Sunday, January 19, 2014

Yes, I actually have a race report...........

Nowra Sprint Triathlon. It aint long, but it was goooooooood.

After Thursday nights shocker in the harbour swim, I feel today I managed to crawl my way back. The lead up to this race had a lot of my pressure on it. All my own doing. Coach's words were go out and have a ball. My words were, get fucking serious or go home. So the morning of the race I had a little inspirational talking to from Eric Thomas - coincidentally the title to this chat is - I dare you not to go home!

Thanks to E.T, I was ready to go. The 45min drive down the coast was filled with nerves. But I tried to still them with some visualization. Mostly about my flying mount onto the bike. Ha, I had set my bike up for a bare foot run to the start, mount and get the feet in the shoes before they spin round and the bike bucks me off. I opted for this start rather than my usual shoes on start to try and protect the itb as much as possible.

Anyway, I'm too far ahead. Bike racked, time to sit and have cake pre race for Megz' birthday. We sing happy birthday to her and before long it's time to take the walk down to the start line. It's a straight swim for 750m as the tide is flooding in. It will be a quick swim. In fact 30secs before the gun I left the shore and started my race. I was high up the bank so that I timed the start perfectly and it was on. I went hard, digging deep into the water, turn over high and we all flew down the river with murky brown/yellow reedy water and an awareness that we may run face first into a 6' bullshark that had been spotted in the area several times through the week. I left the swim hot (as the water was 23degrees) but happy. 10:10 and 13th place in the females overall. Very happy.

Struggling to get the wetsuit off.
Ok, good run into T1 with The Crew and Gazza calling encouragement. Grabbed the bike and headed for the mount line. I promised myself that I would take my time with the mount, get the shoes on properly.....doh! completely ballsed it, the shoes flipped and I wobbled over the road having to leap off the bike and start again. All the practice out the window, it was now fumble and pray I got going. Gaz said later he thought I was gonna lose it. Ha.

Not the prettiest mount that's for sure.
The ride is a flat course with some pot holes and rough surfaces along the way. The wind was lifting and I felt like I was making good gains as I was over taking loads of guys. Woohooo always a good feeling to chick a few fellas ;) And then I got over taken by Caroline grrrr. Got to give it to her, she is strong. I was waiting for Sandra to catch me too. I kept this in my mind and used it to stay focused on not being caught. If I found myself sitting behind someone, I pushed hard to over take. I even got a weary eye passed over me by a T.O. First time ever. She watched me pass and waved me to pick up the speed to do it in the right amount of time. Satisfied she moved on. Finally, the turn around in sight and I thought you beauty a tail wind home as we had been punching into some heavy wind, but the tail wind was short lived and was exchanged for a stiff side action. Suddenly, 3 hits, 1 face, 1 shoulder, 1 knee and now a burning sensation on my right knee caught me off guard. I looked down to find a little bee stinger and sack sticking out of my knee. Random! I scrapped it out and was shattered to think it might swell and stop me from racing. Noooooooo! 

Coming in off the bike, I opted for a shoes on dismount
Back in transition after an uneventful dismount and a quick whip off the helmet, I was on my way again. 39:25 and 14th girl. Ok, run, it wasn't fast, but I was moving. I ran past Megz and Ellyse again and headed out for the bridge. Once out of sight of the crowds, I stopped for a 30sec walk. I needed to calm down and focus. I set off again and fell into step with a guy and tried to focus on cadence and form. I lost the guy when I needed to walk up a short sharp hill on to the bridge, but I had spotted Sandra and the other girls right behind me. OK, Sammi, you are going to have to dig deep as she is closing the gap.

Heading out for the last 1km
As I headed back along the bridge, I dropped my head a little so my hat hid how far I needed to go. I just focused on my feet and form and chipped away. Finally the last long straight out and back. Past Gazza who snapped a few shots. Not sure how my race belt ended up down below my ass. Never noticed. I'm pleased with that, cause I was so focused on going hard rather than fidgeting, which I often find myself doing when I am not focused. 
I'm actually 'ok' with the backside shot. Ha!
I reached the final turn around point, looked up and there was Sandra only meters away from me. Holy Crap! This is going to hurt. I needed to work hard. I dumped a cup of water over myself, one down my pants to cool me down. I stopped listening to the blister that was starting to whinge in my head and I put the foot down, literally. I could see the flags of the finish chute, but they seemed so far away. I looked at the pavement in front of me, put more pressure on the legs and came home, all the while listening for the familiar heavy footfall of Sandra. 

All business in the Hurt Locker
I crossed the finish line and took a moment to get my breathing and stop my head from spinning. There was no sprint finish in me today, but I did hear my name and I had given it a bloody good go. I'm pleased with that. And I came in under 30mins for the run, with 29:09. and final time 1:21:01. 

Sweet relief - I am racing again
Boom 3rd place! Yep, that was a great outcome. 7 in my age group. Happy days. But most important about today was that I finally pushed out of my head all of the negativity that had been plaguing me for so long. I didn't let things get me down or frustrate me. I didn't hear the voice in my head saying - can't. I stayed focused and in the moment the entire time.
A new buddy - Eirene
Most importantly is that I spent time with new and old friends. My old friends that I have known for so long now. We all had such great races. Scooped the medals. Luckily we are all in different age groups lol.

Lloyd, Sandra, Eirene, me, Gail and Deb
And of course my newer family, the AP.10 Crew. What an amazing bunch of people. All having fantastic races.

AP.10 Crew
A final word from Coach.
Podium Girl - Hey there lady, Really proud of you. Not necessarily just the result, but more so the effort and application that you put in and have done over the past months. This effort makes podiums possible. So well done!   

Special thanks to Gazza for being chief cheer squad, bike handler and photographer. x

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