Firstly, I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who is following my blog – I started it as a personal record of my progress, so I am delighted that I’ve now got over 800 followers (I hit 802 today)! Thank you so much – it’s such an honour to hear from people who say that I’ve inspired them 🙂 Now onto talking about Eastleigh Open Water Tri.
Today’s excitement was my first open water tri of the season. So that I didn’t have to start my day too early, Stu and I registered with Eastleigh Open Water Tri last night and picked up our goodie bags. There was a choice of free gifts on offer, including TryTri buffs, water bottles and mugs. As I’ve already got a TryTri buff and my kitchen cupboard is overflowing with water bottles, I chose to have a mug and coaster that I will take to work. We were also given a delicious packet of Urban Fruit. I got ‘magnificent mango’, which is nice, but not as delicious as the strawberry one!
Fortunately, the swim was in a lake that I’m familiar with. I’ve heard that there are some enormous fish in the lake, but it’s so murky that I’ve never seen any. There have been lots of reports in the local (Dorset) news about scores of giant barrel jellyfish appearing in the area… I’m so glad I didn’t hear the news before doing my sea swim last Sunday!
I read this article this week about outdoor swimming: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jun/26/why-i-love-outdoor-swimming?INTCMP=mic_233352 I love the feeling of solitude that I get when swimming in the lake in the morning. This year, I haven’t done enough of it!
A group of us started together in the last wave, so I hoped that I would be able to keep Teri, Liz and Jenny in my sight during the swim and bike. I did continuous front crawl, but am still not sure why I’m so slow in comparison with old lady breaststrokers!
T1 – transition one
I knew T1 would be slow as I had to put my contact lenses in. At least I wasn’t last and next year I should be able to move a bit faster in T1!
Donna, Jenny and Roelie had practised the bike route with me, so I knew what to expect. I went out as hard as possible, knowing that I was behind most of my friends. I saw Asa on her return journey and was surprised that I was so far behind… it took me a while to remember that she was doing the novice distance and had not had to swim as far.
It felt like I had to stop at every set of traffic lights, which was very frustrating. I saw Stu looking very strong on the bike, and not far from the turnaround point, I saw Teri. She had a very strong bike ride and did really well. A man spoke to me at a large roundabout, explaining that he had to go around it again… I think he was confused about quite how the two laps were calculated – oops!
On the second lap, I felt like I was doing really well until I got to a pedestrian crossing. The light went red, but the pedestrians had already crossed, which was very frustrating. I think I only had to wait about 30 seconds for the lights to change, but it felt like a much longer time period. I was also annoyed that another triathlete passed me at the lights by going through them when they were red.
As I headed back in through the car park, I slipped my feet out of my shoes and managed to do a fantastic flying dismount.
T2 – transition two
My great dismount and the slope down into transition helped me to achieve a good time for T2. This always seems to be my strongest part of triathlons! I racked my bike, removed my helmet and mitts and slipped on my shoes as quickly as possible.
My running hasn’t been going well this year, but I felt quite comfortable going out onto the run. My aim was to maintain a steady pace under 6:00/km, and hopefully get as close as possible to 5:30/km, which I think I managed. For the winter, my aim is to pick up my speed.
I really enjoyed Eastleigh Open Water Tri and am starting to feel more confident. There are a lot of things that I can learn from it.
1:29:55.40 (168/210; 40th female out of 67; 3rd in my AG)
As usual with a Try Tri event, there was a cracking medal.
After finishing, I met up with Asa, Suzanne, Katherine, Liz and Jenny (as well as Stu) to go for some food.
My final bit of reading this week was an article from triathlete – here’s a taster of it:
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