It's time for Blenheim sprint triathlon again. My god that came around quickly, but my god so much has happened since last year.
I've become an Ironman, smashed my collar-bone, been made redundant, fundamentally changed my diet, run my first Ultra Marathon, started a new job, struggled with time prioritisation and motivation... and yet I'm here again, 24 hours before Blenheim, and it's going to be great!
Having remembered the zoomy bit through the forest and the gently undulating bike course a little with rose-tinted glasses, I thought I might race tomorrow on my TT bike. Then I remembered A. the more than a couple of tight, narrow bends; and B. the high volume of "fun", slower and new-to-the-sport athletes you get a Blenheim. With my less than perfect handling skills, there'd be no point being on a TT bike as I'd be up on the hoods 95% of the time to cover the brakes. So... the Jets go onto my lovely, tried-and-trusted Fuji Team Pro Special Edition road bike (2010) and some clip-on tri-bars in case I get to have some fun through the woods.
And the wheels sound -yummy- :o)
I'm heavier and less endurance fit than this time last year and in some ways a lot less stressed than I was on the day of Blenheim last year (I was on a conference call for a critical incident at work for 4 hours and right up until I'd finished racking my bike etc. and then back on it again 15 minutes after I'd finished. The preceding weeks and months at work had not been fun at all.) But my running has come a long way in terms of technical skills and I'm oddly a lot more comfortable on the bike at the moment, even after months off it and the comfort has happened only in the last 3 weeks really. That said, with the Jets on the Fuji it's really quite... fiesty compared with having the Mavics on. Who'da thunk it that wheels made such a difference on a pretty average road bike?
I'm in two minds about how tomorrow might pan out. The swim isn't going to be spectacular as I'm, sure the lake is hellishly cold and I can't say I've spent a huge amount of time in the pool in the last 10 months so I'm not expecting a stellar performance there. My transition skills are somewhat rusty, but hey all I have to do is rip off a wet-suit, pop on bike shoes, race belt, helmet and glasses in T1; swap bike shoes for trainers, take off helmet and turn around race belt in T2... how hard can that be? The bike will be fun as I'm sure the course profile will come flooding back once I'm on it and with 3 laps the 2nd and 3rd will be faster through familiarity. And the run is all about starting off high cadence and wanting to do well. I know I can hurt a lot more than I used to be able to and I know that I can push a lot harder than I have in the past, but the important thing is to want to. If I want to do well, I can push oh so hard and hurt quite a lot. The thing is, it's UK 70.3 next weekend and I don't want to crash or break myself in some way this close to that. So it's risk management on the bike and then mash it on the run.
See you on the other side!