Instead of doing any training the day before the race, we had a really great day out with the kids. Thanks to a thoughtful, generous friend, we visited the affordable art fair as well as trampolining, water fights and running around and around in the garden!
As usual I prepared my kit the night before. I had collected the bib and timing chip months earlier at the start of the race series, when I had been pregnant. Before the first race, the Aquathlon, I had filled in the emergency information on the back of all three bibs at the same time, so I was a bit sad when I saw "PREGNANT" in capital letters written in the "medical condition" part of the triathlon bib. I crossed it out with a marker pen.
I was really looking forward to racing on my Neurogen. It had been a while since I had given the TT bike a good spin. Kaz had even promised to bring Mark Blewett, the founder and CEO of SwiftCarbon to come and watch the race!!
On Sunday morning, I woke up ten minutes before the alarm to thunder and lightning. I looked at the facebook page for the race but there were no updates and storms like these in Singapore are usually over quite quickly so I was expecting the rain to have stopped by the time it was daylight. I had planned to cycle all the way to the start - partly for the enjoyment and partly to warm up and check my bike was alright before we started the race but the storm was really picking up so I called a cab. About 6 km before the race start the road was closed so I got out of the taxi and cycled the rest of the way. It was raining a little, so I got a bit wet on the way to the start but it seemed like the storm was following me northeast along the coast. Sure enough just as I had made my way over to the body marking tent after setting up my bike in transition, there was a loud crack of thunder and it poured down! I hadn’t left my sungl asses on my bike, which I was glad about but I was not so pleased to realise that my shoes were being filled with rain while we were waiting…
I started to get a bit cold, so went to warm up in the sea. It was indeed warmer in the water than waiting around on the beach. I warmed up, loosening my shoulders and relaxing a little. It was announced that the start would be delayed by 15 minutes. I slowly swam out a bit further. A little while later we were called into the start pen… and we waited. We waited for another 50 minutes, I was getting cold, hungry and thirsty and I could feel my back, shoulders and glutes getting tighter as I got colder and eventually even started to shiver. The buoys marking the swim course had been moved a long way from where they were supposed to be by the storm; we watched as boats towed them back into place and then adjusted the ropes. By the time the swim course was as it should be, we were sent off almost an hour late.
The swim felt good. I could feel myself being pulled along by the crowed “washing machine” at the start and when it settled down I found exactly the right person to draft off of. I worked hard to keep up with him but I was on his hip or thigh all the way until the last buoy. When we rounded the last one I lost him and swam on my own into the beach, I glanced at my watch and was surprised to see just over 14 minutes… it felt much, much faster. I had a suspicion that the course may have been a little longer than 750 metres. Transition was good and one of the fastest in the field.
I was on to my bike quickly but once I started to pedal I felt terrible. My glutes and quads felt really, really tight and not powerful at all.
A woman who I had overtaken in T1 came past me within a few minutes, Kath was there cheering at the 10km turn around, then at about 12km Vicky came past.
It was only with 2-3km to go that my legs finally started to loosen up and it felt easier putting power through the pedals. When I dismounted and started to run into T2, I saw Kaz and Mark Blewett watching. Kaz cheered me on and shouted, “Nice bike!!” (He had just arrived riding one identical to mine!!) Then there was a bit of a traffic jam.. the two people in front of me jogged at a very easy pace along the very narrow pathway into T2 – it was quite frustrating that I couldn’t overtake them and it made my transition time much longer than it should have been!
Running out of transition was nice, it’s always my favourite part of a triathlon. Where my legs feel like jelly, but I know that if I just keep going they’ll come back and I can still have a good run; it’s sort of like proving to myself each time that if you just keep going (or just start, even) it’ll be better than you think! The first part of the run was lovely, clear paths and shaded, but the middle part was exposed and very, very hot! It would have been really nice to have had my sunglasses! I took a drink of elete electrolytes at every aid station, threw it at my face and relaxed into the run but also tried to keep a fast stride turnover. Before long I saw my Arrivo Primo Singapura team mates Tim, Isra, Gavin and Jeremy coming back the other way and Jacqui leading the women with Vicky in hot pursuit! Just after the turnaround I overtook a woman I didn’t recognise then gave Shuwie and Ruth a cheer on their run out. I really enjoyed the last half of the run, my legs were strong and there was nobody for a long way behind me so I eased off of the last 2km and just smiled. It felt great!
After the race my husband and mum arrived on their bikes with the kids in the bike-trailer. We had ice lollies, a picnic, swam, played in the sea and watched the kids’ race wave starts until it was time for the prize ceremony. As soon as the prize giving was over the boys got into the trailer and we started the long ride home.
My husband had already pedalled 20km to the race pulling the boys along, but on the way home the sun was shining and it was much harder. We stopped a couple of times for a drink and to watch a guy fishing. Then with about 2km left until home we switched bikes to give my poor hubby’s legs a rest. He took the carbon time trial bike and I had the steel mountain bike with the 60kg trailer attached! That finished me off and as soon as we got home we all had a nap!
Thanks to Second Wind Magazine and Trine for the photos :-)