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TriHardAlan - Tales of an Age Grouper
TriHardAlan - Tales of an Age Grouper

Diva to Deva

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanJun 6th 2017
I already wrote this Blog one. Didn’t quite finish it so didn’t get to post it here. But in summary it went like this;

Recovering from injury
Ran Kingfisher Aquathlon when I maybe shouldn’t have
Did the Thames Turbo Sprint Race 1 when injury was better
Flared injury up again by attempting a parkrun 5 days later (yes, that was probably over enthusiastic at best, stupid at worst)

So, one month on from that, a couple of attempts to get over the troubling calf injury later, and I am on the eve of another race. But its Olympic distance this time. And a qualifier for the World AG champs. I am committed in terms of travel and hotel so with this in mind in the last week I manage two Boot Camp (British Military Fitness type) sessions, a 2k run of the bike and a 4k run. So no problem racing a 10k after swimming 1.5 and cycling 40k then! But I was fed up being a Diva and just wanted to be a Deva…..

So I headed to Chester for the Deva Triathlon on Sunday 4th June. Two days after my 50th Birthday. As you do. I did this race two year and its one of the best Tri’s in the UK, I really can’t praise it enough. And even with all the injury problems and no chance of qualifying was looking forward to doing it again and at least improving on my last visit which admittedly was pre op whilst in a world of pain. So after a uneventful drive up ad hotel stay and pre race meal I set of with a friend I had traveled with and went through our normal transition routine. I had forgotten my race belt and blue tac to plug my ears and also forgot to do a transition run through to get my bearings but apart from that was all good on on the start line in plenty of time.

Swim â€" I started my Garmin early to assume a horizontal position and guard my space and set of when the gun went. Pre race had discussed tactics with my coach and we decided not to push too hard on the swim as recent training sessions showed a relaxed stroke got better times. And felt good. On the way out I think I could have got nearer the bank as we were against the current and the turnaround point took forever it seemed and I had lost the pack by then but when I got out of the water, ran the 100 meters or so to Transition I was shocked to see 29 minutes. Official time, 28.20. Course with run to Transition was 1773 so long but 36th out of 93 for the swim isn’t good enough. I can do better. Previoulsy, on what I think was a short course, I did 25 minutes, so I was now 3 minutes down against 2015 me.

T1 â€" As I entered I had to stop and think what aisle to run down. Only a few seconds but not great. Dam not ding that run through. And with no Bluetac I felt giddy too. Wetsuit came off easy but it was slow to remain upright. Better hope it runs of before I mount the bike. A 1.36, for what is a small Transition, was again a little poor and 37th slowest in AG.

Bike â€" This is the fun bit. I had my race wheels on my new bike and had been training consistently. No excuses! After a reasonable mount I got aero quickly after an initial couple of sharp turns and put the hammer down. I felt good and quickly started cutting through the field. First half was undulating. Nothing big at all but regularly up and down. And in to a headwind too. Again, not a strong one but a headwind none the less. On the flat bits I was ticking of 1.36 ish K’s so was happy with that. Once I hit half way it all changed completely. The wind was behind me and most the hills too. There was a string of K’s all under 1.30 and few under 1.20. I was flying and this was epic fun. Some of the people I overtook on the early part of the bike came back on the hills but they were quickly dust on the fast sections. I came in in 1.07, 3 minutes quicker then previously. And now back on level terms with 2015 me.

T2 â€" 1.18 for this and no reason why. I was 45th slowest in AG. More urgency needed there!

Run â€" Would the calf hold out? I had no idea. How hard do I run? I didn’t really know. I just ran on what felt like. As I set out I felt fin. I tried to ease the strain on my calf by picking my feet up quicker, running almost with a cycling motion. Was that helping? God knows. The 1st K beep went on my Garmin and I decided I didn’t want to know my pace. I would be depressing, I wouldn’t look the whole race. That of course didn’t last and 2nd K was 4.19. That on practically no run training for a month wasn’t bad! Lets push on. About 8k in I could feel the odd twinge in the calf but very minor. The hip was a little sore and I lost a little bit of pace but on the last of the 3 laps I tried a final push for home for a 43.53 run time. I would have took that at the start and it was 2 minutes quicker than 2015 me.

Overall, I clocked 2.22.11. Just one minute quicker than 2015. But bearing in mind the swim course was longer, it was a better improvement then the times suggest. On refection I could have also maybe pushed harder on the bike. An average HR of 157 tells me there is a bit extra in the tank.

But there was something more important than qualifying and beating my previous times to be taken from this race. Something that is often forgotten. This event is huge fun. Huge, huge fun. The list of what you get for a mere £62 if a BTF member is long and I may well forget something but it includes;

A big chunky medal
A great quality, well designed Bonk t-shirt
A good quality towel
Times posted to your Facebook feed
Free photos posted to your Facebook feed (bike, run and finish)
Race tattoos (I know a number can be drawn on but these look snazzy)
Free High 5 bottle stuffed with gels etc
Free bottle of Factor 50 lotion
Great marshals and crowd support

Seriously, it’s the race that just keeps giving! Course wise, it’s like Windsor. Out and back river swim, one loop undulating bike course and a 3 lap run that has some dead turns. But its better, more goodies and half the price in an equally beautiful setting. I will be back for another go.
tinabeeby member: tinabee, Jun 7th 2017 10:45
I totally agree with your comments about this race. I hadn't done it before and its a long drive from Horsham to Chester but it was worth it. Fab event well organised with goodies that would put a lot of triathlon events to shame. Well done on a great time
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