It’s been a while since I’ve raced and I miss it desperately! Training has been pretty difficult and I must say, I’m in more of the ‘keeping fit’ zone than ‘training’ at the moment. My bump is showing and my exercise regime has changed drastically!
I first knew about this event when it was shared on Faccebook by Lee Brown, the owner of Fullsteam. It caught my eye as a friendly, relaxed event that even a waddling pregnant lady could turn up and enjoy taking part in. There was no pressure, no PB’s to try and beat.
I set myself the personal goal of finishing. Yes, just finishing! For someone who has completed 3 Ironmans, saying I just want to be able to complete a SuperSprint might seem a little daft! But I’d not swum, other than a little lake swim the week before and I’d not run either – the feeling of my bump moving was really bizarre and I didn’t like it. (This changed however when I bought a support band, and now bump runs happily!). I had however, been cycling. We had been on our honeymoon two weeks before, where we took our bikes to Italy. The highlight of which was cycling up Monte Zoncolan to see Froome win his first stage. So I wasn’t worried about that part!
Race day came and I can honestly say I’ve never been so chilled out before a race. The lack of pressure and expectation (and that the only person who knew I was racing was my husband) made the whole experience really enjoyable!
The swim was in a pool, 8 lengths (200m) and a short run out to the bike. The swim went better than I had expected, finishing it in 3min 13secs – a lot slower than the sub2min40 I might have been content with before, but my target had been 3min30secs and I didn’t feel like I’d exerted myself or let my heart rate rise too high. I jogged out the door to transition and grabbed my bike.
It’s been a LONG while since I’ve raced, and whilst I’d clipped my shoes in ready, I hadn’t bothered to do the elastics to keep them from catching on the floor when I ran. I can honestly say it’s the worst mount I’ve ever done, with my shoes spinning like catherine-wheels as I’m trying to get going! I got there eventually.
The bike also went surprisingly well, despite fighting my ego the whole way around. I had chosen to ride my Vankru road bike rather than my TT bike for 2 reasons. 1. I didn’t think I’d reach my aerobars over my bump and 2) I knew I’d get carried away. I came out of the swim with a lad seconds behind me, he overtook me at the start of the bike as he raced off. He didn’t get too far and by the end of the 2nd lap I’d overtaken him again – this shows how detrimental it is to go off too hard (his legs blew on the bike) and how good keeping your heart rate low is for pacing!
Feeling smug at overtaking him again I performed a near perfect dismount and plodded back in to transition. By this time it was pretty hot and I knew I had to go careful. I was buzzing from the bike, but took a few extra seconds to make sure I picked up my visor and trotted off out of T2.
The run was only 3km, 2 laps of the park. It was reasonably flat with a couple of steep bits. This is where I expected everyone to overtake me. The lad from the bike sprinted past before I’d left T2 and I didn’t see him again! I ran at what I would call ‘Ironman pace’ which is a LOT slower than 3km pace by several minutes per mile! The truth is, my priority is protecting the little life inside me and, on a hot day with not much training, jogging around the run, taking it steady and having a nice time is the best thing to do!
Only one or two more people overtook me on the run, both male, so I was very surprised to finish and learn that I was 2nd Female overall. I’d thoroughly enjoyed my race and had no regrets, worries or concerns. My race plan went perfectly – sometimes it’s important to plan to enjoy, rather than to plan to race hard.