My bike arrived safely and I was ready to roll on to my hotel and un pack the bike. After getting my bike out, I cruised down to the registration, had a little ride of the course and racked my bike.
I was very excited to receive my goodie pack from the race officials which included a singlet, usually I get the smallest size, which never fits properly or they are all out of small sand I have to get a size that will never fit and is just another race singlet. This time they had plenty of small sizes and were eager to give them out :)
Next order of business was to find somewhere for dinner, a big pasta to polish off my cargo load for the day. Eating carbs the day before the race ensures you have enough stored energy to get you through the race, topping up along the way with gels. So chicken carbonara was on the menu for dinner and I ate until I was with out a doubt full. The loading doesn't end here, when I got back to my accommodation I had 3 rice crackers and some gatorade to top it off to ensure I was hydrated. Off to bed for a good night sleep. Race day tomorrow, I am feeling a little nervous but excited.
Race day was here, leading up to a race, I use it as motivation in training pushing hard to do the best I can in the race when it finally arrives the nerves set in and I think back to the training I have done and think, have I done enough, let's see if the training is working. I was using this race to see where I am at leading up to the big one in Canada, it was also a good opportunity to practice any race nutrition and anything else I might do in the big race. I walked down to the race to put my helmet, bike and run shoes into transition, then headed down to the swim start to do what I call, the wetsuit dance. This involved a very tight wetsuit, a plastic bag, some body glide and some interesting manoeuvres to get into the suit. When I have James(my boyfriend),his strength and height come in handy, first I get my legs in by putting a plastic bag on each foot, for easy access and so you don't put a hole in the suit, then comes the fun part, James grabs the sides and quite literally bounces me into the suit while I try and push myself down. However if I have no helper,I need to do this myself which involves trying to basically squat into the suit, which looks very strange to an on looker but when everyone else is doing it I don't feel so silly.
Now that the suit is on time for a warm up swim and experience the water temperature. The temp wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, getting out of the water to the cool air temp and with a bit of wind however was, freezing. I did some high knees to try and stay warm and wait for the start, I recalled the pre race instruction that were given to me by my coach Jess, go hard for the first 200m inthe swim, find some feet to hang on the back of, out of the swim head down and go hard on the bike, on the run go with what ever is left.
The gun went off and we ran into the water, there was no swell to speak of so I dived straight in and went hard to the first buoy, we were to swim straight along the shore line, and at the fourth pink buoy turn left and head for the shore, seemingly easy but when the buoys are pink and your wave start has pink caps this became somewhat of an issue, the swim seemed long and slow, my time showed, getting out of the swim in 30mins, one of my slowest swim times, getting the wetsuit off take considerably less time than putting it on. Quickly pulling the top half off while coming out of the swim, ripping goggles and cap off going into transition. Pulling the suit down and pulling your legs out, grab the bike and off to the mount line, racing in these colder temps leaves your feet numb, for the first time I used toe cover on my cycling shoes, my shoes are designed to dry your feet and let air circulated through them, this is great in the summer but bitter cold in the winter. The toe covers kept out the wind but my feet did not warm up. A bit of a battle with another cyclist on the bike for the first lap, I would push up and over take, then she would over take me and this went on for the first lap of 20km. Coming in to the second lap she over took me, I tried to stay in touch but she pushed on ahead,I tried to keep and average of 30km/h and coming in with a bike time of 1:17, which I was happy with. I was a bit worried I had gone too hard on the bike and would have nothing lift for the run. I came off the bike strong and ran up beside the cyclist that I have been competing with, I asked her how she went on the run, she relied with "I hate running", I definitely had her beat on this leg, my confidence was boosted. I kept pushing, up ahead I was one of my fellow team mates, struggling I pated her on the back and gave her some encouragement and steamed on ahead, I knew if I kept this pace I would be her :p. I was pushing under 5min kms and wanted to keep it this way, I was worried that I went out too fast as I usually do and my pace would completely drop off the second half of the 10k. I kept pushing giving it my all and kept up the pace. I clocked the 10k in 49:24, the first time I have been under 50mins, my pervious PB was 52mins. I was so excited, not quite a PB overall, 2hr 40mins. I am feeling really confident going into the next 7 weeks of training before I head to Canada.