Where were we? Ah yes, something about a race. Probably about time I got to that part!
Anyway Sunday was a bit chilly and there was some misty rain happening as we put the three bikes (Nick’s, Rach’s and mine) on the back of the beast and drove to the lake. We’d arrived in plenty of time, and all of a sudden I was helping put up a tent for the registration area and putting energy bars into goody bags. Meanwhile Rach and Nick were doing normal pre-race things like setting up their gear in transition…and getting coffee!
I eventually escaped and went and got organised. All too soon we were sorting out the boats and pfds, and after a small issue with paddles we were good to go. There was a race briefing which I didn’t really pay much attention to, knowing that I would be following everyone else but it did make me think that it would be useful to know the course inside out if you had a chance of placing in a race.
Then we were in the boats, and here was my first mistake of the day – I positioned myself in the middle of people who were slower paddlers than I was.
The gun went off (alright, well I think Liam yelled GO! into a megaphone) and we were off. My positioning really impacted on my paddle because I was stuck between two people, and not even able to paddle properly. I made my frustration known and they moved out of the way but by then I couldn’t catch up to everyone else and I was paddling on my own with no-one to wash ride off. I still did well, although paddling around a lake is extremely frustrating as you can see exactly how far you have to go!
I caught up to one of the Vigor guys, Al just in time to see him fall in going around a buoy. Poor guy!
Anyway, I made it back to shore and was told “well done, Rach is just ahead of you”. Just ahead my arse but it worked.
In transition it seemed to take forever to get my shirt off (calm down I had a singlet on underneath) and get into my cycling jersey and vest, then the bloody zip on the vest got stuck.. that transition was just a disaster. I’d considered not taking the vest, but all my food was packed in it so on it went..eventually.
After a few hundred metre long climb from the lake onto Naroghid Rd I started pedalling away, looking behind me to see when the inevitable chase from the not so strong paddlers but strong riders would come. I also started trying to eat a dextro bar, I still find eating and riding hard to do. I managed it though! I also chowed down on a couple of gu chomps and tried to drink a bit too.
Once I’d done one lap, it was straight on to the other, all the worse now knowing what I was in for! By now I’d been passed by Al, but I can’t remember if anyone else did. It was just after the monster hill when I noticed the two girls I’d been looking out for coming up behind me. They were better than me at descending and quickly overtook me. When we came back into transition though, I arrived about the same time as one of the girls, Beth.
We joked about needing to pee, but in the end neither of us detoured to the toilet and both got running. Beth was well out in front but catchable I thought.
Quick story detour —> the last time I’d run around Lake Bullen Merri my ITB played up, and I ended up hobbling around for two days…you can guess what happens next..
I caught up with Beth and we ran together, which was nice as I was getting bored talking to myself. It was then, almost at the exact same spot as last time that I felt the familiar twinge in my ITB. So annoying, I ran through it for probably a couple of ks, then conceded defeat and walked. I knew I only had about a km to go so alternated running, hobbling and walking.
I looked behind me and saw one of my other friends, Jenny Kennedy had almost caught me. With the sign for 100m to go, I legged it.
I felt pretty emotional (happy emotions) crossing the line, especially after running through some nasty pain, but disappointed too that my body had let me down again.
Still, it was done! All over in 3:32! And Rach, the champ that she is came 3rd! In 3:07!
As usual, here are some photos:
Paddling hard..well not really, I was coming into shore here.
Managing to smile during the ride. Not managing to smile during the run!!
Finished! Note, Jen K in the distance!!
All smiles now the endorphins have kicked in – with 3rd place getter, Rach!