I didn't drown and had a great day out on Sunday
Scoped out the course on Saturday: seeing the swim course as a single continuous setup in a lake (rather than just 60 lengths of the pool) didn't scare me as much as I expected, probably because it was all reasonably close to a shoreline. At least there wouldn't be currents to worry about. The run course mostly looked OK, until I saw 'Hill 60', the evilest hill I have ever seen in my life. Aparantly it's notorious in all the xc-races in the area. There would be three laps of the run course, and my calfs were tired when I walked up the hill fresh. Promptly blocked that from my mind
. Drove the bike route and was quite happy until I saw all the hills at the north end of the course where you do two laps. Any notions I had of doing a fast run were gone. Still; nothing like a challenge, and I had set out to finish.
On sunday got up at crack-of-dawn-o-clock and off to setup transition. I upgraded from duct tape to elastic bands for attaching the bike shoes to the bike this time round.. and found it much more practical than the hackerey I'd come up with for athlone! The route from the side of the lake into the transition zone was much nicer on bare feet than in athlone too, so my backup plan of using compeed plasters wasnt needed.
Swim went well; I was in the first wave with all the other people with swim times of 38mins+. First half went well, but for the second half my goggles had fogged up enough that I had to stop and pull them up to sight occasionally. Got out at the end and nearly fell over during the first 5m of running towards T1.. didn't expect to be quite that light headed
T1 went great, in+out in about 44seconds.
Cycle: Settled into it and enjoyed the first flat sections.. got to the hills faster than I expected and just kept on them at a comfortable pace. Nearly hit a drain at speed going down a steep downhill bendy section of the course, which gave me a bit of a fright. On the next lap round someone had ended up on the opposite side of the road there and ended up getting medical attention (I slowed to see if he needed help, but two other cyclists had already dropped out to help out). Quads did feel the burn during the hills, but the weather out was great so at least I didn't get cold during my slow crawls uphill in my lowest gear. Overall the cycle wasn't as bad as I was expecting; I took a gel at 25k and again at 35k, using about 500ml water over the entire route (I think). Very impressed with the lack of drafting during the entire course.
T2 again went well, although I arrived at my spot with a little too much speed and almost went on my ass on the damp grass. Recovered nicely and didn't take out anyone which was good. Minor faffing as someone else had racked their bike in my place, ending up with a t2 of about 1min 30.
Out onto the run and for the first few mins my legs just weren't there. They eventually kicked in, but just before Hill60 -- which instantly took them back out of action for the next 1/2 lap. Every time round the course the hill creamed my legs for 1/2 the course, and then I made up time on the second 1/2 which was relatively flat before coming back downhill gradually again. My only gripe was there was no waterstations during the run. The pre-race info had one advertized on the run course, so I didnt bring a bottle with me for the run expecting there to be some available on the course.
So. That's that. Delighted to have finished a standard-distance triathlon, pretty much hit all my expected times (40min swim, 1hr40min bike, 40min run.. give or take half a minute here or there -- Ill pull down the full times later), ending up with a time of 3hrs25seconds. A bit disappointed I didn't go under 40mins on the run (which I think wasn't a full 10k, making it all the more disappointing), and would have liked to come in under 3hrs. Not feeling the same glory as with the marathons, but thoroughly enjoyed it!
Oh, and someone nicked (possibly by accident) my goggles and swim hat from transition
Cheers to everyone that's answered all my triathlon questions during the year -- I've now hit all my goals for the year, thanks for all the help!
SWIM: 1500m, 0:39:04, average hr 157 max 211 (so presumably it messed up logging).
BIKE: 40k, 1:39:08, average hr 155, max 175
RUN: 10k, 0:42:10, average hr 168, max 178