Monday, June 7, 2010
Saitama/ Watarase 2.25km/60km/15km.
Watarase is an a large park area with a big, gluggy heart-shaped (really) man made lake that sits on the border of three prefectures, Saitama, Tochigi and Gunma. It's about 90 minute drive from Tokyo if the navigator is on their game. Each of the three prefectures host a race as it's a nice convenient spot for a tri, with some park roads to bike on so no road closures are needed. It is also nice that we can work on Saturday and do a race without spending money on accommodation etc. Aside from that there is not much more going for these races. The area is drab and isolated, it is often brutally hot, they cost 14,000yen and aside from the race set ups, a bad bento box and T shirt you don't get much more than a bad bento and a few cups of water on the run for that, there is no presentation ceremony. A lot of people complain about the swim being in murky water that you can't see through, which is true but this actually doesn't bother me too much. I signed up because they had the longer option which is good for this stage and coach Woody wanted us to do more races this year after only doing 2 IMs last year, and Eric had slapped me in the face with his glove.
Swim 2.25km - 36.15
I was trying to work on drafting in this one and was hoping to find someone to tag behind. There was one quick guy, but I lost him after 400m when we started to run into the waves that started ahead of us. I wish they would start all waves together and have self seeding so the mess is only in the first few hundred instead of the whole race. I was disappointed with my time, but swam OK, got a bit tired and my stroke rate slowed too much - I kept losing concentration and swimming with floppy hand catch. Need to work on that - Spearing the fish!
Bike 60km - 1:37.41
I just wanted a good steady bike and wasn't trying to put the hammer down too much. Had a much better transition this time, running leap was successful, but tried to get my feet in on a narrow track and rode through knee deep grass thinking I was about to crash for 10 metres. Ended up taking a few clumps of long grass in my shoes along for the ride. I was keeping an eye on Eric throughout the 6 loop course and he was a simialr spot on each loop, maybe I was making the gap an extra 10 or 20 seconds per loop, but he had just been injured and had his road bike, so in reality he was probably quicker.
Run 15kms 1:03.25
I felt pretty good starting the 6 loop run course and did the first 2.5km loop in about 3.45k pace. I think the 165 cranks make it easier to run off...that and lots of training. The 32 x 200metres on 70 seconds had got a fair bit of speed in my legs too. I started to tire on the run, had lots of painful blisters and it started to get hot. I wtill managed to keep the pace steady and Vanessa being about 200m behind me (one lap down) really helped me stay focussed. I knew she would have slapped my bum as she passed me if I gave her the chance...The winner passed me somewhere but a few of the Olympic distance guys passed me too so I didn't really know who it was. No matter I couldn't have gone with any of them.
All in all a solid hit out. Can't run for a few days now as my feet are mashed. Eric was so close behind off the bike I decided to go sockless....will not make that mistake again. Onto IM UK and Copenhagen now.