Eurgh...mixed bag today! First race of 2014, and my first sprint (5km run - 20km bike - 2.5km run) duathlon.
After having run a mid 17 last week at a local run, I was fairly disappointed with my first run - the pace felt comfortable but I was missing some speed in my legs today. Into T1 in about 9th, I was determined to get myself up to the leaders. With a strong bike I put myself into 3rd, gathering a little pack as I went. I was disappointed at the lack of work that came from the group - despite a few calls and gestures for the girls to pull their weight, no one really stepped up. Catching Heather Sellars offered me a couple of breaks, and having ridden with Heather before - I think we worked well together at the front of the pack. This is a frustration of draft legal racing - there is no written rule to work through and off in a pack, so you just have to make the best of it, make a decision and put yourself in the best position you can that will play to your strengths. Knowing I wasn't having a good run day combined with it being a minor race, I knew I could either sit at the back of a pack containing faster runners and get caught - or do some work, try and tire some legs out and have a dominant bike. I went for option B!
With just Katie Hewison and Emma Pallant in front - I was happy to leave T2 in 3rd. Sadly - it was short lived and went downhill from there. A chest pain set in as I set off - something I've experienced in a couple of pure athletics events in the past, both times ending up sat in an ambulance, recognizing the same pain, i backed right off on the second "stroll" and as some said - made the most of my entry fee - clocking an impressive 15+ mins for the 2.5km... (!)
There were plenty of positives to take from today, its only March and I know what I need to go back and work on. This week I signed with Skechers Performance Division, having suffered from the aftermath of two tibia stress fractures aged 17, I had yet to find a racing flat which didn't aggravate my shins, and take me out for 2/3 days post race. After a mate recommended trying Skechers - I am now delighted and very grateful for their support.
The squad are flying to Portugal tomorrow for two weeks - looking forward to some sunshine!
Happy training :) x