Back for round 2. After thoroughly enjoying the Gotri event I did in February I decided to give it another go a month later. The aim was to check my fitness is still progressing at the rate I want it to, speed up my transitions and use it as another short brick training session. That was the plan anyway…
Long story short, I had a little bit more to drink on Friday night than I had planned. This meant I spent Saturday lying on the sofa feeling a a bit unwell (and a tad guilty for missing the bike ride I had planned to do), and only ate 1 meal all day. Maybe this is what people actually mean when they talk about the challenges of age-group athletes balancing “life” and training?
Sunday rolled around far too quickly, and still feeling a bit hungover I decided to race anyway. The pace from the start was higher than I knew I had a chance of holding onto (under 2:50/km), and I quickly mentally resigned myself to sitting in second behind the lead runner. The pace stabilised after the first 400m or so and I found myself following the leader the whole way around the race to finish second with 200m between us throughout. This race felt like a mental battle as much as a physical one, and it was hard to feel like I could catch the leader on the run after he so easily put time into me from the start. Looking at the results afterwards, we were a very similar pace throughout except for the sprint start, and my transitions were definitely quicker than his. On a better day I might have caught him, but that’s not how racing works unfortunately.
This was not a comfortable race, with strong headwinds and a severe lack of energy meaning I was about 30 seconds slower than previous on the bike, although I was pleased to see my run splits totalled 1 minute quicker than last time. Given how horrific it felt I am not quite sure how that happened. Run pace was consistently 15 seconds per km quicker than last time, although I am still losing 15seconds per km from run 1 to run 2. Transitions were fast and smooth and probably made feeling terrible for half an hour worth it.
All things considered this was a decent performance, finishing 30 seconds quicker than last time overall in less than ideal conditions. More work on the bike needed over the next month before Winchester sprint tri, and more discipline in the days leading up to a race. I expect and deserve no sympathy for self-inflicted suffering.
(results: http://www.gotrigreenparkreading.org/results/4589165532 )