I wasn’t last, even though there was some swimming involved!

26 Jun

Although I’m still tired from last Sunday’s swim, I had already entered tonight’s aquathlon (hosted by the lovely TryTri chaps), so I figured that I’d better just get on with it. We left home a bit late, and I didn’t do a great job of getting myself organised. I thought that I had picked up everything necessary for transition, but realised that I had left my inhaler and contact lenses in my bag, so I missed the briefing (and hat distribution) to go and get them. Fortunately, Stu was there to get a hat for me. I didn’t really have enough time to worry and just went straight into the water, which actually felt like a pleasant temperature.

After a quick wave at the camera, we were off. I had carefully positioned myself near the back of the pack, so I wasn’t squished in the initial brawl. We soon spread out and I was pleased to realise that I was breathing quite well. Unfortunately, my goggles were not doing as well, as I had to stop and empty them three times, which broke my rhythm.

My terrible breathing! © Paul A. Hammond

My terrible breathing! © Paul A. Hammond

I'm still not sure why my head is in this position © Paul A. Hammond

I’m still not sure why my head is in this position © Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

The route was meant to be 750m, but my sighting wasn’t great, so I swam 980m… I really must work on that as I wasted quite a lot of time.

The course is 2.5 laps, so by the time I had swum 1.5 laps, it was starting to thin out a bit and I was pleased to realise that I wasn’t the very last person. Unfortunately, I was also aware that my arms were very tired from Sunday’s exertions, so I wasn’t able to pick the pace up. I pushed as hard as I could, but I know I was passed by at least 3 people in the final lap.

Eventually, I was at the end of the swim. Maybe I should have swum a little bit closer to the exit, but I was ready to stand up, and was relieved that I didn’t feel as dizzy as I normally do. Result! 🙂

Some people might blame the wetsuit for being unflattering; I blame my love of food! © Paul A. Hammond

Some people might blame the wetsuit for being unflattering; I blame my love of food! © Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

This shows just how close the next competitor was © Paul A. Hammond

This shows just how close the next competitor was © Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

I should pin this horrible photo of my double chins up in the kitchen! © Paul A. Hammond

I should pin this horrible photo of my double chins up in the kitchen! © Paul A. Hammond

I finished the swim in 20:01.8 (35/37)

It was then onto transition, which I know is a terrible discipline for me. If I could just strip off my wetsuit/hat/goggles, throw on some shoes and run, I’d be fine, but I’ve had blisters when I tried running without socks before, and so close to a triathlon, I didn’t want to risk it, so I put socks on. Then came the real time-wasting part: contact lenses. I hate running with my glasses on as they make me feel ill. This is partly because they’re not quite the right prescription, but at nearly £300 a pair, I can’t afford to waste money on something that I rarely wear. I put in my contact lenses as fast as possible and was off.

Heading into transition © Paul A. Hammond

Heading into transition © Paul A. Hammond

An entire sequence of me stripping! © Paul A. Hammond

An entire sequence of me stripping! © Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

I’m amused by this shot, which looks like I’m weeing myself – I’m not, honest! © Paul A. Hammond

I managed not to battle my watch this time – I took the face of it off, removed my wetsuit and then clipped it back on again 🙂

T1 2:00.20 (36/37)

At this point, I was unaware that I was not the last person. I thought someone had exited the lake just after me (which they did) and I assumed that he was the very last person in the event… and I knew he would have left transition before me.

I always find the breathing hard when I first start running after swimming, but I just told myself to relax and enjoy it, which seemed to work. I’ve mumbled recently about feeling like I’ve only got one speed – slow – as a consequence of doing some long, slow runs, but I surprised myself by being able to move at a reasonable pace. I think the intervals with Coach Ant (Run Camp) and Huw/Steve (Southampton Tri Club) are finally starting to pay off.

I could hear a speedy runner coming up behind me, but I thought that there was no point in looking around as they would pass me soon enough. I was quite surprised when they spoke to me, and then realised that it was Stuart, who was clearly running very well. I had decided to wear my SOAS pink peacock tri kit as I’ve got a busy couple of days ahead of me and I want to wear my team SOAS kit on Sunday. It’s really comfortable to wear and has the added advantage of standing out really well. Stuart said that he recognised me from quite a long way off as my kit is so distinctive!

