I have done a race report and posted it on the training for a shorter tri thread; that is where I normally post. It is long so you are warned. I will post here if wanted but as I had my first ever DNF it is a bit of a downer.
I am writing mine, but I've been down in Bristol, now back home and trying to get a job application sorted and get ready to go to Berlin for the Velothon.
It'll arrive shortly (maybe even tomorrow before I go)
On nights Matt?
Steady, post it here please. I was sooooooo gutted for you when I was you in the hall.
I will try to keep the story brief, but you are warned to have a cup of tea at hand, I do go on a bit.
I arrived lunchtime Saturday and registered, went to the 1pm briefing and met up with Saffers, Southern Snail, Mathschick, Matt and Chris. Nice to put faces to names now, I think we all wibbled together. Went back to campsite and put tent up, met up with Little Sister who was also camping and discovered where she would be marshalling.
Race morning, awake at 4am to lovely dawn chorus until the crows/rooks joined in. Took my tablets and started to faff. Porridge and mug of tea for breakfast with my mates who thoughtfully had boiled water up the night before and put into some flasks, it makes for lots less hassle. Took the bike and bits to transition, back to the tent to get into wetsuit. Here my tall tent came into its own and we managed to get 3 people into wetsuits inside where it was slightly warmer.
Went over to the start, as I went forward to the pontoon I caught my middle toe on the left foot on the leg of a barrier. Ouch, sod it and other words came out. No time to complain as we were herded into the water. Managed a bit of a warm up and went back towards the back of the first bay, up to my neck in water, standing around, so saved a bit of energy. 5 second countdown and then off, bit of biffing and bashing, but no worse than last year in the full Outlaw. Settled down and did my swim.
Swim time 50.37
Had a small struggle to get feet out of wetsuit but mainly because my hands were so cold, looked down at feet and just saw 2 slabs of white, no feeling. Slurped some drink, then changed into pirate cycle top, arm warmers, gilet, then as about to put socks and shoes on, dozy girl nearby asks politely if I could help her get her arms free from her wetsuit. Being a nice person I stopped and helped but did give out an exasperated sigh when she had the cheek to ask to be helped out of the 2nd arm. So socks and shoes on, grab bike and go.
Bike ride around the lake, marshals on the far side did a grand job shooing geese off the road, coming back down 2 families of geese parted like the Red Sea for me. Saw Little Sister and I was off out on the roads. Made sure I drank regularly, took on gels, I enjoyed the closed road bits. I knew I was always going to be tight to the cut off time for the bike, so kept aero as much as I could and kept the cadence up. Each time I tried to change gear into what I knew I should be in the cadence dropped rapidly, so settled down to loads of spinning. I have a Garmin but with my contact lenses in I cannot read it so had to go by perceived effort.
I will admit to having to walk about 150m up the final bit of Oxton bank. I stopped at the feed station to ensure I got drink and another gel. Set off again, there were still a few riders in front and the occasional one overtaking me, no chance of drafting whatsoever. On the approach to the roundabout to start the southern loop a motorbike BTF official waved me down, oh no what violation have I done now.
No, the bad news was I was going to miss the cut off and although before the 12 noon deadline there was no way I was going to make it. He was an incredibly kind man, who had a middle aged, menopausal woman cry in front of him. At least where he stopped me meant it was a short 5 to 6 miles back to HPP following the race route. I had the option to continue knowing I would not be able to run, but there would be no marshals out and no back up. The thought at that point was I do not want to get lost in Nottinghamshire, I want to go back and bawl my eyes out, I had never felt so deflated in my life.
So shortcut back onto race route, oh how horrible that last bit is back past the posh house with the lousy surface. Back into HPP and did a spectacular dismount. I failed to dismount and the emotions got to me, so I just dropped the bike to the ground and stepped away. I made a comment to the marshal that there is more than one way to get off, just mine is not elegant. Racked the bike whilst controlling the tears, trying to work out what to do next.
This is when I discovered that my toes were painful and throbbing. I put my running shoes on and hobbled out, back to the campsite, feeling a total failure.
Sitting in the porch of the tent, I took my socks and shoes off to see a purple swollen middle toe, which was why I could not get enough power through the pedals. Painkillers taken, I phoned my husband at home and cried down the phone to him. After a while I realised I still had my timing chip on, but decided to have a shower, then go back and return it.
Back into race finish area, found an official to hand timing chip to, told that I can still have meal in food hall, so off I went, surrounded by masses of people in finishers T shirts with medals around their necks.
Pirates really are a great bunch of people, thanks to The Engineer; he was the first pirate I spoke to, sorry for interrupting your eating. Saffers gave me a hug and a talking to, thanks. Sorry to all for being a near blubbering wreck, but I guess you all know how much is put into preparing for the day. I went back to the campsite as I could not bear to be around all the happy faces, so I started getting packed up ready to go home. My friend Steve finished first out of the 3 of us, he was gob smacked to see me at the tent. His partner, known as Marmite Lady due to her cycle top finished a while later; she already knew that I had dropped out as she had not seen me on the run.
It was a long and painful drive down the M1 every time I changed gear, with horrible delays between 4 or 5 junctions and the traffic crawling along.
I took Monday off work as originally planned, and have had time to come to terms with what happened and why. Once I downloaded the Garmin, I was quite pleased to see that I had managed to do an average of 13mph, covering 33 + 5 miles out of the 56 with a badly bruised toe.
The extreme emotions were a combination of the day itself, my first ever DNF (I have run for 29 years and done Tri for 5 years) and being a woman of a certain age.
There will be a next time, it is being planned, but for now I will recover and do some shorter stuff, with some sportives in September.
Thanks SA, I couldn't do your DIY one as it was Mr Steady's birthday. One day we will meet.
Nice report Steady, so sorry you didn't finish but I look forward to seeing you back there..... You have unfinished business
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