First race of the season, always a shocker. See where I am, what i need to do, what i have been omitting. This race was also on home turf, well where i grew up anyway. All but 10mins cycle from where i live now. First year of the race too, and years since a race has been held in Portmarnock.
Arrived nice and early, 8:10am, for sign on which was due to close at 8:30. 9:15 i was still in the line despite the fact that the race was supposed to start at 9am, then pushed back to 9:30, then back to 10am. Lucky i managed to get a slot in transition while waiting in the line. Not ideal, but every race will have its teething problems. While getting ready in transition i did notice at one point that my wetsuit went missing. My nice, fast, expensive Blue Seventy suit. While getting confused i looked up to see a guy on the other side of the transition rack having issues getting into his suit. At this point we both kinda clicked that he was a)a bit to big for my suit b)going to get out of it pretty fast or i'd get angry.
So 10am standing on the water side getting ready to get in for the shortened swim. This was a bit annoying. The water was choppy. CHOPPY not mind blowing crazy. Add to that a wave start...i'll just stop ranting. So 650m ish swim later and im out of the water, first OW swim of the season (tick) first swim in nearly 2 months (tick). Wasnt expecting much time wise, looked at the watch leaving T1 and saw 14mins. Mild surprise, turns out a 11:33 swim, with the 500m ish jog to transition. Hmm 28th on the swim split. Interesting, must have been my suit, the other bloke was way back ;)
Dizzy was not a word to describe how i felt getting on the bike. Nearly fell over twice and this has happened before, longer jog to transition normally sorts it out, but not this race. Had major issues getting into shoes. MAJOR ones. Basicly had to stop, look up, try not to get sick, think about what i was doing, then do it.
Got out on the bike eventually and hit the first turn point. Bike leg was a 3 lap affair for 21km over a nice rolling course with very good roads and a nice side wind for most of it. Traffic of both rider and car sort was a huge issue. No way around it, it was always going to be messy and with the faster riders coming at the tail of the race there was no getting around it. Buses, cars, slow riders and drafting were the main things. Most you can avoid, but buses...that was a new one for me. 263W for 21km, average HR 165bpm, sitting below threshold all the way. Could have pushed out 270-275W and still run hard off it, could have rode more aggressive, could have done lots, didn't so 34:57 was bike time. Still good for 12th overall (8 ppl within 30's of each other).
The run up to T2 was quick as i was racing another lad from Pulse Tri the whole way from the first lap. Fucked up T2 as i've not been practising it at all this year. Lost a good 30 seconds and then ran out onto the run. Legs felt great. Started down the hill pushing out 3:40 km's, realised this was a bit ambitious and reeled it back into 4:20 km's. Stuck with this as the Pulse lad was only 50m or so ahead of me for the run, that'd be that 30 seconds. No matter what i did though i just didn't catch up to him. At the same time i realised about 3km in that the run wasn't sucking. I was feeling good. This was wrong, i should have been dead. 1km to go and i realised i'd blown it, was running way to slow, should have pushed harder and i'd have been home at least 2 mins faster. Reckon next race, if a similar run, 4:10 - 4:00 km's are in order. End result 98th on the run split, 23mins. Stupid. I've run 18mins for 4.5km last season, just fell asleep on the run.
Overall the result was a positive one. 1:13:34, 34th overall from a field of 400 ish. Not sure on AG place yet as they haven't done them up. But for my first race, after 2 months not swimming, after thinking about jacking this whole racing stuff in, I'm happy. First year in a new AG 30-34 (even though I'm 29) and a good start to it. I've even gone and entered some races! Now to drop the useless weight I've put on, and get back in the pool.*
*Hahahahahah so not going to happen