Time Freight series Race #4
5th of September
“Ring ring, ring ring”, I hear the noise in my subconscious mind, as I open my eyes like a vice on a work shop bench- slow and steady, I start thrusting my arms in an attempt to navigate my alarm clock. Hitting the button – I suddenly remember in an abrupt manner today is race day. Having packed my bag the night before it’s a matter of eating my nutritional breakfast, getting dressed, jumping in my car and bee lining it to the race venue.
I forget about the radio device located in the car and plug into my IPod. I scroll through the list and select a specific type of genre to aid my concentration and thoughts for the race. Even though this is only a Cat 3 race in my calendar of events (5km run, 20km ride, 2.5km run) I still treat it as an important one. Using this to practice for those Cat 1 races (22km run, 56km ride, 7km run) I am more than focused and ready for the task at hand.
I arrive at the venue and scramble to the bike pen (transition area) to find a convenient location for my bike and riding gear. Usually slotting it in close to the entrance or exits of the pen as this makes finding the “needle” in the haystack with over 200 other bikes much easier during the race when my heart rate is high and vision is blurred.
My warm up this time around is longer than I had anticipated. Having completed the first 2.5km lap with some fellow competitors whilst deep in conversation the same questions start to rise, a cat and mouse game between myself and I - have I started using race fuels already, was this warm up too long? Then the answer to self, you have done the training you will be fine. Go and get on with the job!
Its seconds before the gun, I am standing still controlling my breathing, I glance down at my heart rate monitor, its 60bpm over my resting rate sitting at about 110bpm, a good sign, who knows? I feel immortal with the adrenaline rushing through my veins. “Bang” the gun goes and immediately there is a break forming, two groups where I find myself running comfortably in the later. This time relying on my experience I ease into a steady pace and notice a few of the guys up front struggling to hold the pace. One by one they drop off gasping for air. They had done what I set out to avoid and we were yet to reach the first climb of the day. Boosting myself with reassurance that I had made the right move I make a decision to slowly pick up the tempo and surge forward on the first climb of the day to stay in contention with my race. The 5km run over and I find myself back in the transition changing shoes and fixing the protective bike gear on my head, a wise move when reaching speeds of 60km/h.
Now sitting in a top 8 position coming out of the bike transition my aim is too real in other competitors whilst banking on my skill levels on the bike. Using the single track to my advantage and paying tribute to a World champion I remind myself of this saying, “If you not pedaling you should be pumping”. As I look up and glance through the shrub I notice now and again a flash of colour only meaning one thing, im gaining time and pulling back other athletes. The 20km bike course was definitely enjoyable, a well balanced course offering variety and the reason I love to race, to break away from society and be alone in a surreal environment. At the end of it I find myself actually rather disappointed that it has come to an end but never the less I still have a job to do.
Now lying 5th I head out onto the last 2.5km run http://connect.garmin.com/activity/47682763 where I will try to maintain my position. A good race and satisfaction paused across my face, happy with my new race tactics I cross the line in 1h37min some 12min off the podium position. With lessons learnt and experienced gained I head back to the drawing board to plan and train for my next attack.