Just finished punishing myself at the Fritton Lake sprint triathlon! In a good way of course. Woke up at 5.45 (seems to be getting earlier every time) and made myself eat some porridge. Then jumped into the car and headed off for Fritton Lake, a beautiful country park in the Norfolk countryside. I made sure to wrap up as the weather was absolutely miserable. Second triathlon and it’s on a wet, overcast and windy day. Great! I didn’t even know how to prepare for days like that. Do you wear another layer over your trisuit? Do you wear waterproofs? Do you still wear sunglasses? I had no idea. Baptism of fire. In the end I decide not to do anything differently. After all, I’m coming out of a lake so it’s not as though I’m gonna be dry anyway.
Anyway, I registered and racked up my humble road bike next to some seriously nice looking triathlon bikes and then wandered around hoping to find someone that could tell me where I was supposed to be. It’s at that point I realised I hadn’t really digested the race summary and was feeling like I had no idea what was going on. I hung on every word at the briefing but was overwhelmed by the amount of information they were giving us. i decided not to stress and just to follow the crowd. An added incentive not to get left behind.
We wandered to the lake and I swam out a few meters pretending to warm up but really so I could pee. In a way I guess I was warming up. This was a much bigger wave than at Eton. Eton must have been about 30 people in one go. This was over 150!! There were lets and elbows flying everywhere. It was almost impossible not to get hit. After about 50m it thinned out a bit and once again I’d decided to start near the front which helped. I was also able to get into a group swimming at a similar speed to me which helped with both pacing and navigation. Sighting seems to be getting better.
I finally got back to the banks and started jogging to the transition area. I felt pretty exhausted. Once in t1 I was so disoriented I actually needed my girlfriend to point out where my bike was. Mental note, by a colourful towel. White isn’t helpful. I’d planned to save time by not wearing socks or mitts but in the end I still spent ages putting on cycling shoes because I couldn’t find my balance after the swim. I finally got it together and ran to the start of the bike ride.
About a km into the bike ride it started to feel really difficult pedaling. I made the decision to dismount and play with the break pads which I thought might have been shifted in the car ride. I don’t know whether that specifically solved the problem but the bike was moving properly again. I’d just bought some aero bars this week and could tell they were making a big difference. The rain and puddles were making it pretty unpleasant but I was actually overtaking people, unlike in the first race. By the end though the rolling countryside was wearing me down and the tailwind near the end was incredible. I finally got to t2 in what felt like a respectable time but was probably passed by more people than I overtook. That’s the disheartening effect of being strongest on the swim. It means you’re constantly being overtaken on the bike and run.
T2 was okay but again I couldn’t find where my stuff was so again my girlfriend was a godsend. I also accidentally took off my helmet before racking so got a bit of a telling off. I haven’t seen the results yet so still waiting to find out if I’ve been dq’d.
The run was ridiculous. Having rained all morning this had turned into a mud run. It was a proper trail run with branches hitting me in the face, exposed roots to trip over and knettles stinging my legs. Also, I was worried I didn’t have enough in the tank to get to the finish but eventually settled in after about 2km. I was getting overtaken by so many people which really brought the point home. I need to work on my running! I eventually made it to the end which is a massive bright side with this being the longest event I’ve done and there are lots of lessons that I’ve learned from what were rubbish conditions. Now just waiting for the results.