Monday, 20 August 2012

The 'poon 70.3

As evidenced by the lack of posts on this blog I have to be in the right mood to write something.  But if I wait for that I'll never put a race report up.  So I'll just bash out a pile of words in the hope it's mildly entertaining.

I had been looking forward to Yeppoon for the whole winter.  I say it as though it's finished because I'm sitting in 27 degrees and melbourne is a world away, but I had entered Yeppoon as soon as it went on sale and with no other races booked this was going to be an A race by default.  The fact that it's in a nice climate in August was also an attraction because it would break up winter and give me a kick in the bum before summer got here.  I was also excited by a current assisted swim!

So you can imagine my frustration/ denial when my left pedal fell off 25kms into the ride because the thread within the crank had stripped out and I couldn't get it back on.  I tried for 5 minutes to screw it, jam it, bash it, wish it, and spectators gave it a shot too but it wasn't happening.  I walked along the side of the road for another 3 minutes looking for the bike support car and wondering whether chucking it all in now would leave my weekend/ bank balance/ general happiness ruined.  The answer to all was yes but the super heroes that were Tuckers Cycle Inn Rockhampton weren't going to let that happen.  With an industrial sized spanner, the brute strength of two solid guys, and the magic power of a Broncos jersey adorning the more solid member, they got the pedal back on and pushed me on my way.

I was feeling good and decided to make back those 8 minutes by picking off all the people who had passed me.  The bike course was 5 x 18km laps and the road surface on 3/4 of the course is so bumpy this may as well have been an Xterra race.  I heard it was rough so I tightened everything twice and then tightened again.  I even put loc-tite on the drink bottle holder off the back of my seat cos that always bounces the most.  By the end of the ride I think you could have built a whole bike out of the parts that had fallen off onto the road.  It was seriously like a mine field, dodging components.  To my surprise, apart from a pedal, my bike was awesome.  I was only 3 minutes off my target ride time so I think I made up about 5 minutes.

As an added bonus I was feeling good off the bike.  The main goals of this race were to practise good technique and to feel like I was playing.  And the run was where all of this would either come together or fall apart.  I tried to hold 87-90 steps per minute for as long as I could and on the road section of the run I was doing that and loving it!  This is the definition of feeling good!  How could it not be like play time.  I was holding around 4 minute kms too.  I was enjoying this more than any race I'd ever done.  More than holding off my best friend in the closing stages of the St George Olympic distance in Adelaide in 1997, keeping 3rd place!  This was fun- why don't I do this more often?  But then we turned right and into the bushes, off the road, and on to soft sand.  My technique went to shit.  Within a few hundred metres I was struggling to hold 85 steps per minute and I didn't even want to look at my pace.  From there I struggled and on the 2nd lap I decided that I'd walk through the aid station in the bushes.  I had a drink, ate some snakes and jelly babies as it started to rain and cooled myself down.  After 100m of walking I reminded myself that in 12kms I'd be sitting in that cool pool at the resort either happy with my race or annoyed that I didn't push harder so I get back on it.  Within 2kms I was feeling great.  Jelly Babies are king!!  I was back on the road and although I couldn't get back up to 90 steps I kept a constant turnover around 87 and getting stronger.
(Not Me)
I finished well, 4 mins off the 5 hours I was hoping for but extremely happy considering my blatant laziness over the last 4 weeks.  A Vegas slot went out the window about 4 weeks ago when my discipline went walkabout but I was surprised to see the roll down go to 15th place for my age group with a time of 4:39.  I know what I need to do now and I learned some very valuable things:
1) Jelly Babies/ snakes rule.  I'm using them next race.
2) I need work on my trail running.
3) Queenslanders drive reeeaaalllyyy slowly.

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