So to the race. I was competing in the elite cup which also had the format of a head start of 4.5min for the women and the first 3 over the line (male or female) picking up bonuses as well as the $6000 prize money equally divided between male and female. The favourite of course was short course star Nicky Samuels and I was under no illusion that I would be keeping up with her, my strength being the last 1 hr of a 9 hr plus race. I didn’t feel very speedy in training and my aim just to get a good hard workout to try and gain some fitness.
The first swim was in wetsuit with a beach start. I came out in 3rd behind Nicky and Penny Hayes a swimmer turned triathlete. I was pretty happy but first transition here we go again. Can’t get wetsuit off, can’t get helmet on, click it up but done up wrong and can’t undo it, finally get it undone and back done up properly and then typical Gina mounting of the bike. Having looked at the results I lost 25secs at the first transition to the other girls and was now in 6th place. I came onto the bike with Julia Grant and as it was a drafting race we worked together and by the end of the first lap of 5.2k I was in second position. It was a technical course with many turns and I kept forgetting to change down gear going into a corner. I would say having a time trial bike (with the gears at the end of the aerobars) was probably a hindrance on this type of course. By the end of the second lap I saw I was gaining on Nicky and I could see her just up the road, but then oh no transition again.
So now onto the run losing a bit more time in transition I had to run 2.5k as fast as I could. It was a shock having done no fast running and I’ve got to say I’ve never been a sprinter I will run 2.5k pretty much the same speed that I would run 10k or 21k. I caught a bit more time up on Nicky and managed to get away from the other girls behind me, then transition again.
This time it was a transition I’ve never done before. Take off shoes, put on cap and goggles and back into the swim. I thought I would find it really cold without wetsuit, but I liked it and I enjoyed this part of the race. Probably too much, I seemed to forget it was a race and that I should be swimming as fast as I could go. I lost quite a chunk of time to Nicky here and in the next transition swim to bike again my worst type quite a bit more time. And also 2 men went by me. Gosh it didn’t take them long to catch me!
Back onto the bike again for the second 10.5k. I was alone and couldn’t see anyone ahead and I lost focus (yes I lost focus in the shortest race ever!) I reverted to Ironman bike speed and lost a bit of time and when I got off my bike a couple more men were right behind carrying up Julia Grant back up to me as well.
Onto the last run and I just put in my best effort to try and take second. I didn’t feel good at all in these runs. I didn’t feel like I have been feeling in my running this year. I have a lot of work to do in this area to get back to where I was but I was surprised that in my both my runs I was the fastest runner. In the end I finished 1min behind Nicky and Julia was 20sec behind me. I was pretty happy with a really fun race and a really good workout.
The next day I travelled up to
for the day to have a bike fit done with David Bowden a real cycle nut! I have
much neglected this area, most probably because I don’t like to make changes
too close out from a race, and when you race like me, you are always too close
to a race. Also the last bike fit I did had kind of put me off from having
another one for quite a few years. That bike fit consisted of me sitting on the
bike, having a photo taken and then being taken into an office where he
proceeded to show me a photo of a male pro athlete who had recently had a bike
fit done in USA.
He showed me that I looked very much like I was in a similar position to this
man so therefore I was all good to go. We were done in less than 10min. I was a
bit shocked at this idea of a bike fit so I have never been back to anyone
since, seeing it as an incredible waste of money.
Anyway David has been very good to me over the years giving me tips on equipment decisions and analysis of data. He is very passionate about cycling and he is a wealth of knowledge and I trusted that he would be the person to help me and he is. I only regret that I haven’t done this years ago.
The exciting part is that there are a lot of things I can do to make improvement in my biking. Apparently even though I am a foot shorter than him, and also on a 650c bike my head is actually further up in the air than his! I need to get onto some more appropriate aerobars which will be narrower and they are on their way to me right at this moment. And I also need to work hard on a new way of sitting on them which will get me a lot more aero. It will take dedication and discipline to change old habits. Anyway there is a lot for me to work on which I am excited about. Hopefully I can get my new aerobars before Christmas and I can get my new red and black Ceepo with my new red and black Rolf Prima wheels built up before the year is out!! Pictures to come!
I have decided that I would like an opportunity to race again before Challenge Wanaka especially as I will be in a new position and on new equipment and I don’t like the idea of going into an Iron distance race like that without testing it out first. Plus I feel like I need another super hard workout (like I just can’t do by myself in training). And so the Crawfords are going back to Tauranga for the Tauranga Half Ironman. I actually assumed this race was Jan 12th (1 week prior to Wanaka) but discovered it was actually Jan 5th today, so really it fits in perfectly. Merry Christmas to everyone who actually made it to the end of this long and probably very boring blog!!