Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Fit again, but very Un-fit!!
So for the good news............. I appear to be back in the game! No real back, hamstring issues for a couple of weeks and my lurgie bug seems to have cleared up. Now for the bad news........... I am SO out of shape it's really quite scary. I can't remember EVER being this bad before. This weekend was my Tri Club's "In-Club Invitational Sprint Triathlon", or as it's otherwise known - the first hard training session of the year. For the purposes of this post I'll call it a race, but there are no prizes, no numbers, just a couple of marshalls and no real entry fee (we pay enough to cover the pool hire and the pub food after). It is however timed and is an early season marker to see how people are getting on. It's also quite possibly the toughest Sprint Tri course that any of us will ever do, so it only gets easier. Even the swim takes it's toll. Just 600m in Ilfracombe's 33.3m pool, but it's very choppy and for some reason it's VERY slow!! I know that my swimming has been going well lately and although we've several good swimmers in our club it was no great suprise when I got out of the pool first, what was suprising was that I was 30seconds slower than I'd expect to swim in one of my normal pools. It was the same for everybody though and all the times were down. From the pool we ran uphill to the 'olde skool' transition area where I went for the comfort option of socks (it is March after all), this took me over a minute and I went from 1st to 5th (ooops!!). We then hit the bike course............13miles and 1,300ft of climbing saw us hit several good climbs and descents on the way to Combe Martin before we hit "3-mile climb" on our way to Lynton Cross before descending back to the pool. I always struggle a little on the way to Combe Martin, power hills are not my thing, but 3-mile climb is where I normally come into my own and ride away from my clubmates. Not this year!!!! By the time we'd finished the first climb I was up to 4th, but my clubmates ahead had all disappeared into the distance. I never saw them again!!! Near the top of 3-mile climb another two came past me, two that I would normally be taking minutes out of. Oh dear!!! On the descents I went mad trying to gain a little time back, this was heading towards embarrassment territory. The finish of the bike course took us zig zagging down some viciously steep side roads, the run course started coming up the opposite way so I could see the damage and it wasn't good. T2 was casual to say the least, I sat down and sorted my shoes while messing around for the camera. No real point rushing at this stage.Out onto the run and it's every bit as evil (maybe worse) than the bike course with 500ft of climing in less than 3 miles. You leave transition and go up, up, up and up some more, then you run down! Again the good news is that there were no injury issues on a course that would definatly have found me out if I'd got any, the bad news (again) is that I was sloooow, hurting and very happy to reach the Finish Line. So, the overall damage is revealed. In the race with it's 24 finishers I'm normally one of the favourites and was again amongst though that didn't know or believe my injury illness tales. There are always 5-6 of us at the sharp end of the swim so I was happy to lead out of the water. I would never be expected to have the fastest bike, but I'd aim for top 3 and hope to be within a minute of the fastest bike split. This year I was 8th fastest and 6 (yes SIX) minutes off the pace (ok, I messed around in T1, but it's still 5mins!!). On the run I should comfortably be top two, maybe not the fastest because the hills don't suit me, but again I was down in 5th place and almost 2mins off the pace of the fastest. So where do we go from here? Well, hopefully I can finally start training and get some fitness back. Sunday was tough, but the course is evil and you can't blag fitness with that much climbing. It was great for some of my clubmates who've not beaten me before to get one over on me, although I'd rather it happen because they've improved loads rather than I've gone downhill so much. The aim now is to put them back in their place though - behind me ;-D Ironman Florida Update - I've made a decision, but only a decision on 'when' I'm going to make a decision. Shelly's birthday is on the 18th April and I've promised her that I'll know one way or another what I'm doing by then. I've got 3 weeks to get some solid training in and convince myself that I can go there and give it a good go, or to fall apart again and give it all up.