Its a bit later than normal, but here goes.
After a few weeks of successful racing I headed up to WP Trials on Friday last week with a bit of hesitance, as I was nursing an upper respiratory tract infection, commonly known as a Stuffy Head. I did not feel great and was going up to see how I went, but not to kill myself. My plan was to work hard in the swim and bike, and coast the run with a hopeful lead.
I knew some of the faster guys were not coming up and this gave me a bit of hope for the day as well.
We lined up on Saturday morning with the usual smack talk and chatter and I got a good spot on the swim line and before we knew it, we were off on our 2 laps. I hung with swim rabbit Emslie for about 300m and then backed off once I saw we had a gap on the group. I merely wanted to limit loss to Emslie but still build a bit of a break to the chasing pack before the bike got going.
My new Orca Alpha suit, boys and girls, is the shiznitz. It felt really amazing in the water, with less restriction on the arms than I have ever felt. I swim with quite straight arms, and the suit didn’t inhibit that for one second. Kudos to Orca, I think first 4 out the water were all in Orca suits.
Onto the bike, and the mission was to sit up till about 5km, then hammer till 30km, then spin into T2. Mission was on the way when at about 5km I passed young Emslie on the bike and motored by, riding hard (there may have been a bit of white foam on the mouth at this point), checking my Suunto to make sure I was keeping it above 170. At 10km, I had 75sec on 2nd place, at 20km, it was 120sec. On leg 3 I thought I heard a puncture and nearly platzed myself, but the faint noise wouldn’t go, even if the tire was staying hard.
At 30km I still had 120sec over Harold chasing, with a foxy Brendan Lowen on his ass like a fly to a vrot carcass in the sun. I could see they were catching as Harold murders the bike, his freakishly sized calves not being supportive for his running agendas. I was pumped full of Whaspgel by this stage and was ready to spin/hammer home, but I felt as if I was riding with someone holding onto my shirt.
The last leg was murder and I couldn’t understand why it seemed so much harder (inspection after the race revealed that the brakes had locked onto my rear wheel a little and it was tough to spin the wheel – hence the extra effort and loss of time in the last 20km) but kept spinning as I wanted to have semi-fresh legs for the run, whereas I knew the two behind were going to hammer all the way into T2.
The official gap was around 30sec into T2, but I set out running lightly up the hill, but not murdering myself. My Puma racers were perfect for the day, no socks, light, no blisters, and YELLOW!
All our flat running was about to pay off. I buried the downhills and the flats, going deep into GP circuits for inspiration. The lead went up to 1:30 by the end of lap 1, 2:30 by the end of lap 2 so that I had the time and space to chill on lap 3 heading home for a well deserved win, sinus and rubbing wheels couldn’t stop me today.
As I came into the finishline I knew that the sickness, the strange bike feeling and the new, much harder run route would add to around 5minutes of extra time, so to come in just over 2 hours was a happy achievement, and proof that these damn ME workouts have paid off, that the calorie counting has paid off, and that a new attitude is paying off.
Thanks to all my sponsors, you make it so much easier. Puma, Orca, Whasp, Suunto, Rockets (worn in the car on the way home for no sore legs the next day), Jack Black Beer (official recovery fuel).
all images credited to Tess