Just a quick one this time, promise!
Bit of a last minute entry this year, basically Paul has never done it before and got suckered in by the Berkshire Tri Squad chat about it. No tapering for this one, in fact having recently re-done my FTP test on the bike I’m now working properly hard again! So aim was to beat last year’s time (1:45:22) rather than my HM PB (1:42:51).
Race day arrived and it was freezing!! Reluctantly I ditched my trusty short-shorts and opted for being a true triathlete and layering up. You really can tell the runners from the triathletes at these races… runners are a hardy bunch who go out in short shorts and a vest top no matter what the weather is doing. Triathletes on the other hand cover up as much as possible and wear every colour-mismatched accessory going 🙂
I saw my club-mate Clara on the start line who is a more experienced runner than me, and toyed with the idea of using her as a pacer (I knew she’d finished around the 1:40 mark last year). Alas, I lost sight of her after about 1km, but it was a nice idea at the time.
Wokingham is a relatively flat course (although I admit, less flat than I remembered and may have told Paul and my other club-mate Joanne at the start! Sorry guys :s ). Working backwards, I knew I had to hold 4:50/km pace to beat last year’s time, and 4:44/km would break the 1:40 mark. Calves felt very stiff for the first 5 miles or so, although lungs were doing well holding 4:42/km. I knew there were a couple of club-mates spectating along the course, and I think this kept me going the most. That and the 2 blokes running as a camel! Annoyingly they were ahead of me the whole way, but I couldn’t be too miffed as they were going for a world record. By mile 8 my pace was holding at 4:44/km and I was having to dig fairly deep to hold it there, and by the motorway bridge at mile 10 I was starting to slip to 4:45, 4:46… Boo! Somehow I did manage to pick it up a little in the last 3 miles, although not quite enough to get back down to 4:44/km. I pushed as hard as I could manage for the last mile, and although Strava says the last few km I did manage to go 4:42, 4:41, with a sprint finish of 4:11/km, it was more game face than game pace!!
Still, I got a nice 5 minute course PB and a comfortable 2min 25sec HM PB, so I’ll take that. Shout out to club-mate Katie’s parents who provided the post-race bacon and coffee. Now to plan my next HM for 2017 so I can see the magic 1:39 something…