I can’t believe it was actually a month since my last post, feels like only a couple of weeks ago.
Anyway, moving along, the first race is over and was completed on the 2nd April. It was the perfect day for it, with the sun out but it being an early enough start that it was still cool enough temperatures to not cause any more suffering. There was a slight wind, but I’ll touch more on that shortly.
To summarise for those who don’t want to read the details, it was very positive and somewhat surprising too.
Before going into the event I thought a time of 45 minutes (including the transitions of course) would be an achievable target based on the pacing of my training runs and rides in the weeks prior. It would be a time I’d be happy with and would have certainly showed the progress I’ve felt recently.
My actual time was 41:50, which I am over the moon with. Especially taking into account the improvements I could make. I’ll go through the race as it happened.
Paul and I agreed that we would do the first run together and he would stick to the pace I set, before doing the bike and 2nd run at our own speed. In the weekend prior, Paul and I did our own roughly Sprint distance duathlon around the roads near our family home. On those we were running at just over 12 km/h (around 4:50 min/km) pace and averaging around 30 km/h (2:00min/km).
Taking that into account I thought running the first run at around 12.5 km/h would be a comfortable pace for me and would be on target for my 45 minute finish. We set off from the back of the group and got into a nice rhythm, quickly passing a lot of other competitors. Looked down at my GPS watch, we were running at around 14 km/h. It was a pleasant thing to see as I felt like the pace was perfect, not so hard that the rest of the race would suffer but hard enough that I didn’t feel like I wasn’t pushing. I finished the 2.5 km in 10:58, quickest I’ve run such a distance since I was about 15.
Took a quick drink in transition, got my helmet on and out I ran with my bike (kept trainers on for the 10k bike)
This is where Paul left me for dead, I couldn’t get my legs working well and to make it worse, there was a headwind at the start of the bike. Now, unlike my whippet built brother, I am not very aerodynamic, so this hurt me. I struggled to get 30 km/h, instead sitting around the 28 km/h zone, it was not pleasant, but knew at around 2.5 km, we’d double back and I could make up some time with the tail wind. I did, averaging between 33-35 km/h.
Then I started the 2nd lap, the wind had picked up and I really had to fight through it, kept an average just over the same area on the first lap, but people were easily going past. I didn’t panic and carried on round, again, the switch back increasing my average to about 33 km/h. The bike took me 18:21
Coming into T2 to get back out running, I jumped off the bike and my legs felt like they weren’t even mine, but I kept them moving. Racked the bike, took off my helmet, had a big gulp of water and set off on the run.
Setting out on the run, the first 200m or so felt alien. I barely felt I was moving, but a quick look at the watch told me I was in the high 13 km/h range. Running toward the turn at 1.25 km was a slight headwind and I had to keep telling myself to keep moving, I was not going to have a walk at all. It’s only 2.5 km. When I was about 200m away from the turn, Paul and I crossed paths, he was on his way back up toward the finish. I made him aware of my current thoughts by shouting ‘I’m dying’. Dramatic yes, but I was working hard.
Took the turn and then there was no wind, felt like there was nothing at all, even struggling for air with how still it had become and I felt exceptionally hot too. My pace dropped to around 13 km/h dead. I kept moving and about 100m from the line I picked up the pace as best I could to around 14.5-15 km/h and crossed the lined. The 2nd run was done in 11:16.
It was great, my running far exceeded my expectations which is a massive positive given the injuries and niggles I’ve been having since the start of this journey. The bike leg was a surprise, thought I could have achieved more there. I beat my average pace I set out to do, but I know I can do better and will be working hard toward that.
Who doesn’t love stats?!
Next up is to train hard toward the Sprint distance in Ardingley in 2 months time. I want to spend some time shifting some weight in the coming weeks before really taking my training up a notch to make sure I am ready to exceed my expectations once again.
Before signing off, I have to thank everybody who had been supporting me in this. Everyone has been so positive in their support, including my sarcastic friends (I know you mean well you sods). Special thanks goes to Kate, my family but most of all, to my brother Paul. Training with you and doing this race with you has pushed me on to get better.
So, it is with a big smile that I look toward the future. Cheers for Reading