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snafu
Joined: 14 Mar 2007
Location: Finally back in the UK!
Interests: Triathlon, Poker, Flying

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 Snafu's Meanderings 
 
 
Sherborne School Sprint
Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:34 pm snafu
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The weather was pretty ropey, with a bit more of a breeze than I'd have liked, I had a minor helmet faff in T1 and there was a cheeky hill during the bike that had me puffing like a 60-year old asthmatic by the top, but it was in my home town, my family were able to support me and there was another friend racing for her first time, so all-in-all it was a very enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning!

This was the first of the events I've entered this year actually in Sherborne, so I had been really looking forward to it, even if the weather forecasts for the past couple of days were all pointing to a pretty unpleasant day. Fortunately, when I got up and looked out of the window, it was grey and overcast, but at least it wasn't raining (yet... Rolling Eyes )! After a quick breakfast and having sorted out the last of my kit, I jumped onto my bike and headed down to the school, probably with the shortest journey of any other competitor!

Once I'd picked up my timing chip and racked my bike, the race briefing took about 15 minutes, after which I had about an hour to kill until I was needed on the poolside. I did think about heading home for a cuppa, but eventually just mooched around the sports centre, chatting to a couple of people, including a friend who was taking part in her first event. She's actually our next-door neighbours' daughter, who had moved away a couple of years ago when she got married to a serviceman and was working as a PE teacher. She seemed a little nervous, but was keen to get going and was actually programmed to be two waves ahead of me in the pool. Unfortunately, when she then mentioned that she expected to complete the swim in about 8:30, I suddenly got slightly concerned that I'd put down a 400m time for the 500m swim and was therefore in completely the wrong wave! Fortunately, this didn't seem to be the case, judging by the performance of the other guys in my wave, but still caused a couple of missed heart-beats!

Having done my last couple of swims in open water with a wet-suit, but not having had much of a chance to get much pool training since my last event, I was interested to see how much of a difference there would be just racing in a tri-suit. I set off at what felt like a reasonable pace, not pushing too hard but trying to maintain a good speed, so was hopeful that I was making good time. The waves went off every 5 mins, so I was quite pleased to see the next two waves get going almost exactly as I completed my 5th and final laps, particularly as my previous pool-based performance had suggested that 500m should have taken me about 11:40. Including the time taken to get out and run out of the pool before crossing the timing mat, I'm quite pleased with 10:48 for the swim.

Into T1, everything seemed to be going to plan, right up to the point I tried to put my helmet on, whereupon the 'male' end of the plastic clip to fasten it under my chin came away in my hand! Evil or Very Mad Initially thinking I'd trashed it, I was relieved to discover that the strap had just pulled through it and it was a relatively easy fix, although it just took a little more time than I'd wanted to stay there. Out of transition, there was quite a long run down a footpath to the next timing mat just before we got to the main road, which was the bike mount line. Apart from nearly going A-over-T down a short slope to the road, where I remembered in a hurry that bike shoes don't have any grip, this all went OK, even if 3:29 for T1 is almost double what I'd hoped for. Sad

As soon as I'd set off on the bike, I instantly regretted my decision on Sat afternoon to recce the course so that I was familiar with it on the Sunday. Despite having known about the course since it was published on their website, I'd just not got around it and had therefore done my usual trick of leaving it to the last minute. I'd taken it relatively easy yesterday, but as soon as I got going I realised that my legs were still a little fatigued from the day before. I also realised that the stiff breeze I'd felt in the town was a little stronger out in the countryside and would be a bit of a challenge for the into-wind parts of the course, although I hoped this would be balanced out by a tail wind for other bits of the course....hmmmm, right Rolling Eyes !

Conscious that I was probably a bit slower today than I'd been yesterday, I just kept plugging away and fairly quickly found myself at the bottom of the main climb of the course. Climbing has never been my strong suit....come to think of it, I'm not sure I've actually got a strong suit....but this one was a bit cheekier than the norm. It was certainly steep enough for me to be firmly established in the granny-gear almost immediately as I crawled to the top. It also had quite a deceptive plateau about half-way up, where the road appeared to drop away again until you got to the plateau, saw the dotted white lines across that lane and realised that the road I was on kicked back up the hill to my left! After what seemed like an age, I made it to the top, passing a group of spectators just before the summit. While I appreciate that they were probably waiting for someone specific, they cheered everyone who went past them, which was a really nice lift just as you were puffing and spluttering !

