Wednesday, 15 July 2015
Musselman Recap Part 2
So on your bike they say..back to my recap of Musselman 70.3, grab a coffee, this is the long part.
Swim done, now onto the hard part, the bike. I am not a great cyclist but I am working on it and I know I am getting faster. I was excited to see how I would do on my tribike. It was slightly overcast and 24.6C when I started on the bike, it felt like there was a slight breeze as well but it was fairly flat to start, just some over passes and rollers to get the legs moving. I saw several people with flats in those first few miles, the roads were OK but you had to pay attention for potholes and pavement issues. I was playing leapfrog with a few cyclists, chatting as we passed and it was fun. We veered left onto a country road and it looked flat but it sure wasn't, my speed was terrible and I wondered if I could make my speed goal. We turned onto a main road that was flat and suddenly Skyrider (my bike) and I were flying, in aero and over 30kmph.
From that moment I was one with my bike and it was fun...until mile 34 and we made a right hand turn and face a killer climb with no speed to help. I had no shame, I flipped my gear to my climbing ring and spun my way up the hill or hills as it was the start of 5 miles of hills. The rest of the bike ride was fine except the part in the park, a gravel bumpy road is not pleasant on the rider or the bike and all I kept saying was please don't let me get a flat. After that gravel stretch I was ready for the bike to be over and I had about 10K left to go so I thought where that would put me on my usual flat ride on Frank Kenny and visualized riding that, seeing the familiar landmarks in my mind and enjoying the wineries that I was actually passing. When speaking to Neale after the race, he said he had done the same thing to help him get through the last few km.
I was so happy to reach the dismount line, my goal time was 3:30 and an ave speed of 25.75 and I had finished in 3:40 and an average speed of 24.8, I was thrilled. One thing that did not thrill me was the temperature, while I had been running it had been steadily increasing and it was 30.8C when I started my run. The run starts out in the park, it is flat but also very hot and as I was running out there were people running in to finish, never a cheerful thing to see. I heard the noon clock chime and I knew I had 3 hours to do my run, that should be enough. I had hoped to do a 2:30 half with a 7 min per km ave but with the heat I decided to walk the uphills and walk through the aid stations and try to stay under a 8 min per km pace. This would be my strategy at IMMT so it was a good time to practice it and to see how my legs felt after a fast bike ride.
I had heard the run course was challenging and it was but I was sticking to my plan, running between the aid stations and only walking the big uphill sections and I felt really good, yes it was hot but my legs felt great, I did not have any stomach issues and I was happy. Just after the halfway point we turned onto a gravel road and my mood totally changed. First I hate running on gravel, second it was in the full sun and by then the temps had risen to 33.5C and there was a monster hill in front of me. I started running on the grass but it was lumpy and I did not want to turn an ankle so I started walking and many others around me were walking as well. There was a band at the top of the hill and the drum made me feel like we were on a death march, looking back when I finally got to the top of the hill, everyone was walking , heads down, it was grim. At the end of the gravel road the volunteer said we were at the highest point now and 95% of the rest was downhill, that was music to my ears and I took off running, turning right and onto a long downhill section. I gave into gravity and flew down that hill, passing many people along the way. My joy was short lived as my shoe insole was moving and I had to stop several times on St Clare to adjust it. When I was 5km to the finish and called on all the positive voices in my head to help me, I heard Stephanie tell me stand up straight and take little steps, I heard Barbara say you can never run too slow and I hear Anita say I am one one the most determined people she knew. OK, time to finish this off and before I knew it I was able to see the finish line, well that was all I needed and I picked up speed I did not know I had and raced to the finish line. I hear my SBM team cheering and the rest of the crowd and I was so happy. My run was slow but I stayed under my 8 min goal and finished with a new PB/PR time.
Overall my day went like this:
Swim 43:23, distance 1.9km
Bike: 3:40:45, distance 91.47km
T2 5:32 - included a bathroom break
Run 2:48:08, distance 21.1km
Total 7:23:11 for 114.47km
All in all it was a great race, I think if it had been cooler the run would have been better, well maybe not a few of the hills but no course is totally flat...right. The volunteers were fabulous and I tried to thank as many as possible along the route, well maybe not the swim but I am sure they understood it is hard to talk and swim at the same time. The organization was first rate, Score This did a great job for their first year. I loved meeting other SBM's, I loved doing the race with Michelle, who finished her first triathlon ever, made it in before the cut off despite several falls on the bike portion. I love doing these event with Neale, even though he beats me in by over an hour every time, he finished in 6:15. It was a great event and I would definitely do it again... next time it is double mussel time!