I got up at 4.30 this morning, Susie got up a little earlier so she could have a shower and wash her hair (women are crazy like that). We lifted the boys, still in the stupor, into the car, loaded up my bike, wetsuit and ancillary items and then drove to the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham to take part in the Nottingham Sprint Triathlon.
Experienced triathletes always tell you to leave plenty of time before the start to set up, "it always takes longer than you think". I thought I had done that yet I was still queuing for the loo, still not in my wetsuit ten minutes before the official start time. I found myself pulling on my wetsuit while the first competitors waded into the water to swim over to the deep water start, they had arrived at the start line before I had entered the water, not the preparation recommended by the elites.
Despite this I felt calm as the starting horn went off at 9.00 am. Last year I started at the back of the swim pack and stayed there, this year the early morning open water swim sessions paid off as I was comfortably in the middle of the pack the whole way around the swim course. It's nice to get to transition 1 and see bikes other than your own.
I hopped onto the bike and set off at a pace, I was overtaken by the real racing snakes but I went past some very fit looking people on some very fast looking bikes. The bike leg is my strongest, the commute to and from work on a daily basis helps a lot.
However, the effort that I put into the bike leg came back to haunt me on the run. The run was, is and probably will always be my weakest discipline but today was poor even by my own meager standards. I had the traditional jelly legs coming off of the bike but they seemed not to go away at all. It was disheartening to see all the people who I had shot past on the bike close and then overtake me on the run. I finished feeling worse than I did last year.
Overall I was leased with the result. Here is last year's breakdown and this year's result (I don't have the breakdowns for transitions so T1 is in the bike split and T2 is in the run split).
Swim 750 meters, bike 20km, run 5km.
Swim: 25 min 01 sec (although I have it on good authority the swim distance was long)
Bike: 42 min 51 sec
Run: 30 min 55 sec
Total Time: 1 hour 38 min 48 sec.
Swim: 14 min 47 sec (10.14 better)
Bike: 36 min 35 sec (6.16 better)
Run: 33 min 39 sec (2.44 worse)
Total Time: 1 hour 25 min 02 sec.
That means I beat my personal best by 13 min 46 sec. I'm a happy boy!
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