Aileen's Blog

Aileen's Blog

Pontevedra Hamburg London & Tizzy - 13 September '11

Pre February 2014Posted by aileen Mon, February 03, 2014 22:02:05
I hope readers will forgive me for not blogging. But, its hard to blog when your down, disappointed with your results. Not just because they weren’t great results, but because I know I’m better than that. Also because I don’t want to make excuses for my bad races. It is my fault if I swim poorly, mess up transition, am a coward on the bike, or if I’m just not fit enough. Yes I follow direction from a coach, but in the end of the day I have to do the work, and feed back if things are going to plan.

I've done a quick summary of each race.

Pontevedra

So the races didn’t go to plan. I was all hyped up for the European Champs. I had prepared to the best of my ability and everything was going to plan, with regards to training and targeting the race for a potential medal. When I arrived at the race I practiced everything from the swim exit & dives, to bike transitions. The few days before the race were very hot and I also hydrated well and was prepared for a hot race.

I swam amazing to be in a brake-away group of 5. I hung on their wheels but the bike was hard and hot. We were caught after 2 laps. In transition the ground was so hot my feet were burning and I made a conscious decision not to max the first k as I knew half the field would blow up. I was full of water and my legs felt like crap after the hard bike. I ended up a disappointing 13th.

I was disappointed with my race and how much effort I had put into it the previous weeks. I chalked it up as a bad day but also reflected that I needed more bike work.

Hamburg

In those 3weeks before Hamburg I had 2 days off the bike. I developed a sore bum from so much bike work, I was swimming well and my training on the whole was as good as ever. I swam the first 400 again amazingly well to be looking across at Lucy Hall on my right I knew I was flying. Unfortunately I couldn’t hold the pace and by the time I got to transition I had redlined and been in redline mode for quite a while. As I hung on Moffat’s wheel going up the hill Hewitt and some others passed me. A gap opened at the top of the hill and couldn’t close it cos I was breathing out my ass! I joined the second pack and started the run with them, running the 10th fastest time and placing 30? Its no use running the 10th fastest from the second pack tho and it was back to the drawing board to sort out some swim endurance. Moffat won with Emma Jackson in 2nd and Snowsill in 3rd. Watching it back and seeing Moffat win and knowing that a year perviously I had been in that lead group and that sprint finish made me jealous, angry at myself, downhearted but soon after hungry for more training and racing.

After another few weeks of hard swim/ bike training I was set for London WCS.

London WCS

After the disappointment of the previous races I was determined to make front pack in Hyde Park. As the Olympic test event, all of the big names would be here and many countries would use this as a selection race, so they’d be in tip top condition. On the bike familiarization it felt very special to cycle in front of Buckingham palace, to have all the traffic closed down for us, and to be a part of such a big event. Admittedly I was nervous/ intimidated going into the race. Id say having crashed in this race two years ago may not have helped confidence issues!

I think I lost some places over the second half of the swim, but I exited the water in a reasonable position and was ready for the bike. A good transition and when I seen Spirig on the bike I absolutely did not want to let that wheel go. We hammered the first lap until we caught the leaders and the remaining 5 laps were steady enough saying as I stayed totally at back of the pack like a custard. The last lap was a bit twitchy and for there not to be a crash was a miracle. Inevitably I was near the back entering (and therefore exiting) transition. I ran really well, and after learned that Id run the first 1k as fast as the race leaders. Unfortunately for me I was 14seconds behind them running at the same pace and had no chance of catching up at that speed. I did pass a few, but never got to the front of the field because of my cowardly back-of-bike-pack cycle and poor transition approach. However with that caliber of field to finish in 18th position I decided it was neither overly amazing nor overly poor. It was about where I was at. Helen Jenkins executed the perfect race and I was really happy for her to finish like that in front of a home crowd.

Tizzy

In the week between London and Tizzy, Team Triathlon Ireland spent a few days training in Lensbury near St Marys in London. The Irish team will use it as a training base before the Olympics next year so we decided to give it a test drive. Cycling in Richmond park was lovely and it was a nice build up to the Tizzy race.

On the Thursday I ran a great fartleck, felt really good. But on Friday I had a sore calf. It subsided a little but I didn’t run again until my warm up for the race to try to let it settle. I was in a long line of girls out of the water and managed to mess up my transition and not make front pack with the girls I was with. I worked hard on the bike this time trying to stay near the front on the course which had 11 corners per lap. At some stage in the middle of standing up for those 77 corners, I could feel my calf sore and decided that if I would at least try to run the first 1k at full race pace. I got off and ran and could feel my calf sore after 100meters. So I stopped. Its my first DNF (besides London 09 when I went to hospital), but I knew it was the smart sensible decision. The American ran from my pack through the field to take gold, while Italian Mazzentti held on for silver with Aussie Sheedy-Ryan in third also from second pack. Frustrating but back home form more training.