Monday, 6 December 2010

Scorching Tri Xmas Special (Olympic Tri)

It was my first triathlon of the season yesterday at Scorching Bay (Wellington) and it reminded me I still have plenty to do before March.

This was my 2nd Scorching full distance (although I also did a cut down 1000m, 35k, 10k) on the same course so I am able to compare to 25th Jan this year.

After an absolute cracker day yesterday this morning was overcast with quite a strong northerly.  Good news is that meant Scorching Bay was in a wind shade and the water conditions pretty smooth.

I've taken this last week very light after Taupo double last weekend so managed to get 4 swims in.  Including 3 open water, so I was feeling a bit more conditioned for the sea swim. 

Having taken my wetsuit in to Snugg, when I was home in October, to get a new panel (I'd ripped it under the arm on my HR strap) and some new fluffy so the closure I was confident I  wouldn't have the same trouble I had here earlier in the year with the neck coming undone.

As usual I positioned myself on the outside of the group, just next to Tony Buckingham who is just back from Kona and a great qualification at Ironman Canada.  With only 60 or so men in the wave it was pretty quick into open water, I got onto some feet and had a great swim.  I've developed a warm up now with some scull drills and some 50m pick ups and it seems to really help me get comfortable in teh water before I start - all those Splash n Dash paying off.

Coming out of the water about 7th I checked my watch and was pleased to see 21:40 odd - not quite as quick as I'd like, but really good considering it's pretty early in the season and I've not been swimming much yet.  Apart from my goggles exploding and having to pick up the pieces on the way up the beach and forgetting the way out of transition it was a good T1.  Out onto the road in under a minute.

Note to self ALWAYS check the transition layout.  They change and going the wrong way is a such a waste of time.

 Onto the road and we had a massive northerly wind, the out and back curves around the coast, but it's more tail wind on the way out and a 3k climb up Happy Valley to the turnaround.  I came out of T1 just behind Tony in maybe 6th or 7th and we cat and moused all the way through to about 35k.  At which point through mindless lack of concentration I let Tony go and never managed to get back onto him.  We took a few people on the bike and came in 4th and 5th.

Second Note to Self, maintain CONCENTRATION and don't let people get away unnecessarily.

Onto the run I felt pretty flat and although we had a pretty heavy wind on the out legs of each of the two laps it wasn't impacting others like it did me.  The first couple of k I struggled to get under 4min k pace, got taken by a couple of others from my wave and although I started to feel a little better after a few k never got my run legs.

I've been runnign pretty well in training lately and I was running at pretty much my tempo pace in a race.  CErtainly I need to do a few more bricks to get the pins used to running off the bike, but I'm going to stick with the Enduro 7 days before as my excuse for a little lack of top end....

Onwards and upwards.  In summary I was less than 80 seconds slower yesterday than I was in January this year on the same course in similar conditions. So I'm still encouraged. 

This week it's back to some solid training and then a bit of an ease up towards Rotorua Half IM on Saturday the 18th.  Then a really decent training block in the sunshine over the Christmas break.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

First Day of Summer, First Splash n Dash and a year in Wellington

Summer officially started in New Zealand today and it's actually feeling like summer.  Which is more than it was a year ago when I arrived in pouring horizontal rain and an antarctic southerly wind!

It's also pretty much a year to the day since my first Oriental Bay Splash n Dash.  A 700m open water swim followed by a 3k dash!

Splash n Dash 1st Dec 2010
After the epic ride at the weekend I've been feeling pretty shattered this week.  Thankfully Dave (Dave Parry, HPU) was gentle on me and has given me a pretty light week to recover.  But even so I've been struggling to get going.

With 320k in the legs and not all that much swimming recently I wasn't too confident going into the dash tonight.  Compared to last year I was perhaps a minute faster and the run about the same.  Considering the weekend that's pretty much as good as I can expect.

First transition of the yr :(
Fingers crossed by the weekend I'll be a bit more recovered ready for the first tri of the season.  I took the BMC (TT bike) out this morning for it's first trip of the season and it sure feels fast having been on the standard road bike for the last few months, I'm hoping my bike will at least will be strong and with fresher legs the run will be a bit better.

Still lots to do but perhaps I'm in a little better shape than this time last year.

Love to everyone at home in the UK.  Sorry to hear about all your snow.  There's always a spare room in Welly and it's summer now!

Thank you Mels for hanging out on the beach and taking the pics xx

Mexican visitor come to view the racing!
Gun show