...but it did this morning. I woke up 10 minutes before the radio came on and that was it. Up, breakfast, pack the car and out.
We got to the pool early so there was no registration queue, but it was -cold-. 6°C and a biting wind. Shivering and prepared we waited to start, I was race number 50; nice and low and as it turned out exactly in the right place for my swim time. I overtook the swimmer in front and that was it for the swim. My transition time was, however, shockingly bad. I glanced at my watch and it said 00:08:4x so I thought I was doing OK, but apparently there was some kind of time warp and by the time I hit the bike start timer I was at 00:12:17 (how!?) And then there was the cycle. I got overtaken. A lot. By much MUCH nicer bikes than mine. And then there was the headwind. Urgh! But still, headwind on the way out on the bike stage meant tailwind on the way back. Right? Hah. No. The headwind on the way back was -worse-! And the ruts and potholes! I won't be able to sit -or- walk tomorrow! Still, I actually overtook someone (#28 on a rubbish bike pretty much like mine :o)). The last few km of the ride and the clouds decided to open and re-wet all of us who'd almost dried out by now.
Back in from the bike stage (passing poor Mr TOTKat who hadn't even started his swim yet, being in the "second fast wave", who cheered me on and yelled encouragement xxx) and I looked at my watch again; 01:11:xx Argh! NO -way- was I going to hit 01:45:xx at this rate (or so I thought). I was a bit wobbly and weak such that I had real trouble lifting my bike back onto the rack. Bleh! Anyway! Off out for the run and I felt like the whole front my my body was rigid; every single muscle tense and I couldn't un-tense them. And my legs weren't mine and I couldn't really feel my muscles like I normally can. My stride was phenomenally short and I was pretty sure I was staring a 40 minute 5km run in the face at that point. The good point was that my feet felt suddenly a lot warmer and the sun had peeped out from behind the clouds. And then I saw #53, who I'd overtaken and been overtaken by a few times on the ride... and that was it; I wanted to catch her.
Thankfully, with the run being flat, being a bit knackered already from swimming and cycling was less of a problem than it could have been (all of my runs near home usually have a hill or two in them so a flat run is pure luxury). 2km into the run and I saw #28 ahead of me! How? Eh, quite clearly her bike to run transition was -much- faster than mine. Still, she looked catchable and by 3km I had passed her. Yay! 4km passed and the final bends ahead and I wasn't feeling -too- awful. A wave and a "nice shades!" from a tiny marshall was all I needed to throw myself across the line, stop my watch timer and inwardly be very very pleased for a moment that it said 01:41:17 -including- the (up to) 7 minutes "free" transition from bike to run.
Thereafter it was a cold trot back to transition to grab the tea flask and some clothes and then wait for Mr. TOTKat to finish. Every single person who came over the line as I was waiting commented on the wind during the ride. "That wind!" "How could it be a headwind in both directions?" "Very very sapping!" Cuddles, quick chat with a Thames Turbo friend and then back home for tea and bacon sarnies.
And the provisional results are up (thanks to Mr Thames Turbo for pointing it out and well done on a super speedy PB!) and my official finish was in 01:35:02. Which is incredible, given my huge lack of training; 1 bike ride in the last 12 months, 4 runs since January 1st, 6 swims (including Swimathon); and my heavy, cheap bike. I am, despite appearance, quite pleased. Carb loading worked well, there was no "bonk" and I felt, more or less, fine all the way 'round.