Before we get onto the World Championships in Zell Am Zee, there were a few other people racing around the UK! Firstly, Jenni was competing in the Vitruvian Middle Distance, and although on reflection she felt that the race could have gone a lot better, she still pulled out a great Age Group Win! Really looking forward to seeing what a solid consistent winter block will do for the 2016 season!
Colin was also racing in the Rubicorn Middle Distance, and despite not having a bike to train on for a while, still managed a storming bike split at a 5:10 finish overall.
Clodie raced in Zell Am See on the Saturday, testing out the course for me and Liz. Despite having little to no sleep in the run up to it, changing jobs, and still recovering from a hip injury, the Austrian sun must have worked some magic, as she had a storming race, finishing 7th overall in her age group, with a pb in the swim bike and run, finishing in a 5:40 or there abouts – Second ever half, and first time under 6 hours – by some way!!! Brilliant
Both Liz and I were entering the World Championships injured, so to say we were slightly apprehensive about the whole ordeal would be an understatement!
I eventually found Liz, in good spirits, whilst waiting over an hour for our swim starts, mine at 11:46 and Liz at midday, just so it could warm up nicely to the mid 30s!. Liz tore her hamstring 3/4 weeks ago, and although it was pretty much fixed, a 70:3 is a big effort, and she had not been running that kind of distance for a while, so we were keeping everything crossed that it would be ok! I finally caught up with Liz early evening after the race, still in one piece, and no hamstring issue. Her target was 6 hours, or faster, and it was 6 hours, with a good swim, solid bike and although slightly apprehensive run, solid all the same. Great end to the season….Time to get those hamstrings strong again
As for me, after injuring myself in Weisbaden 70:3, my race plan was to have a solid swim, hit the bike hard, and see if I could run. Tearing an ankle ligament had meant no run training between events, in the hope for a quick fix (yep, unlikely really!!) Unfortunately, alongside the ankle concern, my previous few training rides were affected not only by ankle but an old quad injury, that was getting tighter and tighter, and causing the muscle to spasm, and just not really work! - I do wonder if this was made worse as I was over compensating for the ankle and would have benefited from seeing a physio for a few sessions before the race, but this just wasn’t feasible. As soon as I was on the bike, I knew it wasn’t going to be my day. I had no power in the left leg, and it was really quite uncomfortable. As much as I tried to convince myself that it just needed to warm up a bit, by the time I got to 50 km I was exhausted from trying, and just getting slower, so made the very difficult decision not to push through anymore. Ade was tracking me, and as soon as I got back asked what had happened at the 50 k mark as I went from matching the fastest biker in my age group for pace, to losing about 3 mins in 15 k! I was gutted and the 40 k back to transition seemed more like 80! Once in transition I sat and contemplated what to do….Quit? or get through the run, rather than face a DNF – it was a World Championship Event, and my last two were a wash out due to illness, resulting in a DNF, and I just didn’t really want to have to go there again. A huge thank you to the support on route, special mention to Team Bungay, Clodie, Stephen, Roddy and Mark Ryder and family, without their encouragement, not sure I would have finished! So, I got the T-shirt, Cap and Towel, but also a torn hip flexor again in the process of trying, to go alongside the ankle it would seem! Gutted, but philosophical. It happens, everyone has a bad race, gets injured, and to date, the season has gone really well. Fortunately the damage isn’t too serious, and a few weeks off, with treatment, I will be able to go into the winter block injury free again (or do I sneak in an extra race at the end of October??? )
Next up IM Wales and Challenge Weymouth! Simon, Gary, Mark Ian will be heading up to Wales, and Evan, Brendan Isobel to Weymouth! Looking forward to tracking you all in a couple of weeks!!