It’s been a mixed few weeks and months leading up to this race and to be honest I wasn’t specifically training for this race at all. I’ve got more important races to train for and this was just one for fun. But nevertheless it’s a race and I will try my best to get it done.
Catching a cold two days before hadn’t helped and before that I had been injured and also ill so the training has really been lacking. Stuffing my face with vitamin C and cold and flu tablets has helped a bit but still not feeling 100%. Dropping out had crossed my mind but my parents had said they were coming to the first race they’d see me in so I couldn’t really drop out.
Friday night before the race I took the road bike out for a spin as I’d not been on it for a wee bit and 2kms in my innertube burst! Fixing it took some effort but I discovered the tyre was worn down too. I decided to change the type and innertube and while I was at it I changed the front tube and type as well. 2 new tyres and innertubes and I was ready.
Sunday morning, not too early 7am wake up call leaving he house at 8am. Registration was until 9:40 with the first heat starting at 10am. I arrived and registered and found out I was in heat 7 which was a long way off. A lot of hanging about, bored Andy and bored Parents I finally entered the pool. I was quite chuffed that there was only three in my lane but I was at the back. Thankfully both said feel free to overtake so puts the pressure off feeling bad for making them stop.
However, there was no need to feel pressure as they were swimming at a reasonable pace that I was keeping up with just nicely. I drafted for all 30 lengths and jumped out the pool feeling OK. I wasn’t pushing myself too hard due to the cold but I did feel rubbish getting out the pool.
Jumping into transition I was dizzy and out of breath (this is usual for me coming out of a pool session) so I found it hard shoving on the socks with wet feet and as I didn’t want elastic laces I had to tie my laces up too. A slow T1 but again can’t complain.
The bike course was straight into an uphill which was tough, my chain slipped at which point I thought it had snapped but thankfully no and I managed to get back and push up this hill. It flattened off onto nice borders roads into Ednam where a left turn took you round some houses onto quiet flat country road. At this point I was thinking, ‘ahh this isn’t too bad’ but rounding a corner there was a hill and it was steep and long. Low gear pushing up I was overtaken by a guy with tribars on so I’ll allow that. But getting overtaken by a grey haired gerry took the biscuit! I had to pass him. But the hill was sapping all energy out of me. I’m just not that good on the bike, and I think I’d have been faster running!
Geriatric disappeared round the corner probably never to be seen again. I cycled on past the road works that left a little tarmac so we could gently navigate through the gravel. Up a little kicker of a hill onto the main road back into Kelso. Changing gear was funny though, I was doing this round the corner and was checking it had gone to the big cog and forgot to turn so headed into the grass.. Thankfully no one saw and there was no cars on the road at that time. This was the start of the downhill.
I’m not that good on the bike as I’ve said. I’m even worse going fast and downhill. I didn’t want to lose control, I remember on my first bike losing control on a hill and ending up crashing into a barbed wire fence. Ouch!
So taking it easy I got overtaken by two. But this is OK as I was going as fast as I wanted to. First lap done and onto the next I passed Tina on her run giving her some encouragement, but that hill came sooner but lasted longer this time. This time, no one was near me, which probably meant I was the last in my heat but I didn’t care.
Coming back into Kelso and onto the last straight I spotted the family taking pictures which egg’d me on a bit. It is a great pick me up having people shout your name! Loved it.
Chucking the bike on the rack and taking the helmet off, leaving the shades on for fashion you see I ran out of T2.
Getting encouragement once more I probably started too fast so I slowed down and caught my breath. The run takes in the same hill as the bike but up some steps which sapped all the energy from my quads. I had a little walk then got back into the stride and started, thankfully overtaking people. Including that gerry guy who’d taken me on the cycle. I was flying compared to him but everyone has a strong point!
Onto the second loop I managed to smile for some cameras and managed to run up those steps now that I’d caught up with myself. A little girl running out of her house shouting to her Grandma, “is this the olympics gran?” this made me smile and I thought, yes it bloody is for me! 🙂
Onto the home straight, all the way down hill getting photos taken and running past a load of folk made me feel good! Running is definitely my best one of the three sports. Crossing the line I was tired and I knew I’d done my best but probably not the best time, but who cares as next year I’ll be able to beat it! 😀