I like the run route for Eastleigh aquathlon as it’s essentially the same as the first parkrun that I used to attend, which is where I found my love for running. It’s a two lap course that I know inside out. A third of the way around is a slight incline, before a shady tree-lined section, followed by a (miniature) railway crossing and then an open path. There’s then a grassy section around a ‘bowl’ followed by a sharp down and up, before a gentler slope leading back across the railway line. There’s then one more steep up and over the railway line, before heading to the second lap/finish.

By the time I got to the first incline, I could see a runner ahead of me in distinctive green calf guards. It looked like he was slowing down, so I thought there might be a chance that I could catch him. This, and the enthusiastic encouragement from Becky who was marshalling, encouraged me to push on. I took a while for me to catch up with the chap, but I finally managed it at the bowl. I then headed back towards the start/finish, where the lovely Paul was waiting

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

This shot shows just how great I was feeling! © Paul A. Hammond

This shot shows just how great I was feeling! © Paul A. Hammond

Still smiling and both feet off the ground! © Paul A. Hammond

Still smiling and both feet off the ground! © Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

Getting ready... © Paul A. Hammond

Getting ready… © Paul A. Hammond

...to blow a kiss at Paul! © Paul A. Hammond

…to blow a kiss at Paul! © Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

I kept pushing on the second lap as I didn’t want to be overtaken. As I crossed the railway line, I realised that there were some competitors ahead. I started to push on, but realised that I probably wasn’t going to catch up with them, which frustrated me, but I didn’t want to push too hard as I want to save some energy for Sunday’s triathlon.

Towards the end of the race, I heard someone running behind me. It was a man with a fluorescent yellow shirt on. I didn’t think he was part of the aquathlon, so I wondered whether he was just someone out enjoying a run… but just in case, I started to pick up the pace a little more. This was a lucky guess, as it turned out that he was in the event!

Feeling determined as I could see the finish line! © Paul A. Hammond

Feeling determined as I could see the finish line! © Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

Look at that heel lift! I hope Coach Ant feels proud! © Paul A. Hammond

Look at that heel lift! I hope Coach Ant feels proud! © Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

Action shot! © Paul A. Hammond

Action shot! © Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

Although I look tired in these photos, I was actually feeling really good and would have been happy to carry on and run another 5k. It turns out that my run was the best part of the event for me as I beat 4 people!

Run: 26:38.75 (33/37)

Total: 48:40.75 (34/37)

© Paul A. Hammond

© Paul A. Hammond

I really enjoyed tonight’s event. My super husband did brilliantly, finishing in 3rd place in a time of 31:11.10! Awesome result, Stu! The TryTri lads work well to make each event a success and they also put in a lot of effort to make ech competitor feel valued. The aquathlons are reasonably priced, with chip timing for each event meaning that the results were online by the time that I arrived home, and there was also a bottle of water for each entrant.

I now feel as well prepared as possible for Eastleigh Open Water Triathlon on Sunday. As usual, my aim is to finish, but I’m also hoping not to be last. My T2 is likely to be significantly faster than T1, and I’m hoping that my bike segment will compare favourably with others (probably more because of my fab Kuota Kharma than for my ability).

Have you got any races coming up? Which discipline do you think you need to practise the most?

16 Responses to “I wasn’t last, even though there was some swimming involved!”

  1. James Snook 27/06/2014 at 1:01 am #

    Superb effort, and an excellent run time. Well done

    • tamsynsmith 27/06/2014 at 4:04 am #

      Thank you. It’s been over two years since I’ve been ‘on form’ when it comes to running and I’m determined to get back to where I was… but I need to cut down on my unhealthy eating habits first! From your blog, it sounds like you’re also fighting the run. Have you heard of parkrun? There are events in Southsea and Havant, which I guess might be the closest ones to you. Having a bit of friendly competition on a Saturday morning might help to push you. Well done for targetting the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon. I cheered people on there last year – it’s a tough race! 🙂

  2. Martha B 27/06/2014 at 4:02 am #

    Look at you go!!
    Excellent effort and you look like you are having a blast! Like you are genuinely happy and having a great time! You should be so proud!

