RATING: EXTREMELY PLEASED
What to say, what to say? I used The List* for all my packing and planning the night before, I had everything I needed for my nutrition plan and executed it perfectly so I felt strong and confident all the way. After a fast swim (apart from the jelly fish sting to the face! Bastard!) and a pretty good bike leg – I could see my friend M only a km behind so I was riding scared, I can tell you - my run was a surprise. It wasn't too hot - starting in the fourth wave has its advantages after all - and I was singing the Playschool song that my mantra (strong and smooth and run run run) comes from and pretty much in my happy(ish) place most of the way. I stuck to my 9:1 run:walk intervals - and every single walk break a lean mean tri machine zooming past reached out and patted me on the shoulder with encouraging words. It was so lovely to be reminded that most triathletes are supportive and helpful. Strangely I had no urge to justify or explain myself to them. Maybe I’m getting all well adjusted? There was nothing left in the tank for a sprint at the end but I managed to do a raised-arm Wes-esque finish. I still have the most shite T2 in the universe, oh well, but the run was 15s/km faster than Portarlington two weeks ago. Woot!
After I gulped down five cups of water I went to the first aid tent to get some help with my stung face (did you know they don't use vinegar now? Just warm water) and to look for M because we couldn't find her and she hadn't been feeling well. My hands started to shake and shake and I had to sit down but I soon felt better.
The winning Athena – henceforth known as Carbon Fibre Chick as her bike was fully sick featherlight carbon, Zipp wheels and everything (now everybody say ‘oooooooooooh!’) – was terrific at the presentations. As usual they didn’t present the Athena category; the announcer was about to wrap things up when CFC grabbed me and the other Athena, marched up to the announcer and demanded we be given our medals, on the podium thankyou very much. They faffed on about the final results not being available etc etc but were powerless in the face of her implacable determination. I got third because the fifth Athena (does that sound like a movie?) was a DNS, but you’ve gotta show up to score as I always say. But that's a different movie altogether
I didn’t tell Noddie and J about my medal because I wanted to surprise them when I got home – and look what they surprised me with!
The newbie didn’t show when she said she would so we didn’t catch up, but she did come down and have a look and we talked on the phone after the race. I hope she felt ok because it’s a massive day and easy to be intimidated by two and a half thousand competitors and all the brawn and toys and smack talk – but there’s enough room for everyone.
More anon, sleepyheads...zzzzzzz....
* Let me know if you want a copy and if you sign a code of secrecy I'll email you one