't got an official time yet but I think it was about 3hrs 18 - about half an hour slower than Tri Athy - albeit with a longer course.

I thought I had recovered from Antwerp but obviously 13 days with a weeks training as well is not enough time to recover. Lesson learnt for next season. I am going to scale things down again for a week or so before Newtownabbey Tri in 3 weeks time. Just under 10 hours racing in 2 weeks was a little bit optimistic!

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