    • tamsynsmith 27/06/2014 at 1:30 pm #

      Thank you. It was the perfect weather conditions – warm, but slightly overcast. The lake was exactly the right temperature and I was relaxed as I was saving some energy for Sunday’s triathlon!

  3. thecrazyrunnergirl 27/06/2014 at 5:45 am #

    Hey! Don’t know if you spotted us but I was with the running club that appeared at the lakes as everyone was finishing! So impressed with anyone who does a swim as well as a run! The course was lovely to run around. Well done!

    • tamsynsmith 27/06/2014 at 1:34 pm #

      😦 I think you must have arrived before I finished as I was one of the last ones. I saw a couple of ladies out running around the bowl, but I didn’t see any groups (unless you were the people who were running on the path away from the lake… there were too many trees in the way for me to see clearly!)

      The water is getting so warm now that wetsuits will soon be banned… that could be your chance to have a go at swimming there. The water’s a bit murky, but it’s lovely and peaceful 🙂

  4. Gareth S-B 27/06/2014 at 9:17 am #

    Lovely report, Tamsyn and great photos from Paul too. I’m sorry I missed the aquathlon, I’ve really missed the Try Tri atmosphere!! But looking forward to Sunday! Let’s hope it’s sunny, but not too hot. 🙂

  5. garethsb 27/06/2014 at 11:14 am #

    Well done and lovely report, Tamsyn, and great photos from Paul too! I’m sorry I missed the aquathlon, I’ve really missed the Try Tri atmosphere so far this year. But I’m looking forward to Sunday!! Let’s hope the sun shines, but it’s not too hot. 🙂

    • tamsynsmith 27/06/2014 at 11:14 pm #

      Good news – the BBC reckons it will be dry on Sunday, but 14-17C with no clouds! I reckon it’ll be a great event 🙂

  6. theblogrunner 29/06/2014 at 6:26 pm #

    What a brilliant run report and I love the pictures – especially the weeing one! 😀
    Well done and best of luck for the next one. 🙂

    • tamsynsmith 29/06/2014 at 11:03 pm #

      Thank you! I’m half-way through writing a blogpost about today’s exploits – my first open water tri of the season and in two weeks time, I’ll be tackling my first ever Olympic distance triathlon. The run’s only 10k, but after swimming 1500m and cycling 40k, it’ll be a tough run!

  7. Dawn H. 30/06/2014 at 1:13 am #

    awesome job! i love the shots of you smiling at the camera – can tell you’re feeling good!

    • tamsynsmith 01/07/2014 at 10:25 pm #

      Thanks. I think I need the same level of support and perfect weather conditions for every race!

  8. rosemarybyde 30/06/2014 at 2:41 pm #

    Hi Tamysn – regarding sports glasses at £300 a pair … have you ever looked at Optilabs? They sell direct and I’ve used them twice and much cheaper (though still not cheap!) at about £170. For which you can get photochromic prescription lenses or other options. You order on line but can ask for samples of three to try out before you decide, and they were very helpful with me. I wear mine when I’m out cycling or running, and because they’re photochromic I don’t need to worry about switching depending on whether it’s cloudy, sunny or night time! http://www.optilabs.com/site/prods.php?pfid=0,8,44

    • tamsynsmith 01/07/2014 at 10:31 pm #

      Thanks for the link, Rosemary. Part of my issue is that I just don’t like wearing glasses. I’m still weighing up the pros and cons of laser eye surgery, which has had favourable reviews from several family members and friends, so I don’t want to spend money on more glasses until I’ve made a final decision. If my eyes were fixed then I wouldn’t have to worry about my goggles problems or running with glasses on… but then I consider the potential problems of surgery :-S Such a difficult decision!

      • rosemarybyde 02/07/2014 at 10:46 pm #

        Ah, I remember, because they make you go a bit giddy when running? Likewise re laser surgery. So many of my active friends have had it done, and every single one highly recommends it. My problem is that I don’t mind wearing glasses most of the time! But during sport and especially long overnight type races, or in rain, or in water it becomes an issue. We’ll see who comes to a conclusion first 🙂

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