The rest of the bike went OK, even if my legs did feel like I'd taken the edge off things by recce'ing the route the previous day! After a great sweeping run down Dancing Hill back into the town, narrowly avoiding a small traffic jam that suddenly formed in front of me at a junction, it was nice to see so much support as I approached the school for T2. The bike dismount line was about 80m from the timing mat, so there was a bit more time added to the bike leg time by running across the car-park, but I was still a little disappointed with the 48:10 split, which I'm putting down to having fatigued my legs a bit by riding the route the day before, the stronger wind and the cheeky hill in the middle!

The actual transition elements of T2 seemed to go OK, but with the same long run down the footpath to the timing mat, the time of 1:34 still seems a bit slow.

As soon as I started on the run, I couldnít tell whether my slightly weakened legs was another indicator that Iíd taken a bit too much out of them the day before or just the normal jelly feeling off the bike. One bloke went past me almost out of transition and then settled about 50 yards ahead of me, so I decided to target him and see if I could run him down as my legs improved, which they normally do fairly steadily through the run. Unfortunately, it simply never happened and I spent most of the 5km feeling like I was wading through treacle. I did manage to keep my target within about 100m for the whole way round and overtook a couple of people, but I never got the feeling that I could gradually push a little harder as time progressed like I have done previously up at Dorney. I still pushed as hard as I felt I could manage, so it was great to see all the support as I approached the finish back at the school and as I crossed the line. Iíd been using my Forerunner for the bike and run legs in Ďmultisportí mode, which had registered 1:17 over the line, so I was optimistic that with just over a 10 min swim Iíd just have managed to get inside 1:30. Unfortunately, T1 clearly took longer than Iíd expected and I paid for it with a total time of 1:31:03 Crying or Very sad . This wasnít helped by a run of 27:02, which was a bit disappointing considering how pleased Iíd been with my running at the last couple of events.

Overall, I think it was a good learning experience and showed me that Iím still not fit enough to recce a 20km bike route one afternoon and then race that course the following morning. I was pleased with the swim, slightly annoyed about my helmet faff in T1, but mostly disappointed with my performance on the bike and run, where Iím pretty sure I could have done better. Still, I prefer to try and take the lessons away from an experience like that, so Iíll be having a word with myself if I contemplate going out for a ride the day before an event and will try to be more organised to complete the recce a week or so beforehand! Iíve also learnt that itís not just long races that need a taper or rest period before the event; it may only be for a day or so, but even sprint races need a bit of time off the day before.

Iím now looking ahead to the Oxley Sprint race in Sherborne in Aug, which Iíve raced for the last couple of years. The focus for that will be to make sure Iím properly prepared (rested!) and try not to crash on the bike like I did two years ago! Iím also looking ahead to Sep, because BustinSkin are running an Oly in Weymouth on 11 Sep that is starting to look extremely tempting!

Sue Ė Iíve never tried putting the shoes on the bike first, but Iím reasonably confident it would be almost guaranteed to make me fall off as I try to put them on properly!
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Dorney 220/HM Evening Series Race 2
Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:38 am snafu
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Another race completed with a quietly satisfying result, even if the times weren't quite as good as my previous performance in some areas.

I travelled up to Dorney from work again, arriving in plenty of time to get myself set up in advance of my race. Things definitely seemed smoother this time round and I was all set up and raring to go by the time we were called forward for the race brief. This was unsurprisingly similar to the previous event, although I did query whether this run was actually going to be the 5km advertised this time, rather than the two laps out and back to the 1000m marker that we'd completed two weeks' previously! Rolling Eyes The marshal was great and just replied that he'd personally nailed the turn-round marker to the ground at the correct point, so there shouldn't be any problem.

