Hell Of The West Report
By: Pete Wedderburn
Up at 4am, breakfast of muesli (6 hours pre race - too long?) picked up by Eamonn at 430am, slept for an hour as drove the three hours to Kilkee. Registration, then racked the bike, walked the course from swim exit through transition and both bike and run starts as I always do.
After talking to ET, I taped an energy bar to my bike and ate it at the start of the ride - I think it helped my hold my energy levels better than usual.
The race prep was fine - went for a jog along the start of the run course, and also jogged along the end of tbe bike course, to get the dismount line clear in my head after last race's mess up.
It was a beach start and my swim went reasonably well. I watched the Super series athletes coming ashore and they gave me the idea of standing up then dolphin diving, standing up again, then dolphin diving - this worked well for me as I emerged from the water. The swim went reasonably well except that I tend to drift off into "bubble land" - I NEED TO KEEP MORE FOCUSSED, APPLYING EFFORT AND CONSCIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT MY TECHNIQUE MORE. My time was 29:06, which was 14th in my category. Could be better. It was 26:25 last year but I know you can't compare swims.
Swim-bike transition went well. BUT I WAS TOO SLOW: HALF A MINUTE SLOWER THAN LIZANNE. NEED TO FOCUS ON SPEEDING UP. (BUT I WAS 7TH IN CATEGORY)
The bike went very well - enough gentle hills to let me nail some weaker cyclists - I overtook loads of folk and was only overtaken a couple of times. I mostly managed to keep pushing it but there were several instances of road traffic getting in the way which slowed my down and upset my momentum/focus. I nearly cycled head-first into a tractor and trailer that pulled out in front of me - I didn't see this happening because my head was down. FOR SAFETY REASONS I NEED TO BE ULTRA CAREFUL TO CHECK ROAD AHEAD FOR VEHICLES PULLING OUT BEFORE PUTTING HEAD DOWN. My average speed was 34km/hour which I am happy with. I was 6th in my category on the bike. Difficult to to much better than this but can always push harder!
My Garmin watch was not monitoring the HR for some reason; NB IN FUTURE, ALWAYS CHECK THAT HEART RATE MONITOR IS WORKING PROPERLY BEFORE LEAVING FOR RACE AND AGAIN AT TRANSITION.
Bike-run transition was not good. It was congested and I got stuck behind a slow woman. I lost up to 10 seconds here, and I was flustered so I managed to start my run with helmet on, then had to double back to take it off and leave it with my bike. Another 5 secs lost!. T2 was 12th in my category as a result.
The run went well enough - I was slow at the start, and was falling into the same trap as last race of running at the same pace as the people around me. ET shouted at me to speed up, and that seemed to wake me out of a dream and I did better from there on. My run time was 45:32, but last year the same run was 44:06. Hard to compare because it was windy today, but still. I was 12th in my category for the run.
I found my usual pace situation - I can fly it up to 3:30 when I go up on my toes and try to catch people, then I settle back to a slower default pace in between. I NEED TO LEARN A FASTER DEFAULT PACE OF AROUND 4:15 AND STICK TO THAT, STILL SPEEDING UP AS NEEDED FROM TIME TO TIME.
I WAS ONLY OVERTAKEN TWICE ON THE RUN, BOTH TIMES BY SOMEONE FROM MY CATEGORY. IF I HAD STAYED WITH EITHER OF THEM, I WOULD HAVE BEEN HALF A MINUTE FASTER AND WOULD HAVE BEEN 4TH RATHER THAN 6TH, AND WOULD HAVE BEATEN LIZANNE TOO. A LESSON THERE!
Went into the sea for 15 minutes after, which helped- had no muscle pain at all the next day.
Chauffeur driven home by ET on the same day. What a service!
Final time was 2:34, which is slower than last year at 2:29, but very difference racing conditions. My place this year was 6th out of 49, which is better than last year when I was 11th out of 53.