The bike course was amazing, beautiful scenery amazing climbs and definitely my kind of course, hilly, hard, technical! I had expected this of the bike course but what I wasn’t expecting was the fairly steep hill on the run that we had to do three times. I hadn’t looked at the run course profile so just presumed that it was a flat run. I was puffing and panting just walking up that hill.
Race day and we woke up to drizzle! A total nightmare on a course like that, it meant the descents were going to be much more dangerous but putting that to the back of my mind I stayed calm and had confidence in my improving ability to descend quite well, (something that has just started to come this year as a result of following my coach Mark Booth down many hills). The start was chaotic, everyone together in a narrow beach start, feet, hands, heads, pushing, pulling, plunging…. The usual. I was a little slower then expected and came out in around 10th. When I got on to the bike and my main instruction was to go easy until mid way through the 3rd climb of 4 and that’s exactly what I did. In hindsight I may have gone a little too easy at the beginning. I tried to keep the effort steady, descend confidently and was getting excited about going for it in the last part. When I picked up the pace I felt good and moved in to second pretty quickly. I was unsure of how I would feel on the run as I haven’t been running particularly well off the bike this season but this time it felt good. I was comfortable, able to float along with a strong pace and the hill wasn’t a problem. I was quickly closing in on first place but 10k just wasn’t enough! I was pleased with my race and happy that I was feeling more like myself again.
I had been having a few problems with exhaustion recently and felt like I hadn’t been training properly since UK 70.3 in June. Racing twice soon after that didn’t help much but that’s a long time to be feeling unwell and it was extremely frustrating. In fact right up to the week before Monaco I was still feeling very run down and off form, however after getting over a stomach bug on the week of the race I seemed to feel much better and was just happy to be able to race and feel good. This season has been all about getting stronger, learning lessons and gaining experience and I’m fairly happy with how it’s gone so far.
I have one little ‘experimental’ race left this season. Ironman Florida… Can’t wait!