Week commencing Monday 12th May was a fairly easy week - in the run up to the Strathclyde Park triathlon.
I sneaked yet another Saturday off (what a slacker) and headed down with Lorna to the Watersports centre at some alarmingly early time for her to rack her bike and get ready for the full race. I had (much more sensibly!) decided to just do the 10km run, however, the pressure began to mount as I knew Brian was half man half fish and Mark would give Bradley Wiggins a tough time over the Strathclyde Park circuit. Suddenly 'just' running 10km felt pretty scary.
I'd done absolutely no speed work in the last few months - everything has been geared round low heart rate training so I really had no idea what to expect.
Brian came racing out of the water in 25:54 (1500m) and handed over to Mark who blazed off on the bike. I kept occupied by taking photos of the rest of the ATHelite team until it was time to head to the transition area.
Michael Martin came in and handed over to Colin Bain, then the 'spider' came in and handed over to John's pal... But where was Mark, he'd been flying? I was worked he's had a mechanical, or worse, crashed on the tight circuit... nope, he'd been having so much fun he'd done an extra lap (8) of the 7 lap circuit!! Mark handed over in 1:09:20 and it was time for me to get going... the pressure was on... (It later turned out that Mark's last lap was about 9 minutes, so he'd have been one of the fastest cyclists on the day)
I set off like a rocket (well, a slow rocket, more like a Catherine wheel with shoes on) through transition and I felt my heart racing. Just as well since my heart rate strap had slipped down my chest and was hovering below my belly button. Checking the Garmin and my HR was 205 bpm... so I could forget about pacing on this data and just set about settling into a steady pace of around 4:30 / km.
The course led along the banks of the Loch and then up and around some small but steep paths to a Marshall standing by a cone 2.5km away. The two loop course was great in one respect - being able to cheer on and high-5 the other ATHelite competitors, but knowing what the first loop was and then repeat it is always a little tricky. Having to plough through a headwind back to the turn around /finish point at the Watersports centre didn't help much either.
I shouted on words of encouragement for my fellow ATHelites and leant into the wind and focused on my Chi running for the last few km of the race. I'd seen our President, Mark, gain ground on me and I was expecting him to breeze past me in the final straight but I managed to hang on in there and posted a time of 44:26 for the 10km. I'd managed to knock 2 mins and 30 sec off my previous 10km p.b. and set personal records for 400m / 1/2 mile / 1km / 2 mile and 5km. Result!
We cheered on the rest of the ATHelite team as they all came in and found out that our triathlon relay teams had come first and second! I reckon our team may have come third if we'd discounted Mark's last (victory!) lap, so a great day was had by all!
Well done to Papa G for the ATHelite banner! Have to say, I love our triathlon club, I've never met a nicer group of lycra-clad nutters! So supportive and great fun to be around - can't wait for The Outlaw with them on the 27th July :-)
Ah yes, sunburn. Nobody thought to mention the sun *might* come out, but out it came during my run. I totally forgot to put sunscreen on (and given the cloudy conditions that morning it really didn't cross my mind) this is what happened... ! week in Lanzarote, milk-bottle white... 3 hours on the 'Strathy Riviera' and I match our club kit...