Thursday, March 27, 2014

Portarlington Race Report

Two weekends ago I raced Portarlington, it’s one of the original Triathlon races in Victoria and a weekend away. Ellie and I headed down Friday night after week to the house that the team rented. On the way we stopped for dinner in Geelong before the last 30 or so km’s to Portarlington.  When we arrived at the house we found a few team mates there but half the house had gone to bed, so we quietly unpacked the car and went to bed ourselves. I woke around 6:30 go up had a shower followed by some breakfast. As others rose we chatted before we all started getting ready for the mornings Team warm-up. When we got down to the pier some other Team mates where there along with Coach Sarah all starting to setup the Tent, as per normal Ellie and I helped out. We did our normal warm up, ride out for 4k or so km’s and back again followed by some mounting and dismount practice on the hill. Followed by a little run, I kept the run short as I want to the keep the toe out of pain/over use.

Stretching after our run

After that we helped Supersprint out by setting up the racks, followed by an optional swim. The water was a little cold by shore but warmer out, a group of 10 so went in but only 8 of us made the call to swim right around the swim course, the other 2 swam back in. The water was choppy but swimmable, Geelong a few weeks earlier was way worse. After the swim I grabbed my race kit and all my gear and we headed back to the house to shower and change before heading out for an earlier lunch. After lunch we headed back to the house to chill out what some TV and do not much. It was not long before Ollie, our head coach arrived back from his long ride and prep for Ironman Melbourne. During the course of the afternoon a storm blew through and winds whipped up, Ollie was worried about the team tent and started to head back down to transition area, so I offered to go help out. We spent some time checking all the nuts and bolts and ensuring the tent walls where held down by transition rack bars. We headed back to the house and chilled out before dinner at the pub with a few team mates before hitting bed early, as we were getting up earlier we packed as much as we could into the car. 

Crew Helping out Supersprint

Sunday morning I woke up around 2am with the sound of a toilet repeat flushing over and over and over, just as I was about to get up someone did and fixed the problem. Around 4:30am I got up for shower woke Ellie and headed out for some breakfast, Ollie was up shortly after as we all got ready. After packing the car, etc. Ellie and I headed down to the pier, Ellie had to be at the TriVic tent before 5:15 with transition opening at 5:30. I started to get our Team Tent setup with Chairs, etc. Ollie showed up and we got the walls on the back up and secured it was not too long before it was time to get my bike from the car and my transition bag and get my spot all sorted out.

The wind was blowing from the North West and after racking my bike my the seat and seeing it swaying I swapped the bike around to racked it by the handle bars. I setup my transition area then headed back to the team tent and chilled out before my race.  My race start was +10mins so around 25mins pre race start I got my wetsuit on and headed down to the swim start for a warm up swim, the water close to the shore was cold, but further out you went the warm it was. Back on shore the Supersprint staff took a photo of a few of us for their website.

Chilling out before the race

Ollie happy as

Supersprint TA Team Photo

I lined up with all my age groupers we waited for the horn and off we went, the swim was choppy but not as bad as Geelong was, I found the swim easy must be all the open water swim training in various conditions this year that paid off. As I came towards the land I felt the water change from warm to cold. With a few dolphin dives I hit the shore and run into transition. Tim another TA team mate was on the side lines yelling abuse at me. I got my wetsuit off, helmet on grabbed the bike and run out off transition. At the mount line Jess and Ellie where there to police us all. I stuffed up the mount but got going quickly up the hill and out on the bike course. I felt strong and good until the back end of the course when I hit the head winds. James another TA team mate racing in my age group and I played tag passing each other over and over. We headed back into town and down into transition as we came up to the dismount line there was Jess and Ellie as they said dismount before the line I said back not going to get me! I dismounted text book style and run back into transition re-racked my bike, on with my runners grabbed my visor and headed out up the sand steps. My run has not been great since I broke my toe mainly due to lack of training,  the pace has not been there, but the goal has been to finish these races. On the way out I felt great but at the turn around I hit head winds back I pushed on as hard as I could. On the way back I noticed a few runners with MP3/iPhone/iPod, etc nothing I could do about, etc keep on going. As I came down the hill and headed into the finishing chute and over the line.

Cold Ellie

Exiting the swim

Head out of transition

Getting the job done

At the Finish Line

My Final time was 2hr even

I grabbed some fluids and headed over to the Technical Officials to report the few runners out on the course. Ellie and Jess got assigned to talk to them as they came towards the finish line. As for me I headed back to the tent waited in line for a post race massage then changed into some warmer clothes. As I changed I found someone had been to the shop got me a Poweraid and Danish, such a good Girl Friend I have! When Ellie was done with her duties of being a TO (Tech Official)  we grabbed our bags, my bike, etc from transition packed the car and headed back to the house for a quick shower before heading home.

