Sunday, May 2, 2010

Race Report - The Good, The Bad and The Downright Ugly!

So race is over and I am hobbling around like an old woman - its not a pretty sight and is very painful :(

I'll start with the good, I came 6th in my age group out of 43 finishers and 54th overall out of 343 female competitors.  (Although I have realised that I am in the wrong age group and should be in 45-49 where I would have placed 4th - I think its because I entered last year, my friend was also in the wrong age group too)

I was very relaxed about this race, the most relaxed ever which was a really nice change. We travelled down on Friday and I registered and racked my bike then went to our accomodation, relaxed, ate and then had to go to the race briefing at 7.30pm Friday evening - went to bed around 9.30pm and had a really crap night, could not get to sleep, when I did sleep I kept waking up so maybe I was not as relaxed as I thought!
Got up at 5am Saturday to have breakfast and even though I didn't sleep well I did feel pretty good, off to the race and setup my transistion area then met my family and friends outside so that we could get into our wetsuits and make our way over to the start.

The weather was fantastic, blue skies, slight cloud, flat ocean (cold though) - we went at 7.45am and I actually had a pretty good swim, I tried where possible to draft, but surprisingly found this really difficult as even though there were over 300 women in the wave finding one in front of me was actually quite difficult! Excited the water in 34mins a couple of mins down on what I wanted but no panic, quite a long run into transistion and out on the bike.

The 1st half of the first lap was slow going as I caught the back end of the mens waves that went in front of us and had to be careful about drafting - then on the way back into town the wind had picked up and this made it hard going. By the start of the 2nd lap on the bike the wind had picked up even more and then my legs started to cramp - my inner thighs of all places!! this combined with the wind started to have an effect as you will see from my split times - overall the bike route was so much better than previous years as the field was far more spread out which made it easier to ride without worrying about drafting.

Back into transistion for T2, inner thighs stopped playing up, but the thighs then took over - started running feeling ok'ish.

Now the bad - I didn't drink enough on the bike leg I only had about 1250ml not even 2 x bottles - I was so focused on eating I virtually forgot about drinking - this had a major impact on my race as you will find out later :(

I did the first lap on the run and felt bad, by half way I was really in trouble and very, very thirsty - normally I am really bad at eating and drinking when running but I drank at every drink station and continued taking my gels. After half way I decided that I would walk every drink station for 2 reasons, 1) my legs would get a rest (they really hurt) and 2) I could drink more - so this is what I did and as you will see from my lap times I got slower and slower.

Now comes the really ugly part, on the last lap of the run it took all my willpower not to stop and walk, I can't tell you how much my legs were hurting me - it was like my thighs were contracting the top pulling down and the bottom pulling up - shrinking together - I just focused on reaching every drink station so that I could stop and have a rest and drink. On the last 3.5km back to the finish I definitely tried to pick the pace up as I just wanted to finish so that I could get relief from the pain in my thighs, running down the finish shute I nearly didn't make it as my thighs had virtually siezed up (my daughters boyfriend said he thought I was going to fall over) - I very nearly did!

Anyway I finished in 5hrs 10mins 16secs and was very disappointed as the lack of hydration obviously had a major impact on my performance and it was something that was totally within my control, but as Max said I made a "rookie" mistake and won't do it again and as he says you learn more from the mistakes than the things you do right.

Straight after the race I went and stood in the ocean for 10mins and it was so hard to move, I also drank around 6 litres of water after I finished and it took me 4.5hrs until I could pee (& it was very very dark) so majorly under hydrated

So I'm now shuffling around like an old woman with arthritis and am looking forward to another epsom salts bath today, have been starving since the race and am looking forward to a rest now.

If you can't read the results, jump to the website here:

So now I will be resting for the whole of May and all things being equal I will be back training with Max in June - I will though still be reading all your blogs so I won't be far away :)