This week has been so busy leading up to my final aquathlon of the season.
Saturday: Lake swim followed by a run (and then a bit of cheering the junior triathletes at Lakeside)
Sunday: 40k bike ride followed by a 30-minute run
Monday: 1 hour of swimming with some challenging drills
Tuesday: 1:06 on the turbo trainer
Wednesday: 70 minutes of intervals… on my own… in the dark. Autumn is definitely here 🙁
Thursday: Aquathlon time!
I also signed up for the Uni tri club (SUTRI) yesterday and met the president. I’m hoping to join in with quite a few of their training sessions in the next few months. In particular, I’m looking forward to spinning as I’ve not been to a spin class since I left my old job in September 2012.
End of the open water swimming season
It is so sad that we’re at the end of the open water swimming season. I know that some people swim outdoors all year round, but I struggle with the cold, so I don’t think I’ll become one of those people any time soon… unless I emigrate to somewhere warmer. (Apparently, the water is 26 degrees C in Mallorca at the moment!)
Stu and I headed to Lakeside for the final aquathlon on the season. I wasn’t feeling well and was struggling to breathe this afternoon, so I was feeling a bit nervous and started wondering whether I should drop down to doing the short distance. In the end, I decided that I would do the long swim and see how I felt on the run. It’s a two-lap run course, so I figured that I could stop after 1 lap if I were struggling (although everyone who knows me knows that I would be more likely to crawl 2.5km than drop out of a race).
As usual, I didn’t get in the water early enough to acclimatise. Fortunately, it didn’t feel as cold as it did on Saturday, and parts of the lake were surprisingly warm.
We all lined up for the customary wave before the start. My partner, Stu, is in the foreground looking directly at the camera (with red bands on the sleeves of his wetsuit). I’m just a tiny head in the background!
As soon as we started, it seemed as though only the really good swimmers had turned up as within seconds, I could see swimmers way out in front. My breathing was ragged, but I decided to focus on having a good time and try not to wear myself out too much before Sunday’s triathlon.
I realised that there were some other swimmers near me, but that they mostly had on white hats indicating that they were doing the short distance.
My goggles steamed up, but I didn’t have any problems with leaks and I maintained front crawl throughout the swim. There were a few other swimmers who were fairly close to me who ended up doing a medley of crawl and breaststroke. It was a bit of a battle between another lady and me, but as we completed our second lap (out of 2.5), I managed to surge ahead.
New wetsuit needed
It’s become apparent to me over the last couple of months that my wetsuit no longer fits. I’m not sure whether that’s because I’ve lost weight or changed shape or because the wetsuit has stretched. Anyway, whatever the cause, it now tends to fold up on me and fill with water, which isn’t much fun and I can’t imagine it does a lot for my streamlining. As I’ve only one triathlon and a triathlon holiday left this year, I’ll live with it, but I definitely need a new wetsuit before I do more open water swimming.
Finally, I got to the exit, where I could hear Ben shouting encouragement. I couldn’t see much but assumed that he was pointing his camera at me, so I thought I’d better look cheerful.
Stu was doing the race as a relay (with Jez running for him) as he has a leg injury, so he was in transition when I arrived. I asked him to pick up my belongings when I’d finished, stripped off my wetsuit, put on socks and trainers, put in my contact lenses and was off. It definitely wasn’t the fastest transition. Laser surgery had better save me at least a minute!!!
My breathing had calmed down a bit, so I tried to pick up the pace a bit on my run, but my Garmin decided to give me crazy data that kept fluctuating, so I couldn’t rely on it to tell me how fast I was going. I saw Jez go flying by on his second lap, followed by two men and a female runner. On the first lap, I felt great, but I think I slowed on the second lap as I was starting to tire. I heard another running catching up with me, but I just couldn’t pick up the pace enough to stay with her and didn’t want to over-exert myself.
My final thoughts were that I needed to ensure that I finished well. My finish photos from Weymouth look truly dreadful. I don’t look happy that I’ve finished, I just look saggy. I sprint for the line and tried to keep my head up whilst waving my hands in the air. Unfortunately, Ben didn’t quite capture my moment of triumph and it’s a bit blurry, but I’ll take it 🙂
How did I do?
In the final results, Stu is placed first, but he was in a relay team (although he reckons that he could have run a similar time). I still need to work on my swimming (and hope that a new wetsuit has a magic effect), but I don’t think my run was too awful.
I’m a bit sad that it’s the last aquathlon of the season, so I’ll have to console myself by entering some of the TryTri duathlons over winter.