As a youngster, I would get home from School, get changed and go out to play with my pals.
Now I'm older, I get home from work, get changed and go out to play with my pals, but now I call it training.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Racing or training? You decide

What a grand day we all had yesterday at the Day in The Lakes Triathlon near Pooley Bridge. Several people I knew were doing the event, mostly, like me, as part of a team.

I didn't need to be there particularly early as the run was the third discipline but I wanted to see Plucky swim and hopefully get some photos too. The first few swimmers out of the water were spread out across a few minutes but by the time Plucky came ashore it was a mass of bodies meaning picking him out was difficult and getting a clear photo was impossible. This is the best I managed and I was actually kneeling in Ullswater to get clear of the watching crowd.

I then raced up the  'beach', across the field and around transition to get a shot of Bryan setting off on the bike. I didn't make it in time and this one through the security fence was all I managed.

With over two hours to kill before Bryan was due back from the 56 mile bike route I enjoyed whiling away the time chatting to folk and basking in  the warm sun. Penrith Stu and Penrith Steve had pedalled over from Penrith to watch their heroes in action. Unfortunately Stu got 'the call' from his missus and had to leave early.

With about a half hour before I expected Bryan back I went over to the van to get changed into my running gear. I was initially confused when Bryan arrived back in the carpark. He'd punctured descending Kirkstone Pass at over 50mph and had struggled to hold the bike upright before finally coming to a halt. Unable to repair the damaged tyre with his inflater/sealant cannister and without a spare he had to source a lift back.

So that was that. We were out of the race. I considered going straight home but was concerned I might not then go training. So I took the timing chip and went over to the officials to register our DNF and then into transition to wait for the cyclists to start arriving back. Once 15 or so had returned and set off on the run section I set off too. With well over 3hrs of activity in their bodies and me fresh  I easily caught and overtook most of those ahead. I had opted to wear road shoes for this mainly fell route as it was so dry and despite a bloody tumble on an unusually angled descent I was pleased at my choice as there was a good deal of tarmac to end the run.

I tried very hard for the whole run and recorded the second fastest time. I wonder what I might have ran if we had still been in the race? Before setting off for home I rang Plucky (who had ran all the way home - 25 miles) with the news of our unfortunate failure. Last year in very similar conditions he had ran 1hr 34 minutes to record the fastest time of the day. He had stressed beforehand that he was running very well one year ago but that I should nevertheless be aiming for a similar result.

Delivering the news that I beat his 2009 time by over two minutes DESPITE not even being in the race was possibly the best bit of the day.

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