Road to Phuket – end of week 9….is it time to race naked?
Today marks the end of 9 weeks of focused training for my first half Ironman distance Triathlon in Phuket Thailand.
The week didn’t start that well as I came down with another case of sinusitis at the end of week 8. I ended up taking 2 days off from training and this was mentally really hard, but I am glad I did, as I was able to start feeling better by Tuesday. I trained quite a few less hours this week as I had my first two races for the season. Friday was the Zayed Sports City 10km run, and Saturday the Roy Nasr Memorial – Jebel Ali Sprint Triathlon. I also had my son’s 4th birthday party in between and I think this was more exhausting than the two races combined!
My goal for Friday’s run was to see how my training has paid off, run for feel and try and stay sub 5min/km for the whole run and hopefully break the 50min/10km mark. I felt amazingly fresh and strong on the run, and was able to finish without pushing myself too much in 48.22. coming 7th in my age group. Pretty big improvement from my last run, so run training is paying off. GOAL ACHIEVED.
For Saturday’s triathlon my focus was more on controlling my nerves, staying calm and staying in the moment. My nerves where great and in fact I felt a little too relaxed for the first time ever! Swim was good, although I lost my goggles on the second loop when I dived back in the water (just swam out a bit and re-adjusted but my eyes where stinging – adrenaline kept me going though). I came out of the water in 5th place in the women, and had a good transition on to the bike. Legs were pretty heavy on the bike – not sure if it was from the run the day before or the 400m run from the swim to the transition, but they just wouldn’t relax and I really had to use my gears a lot to keep cadence. Naturally at around 15km they loosened up – but that was a bit too late as it was now time for the run. The run in the past for me has been pretty painful and slow. All the interval and brick training has paid off though – as I managed a sub 5 min/km on the run and finished in 24mins. So over all time was 1.22, I got 6th place in the women and was around 5mins off the winner. I am pretty happy as I did feel like on the bike and run I was holding back a bit – mainly cause I still don’t know my own limits.
This is something I need to work on – I am starting to get a desire to get up on that podium at one of these races, and if I want to do that I am going to need to race like I want to win. I am going to need to stop holding back and just lay it all out there – what’s the worst that can happen? I don’t win? I have to slow down? I have to stop? These aren’t very good reasons because if this was the case I would never have taken this sport up in the first place. It’s time to race metaphorically “naked” – put everything I have out there, see how far I can push myself and cross the finish line with nothing left in the tank……….This is my next big challenge…..before the big one on the 1st of December of course……