Posted: 26/08/2014 at 17:23
Pre race: dropped the bike off on Saturday. Everybody around me seemed to be spending a long time with their bikes in transition. I racked mine and just stared at it!! There was nothing else to do so I stared at it a bit more, felt the tyres, stared again and left!!
Swim: I was nervous and cold. Tried to jump around a bit and suddenly all the women were called forward. I positioned myself to the back and at the far side. I knew I needed to get used to the temperature and relax into it first. It was damn cold but after about 10 mins I was more or less in the rhythm but after about 40 mins my arms were cold. It wasn't too busy as we went in 10 min waves but every time another wave of men caught me up it got a bit hairy. Very busy round the last bend then thank goodness the end was in sight. Swim time 1hr 35 bang on what I thought.
T1: oh dear. I was so cold I just couldn't function. 21 mins there's nothing more to say. I quite simply couldn't make anything work, I was shaking so much. Clearly room for improvement but I don't do cold!!! I also had a splitting headache and took my first lot of nurofen.
Bike: despite my teeth chattering for the first 15 minutes I got off to a good start and the first 30 miles I held an average of 18mph. It then sadly went downhill and unfortunately that wasn't the road itself. It was so windy. At times I was doing just 9mph on the flat. The
first loop wasn't quite as bad but as the day wore on the wind picked up and I could see my average speed dropping. After 3 hours I pulled in very briefly to take more nurofen. With maybe 25 miles to go the heavens opened. The rain was very cold very heavy then hailstones with the result that when I came back to T2 I was once again wet and very cold and unable to function. Bike 7hrs 7mins
T2: As I said frozen and couldn't get hands to work again. 16 mins
Run: I ran out of transition and my watch told me I was running a 13.50 mile. I stopped at the first aid station. More nurofen and I told myself that this was no good and I'd be there for ever more so I managed to increase the speed to 12 min miles which somehow or other (and I have no idea how) but I kept that up for 22 miles. I walked through some of the aid stations but then got back to 12m/m. From 22 onwards I was so chuffed that I was going to beat last years time and go under 15 hours that I managed to "power walk" and run to the end. Run 5h 20
Total time 14h 41minutes
What an awesome day.
It's amazing how deep you can dig to do these things. I had a lot of negative thoughts on the bike but there was no point giving up because a) I'd never have forgiven myself and b) I was miles away from anywhere with no-one around!!
I also had chronic backache which I hadn't suffered during training.
Anyway, that's more or less it. I have a T-shirt, a medal, sore legs and a lot of memories to remind me of August 24th 2014.