I was really excited to see how I would do in the end of season race as I had completed the early season race on the same course and this was a direct comparison which would reveal the impact of last 5 months of training.
A few days before the early race was my first Personal training session with Steve and my first ever experience of the FTP Watt bike test. If you haven’t done a FTP test, book one! It’s a great measure of where your at and how effective your training is.
To add some more context to this story you probably need to read my last race report for Bassetlaw Tri if you haven’t already, scroll down and you’ll find it.
I don’t think I’ve ever exercised as much as I have this summer, having weekly PT sessions helps keep you focussed and I have definitely learnt to prioritise what’s important to me. I’m far too head strong to do anything because I have to, I do things because I want to and all this training has not been a chore, I love it.
On the morning of the race we woke up to a fair bit of fog which I was hoping would clear by the time I was out on my bike as I hadn’t thought about visibility and I didn’t have lights on my bike, but most people didn’t either so we were all in the same boat. My husband, Andy was racing too so we had Grandma lined up to meet us there and look after the kids and orchestrate the supporting. Yet again, Andy and I were both in the same swim wave and before I knew it we were pool side and ready for off.
It was only once I was swimming that I thought “right, focus Sarah, count your lengths!” Talking to Andy after the race I was off like a rocket but I wasn’t really aware of him or how fast I was swimming, I had 3 people to over take in my lane and I’d soon got to 20 lengths.
Out into transition and I was just running out with my bike when I spotted Andy coming into transition. My Mum and our kids were shouting and cheering like mad. Andy soon over took me on the start of the bike course as I would have expected him to and he gave me a shout as he passed. It was still quite foggy and my glasses were steamed up so I couldn’t see much with or without them! After Andy had passed me, I didn’t see anyone else on the bike course for about 25 minutes and it did briefly cross my mind that maybe they’d stopped the race due to fog and I didn’t know! I wasn’t use to this, normally I have loads of quick cyclists flying past me all the way through the bike but not today. A couple of quick men past me eventually on the last section of the course and as I live on the course I know it well so knew where I needed to push it and where I had the chance of recovery downhill. I really enjoyed the bike course and felt like I’d done a good job, I could really tell a difference in my fitness from the last time I raced this course.
As I came into leisure centre, again my little support crew was loud and proud which was lovely and I couldn’t wait to run back out to see them again. The run course sets off on roads but about half way goes off road for the remainder of the run. I mainly run off road as I have a lively cocker spaniel who isn’t good on a lead so that terrain suits me. In the last few minutes of the run, a familiar face shot past me, Steve was racing too. He shouted “push it right to the end” so I did as I was told! There is a short hill near the end of the course but again, as I know the course I knew I only needed to push to the top and it was down hill to the finish.
When I had finished I knew I’d worked as hard as I could so I was pleased with myself. I met back up with my family and got my print out and I wasn’t sure how much better my times were but I knew I’d made a big improvement.
Once the statistics were analysed to compare the early race to the late I was really pleased. I was faster in all 3 disciplines and both transitions and overall was 8 minutes quicker over the 5 months between races! The reason I’d not been passed by loads of “quick people” was because I was 5
minutes quicker on the bike. Even better still I won the 30-40 year age group so proudly received my trophy and posed for photos. Steve came over and we were talking about it as we almost missed Andy being announced as the winner of his age group too. A Mr & Mrs victory!!!
What a day for us both!
A couple of weeks earlier Steve had joked, or at least I assumed he was joking that I’d win my age group and I laughed it off saying “I doubt it” and I blooming well did!
I think this last 5 months may have just changed my life forever. As for next year, watch this space…