Well today is Sunday and yesterday was my first triathlon race I have done since the Auckland half Ironman back in March 2011!!! Went through a massive range of emotions during the week, was quite bizarre. On Tuesday I felt really low and missed a training session, which is unheard of for me. Rang the coach and just said ‘I’m not ready, not feeling good, don’t think i’m ready for IM’, he basically told me to suck it up, i’ll be fine – thank god he did that because the race was so much fun! I’ve been reading the Chris McCormack book and he has a comment in there about knowing why you do all the training, why you are sacrificing so much and why you put yourself through all the nerves of racing…I thought about it before Tauranga and realised that it makes me feel so alive! The day before the race I was so excited, everything about it is awesome, the people you catch up with who you haven’t seen for ages, the feeling of nerves and apprehension, the smack talking! The swim was pretty brutal, we started 2mins behind the men and I think I caught up to the first blue cap after about 100m and then it was game-on, fight time. Swimming amongst guys is so much different, they are so much more physically strong that everytime they hit you it’s like being punched…not so fun when you’re trying to find your way to the buoys. Got out of the water and was pretty pleased with my swim, lots of bikes still in transition which is always a good sign, I remember my first triathlon when there was only one other bike left in transition!
My first goal for the day was to avoid all the road cones along marine parade and thank god I did not hit a single one and I could actually finish the race instead of hearing radio coverage while lying in a hospital bed! Got into a good bunch with a couple of girls in it and a few guys. Rode the first lap on target and headed out for the second. I’m not used to flat courses like Tauranga, mostly do hilly ones where I barely listen to the drafting rules because it’s pretty hard to draft up and down hill. I knew I was pretty close to the girl in front but thought it was on the 7m rule…apparently not, next thing I have a motorbike come up to me with a big yellow card “number 179 you have a drafting penalty” – oh mi god did I feel like such a cheater!!!! Same feeling I would have when I was little and get caught eating the cookie mix before my mum put them in the oven! Was pretty disappointed with myself but sucked it up and kept and eye out for the penalty box…have to say that 3mins was the longest in my life! Did give me some good motivation heading back for the last portion of the bike and I knew I would have to do a killer run to catch the leader. I did manage my fastest run time ever but not quite good enough to catch the leader who finished 2mins ahead of me…all in all though totally stoked!
Another big motivation for doing well in this race was a bet I had on with Sarah (the swimmer), Libby (the cyclist) and Indy (the runner) on who would have the faster race time…me as an individual or them as a team. The consequence of losing this bet was skulling a warm pint of Guinness then running to the summit of The Mount, that is pretty good motivation not to lose! I had people yelling at me on the run ‘Anna think about the Guinness’, ‘You don’t want to drink warm Guinness do you?!’…it was hilarious, probably for the people racing next to me too! I was pretty nervous at the end when someone said Indy was about to finish, that would have put them about 20mins ahead of me…thank god she was about to finish her 1st lap, not the second! So long story short, I won, yay! And all respect to those 3 girls who turned up at the base of the mount at 3.30pm sharp, strugged through their beer (with a little bit of reverse skulling action) and then ran/walked/crawled to the top. Hayden very nicely ran to the top and made sure they got their legitamately…I think they are plotting their revenge now – bring it on
So now back to work and then into the hard work of prep into Ironman, feeling a lot more confident now – will be an interesting few weeks!
Catch ya later