Yesterday I did my first Olympic tri of the season. This was actually only my second Olympic ever.. and the second time doing this particular race. Last years race was pretty hectic. The sea was nuts.. lots of big waves and sharks. Seriously.. SHARKS. The swim nearly killed me and took an insanely long 43 mins.
I had been undecided about doing the race again, not because of last years conditions which were mental but enjoyable, but because it was only 2 weeks after my first half iron of the season and last year the half iron distance race screwed me up for a few weeks.
Well, the half iron passed and went well as mentioned in the last blog post and I recovered well. I was out on the bike 2 days after the race and actually did a 10 mile TT in just under 30 mins... and then went on to do a total of 19 miles. I also ran twice and did another hard bike session on my new bike.
Oh.. yeah.. I got a new bike.. but that warrants a blog post of its own so it will have to wait.
At this point I realised that I was totally fit for an eager to do the causeway race again. Sadly I had left it too long and registration had closed. Thankfully though the race director is a legend and I dropped him an email and he registered me no problem.
I threw in a few more hard bike workouts and some run speedwork then took a few days off to "taper"
Strictly speaking this is a joke.. I didn't taper, I had some work related travel that took up a few days and then I took one extra rest day :D
The day of the race arrived and despite being last to register, I was one of the first to arrive on race day morning. I met up with my good buddy Lisa and we hung out and chatted, registered, set up transition etc. Her race report is excellent and she WON HER AGE GROUP, so go read it)
The race itself was excellent. The sea was lovely, the swim was much easier than last years, which was clearly evidenced in my time. Last year it took me 43:35 mins.. this year it took me 24:29. Yeah... that's right.. 19 minutes faster. Crazy. And its not from training, cuz I haven't done any swim training.
The bike was good, pretty hilly and sadly on the downhill sections it was windy so I was a bit slower than last year. The bike leg took me 01:16:03. Average speed of 19.7mph this is decent for me but a few mins slower than last year (when I did it in 1:12:26.) This slowdown was partially the conditions, partially some annoying hip pain i developed for the last 8 miles or so but probably mostly due to the fact that last year this had been a bit of a priority race and not something that I did at the last minute two weeks after a half ironman and with 3 hard bike workouts in the short time between the two races. Considering all this I'm actually VERY happy with the time.
The run was OK too.. I haven't done a lot of speedwork and managed the 10k in 48:22. This is OK.. an average pace of 7:48 which is faster than Ive run for a while. Last year I actually did the run in 43:52.. but it was a shorter and easier run course, so again I am happy.
My overall race time was 02:33:52... which I'm very happy with indeed. Nearly a 10 min PR.
The only thing I'm not happy really about with this race was my transition times... it seems petty but T1 was 3 mins and T2 was 2 mins. 5 mins transition in an olympic is a lot, and for me its over 2 mins longer than I should have been, and indeed was last year. It came down to bad prep and not really thinking about what I was doing. Knowing this I know that I can easily shave this time down below two and half hours without too much work.
One thing I'm really happy with, as with the last race, is the swim. There were lots of much faster swimmers.. but the overall winner of the race only beat my by 1 min 45 secs on the swim. He beat my by 33 mins overall... hell I wasn't even close.. but it really shows me where I can make up lots of time and its really not one swim. Its EVERYTHING else :D
I should really learn to swim properly tho.. it would make sense.
Overall it was a great race and a great day out. As always, the organisers and the participants were a lovely bunch of people and the whole thing was a fantastic experience. Even the post race food was lovely and very plentiful. This is one race that I will really try and do every year if I can.