Posted: 03/09/2014 at 11:02
Hope all well here.
Thought I'd give you a report on my latest activity:
The Dead Frog
This is what I got up to yesterday: Lost Sheep national middle distance championship, Kenmare
Well the Triathlon season is over for me for this year – my first full season and I wanted to go out in style. The pinnacle of the season was the trip to my ancestral county of Kerry for the toughest race on the circuit.
I arrived at the Bed & Breakfast on Friday afternoon and that Kerry trait of stuffing as much food into your guests as possible was still alive and well to bring back memories of my Grandmothers meals. “Do you want more”, “no thanks Gran” and hey ho another mountain lands on the plate. I could never understand why she asked, as the question was rhetorical. The hospitality however in my Kenmare bolthole was second to none.
Another trait and memory of my childhood trips to the Kingdom was the black mountains, mist, cloud and rain that magically appeared as you crossed the county boundary – yup all were still there.
Race day started at 5.15 when my alarm rudely woke me up – more reminded me to get up as I was awake after a substantially sleepless night. The dreaded cramp had hit in the night also and set my mind racing – how can I face the long swim with cramp before I even started. The “Fear an Ti” wouldn’t have been disappointed with the size of the bowl of porridge I whipped up.
Anyway, got the bike and the pointy helmet ready and headed off like a cavalier at dawn on my horse picking up comrades from the side roads (or are they all enemies) as we headed to the pier. How is that on the morning of a race an hour lasts for a minute? It was 7.30 AM and time for the dip sooner than it should have been.
Race strategy – Swim easy and don’t get cramp – and the rest will look after itself. I knew I had done the Bike work and the run – sure I’m a veritable Haile Gebrselassie – we even share the same birthday.
When setting up transition I place a pair of socks beside my runners – Will I wear them? – I dunno but probably not as I’m hard. I knew in my heart that 10k without socks in my speedy shoes was ok, but a half marathon – I wasn’t sure! On with the wetsuit and the green hat provided by the organizers.
Into the water and 400 or so of us gathered in the bay like a big pot of peas about to come to the boil. The yellow buoys in the distance like two stray pieces of corn were the target. Adverse to Kerry tradition the weather looked good and I settled into the race. Purposely keeping wide to avoid the washing machine I got into my easy pace and with the repetitive thought of stroke, breath, stroke, breath.
Got to the first buoy without cramp and the first fence was flown. Turn right, right again and there was the white house on the pier in the distance – it was small and far away. However, it slowly got bigger and no sign of cramp. I hadn’t got through a race all year over sprint distance without a cramp attack and here I was in the longest of all and no cramp – could I get through without the dreaded “Charley Horse” – seemingly so and the slipway bordered by the “Vodafone” tubes arrived – out of the water. I knew I was slow but the first goal was achieved – 35 mins and apparently at that stage in 206th place – just as well I didn’t realise this at the time – I thought I had swam good enough. The main objective was to get out of the water in one piece, and that was achieved.
Continued in next post