4th place at Weymouth at the weekend was a pleasant surprise!! It was only ever supposed to be a prep race with IM pacing if possible, and the week before was typically quite heavy, if a little disjointed. The weekend before we'd been down in Weymouth and in the Malverns (with Michael and Emmie), and had (as a result of the weather) ended up doing rather a lot of hill running rather than the bike miles we had planned. That left me quite frankly a little broken at the start of the week, so my key long run had to wait til thursday (38km), and friday had some decent volume in it too... leaving saturday as the taper ;)
Hitched a ride down to the race with Michael and Emmie again, and spent saturday afternoon helping out on the Infinit stand at the registration which was great fun, then ate a lot and went to bed. Had no expectations for the day - just wanted to get some transition practice, an OW swim and a decent key workout.
The swim start was typically relaxed in Weymouth style, with the briefing on the beach followed immediately by orders to go to the waters edge. We're all milling around when suddenly there's the 5 second warning and the gun goes. Talk about no build up!! The water was perfectly flat, and not too cold - I'd been expecting the toe-curling temperatures we'd seen there before. I started with the first group in the swim, but chose the wrong feet, and by the time I'd taken a look round to see what the hold up was, the leaders were 300m ahead. So I just got into a rhythm and swam on my own for most of the course. Got out of the water 6th overall (not bad considering the major overhaul my stroke is getting at the moment from Andrew Potter), and had a leisurely wander into T1... up the beach, up a flight of concrete steps, over the tennis courts, round the bike stands.... its not designed for speed! Out on the bike I caught a couple of women who'd swam in the first group, then got passed by the eventual race winner by about km 12. After that I didn't really see anyone until km50. By then, I was starting to get a bit disheartened... I was sure that the was a dog leg in there somewhere, but I was headed back into Weymouth and was going to be seriously short on kms! Luckily the turn came off to the left just as two more cyclists blazed past me. Letting them go was easy: 1) This was supposed to be an IM pace effort and 2) I don't think I have a half IM pace! I seem to have quite comprehensively beaten any top end speed out of me! Hitting T2 I'd caught another cyclist, maybe two, and was happy to get out onto the run. The weather was holding perfectly: mid-teens and slightly overcast. My shins were tight going into the run so I took ithe first 6km pretty easy, but still overtaking one of the speedy cyclists before the first water station. Before the end of lap 1, the guy who eventually came 2nd passed me, but I let him disappear (rapidly) into the distance. By the start of the second lap, there were people on the course which makes it a little easier - I like overtaking! With 30mins to go I picked up the pace to get to the bridge at the top of the run course and then home. All in all seemed quite an easy day :)