Cant Ask Anymore Than That
by TriHardAlanMay 2nd 2014
I finished what I call my early season, ie before the first triathlon, with two duathlons and in the process was reminded of a valuable lesson.
First up was the F3 Duathlon at Dorney over the Easter weekend, Sprint distance. Just 13 days after my marathon this was a gamble but felt I had recovered well and having took part in the February edition it was an opportunity to compare and check training is going well. I was fortunate enough to enjoy dry weather again and whilst I opted for a long sleeve top under my Tri suit probably would have lived without it. With 3 different distances going of together it was hard to tell where I was in the field during the first run but felt good and after watching the k splits and then the leg time came in 14 seconds quicker than last time on a over distance course at at an average of 3.44 per k. A reasonable T1 followed by a too slow clipping in left me chasing somebody on the bike I had come in to Transition with. Never caught him but it kept me pushing along nicely and finished the bike two minutes quicker than in Feb with a 36.3 kph average. Result! After a speedy 18 sec T2 could I catch my target from run 1 and the bike? He ran the same speed as me and now had a 30 second lead but I always fancy my chances running of the bike, it's my domain. And I was slowly and surely closing the gap but the turnarounds did him a huge favour, he saw I was closing and found enough to hang on and beat me by 5 seconds. But I had taken 32 seconds of my feb run 2 time, averaged again 3.44 per k and had only 4 seconds between the two runs and a overall 3 min improvement from Feb with a total time of 1 hour 10. Also managed to nab 6th place overall but only 3rd in Age Group. You got to love the 45-49 ers, you just don't know who will turn up!
Next up and just 8 days later it was the Ful On Duathlon at Dunsfold Park, better known as the Top Gear Test Track. Odd distances at 5.75k for each run and 24k for the bike, all very flat, just one tiny undulation on the bike. Not so blessed with the weather this time, some sun but lots of wind and rain too, very British! The choice of what to wear was again easy but added gloves this time and with no Age Groups I was in wave 2 with the over 40's men and all women. As the Gun went it was apparent I was near the front but the lead guys soon disappeared over the horizon. How far back was I? Hard to tell, felt I was top ten but being used to being top 2 or 3 in AG didn't feel great. Still, not to worry and push on. First run finished in 21.39 for a 3.47 average. After an average T1 out on to the 5 lap bike course. Clipped in a bit quicker this time and soon settled in to a rhythm of 1.40 per k on half the track and 1.30 per k on the other half. Similar to the previous week spent the bike leg chasing somebody I had ran with and come in to T1 with. Again, didn't catch him but after he opened a 100m or so gap he blew most of it by really slowing down to take his feet out of the shoes. My transition was a lot smoother and before the end if the first of the two lap run I had breezed past him and chasing down my next victim. Managed to reel a few more in and after a strong finish was glad to record an average run of 3.48 and just 12 secs slower than run 1 after clocking an average bike speed of 37.2, up on the previous week. With a total time if 1.24 where had this got me? 26th overall and 10th in the vet 40's. Was that all? That seemed really poor! It was later adjusted to 25th and 8th In the veterans. On the brighter side after the 40th quickest first run I had the 28th quickest bike and 2nd run which indicates that my biking is coming along nicely and pacing is spot on.
So what was the lesson learned here? Perspective. Was I 6th in that first race because I was better than the 2nd? No, it was I simply a weaker field, which of course is an uncontrollable. Whilst my original reaction was oh crap to that 2nd result the two performances had in fact been identical, I had raced to the best of my ability on both days. And at the end of the day you can't ask any more than that.
Join me in my journey to become a better athlete and a better person