An ‘Ard one at Ardingly

As I said previously, blog posts are limited at the moment. This is a short term alteration in normal services – due to need to learn squiqqle-language. If it helps – I am now on page 92 of the theory. There are 95 pages. But after that it’s all about speed practice.

So how is tri?
Last race was Ardingly, so here’s my update:
Before you get to the end : results: 500swim: 8.59min / transition run (WTF?) +23 k bike: 50.34min, 5k run: 22.29min, 4th female, 30th (I think) of 150 overall.

I really wasn’t up for this race. I spent the day before eating some yummy crab dish at Denbies (Dorking) with Munro (fellow competitor this time) and his parents before scooting off to Guildford to meet my own offsprung (parent) for coffee. I didn’t have any real nervous energy, my legs felt tired and I couldn’t really be bothered..

Flip forward to the pre-pool line and i’m eyeing up the competition, singling out the women who look faster/stronger/better – which would be most of them.

Anyway – I jumped in the pool when instructed, went when told, and decided I might as well make the race fee worth it.

Swim went quite well, no arguments with lane buddies (part of me is starting to look forward to upcoming open water events), in fact one nice fellow swimmer stopped to let me pass without my even asking. Lovely. Checked watch on getting out which confirmed I was close to 9min, so happy.

Bike was less than great. I actually began this converstion in my head: “It might get lateish when we’re in Brighton (Harry and I went post race) – I wonder if I should just stay there and drive straight to work on Monday (I didnt) – Do I have any work clothes with me (I didnt)?”
Also, in my attempt to skip a drain, I had my very first near-miss-on-TT-bike.
It went like this: Oh, crap : a drain > Swerve left or right? > left > *SKID* > so that would be by back wheel hitting a pile of sodden leaves…
Thankfully balance was regained and all was well.

The run was 5x1k laps – which in a way I almost liked – at least you know where you stand, and you know it’s accurate. As I said post EG – last years ‘post tri’ runs were round 25min for 5k – so – as I said – I’m either better adapted to transition or i’m faster. I desperately want to test a straight, flat out 5k or 10k sometime soon – but there doesn’t really appear to be time in the schedule – so maybe post season. Secretly (or not so secretly considering I’m telling the world..) I hope having not swum and biked beforehand might mean I could cut a couple of minutes off that.

All in all – happy with performance, swim + run are faster than a race only one month back. Not sure on the bike, but it’s hard to tell as courses vary so much.

As fun as lonesome struggling was, I really think the coached approach is the way to go for me. I’m a writer. I like to dither. I am not logical, nor am I able to take a step back and look at the big picture when it comes to my own training. I also don’t have the experience to know what works, or what doesn’t, or the patience to spend years trying to teach myself when I could spend those years on getting faster.

I’ve never seen myself genuinely improve like this, I feel almost like a toddler taking their first steps – every one is an achievement. I know eventually the sudden improvement will slow in acceleration – but right now, I’m just enjoying the PBs.

Right – now – back to the squiggles, and head down in training. 25 days until Olympic tri number 1 – and yes – I’m petrified.

Published by michellearthursbrennan

I'm an NCTJ Journalist and work at Cycling Weekly. Previous to this, I was the Editor at Total Women's Cycling. I've also dabbled in marketing and copywriting - having been Marketing Coordinator and Social Media/Content Editor at Evans Cycles. My first job was working on a local newspaper.  I've written for a variety of titles on a freelance basis, too. I got into cycling when I entered my first triathlon in 2010. I now race crits, road races, time trials, and do a lot of track training for not very much track racing.

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