Another race ticked off the list and one of the better ones for different reasons. Myself and Eve were racing Mallorca 111- 1km Swim, 100km bike and 10km race. On arrival something felt right. The weather was 18 degrees, the roads were smooth & already my head was in the race.
Unfortunately it didn’t stay quite the same, the weather turned nasty and we were only too lucky to have our jackets with us. The P20 would have to stay in the case for another trip. My Emerald racing Team Captain David Vaughan said it was like having `home advantage` . I didn’t feel that way as I have scars of Galway 70.3. Brrr.
On the days leading up to the race I felt super relaxed and ready. I think my last couple of races have taught me to relax a bit more and not be so anxious. The hardest part in the final days leading into a race is staying away from the buffet. The first morning I spied a big bowl of Nutella. Already I was planning my post race treat. I was happy with my preparation. Rob my coach had me on a slight taper with a few races that left me sharp.
The heavens opened- Lucky I was in my new trisuit from Endurance Junkie. For me it covers both aspects. Keeps you warm in the cold and covers shoulders from the sun! meaning less sun cream. RESULT! great fit too and comfy in the saddle..;-)
This could only be a race directors nightmare but the show must go on. The sea stayed calm and right before the gun it stopped. Soon we were racing and before I knew it I was on the bike for the largest portion of the race. My swim felt better than before. David Graham has changed my stroke and I was definitely quicker. Race No 1- I beat Eve out of the water!. (though the pros did have 50m head start)
I laid it down and stuck to my plan. A friend tweeted `Bring the Rain`.. Its funny how your mind wanders in a race and when I would think of that I`d burst out laughing. I could envisage the intro of a garth brooks music video `the dance`. So daft Id nearly sign myself in somewhere. There was a guy on my wheel at the time probably wondering was this Irish guy insane.
Minutes in I questioned am I doing the right thing. I turned the pedals as hard as I could. 30km`s into the bike section there was a climb called San Salvador. It was Tour de France stuff. 5km longer with 15% gradient in parts.( i reacquainted myself with San Salvador the next day just for the picture) I thought this climb would help me real the leaders in but it didn’t. It was a 2 lap course so we would have to do it twice. It was just too steep and long for my heavy body. The smaller 65/70kg guys raced up it- My 87kg frame got the better of me. I now know that this type of course wasn’t mine. I lost time on the climb and the decent. On lap 2 I was in the mix in the top 15 and riders were in my slipstream. I eventually dropped them all but when the climb would come they returned. And then I would catch and pass again. On the flat I was feeling really good and felt I was able to sustain the power. I knew podium was never going to happen but I pushed on regardless. It was a bitter pill to swallow early on in the race but sometimes you got to hold your hands up and accept there are better athletes on the day. I was happy with how I was racing and I didn’t shy away. Then with 10km to go I was to wonder could i run hard and fast from the extra effort.
I entered T2 in 10th and could see 8th & 9th. They were my targets. I wanted to finished as high up as possible. I felt super. Hurting really bad but able to turn my legs over on lift my knees. I had no watch on but I knew the pace felt like a hard 10k hit out. 10k`s hurt! I was to make up one place and got within 10 seconds of 8th. I crossed the line with mixed emotion of not reaching my goal of winning or podium but as I said early better men were there on the day. Another day on another course circumstances could have been different. Im learning with every race and its another one for the memory bank. TriStar put on a great event and I am really looking forward to racing a few more later on in the season.
Eves performance went as I knew it would. She finished 3rd in her age group and 11th overall. That was a remarkable achievement that only shadows my effort. Though she cant boost beating me in the swim, She had the 3rd fastest bike overall against some top class girls. The brother Sister rivalry continues. Eve is planning to concentrate more on the bike this season and I feel she has plenty more to give in that area.
My team mate Eimear Mullen was defending her title and to cut a long story short she did it. Top class performance from a top class athlete. @emeraldracing are very proud of her!!
Next up I race the big one, Ironman Lanzarote on the 19th of May.