After the quick brief, it was into the water and we were off. I deliberately pushed a little harder this time, although it didn't seem to tire me as much as I was expecting, so maybe I am getting fitter! I actually managed to go past a couple of people and even had someone drafting off my feet, which is a new experience for me...I'm normally trying to find someone else to draft off! Laughing Ultimately I climbed out of the water to see 15:00 on my HRM, which I was delighted with, considering I'd predicted 17:30 based on my pool performance! Very Happy

T1 felt a bit quicker than before, which was borne out by the time, and I headed out on the bike. Unfortunately, I clearly forgot Slacko's advice from my last blog entry!! Mad As I climbed on and pushed away from the mount line, I looked down to get my shoes clipped in because they didn't connect easily. As I was slowing down, I suddenly noticed the kerb rapidly approaching from my left and looked up to realise that I was about to hit it. With no proper connection to apply some power, I wobbled and realised I was going over, at which point I just baled onto the grass verge.....five yards into the bike and at about 2kmh!! Rolling Eyes

One of the lads heading out just behind me called over "Don't worry mate, we've all done it!", which was a nice touch, even if I did mutter "Yeah, but you're not the one who's just done it here!" under my breath! Apart from a small cut on my ankle, which I only noticed after I'd finished, there wasn't any other damage, so I was up and off again within a few seconds.

I then realised quite how strong the breeze was across the course. It must have been a good 20kt from the SE, which meant that one leg of the bike was firmly into wind while the other side was cross-wind and you didn't get much benefit from the tailwind component, even with my fairly large cross section! My other problem was that Iíd strapped my Forerunner to the bike to provide some performance feedback, but it came up with a ĎBattery Lowí message as soon as I switched it on. In the event, it lasted a whole 8 minutes before dying, which meant that I completed most of the bike without a readout of speed, although that was pretty irrelevant, because I knew I was slower in the much stronger wind than the previous event.

I tried to spend a reasonable amount of time on the tri-bars, but am becoming more and more convinced that my position is just too aggressive and I need to ease it off, so I wasnít keen on staying down for too long. The wind really took the edge off my speed, so I knew it was going to be a slower time and tried to track it just using my normal HRM watch that Iíd been using for the whole race so far. Conscious that Iíd probably started the bike at about 18 mins, Iíd tried to finish the bike in under 58 mins cumulative, which would have kept my bike time under 40 mins, but I actually crossed the dismount line (without falling off again) just over 58 mins, so I knew I hadnít achieved my aim. The actual time of 41:58 is disappointing compared to last time, but Iím sanguine about it based on the much worse conditions.

T2 was pretty good and I was quickly out on the run, jelly legs notwithstanding for the first couple of hundred metres. This time the turn round marker was definitely at the 1250m mark, so this really was a 5km run, and once again I felt that I actually got more comfortable as the ran went on, although I didnít have the same opportunity last time to chase anyone down....indeed I got chased down and passed just before the end. The run time of 25:55 was, however, a quicker pace over 5km than Iíd run previously over just over 4km, so I was actually quite happy with it.

Overall, a time of 1:25:28, which is obviously slower than the last race, albeit with a longer run leg, was actually quite pleasing. The swim and run were both better and the bike was heavily affected by the wind, so Iím content that my pace is improving overall.

Roll on the next event!!
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Looking ahead
Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:02 am snafu
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Well, with the first event of the year complete, I've now done my usual trick of over-optimistically looking at the various options available to me around the south for more races over the next few months.

After my experience at the 220 evening sprint on Weds, I've got three more sprints races programmed in, but I've now started thinking about some longer races if I could manage it. I've never completed an Olympic distance race and have now spotted that there is one in Weymouth in Sep which is starting to look quite attractive. Wink I've also spotted that there is a half distance race in the New Forest in Sep as well, which has tweaked my curiosity, although I may have to rein in my ambition and have a really critical review of my state of fitness before I commit (appropriate word Rolling Eyes ) myself to it!

I'm not sure if this is all just over-excitement after a good race, but I've firmly been bitten by the bug again and can't wait to line up a couple of opportunities to push myself a bit further. I'd already decided to try and enter the 70.3 race at Wimbleball again next year if I can, but the Middle Distance race in the New Forest is looking awfully appealing! Bearing in mind it's using largely the same facilities and course as the Forestman, I think I'm going to wait to read Slacko's race report from this weekend and make a decision from that.

