Cambridge Duathlon, English Standard Distance Championships
Another one of those uncomfortable early season races to get my endurance up. This one was picked as it was the English Champs and World Qualifier so I was hoping for a good challenge.
We were blessed with a warmer day, a tropical 20deg but it was also very windy. This race start was pretty restrained compared to Dambuster. A nice group of about 8 of us lead at a steady hard pace for about 4km when someone got bored up a long drag and decided to pick it up. I went with it for a bit then had second thoughts and eased a little. The group broke up and I came into transition feeling comfortable. I ran out of transition in 2nd, the lady in front a minute ahead. The bike was much less hilly than Dambuster, the main concern today was a strong side wind. I had a couple of close shaves during big gusts, the adrenaline rush through my body made me glad I hadn't inspected the road more carefully. It took 1/2 lap of the 2.5 lap bike course to catch the leading lady and I knew I needed at least a minutes' lead to stand any chance on the last run. I came into transition not feeling too bad and about 40seconds in front of the next lady. Running out of transition I had the usual heavy legs, they started to feel looser after a few minutes. Then I turned the first corner of the run the long drag into the wind followed by a steeper hill where I was caught by the lady who lead the first run. My legs just got heavier and heavier by this point, the last 2.5k was horrendous, my run resembled more like a waddle. In that last part 2 more ladies caught me. Crossing the line in 4th (3rd in age group) I wasn't sure whether to be pleased or upset. A chat with the lady who finished in front made me smile she said she was an 'ironlady' trying to work on speed, I told her I was a sprinter trying to work on endurance!
My main objective of the race was to come top 5 and work at threshold pace and see how long I could hold it- the answer is 2hours I.e. not long enough for a standard distance race! So I achieved my objectives but being only 30seconds from winning is incredibly frustrating. Having not shifted my extra 2kg since Christmas, I am blaming my slow running on that but it seems to be helping my bike. Faster bike and slower runs equals same overall time which is rather annoying!
Well done to everyone who took part, some excellent results and it was lovely to see a sea of Tri-Anglia colours.