Well, we made it to Switzerland after a long cross country drive from the Jura in France on Saturday. Unfortunately, due to being kept awake until 3am by our noisy french neighbours in the campsite, together with a cold I still hadn’t shifted, and to top it all, hay fever (the french tractors seemed to be out in force!) I was feeling tired, congested and none to pleased! The journey took longer than we anticipated, so I missed briefing, didn’t get a chance to rekkie the course, and wasn’t really feeling excited, nervous and raring to go, which is a real shame as it is a truly beautiful place to run a triathlon. Subsequently, I tried to focus on staying positive and just going out and enjoying the day, in full knowledge that race preparation and fitness just wasn’t where I hoped it would be. Fortunately, I wasn’t looking to qualify, it was the first long distance triathlon event of the season, so a chance to see what was going well, and areas that I needed to still work on!
Another sleepless night, as all 5 of us (2 others also with colds) were camped up side by side, until 5am when it was time to get going! After checking bike etc, I made myself down to the lake, and it was dead calm, and incredibly picturesque. The pros went first, then all the women, went together 5 mins later. The swim starts were in waves, so if you are nervous about mass starts, this could be one of the races for you! Apart from a few bashes on the head, it was a really enjoyable swim, pretty impossible to go off course as well. I came out in 33 mins, so not bad so far. Then onto the bike, which is always the part I enjoy the most. The course was around 10 km flat then about 20 km of climbing, before long downhill sections back the the flat, then the course was repeated. I realised pretty early on on the bike that I was not going to produce anything special, just didn’t have that extra gear, and it felt much harder than it should have done. Frustrating, but it happens. However, I still climbed well, (thanks again planet x for the gear to help here!) though my descending skills were terrible. There was a slight side wind, and weighing only 7 and a half stone with deep section wheels, I felt very unsteady downhill, and was eaten up by loads of girls. Frustrating, but if I had rekkied the course properly, I would have known this and used different wheels. Only myself to blame there. Bike was 2.43 split, (On a fit day I would have aimed for sub 2.40) however, at this point I was actually in the top 3 of my age group. In bike-run transition, I honestly felt like calling it a day, however, the voice in my head telling me not to be so pathetic won, so I went out on the run, with one mission now, and that was to complete. About 4k in, I had a really bad spell, felt dizzy, just terrible, so walked for a bit, and took time in the next aid station, cooling down with sponges and getting some more fuel on board. This really helped, so the plan from this point was just to jog to aid stations, walk through aid stations focusing on cooling down, fueling then make it to the next one. Honestly, if felt more like a marathon! Overall, I came in 5th in age group in 5.06. My run was about 5 mins off what I hoped, but that was to be predicted. There was about 3 mins separating 2nd to 7th positions in my age group, so taking it all into consideration, it showed that training has been going well, and Im no track (when fit!).
As always, when you reflect, you wish it could have been different, why did I get that cold, etc etc, but that is never going to happen. So, whats important is to learn from the experience. Despite not being fit, I made mistakes pre race which affected my race. We should have got to the event earlier, knowing the course, would have probably gained me minutes on the bike course. Perhaps, if I hadn’t raced the week before, not being 100 pcent fit, maybe I would have been fully fit for Rapperswil, well thats something I will never know. I certainly need to go back to the drawing board with nutrition over the distance, and now get get back on track with run training, as ankle seems pretty good to go now….. That said, always remember to take the positives away from the race as well!
So, now its time to re assess my goals for the next events, recover from this one, and this cold, and build in some quality blocks of training!