Sunday, 4 November 2012

Karen writes: Just another Sunday...not

I've just been online to check my results from this morning's Panasonic standard triathlon and how upsetting, my name isn't on the list!  I hope it is a clerical error, not a case of the transponder not registering.  Anyway, I've just sent off a plaintive email to the organisers...please find me.

So the day started with being up at 6am for breakfast, admittedly feeling a little sluggish after an unplanned buffet dinner last night which was absolutely not my usual idea of a good pre-race meal...but it was seriously nice.  Time to pack the plastic box with all the essential things for a triathlon...water...bike things, run things, anti-chafe...water... handkerchief.  Decisions...what top will I wear, just bra under the wetsuit and the singlet to ride and run in, or is the weather poor enough to put the whole lot on after the swim...singlet, bike shirt, and jacket?  Do I need my neoprene bonnet...or just the yellow swimcap?  What food...not enough time between bike and run to eat solid food, but the plan was to be on the road for over 3 hours so gels were the sensible option.

Over the road for a 9am start, I was wedged into my wetsuit before leaving home.  It is impossible for me to do the thing up by myself and with Kate not doing this event, I wasn't going to rely on there being someone else available to wrestle the zip to hold that recalcitrant rubber together and successfully seal me away inside.

Swimming...yesterday the water was rough but today there was no sign of that.  The fast ones went off, I quickly ended up at the back of the field in a clear space, that's an excellent place to be with no face kicking or flailing arms or risk of beard burn as someone gets over enthusiastic about occupying the exact space you happen to be in, until you get lapped of course.  1500 meters consisting of three trips round the buoys then back to the beach and then out of the water and onto the bike which by this stage stood rather forlornly almost by itself in the transition field.

The ride, everyone races off without apparent effort on their bikes, I felt like I had a good hard ride but I was still at the back, I told myself that these Panasonic races must attract extra-speedy people but the truth is I'm just slow.  Anyway, into the wind on the way to the log cabin before Clevedon, the wind across and behind on the way back, 2 laps for a total of 40km,

And finally running the last leg of 10km along the coast towards Omana. I got a bit grumpy with some sort of dog club, the dogs were more like bears actually and could (and repeatedly did) completely block the path with a swing of a mighty, fluffy black hip, but what got me on the first lap was a woman in the water screaming "help help" and waving her arms.  I looked and looked, no-one else seemed to be paying her any attention, and I stopped worrying too when I finally figured out she wasn't drowning but trying to attract one of the behemoth dogs into the water for some reason.   On the second lap I was feeling hot and bothered with one full lap to go, I'd played doggy dodgems and the solitary water station was a long way off and I rather maliciously wondered what the dog owners would think if I snatched up one of the very tempting bowls of water conveniently left on the side of the track.  Now that was obviously a fleeting thought for my amusement rather than an actual intention, quite unlike on the final lap when they had a barbecue right by the path.  As I salivated my plodding way past, I decided that the aggressive pumping of the divine smell of cooked sausage into the air should be BANNED.

So it was a pretty good day, but I would love to know how long I actually took.  What the day did remind me of though was just how tough triathlons are and that there is an awful lot of work to do for the next triathlon which is roughly twice as long.