Sunday, 7 September 2008

A first...

                                     Me, my first Gold medal and celebratory bottle of Moet.

Yesterday was the last race of the season and time for me to implement all of my new found thought processes into a whole race. Following IM Germany we ditched the long sessions and trained hard and short in a bid to find some zip. And as you have been reading I've been trying to discover how to think differently. Having the weekly Pool Triangle to see those changes in the bike has been great, but I felt a little anxious for The Vitruvian (1.9km swim, 52 mile bike, 13.1 mile run.) Learning how to push myself for a 20km time trial on a course I now know like the back of my hand is a little different to an 85km bike course with a hard swim for a warm up and a half marathon as a cool down!!!

As you can see by my picture I didn't do too badly :) Last year I was 12th girl overall and came third in my age group with a time of 4hrs 58mins. This year I was 6th girl overall and won my age group with a time of 4hrs 50mins :) :) :) (edited: to become national 30-34 female middle distance triathlon champion - Tom)

I wanted a couple of things from the race. The first one was to carry forward the new Helen into the race scenario, never to let my head go down if a girl passed me and most importantly to never give up. The second was to see an improvement in the swim and the bike. I've always been able to run off the bike well, mostly because I've never been able to push the bike section hard enough and so yesterday the plan was to forfeit the run by riding a harder, more consistent bike. Comparing last year's to this year's splits, you can see I made the biggest improvements in the swim and the bike and then ran a much slower half marathon.

Last year:

swim 33.51
bike 2.43.54
run 1.36
Overall 4.57

Yesterday's times are still only provisional so I don't have the official ones, but off my watch:

swim 31.21
bike 2.33
run 1.42
Overall 4.50

So with my 7 minute pb and all of that coming from the first two disciplines I'm over the moon. The great thing about my run being much slower than last years shows that I have the ability to run 1.36 (I'm not less run fit) but I can only do this once I've got my legs used to riding a 2.33, and this is key. So, these are the things that I will concentrate on in my block of Winter training and I must say it's an exciting thought (that is the eventual outcome as opposed to the endless hrs of Winter weather!!!) Improvement on the bike will naturally lead to being able to run well off the bike. I was a whole 6mins slower on the run this year and this is what's exciting because had I been able to run the same as last year I would have pb'd by 13mins. This is what is going to spur me on in the cold, wet Winter months.

I'm starting to think like a winner and not a loser who wishes they were a winner. Tom made a good point today by saying that in races your position is only a measure against other people (and you can only race the people that are there) but the result (i.e time) is a measure of yourself. So irrespective of whether I was first or last in my age group I got the best out of myself on that day and was rewarded with a great pb and now I have the foresight to see the improvement that is to come with more hard work on the bike and in my head. Roll on Lanzarote 09!!!

Yesterday's middle distance race was a first for a couple of our friends. Jo Ladd who is a fully fledged Team Southern's sibling was amazing out there. Jo did her first sprint triathlon last year and has trained consistently and with much determination to arrive at yesterdays race nervous but fully prepared (except for forgetting her socks and now having HUGE blisters.) She was awesome out there and when she crossed the finish line we all felt so proud because it's such a daunting prospect and both Tom and I love being part of her triathlon journey and can't wait to see Jo do IM Austria next year. AKJ (as you'll have seen in a previous post) is about to embark on the same journey, and one we're very excited about being part of too. x x x
It was the first middle distance race for our friend Alison too, who was equally as nervous but just as capable as Jo and we knew would have no problems with the distance at all. Great work Alison, I hope you're very proud of yourself, because you did it, every single stroke, pedal and step.

Tom and I were very lucky to have fantastic support on what was a hard day for spectators because of our unseasonal weather. Even my ma and step-pa came to watch me for the very first time. AKJ and Andrea, Yve, Ray & Les and my ma & pa all braved the rain to shout and scream us on and without their support races just wouldn't be the same so thank you , thank you, thank you.

Time for a well earned rest day followed by an easy week and then a bit of a run focus as we head towards the Great North Run.

I'm on the mend mentally and I'm loving it :)

H. x

P.s Huge well done to Sammy who puked his way round the whole course but still finished (that's the Ironman attitude boy!) and Pauly P who managed to do the whole thing on barely any training!! and to the LBT'ers all doing LBT proud. And of course to Tom who found his swim, bike and run legs and restored his lost faith in racing hard :) always my inspiration. x


Debra said...

Fantastic results both of you, inspirational as ever and now you each have a gold medal from this season - huge cheers!!

Khara Mills said...

Wow, wow and wow; not that it's unexpected, but you're just amazing! Huge congratulations H and what a way to finish the season. You're on a fantastic physical and mental journey...just keep going...
Big hug, see you soon.
Khara x

Jevon said...


H said...

Thanks guys, looking forward to some R & R now before the build to Lanza!!

Debra & Khara , I look forward to cheering you round Ilkley Tri in a couple of weeks and Jevon, can't wait to catch up with you sometime in October. xx

joannacarritt said...


i'm starting to question the wisdom of shareing those bike handling tips now ;o)

buut seriously, you're dead right - clearly a natural runner but coming to the cycling late means that you do need to invest additional effort in that portion of the race.

do you use a power meter? if not, i'd really recommend it - it's not as geeky as it sounds, honest! as well as gaguing ( ho do u spel that?) progress , it will highlight the areas of your riding where you tend to loose power, and those that cost you in massive surges so that you can learn to correct it. I also found it useful for learning how to handle different types of terrain efficiently and effectively (might come in handy for lanzarote!!)

happy to discuss it more, if u do want advice