Marc Davies Blog Part II
For a week after I rested, only going out on the bike once for a gentle ride and one gentle training swim. The next thing was to concentrate on getting faster at everything, because I wanted to do Oakham next and then Desford and then maybe a few running races towards the end of the season, and look for an Ironman for 2015. At Least that was the plan.
I started to increase my distances across the board, and was getting on well with 10k runs, 40mile biking, and swimming roughly a 1km at a time, whenever I was in the pool. The weight carried on coming down little by little, but it would sit at a 92kg then drop about 3 weeks later, and stay off. Was I building muscle, quite probably?
Mid June and training for Oakham was going great, I would ride off to Oakham and try the bike section a few times, and ride back. One night in the pool I was talking away with a friend, and I heard about the Rothley 10k, it was only a few days away, but as I had done several hilly 10k training runs at about 54mins mark, I was happy I could give it a go. So I lined up on the start on June 17th in my tri-suit, and set off. It took all of about 2mins for it to dawn on me; I was the only one wearing a tri-suit and looked a right plonka. 56mins and 48secs later I was crossing the finish line, rather annoyed with myself for going too fast at the start, trying to maintain my 5k pace, even up the naughty hill at the start, and slightly miffed that I had lost 2 mins over my best 10k distance in training. But never mind a free swanky T-shirt and a lesson learned.
Oakham Sprint Tri came about, I had tapered, mentally set my targets, had everything in mind set to give it my best. My support crew were amazing being dragged out of bed early on a Sunday Morning. I assigned each a pivotal role. Tayla (12) head of marketing and PR, Ayrton (6) race mechanic, Leah (6) Lollipop girl and Elly-May (11mths) chief cheer leader, they loved it. Once I had my life squared away in transition, I had a bit of time with them to chill which was great to take the mind of race nerves. We all went pool side to have a look, and were really shocked. No way was the pool 25mtrs, was it? My word it seemed small, and choppy. I have been on calmer crossings across the English Channel. Never mind, it’s the same for everyone. I dived in and barely clung to the side the water was so low, and then I was off.
I planned to do 100mtr Front crawl, 50mtr breast, 100mtr Front Crawl, 50mtr breast, and bomb the last 100mtr Front crawl as fast as possible. It had worked in training, and I was getting times of 9 mins 15 sec. It was hard going, and unbelievably choppy, I must have swallowed water god knows how many times, but then the ultimate, collision with someone on the downward length. I got moving again, and just blitzed the last 50 metres. 10mins 10 sec total swim time. Gutted, I knew I was better than that, but never mind, head down, get into transition and get biking, I knew I was going to be strong on this.
One by one, I picked off fellow age groupers going through Oakham, and felt great doing it. I started to get out in the rural hilly part, and felt a buzz as I picked off two guys on race bikes on my heavy Carrera Crossfire in quick succession. Then it would be miles before I saw another competitor. This was a good sign, no one passing me on TT Bike or Race bike, and then on the return to Oakham section I started catching another few fellow age groupers. There was another massive hill and I could see the pair struggling, so I mashed on the pedals, because I knew I could bomb down the other side, into Oakham, and put some distance on them. 10ft before the top of the hill, as the hail stones started to pound, I passed both of them. Going downhill I pushed as hard as I could, and maxed out at 40mph, then tucked everything in and got low. As it levelled off I looked back and could see I had some good distance on them. Then came a T junction, and the Marshal motioned me to stop for traffic, and as it became clear to go, the two guys passed me. Sods law. I came into T2 a little peeved, but that all went out the window once I saw my support crew holding signs or encouragement. I ran out of T2 holding back the tears, I couldn’t let them see me crying, again.
The run outward felt good once I had resumed composure, I felt good, I didn’t push, and passed several people struggling, and gave words of encouragement for them. I planned to take the outward fairly easy, and then nail the return leg. It worked, as I rounded the drinks table and half way point, I could see a guy from a college about 20yrs my junior cresting the top of the hill about 150mtrs ahead of me, that was it, that was my target, pick him off, pass him, and pull away. As we got to the crossing where they were doing road works I could smell the bitumen, and knew I had him. I pushed on passed him, getting further away with every stride, and as I got back onto the College grounds I checked back, and had done it, all that was left was a sprint finish to a bundle of hugs, kisses and smiles. I felt good and happy with my 1hr 35min race time, considering the weather, the pool, it was an achievement. The best reward came in the car on the way home, Dad can I do a kid Triathlon? From my 12year old. She has the bug, even now. So next year once she swims properly she’s going to have a go.
I carried on training, pretty much the following week as normal, and now in possession of a lucky competition win of a Specialized Shiv Elite 2013 TT bike; I was flying on the bike at least. I knew Desford wasn’t far away, and it was next on my to do list. But about 2 weeks before, on a family bike ride, I ended up going down with my youngest on the back, trying to avoid one of the other kids who had stopped dead. We had just set of too, but before I could even get my foot out of the cleats it was knee into gravel time, and any chance of doing the Desford Tri out of the window. Instead I offered to Marshall and had an awesome time doing it.