Monday, December 8, 2014

The Dreaded Callala and All Things Muddy.....

For, I reckon, 3 years now I have been to 'broken' to do the Callala triathlon. But in true supportive spirit, I have made the early start and trekked down to cheer on my training buddies. Callala Beach is a lovely spot. Just near Huskisson, but quieter and with amazing views of the heads of Jervis Bay. In fact it is directly opposite the heads and so it is open to all elements, including big surf. Each year I have watched from the safety of the beach as my friends have battled on-shore dumpers that at times have been well over 6ft. I stand there thinking, 'yep, I'm glad that's not me out there!'

So the big seas were definitely at the forefront of my mind when I signed up and Callala race came into focus. And I wasn't let down. Though nowhere near as big as previous years, I managed to get myself dumped in the first minute of my warm up swim. My buddy Roberto next to me laughing. I walked out of the surf thinking, this is going to be a freaking hoot!

Standing shore start and an all female wave. I went wide of the buoy as they all scrabbled for water. I had watched the surf and as we were heading parallel to the shoreline in a rectangle course, we would be swimming side on to the forming shories and big rollers, so I headed wide and out to sea to avoid the additional work that would be needed. It paid off. I was in clear water with the occasional fast guys coming through that I could jump on their feet and work hard off of. The first of the red caps came pass me just as I was rounding the last buoy. I knew Coach would be in the front pack, just as someone grabbed me and as I looked round, it was him, big black Mo and laughing. How he was able to pick me out of all the women I'll never know.

I chased Amy up the sand and in to transition. I didn't realise it was her until I looked at the swim times, 20:42 and 13th woman overall, extremely happy. I stripped the new wetsuit off and headed out on a lumpy, slippery old road full of pot holes.

The ride was horrible. My legs took a while to warm up, but they got going eventually. The road was rolling hills which is my weakness and something I really need to focus on. My mate Sonya came tearing pass me and I felt demoralised, beaten. I worked hard at staying mentally in the game, telling myself that 'No Fat Sammi Was Singing Just Yet!' I plugged away at it, only to find Sonya stopped on the side of the road, she had hit the back of a car, dropped her chain and snapped a cable which had given her a scratch down the side of her leg and a nice bruise to come. I called out to her to make sure she was ok, and then carried on. She got me again! and only because she dropped her chain again was I able to pass her, then she DID IT AGAIN! Chicked 3 times by the same chick. Good on her, but, I have work to do! She came into transition approx. 2 mins ahead of me, but it would have been a lot more if she didn't have all of those issues. But that is racing. Also, I had chosen to stay with my training wheels, bad move in the end. Perhaps I would have had a bit better ride with them.

I was told later that when I came into transition, I looked pissed off. I wasn't cranky, I was focused and knew I had a lot of work to do to catch her.

See, I'm smiling here, I headed out with my usual, 'just run til you get out of sight of the crowds and then you can walk' attitude. But to my surprise and great pleasure, I felt great and I held my steady tap tap tap the entire race. I walked the aid stations and got plenty of hose downs. Sipped on my dextro to keep the energy up and eased the nutrition when my gut threatened to cramp on me. There were lots of sandy off road tracks with moguls and hidden trip hazards everywhere. The ITBs held and I kept focused on my form and high cadence. Finally with the finish line in sight, and Gazza checking in with me as he ran for a short while beside me, I finished strong and happy. Very Happy.

Roberto & Me, missing The Onion Man

I had a great day, finished 3rd, very happy with my swim and run, and made greater by good friends and great laughs.

Lisa MONAGHAN1:58:0045-49  (1)Female  (13)0:20:360:00:490:59:030:01:010:36:28
Nola URQUHART 2:01:5545-49  (2)Female  (18)0:20:500:01:001:00:210:01:130:38:29
Samantha BOWDEN (468)2:11:0745-49  (3)Female  (34)0:20:420:01:251:05:360:00:140:43:08
Kristen ASHER 2:15:4245-49  (4)Female  (41)0:23:400:02:241:07:250:01:510:40:19
Sonya STEWART 2:16:5445-49  (5)Female  (43)0:22:430:01:011:03:270:01:040:48:37
Kylie STEWART 2:17:4445-49  (6)Female  (45)0:22:020:01:351:08:450:01:270:43:53
Joanne MULLER 2:29:2745-49  (7)Female  (59)0:27:340:01:301:18:330:01:510:39:58
Marie CHRETIEN 2:43:3645-49  (8)Female  (66)0:33:320:02:191:16:370:03:220:47:44
Robert COULTHARD 1:56:0640-44  (10)Male  (53)0:20:430:01:370:55:590:02:080:35:37

It was a great weekend all round upon reflection. Saturday, Team Bowson hit the mud for a fantastic day. I love watching them playing and getting stuck into the obstacles.


And the final announcement for the weekend.....Gazza might do another 100km run. Back to the life if an Ultra Runners Widow. But it looks like a great course and cause and one that is close to Gazza's heart.

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