The Scribbler

8 July 2012

Hebburn sprint triathlon 2012

Filed under: triathlon — The Scribbler @ 19:38
Tags: , ,

Another, Sunday, another tri and another one I nearly missed after a rare upset stomach took me out of action on Friday and left me washed out, weak and wondering what the weekend would hold.

Waking on Saturday morning, I was amazed and relieved at my recovery. I bounced off to marshal at Newcastle parkrun, where they were forced to use one of the alternative routes as the moor is heavily churned up from the rains and The Hoppings funfair. And we celebrated Eric’s 100th parkrun, just short of his 80th birthday.

I took it easy the rest of the day, catching up on some chores, some TV and gradually re-introducing some food to my diet. I was happy I’d be able to compete in my tri.

And so it was another early Sunday alarm call and off to load up the car for the short trip over the Tyne to Hebburn. I was surprisingly nervous for a relatively short, pool-based tri. But after my setbacks, I wanted to do well here and it was my best performance last year.

As I drove into the car park, I spotted Peter and was delighted to claim my Outlaw hug as he was supporting his wife on her tri.

Into registration to get my numbers, Tshirt and chip and then onto the race briefing by the pool, before I set up my bike and gear in transition. It’s a small transition area and spaces were close together, but I had a good slot near the bike out.

Back to the car and I made myself eat a few spoonfuls of the porridge I’d made but been unable to eat at home. Then I set about getting mentally ready, going through the race in my mind and doing some breathing exercises.

Soon it was time to head poolside and get ready for my swim. More long, slow deep breaths to keep calm and a chance to watch some of the others in the pool. A real mix of experience on show, with one guy doing backstroke and a wee girl, taking part in the tri relay with a beautiful front crawl and tidy tumble turn.

My turn to get in and I was in the lane nearest the side. I swished my goggles and managed a quick sink to blow bubbles in my 10 seconds before I set off. A nice, easy start, feeling calm and relaxed and the first few lengths passed quickly. As the lane filled up, I got splashed on an in-breath and it unsettled me for a few strokes until I got back into rhythm again.

I started to over think and worry I’d miscounted my lengths, until I just told myself to swim easy and trust to the marshals. With a tap from a float to say two lengths to go, I kicked out and tried to pick up the speed. I felt like I’d had a good swim as I headed out the fire escape and to my bike.

A smooth transition and onto the bike, with my legs feeling a bit soft and wobbly at first. It’s a flat course, so I was quickly up onto the big ring and trying to make the best of the bike leg. A little up and over a road bridge and some well marked potholes, the first lap was soon behind me.

But as I came round to Race HQ, I thought one of the marshals directed me left towards the finish. Thinking it was part of the route, I turned in, but realised I’d be heading back to transition and I still had a lap to go. I managed to turn and yell my mistake before I crossed the dismount line. My fault for not double checking I knew the score for the 2 laps, but I’m pleased it didn’t amount to a disqualification.

It woke me up bit for the second lap and I realised I’d been drifting a bit on the first lap, just easy pedalling and not focusing on keeping my speed up. I found I had to keep reminding myself to focus on the second lap too, but like to think I improved a little.

Back round and no mistakes over the bike finish this time. Instead I had a bit of a fumble racking my bike, getting it tangled up in the one next to it and losing some time. Over the muddy ground and out onto the run, cheered on by Ian, Kelda and Big Les, who had finished his own race.

Inspired by Ian’s shout, encouraging me into the run, I set out at a good lick, only to pull it back a few hundred yards down the road when my legs got the message and protested. I felt I couldn’t get my legs to turn over as fast as I wanted them to, so picked up my feet, kicked my heels up behind and just tried to find a way through it.

I ebbed and flowed throughout the run, pushing when I could and reminding myself to relax and enjoy when the fretting got too much for me. I really wanted this one, wanted to do well, and put my heart into it.

I’m used to being passed on triathlons, especially on the bike, but I rarely remember so many encouraging shouts from the faster guys. There was a ‘keep it going’ or a ‘well done’ from just about everyone. And at the last spray painted marker on the pavement, a good old Geordie ‘Ha’way, just a mile to go’ gave me a lift and I tried to keep up the pressure to the finish.

With the pool in sight, I was slightly baulked at the road crossing, with a cyclist coming the other way. But better to finish than to fall. And once over the road, I put the hammer down, shouted on by Kelda and George, sprinting for the finish.

I felt like I’d had a good race. I was happy just to be there and doing it, but also that it felt like a good run. My split times available at the end of the race showed there are still a lot of areas for improvement, but with an overall time just 30 seconds or so slower than last year, I have to be happy with that today.

Swim 400m: 08:57
T1: 1:01
Bike 20k 47:03
T2: 1:17
Run 5k (more like 3miles) 26:40

Race results


1 Comment »

  1. “tidy tumble turn”. I love you Brits!


    Comment by iswimbikerunstrong — 8 July 2012 @ 22:43 | Reply

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