After we got home unpacked, etc. we headed out to see a local artist play by the name of Jenny Biddle. One long weekend with happy memories.

Jenny Biddle playing Fleetwood Mac's Dreams

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sufferfest Race Report

Last weekend saw a road trip to Warrnambool for the Sufferfest race weekend. There were some 5 different events, Kids, Sprint Enduro Sprint, Olympic and Long Course. Last year Andy, another TA team member raced this race and I loved the idea of racing here and it was an idea of a weekend with Ellie was nice. Ellie and I drove down Friday, Warrnambool is around 3 ½ hours away from Melbourne. After the drive down and seeing two customer for my company we found the Hotel and setup base camp. Andy and his family where driving down Friday night, but Luisita another TA team mate had driven down Friday as well. Ellie, Luisita and I meet up for dinner at a local pub and we spoke about riding the bike course on the Saturday morning before Ellie raced Saturday afternoon. From Transition there is a little hill that we wanted to try, while the hill looked huge from the bottom when you started the climb and got to the top it was no worse than others I have ridden on, it felt like a 4% grade. Coming down however was a little more interesting, as the hill opens out you can feel the wind blowing through the cutting I could feel my front wheel getting caught in the cross winds like a sail. In packing the gear for the weekend I also took my factory wheels as well as my race wheels. Sunday morning I would need to make a call on which wheels to race on.

After completing the part of the ride course we rode the run course right down to the turnaround point which was right near our Hotel. At this point Ellie and I went back to the Hotel and Luisita headed back to the starting area. After a shower we headed off for some sightseeing and breakfast and checked out one of the biggest breakwaters I have ever seen. If you look at the photos they do not do it justice nor do the pictures of the waves that come in, but as Warrnambool is right on the South West coast of Victoria, so it goes all the ocean waves.

On the Breakwater

Breakwater at the point

After a feed we walked back the long way to the Hotel chilled out until it was time for Ellie to get ready for her race. We headed down to the Transition area watched the kids race and then Ellie went into transition and got herself ready to race. Ellie’s race went off without a hitch and she had fun, being her first race back since losing her appendix. During this time I collected my race kit for the following day and nice long sleeve jumper for the event. After Ellie had finished and we collected her bike we went back to the Hotel and chilled out before the Pasta Dinner and Q&A with Luke Bell. Around 6 we headed down to the dinner area and joined the other TA Teams and few others we knew through the Melbourne Tri Scene chatted, and then Eat followed by Q&A with Luke. It was certainly different and I enjoyed the atmosphere the night wrapped up just before 8:30; Ellie and I basically went to bed after a little of pre-race preping.

Ellie Post Race in the Ice Bath
4:50am Alarm sounds, and out of bed I got. I had some breakfast followed by a shower and then changed into my Trisuit and checked the Tyres on the bike before we headed off to the Transition area. When we arrived I found a park just up from the Transition area and headed into the Transition area to setup. I racked my bike had my area setup ready to go when Luisita turned up in transition and was directly next to me on the other side of the rack we headed out to the start of the swim leg listened to the race briefing and watched the Long Course guys go off before we got into our Wetsuits and went in for the warm up swim.

Transition Area

Swim Leg look towards the Start/Finish from the Bridge
The river was not clear, but not cold nor any current either. Before too long it was time to line up for our event. The horn sounded and off we went, out to the first buoy then down under the bridge which felt weird as the bridge was very close to the top of my swim stroke. At the turn buoys I felt strong and good back up stream under the bridge again before coming into the swim finish area up the stairs into transition. I got my wetsuit fair quickly on with the helmet and out of transition with my bike. You head out over the bridge to the turn around and then up the hill. Hill felt ok then out to T and along out a little, turn around repeat the other way. Basically the bike course is a T. I came back towards transition on the first lap feeling good at the bridge and turn around had to head up the hill for the 2nd time. This time it hurt but once at the top I felt quick and completed the lap, I came back into Transition and  stuffed up the dismount – no bigger just got it wrong.

From the Bridge/Turn around point back up towards the hill
Heading out for a spin
I racked my bike, on with the runners, grab my visor and headed out on the run, felt good until the first hill which was 1.5km uphill with 4% grade. It hurt but I pushed on during the climb, towards the top I saw Sally, one of the Technical Officials who was out on the bike checking out the run course. I made a quick joke about ensuring she had her helmet on correctly.  I pushed on during the run, running fast when I could and paced myself on the hills. Every 2km was an aid station I grabbed water mainly to cool myself down. At the turn around point, at the breakwater I felt good, this race was the longest run since breaking my toe. As I came back towards the finish I could feel my legs burning as I hit the hills again, but at the top it’s a downhill run to the finish line.

At the finish line

Ellie and I post race

My finish time was 2hr 55m and 05s. – I am happy with this time as it was my fast race back and that the course was very technical (aka Hilly)

Bring on the final few races of the season.