The main event… Noosa Triathlon 2016

30 Oct

After setting an alarm for 0415 Saturday night I headed to bed, ready to have a solid sleep before the Noosa Triathlon… who was I kidding! After waking every hour, I finally gave up trying to sleep or rest and got out of bed at 0345hrs.  I donned my Smiling for Smiddy apparel, grabbed my previously packed transition bag and set off on my 2.4km walk to transition.

In transition I was disappointed to find that our bikes had been shuffled around a little, and the amount of room I had for my transition set up was very minimal and less than “normal”.  However, I made do, pumped up my tyres, checked and checked again that I had everything ready and headed to the start line. I’d found my mate (and training buddy) Kim in transition so I hung with her and her family while I waited for my family to rise and shine.  At main beach we decided to set a new trend and headed out to swim around one of the buoys as a bit of a warm up and to calm the nerves. We thought it was beautiful out, the water temperature was lovely and though there was a swell it wasn’t too bad (especially when compared to the open water swim I’d participated in on Friday!). We came back into shore, participated in the mandatory Smiling for Smiddy group photo and prepared for our wave start.

Kim set off at 0636hrs and I was in the second wave that started four minutes later at 0640hrs. My coaches instructions were to go hard in the swim and I did my best to try. I found myself in the middle of our wave, with people constantly around me – I’d never been in this position before! I kept stroking away and was really happy with the way my swim was progressing. I was sighting well and as I approached and rounded the first buoy I felt I was right on track.  It was here that the first of the age groupers in the following wave caught up with me.  I was tight around the buoy and was swum over the top of three times… literally… it is a unique experience (and not one I recommend) – you literally get pushed further down under the water while they glide/kick over the top!  At this point I briefly resorted to breaststroke to get my breath back.  After a couple of strokes, I was able to gather myself, and commence freestyle once again. For the remainder of the swim I continued to sight well, and managed what felt like pretty direct lines between marker buoys.  I took my fair share of elbows, feet, hands etc but it didn’t alter my stroke and I kept on going.  I managed to catch up to a few from the first Smiddy wave as I got near the finish, and was feeling pretty good. On getting out of the swim I noted 38 minutes on my watch and was astounded (last year I did 32min and I’m a much stronger swimmer this year)… although my GPS says I did 1700m, the 1500m was done – Official time 39:11!

Leg two was the bike – another leg I wanted to go hard on. I don’t have too much to report about the ride. It felt like a solid ride.  It was, unfortunately, my slowest time up Garmin Hill, however made up for by my fastest time down it (and reaching a top speed of 72km/hr).  I was pushing as hard as I could, and even doing greater than 30km/hr was well and truly left for dead by various age groupers who were just incredible on the bike – made me feel like I was standing still!! The mandatory waves to Mum and Dad, Dave, those in the Smiddy Tent, and my coach Em on the sidelines.  Overall I was happy with my bike leg, and even happier to discover I managed a Personal Best time this year – 1:32:39, 40km.

Transition two wasn’t a good one for me.  Unfortunately when I went back in to rack my bike there was no longer any room (it was tight initially). There were bikes haphazardly racked around mine, and I literally had to shuffle bikes down to make room for mine. Once that was done I was then actually able to undertake my bike/run transition.

Time to head off for the final leg – a run… This unfortunately hasn’t been my best leg of late – although I generally have been better running when it is a run off the bike.  This is definitely an area that needs a bit more work, and I found I lost the mental battle and couldn’t encourage my legs to keep moving. The first km was solid but after that it was an interval session.  At about the 5km mark I found another tri-buddy Jane (she caught up to me) and we ran together for a while, before I caved and encouraged her to keep on going! On and off the run continued for 10km – more off than on if I’m honest.  It was so hot out there by now and I was starting to think about all those who still had to come out on the run (and were still heading out on the bike).  The run out was mostly on road and very little shade, the second half there was a little more shade which was a bit nicer. A suboptimal run unfortunately – though all encouragement on route was greatly appreciated.  I ended up doing a 1:20:24 (8min/km), 10km.

After finishing I headed back to the Smiddy team tent and gratefully accepted a massage from the team at Allsports Physio. I also appreciated the nice cold drink offered, and the food that magically appeared.  It was, as always, an honour to represent the Smiling for Smiddy organisation.  I believe we are close to raising $300,000 from this event alone – and I’m so grateful to those who supported me in my fundraising this year.

So the final time was 3:41 – As usual I have fairly well deconstructed my triathlon mentally since the race.  I was really hoping to do a sub 3:30 however this didn’t eventuate today.  Many others I know had a lot slower swim times than they thought so that was some consolation. I was able to knock 10 minutes off last years’ time (although last year I wasn’t in the best health by the end of it!). My run fitness definitely needs work, and some consistent training on the bike will continue to see improvements in this leg also.  It was a fairly inconsistent winter of training for me not feeling completely well, but back to training again now I’m feeling a better and I WILL continue to get fitter and stronger.

So, next up is Raby Bay in December (900/25/6) all good race experience as I start to prepare for my next big event – my first half ironman at the end of February.

But first? This week is recovery week. Time to take it a bit easier and give the body a small rest after today…

Thanks again to all who have supported and continue to support me in these crazy endeavours!

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