Replies:
dhcm - thanks for the optimism, but there isn't a cat's chance that I ran a 20:46 5km!!
KP nut - glad I could help! I'm not sure how effective I was at maintaining an accurate distance from the bank and I'm pretty sure I cut a couple of people up, but it was certainly easier than trying to look up ahead every few strokes!
Sue - I know about the Oly....it's tempting!
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Snafu's Meanderings

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2011 Events & Results
 
22 Jun - 220 Evening Tri Race 1:
750m swim; 20km bike; 5km (4km) run
Swim 16:39, T1 2:16, Bike 38:31, T2 1:11, Run 20:46, Total 1:19:24

6 Jul - 220 Evening Tri Race 2:
750m swim; 20km bike; 5km run
Swim 15:16, T1 1:32, Bike 41:58, T2 0:48, Run 25:55, Total 1:25:28

17 Jul - Sherborne Tri:
500m swim; 20km bike; 5km run
Swim 10:48, T1 3:29, Bike 48:10, T2 1:34, Run 27:02, Total 1:31:03

28 Aug - Wessex Wizards Oxley Tri:
400m swim; 30km bike; 6km run
Entered
2010 Results
 
29 Aug 10 - Wessex Wizards' Sherborne Sprint:
400m swim; 30km bike; 6km run


Swim: 8:42, Bike: 1:12:00, Run: 30:50, Total: 1:54:41
2009 Results
 
30 Aug 09 - Wessex Wizards' Sherborne Sprint:
400m swim; 30 km bike; 8 km run

Swim 9:05, Bike 1:10:39, Run 41:36, Total 2:04:57
2008 Results
 
3 Feb 08 - Blackmoor Vale Half Marathon:
13.1 miles
2:06:36

9 Mar 08 - Mad March Triathlon Wimborne:
250m swim; 14.4km bike; 4.8km run
Swim ??, Bike 34:10, Run 26:51, Total 1:07:03

11 May 08 - Dorchester Fast Twitch:
400m swim; 15 mile bike; 4 mile run
Swim 8:09, Bike 54:48, Run 32:07, Total 1:35:04

17 May 08 - Eton SuperSprint:
400m swim; 20 km bike; 5 km run
Swim 8:12, T1 2:20, Bike 40:21, T2 1:26, Run 25:17, Total 1:17:39
2008 Events
 
Events in Black are events that I'm now not going to be able to enter, because I'm going to be deployed to the Middle East for the whole Summer Crying or Very sad

3 Feb 08 - Blackmoor Vale Half MarathonCompleted Smile

9 Mar 08 - Mad March Triathlon Wimborne Finished

11 May 08 - Dorchester Fast Twitch Triathlon Finished

17 May 08 - Eton Supersprint Triathlon Finished

8 Jun 08 - Weymouth Sprint Triathlon

15 Jun 08 - UKIM 70.3 Wimbleball

29 Jun 08 - Dorney Steelman Olympic Triathlon

6 Jul 08 - Bournemouth International Triathlon

27 Jul 08 - Tidworth Fast Twitch Triathlon

7 Sep 07 - IMUK Sherborne
2007 Events
 
22 Apr 07 - Tidworth Fast Twitch Sprint Finished

13 May 07 - Exe Valley Sprint Finished

20 May 07 - Eton Supersprint Finished

17 Jun 07 - HIM 70.3 Wimbleball Finished

15 Jul 07 - Bimble Munnings Memorial Sprint DNS

19 Aug 07 - IMUK Sherborne DNF
2007 Triathlon Results
 
22 Apr 07 - Tidworth Fast Twitch
400m swim; 22.4km bike; 7.2km run
Swim 8:03, Bike 49:16, Run 42:24, Total=1:39:43
13 May 07 - Exe Valley Sprint
400m swim; 23.8km bike; 5km run
Swim 7:46, Bike 52:01, Run 27:51, Total 1:27:38

20 May 07 - Eton Super Sprint
400m swim; 20.4km bike; 5km run
Swim 7:47, Bike 41:53, Run 25:47, Total 1:15:30

17 Jun 07 - Wimbleball Half IM 70.3
1.2 mile swim; 56 mile bike; 13.1 mile run
Swim 39:04, T1 9:37, Bike 3:52:23, T2 1:28, Run 2:24:14, Total 7:06:42

19 Aug 07 - IMUK Sherborne
2.4 mile swim; 112 mile bike; 26.2 mile run
Swim 1:24:05, Total DNF Crying or Very sad





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