My husband has given me a week before I come up with the next big grand adventure. Last night I was like ‘never again’ but this morning when I’m awake at 6.30 I’m thinking ‘what’s next’
Our family expansion plans are being pushed back, so I’m wondering if there’s time for another something epic before I hang up the bike for good?
Race morning was here!! I woke full of energy & roaring to go. We had made plans that the farmer & I would head to the beach for race start & my parents would bring Worm down later so mum could fit her run in.
My bike & everything else had already been packed into the car so it was simply a matter of up eat breaky (small bowl of porridge) & go.
The benefit about Yeppoon as my first race is that it’s my usual tri clubs course, and only 30 min drive from home. It was very civilised to wake in my own bed & head down to the beach for what would be the biggest race of my life.
When we got there I placed my bike & gear into transition, everything was ready & my ball of energy continued. It was a strange feeling. I didn’t have any nerves at all. Just excitement to get started.
The 2km walk down the beach continued to relax me. The weather was perfect, the ocean flat & chatting to friends continued to build my excitement level. Still no butterfly’s in my tummy. No anxiety just pure energy.
As they called my wave up to the start I kissed the farmer good bye & I was ready. As I jogged into the water (I’m not one to sprint as I can’t keep up with the fast swimmers anyway!) I knew that the swim was just the beginning. I focused in keeping calm & enjoying the water. I have swim in that beach many many times and never have I noticed it to be so calm clear & blue. It was the first time I ever had been able to see the sand at the bottom of the ocean, Yeppoon is rarely that perfect.
About 1.5km into the swim I started to get really really bored & uncomfortable. The cold water made my face freeze & I think that combined with my virus from the previous week made me intensely want to get out of the water!! I kept swimming. Changed my breathing to keep my face out of the eater more but kept swimming. I had no energy to run up the beach after the swim. So I took the time to pull my suit down and mentally prepare for the next leg.
Some of my ankle tape had loosened during the swim & the run up the sand dune hadn’t helped so I had a longer than usual transition & pulled some off.
Then it was onto the bike. As I exited the resort there was a photographer so I waved & gave a thumbs up. I was feeling good.
The first lap of the bike course was good. I remembered to eat at the 5km mark, and the bike felt good. I knew I was riding slower than I had hoped but I was happy with my cadence & bike fit. It went down hill from there! I found the road coming back into the resort was awful. Cobblestone like. I had ridden the route a few times but never had I ridden on the right side of the road & that was the awful side. Each lap of the bike course had the wind increasing and it got harder. As I passed my family on the 4th lap I nearly burst into tears. I saw Worm. She gave me a big smile & wave. I wanted to stop & get a cuddle. But I kept pushing. One more lap one more lap was my mantra here.
I actually nearly fell off as I turned over the timing mat for the last time, I moved back into aero position & promptly slipped my elbow off the rest & onto the bar. Careering across the road (thankfully away from the runners who were sharing the road)
This was enough to make me laugh & refocus. I was ready for the run. The bike had taken me just under 4 hour which was about an hour slower than I had planned.
As I set out for the run I felt great. The legs were relaxed & apart from some dehydration I felt ok. I ran into a friend who was struggling on his 2nd run lap, he was suffering cramps in his calves. I actually stopped and walked with him for a while. I probably should have kept running. I know in my heart I wasn’t pushing as hard as I should have been. I knew that I had limited time to get through the course to meet the cut offs & I was mentally doing the math on my pacing. I ran and walked and ran and walked my way through to course. Each lap felt a little harder & also a little easier. As I ran down the road for the final time I looked behind me & NOONE was there!! I was almost last!
I kept running, trying to increase my pace now. I saw someone ahead so my friend Louise’s voice popped in. ‘Pick em, pass em & find another’ the lady ahead was in my sights.
I pushed where I could. Keeping her in eyesight. As I passed her in the bush I tried to say something encouraging, but kept moving even though she was walking. I had my eyes out for another one to pass. About 1km ahead my wish was granted & I saw 2 men walking. I kept pushing & overtook them too – one of them said ‘mate you’ve been overtaken by a chick’ the other guy said ‘as long as she not coming last’ I then replied ‘nope I’ve passed a girl just behind. It felt good to pass her too!’ As I put on a false bit of energy & kept running.
Over the next 5 km I passed about 3 or 4 more people each time forcing myself to push a little harder. As I finally turned back into the resort paths I was feeling fabulous. I picked up my heals & pushed hard toward the finishing shoot. Crossing that line felt so so good. It was everything I had hoped for.
My legs were shaking & I felt fabulous. My grin was unmovable it was set & the beautiful pool beckoned.
I struggled I pull my socks off. What tape was left had stuck to my sock. I hopped up & down whilst mum pulled my sock off & then I jumped into that pool.
Th cold water NEVER felt so good.
Worm was asleep as I crossed the finish line but when she woke & saw me in the pool she came straight over asking to come in. I was so looking forward to her cuddle & it was beautiful.
So there it is. My race report for Yeppoon 70.3. I’m still reflecting and running through it in my own head. It now Tuesday. My legs feel fine, I feel fine. I ran yesterday & again today & felt brilliant. I honestly didn’t expect to feel this good after self propelling myself over 113km in 7hours 38minutes.
So what’s next?!?? I don’t know. I feel I could do another 70.3 this year, it’s just a matter of figuring out which one, and how it will fit into out our little family life.