So Bahrain 70,3 wasn’t on the race plan at the beginning of the year but after such a great season of racing i was feeling the lows of the end of the season and wanted one last “Fix”! So in a last minute spur of the moment thing, i booked a flight and hotel and it was game on!
The Plan: SWIM
I have been working on improving the back end of my stroke for a few weeks and felt that this was starting to show in my training swim sessions so i was confident going into the race that i could post a fast time. Although the swim was in the sea it was very much sheltered so i knew that a fast time was possible.
Check out the protection we had in the swim 🙂
The Plan: BIKE
The plan for the bike was to replicate what I did in Dubai earlier in the year and post a fast time to put me in a good position for the run. Although i hadn’t kept up my bike training from the summer i knew that i still had the legs for a good race so was hopeful of a good performance. 250W would be the target, which on paper should be easier as my last few races were at a higher power.
The Plan: RUN
On paper, the run looked flat and fast so the plan was to keep my head down and see if i still had the speed from the summer. Could this be the race that i get onto that podium? I sure hoped so.
The Reality: SWIM
The swim course was to follow and i felt really comfortable in the swim. Even to the point where i was feeling like i was cruising along comfortably for the majority of it. My breathing was under control and i definitely felt comfortable, which i knew would help me when jumping on the bike. There was a steep exit to the swim which was quite difficult to climb but once over that it was straight into transition.
Swim time: 27min 41sec which was a PB for me! Happy days!
The Reality: BIKE
I usually know within 5mins on the bike what sort of race i was going to have and a few minutes on the bike and i was struggling to put the power down. The legs just didn’t want to and i knew i was in for a hard day on the bike. I made sure that i got my race nutrition down my neck as fast as possible to see if that recovered how i get but no… i just felt sh*te..
45Km stats: 1hr 5mins, 250W and 43Km/hr
There was a small tailwind on the way out and then it was the hard graft back into it. You couldn’t really feel it on the way out but as soon as you turned it was like hitting a wall at times. I thought to myself, Shit this is going to be a hard slog back.. and it was. The only enjoyment that there was on the way back was the trip around the F1 circuit which was actually hard work. I didn’t realise how undulating an F1 circuit can be but i was finding out.
Id lost the small group that i was cycling in at about the halfway point so it was a hard solo slog all the way back to transition with the wind into my face. I wasn’t feeling any better and couldn’t work out why i felt crap when the bike is my strength!
Last 45Km stats: 1hr 13mins, 226W and 35Km/hr shows the difference in average speed.
Bike finish time was: 2hr 19min, NP 238W and 39.2KM/hr
I was disappointed when i got off my bike as i knew that i was better than a 2:19 but with how i was feeling i took that… and thought hopefully ill pick up on the run.
The Reality: RUN
Transition was quick as i limped through. It usually takes me a few minutes for the back to unstiffen and the running legs to wake up and today was no different. As soon as i started the run i knew i was in trouble! I just felt crap, hot, tired and i was the only one that i could see that was walking up the small undulating course. I struggled through the first lap stuffing gels and water down me but things were not improving. I hoped that things would pick up but i just felt like sh*te. My average time was way down in the 4:40’s and i knew that i was having a bad day.
Things didn’t get any better on the next few laps and i was just overheating. The picture above shows how much i was suffering and sweating and i had to walk at every aid station to throw water over my head and cool down. Something that i never do as i don’t like to get my feet too wet as it leads to blisters. But this time i had to or i wasn’t going to finish. I did even think about quitting but reminded myself that i had flown a long way to race!
The finish line couldn’t come quick enough for me as i was now walking on my last lap.. for the first time i had blown up..
Little did i know but i was 3rd off the bike with a nice lead and if i had only of run my usual 1:30ish run i would of made 2nd and onto that podium i so wanted! But today wasn’t my day…
I finished 4th overall 4hrs 38mins.
After the race i was bolloxed.. i made my way back to the hotel and did something that i have never had to do… sleep! I slept for a couple of hours and then felt really good! What i didn’t realise was that travel and heat had a big effect on me, much more than i thought it would and in hindsight i need more time in the country before racing. For Dubai, i normally fly in a week before, have time for my body to catch up and also get used to the heat. Something i didn’t do for this race. Leason learnt and next year if i do this race again i will fly in a week before..
One consolation was that i was going home with a nice tan! And yes that is a tan and not dirt 🙂