Tag Archives: Eastleigh

First Eastleigh aquathlon of 2014

29 May

Thursday evening was my first aquathlon of the year at Lakeside. Last year, I did the novice event, and it was my intention to move up the full (sprint) distance… but that was before my shoulder injury. I spoke to the organisers and they said that as it was a mass start, I could make my decision when I was in the lake, which would give me an opportunity to see how my arm was feeling. That’s what I love about TryTri – they really do their best to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Arriving at the aquathlon

Arriving at the aquathlon © Paul A. Hammond

I signed in and then got marked up.

Lucky number 24

Lucky number 24

After chatting with a few friends, it was time for the race briefing and a few words from ActiveCoach, the event’s sponsors.

The briefing

The briefing © Paul A. Hammond

We then headed over to the start of the swim. This year, the events are chip timed, so I collected my chip before getting into the lake. It was very slippery, so several people did a ‘bottom shuffle’ to get into the lake. I was a little more dignified, but not much!

The water wasn’t unpleasantly cold, but I had spent so long getting myself organised that I didn’t really have enough time to acclimatise properly. I must remember to get in the lake earlier next time, so that I’m ready to swim when the race starts.

dsc_4094

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4101

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4102

© Paul A. Hammond Why is my head so far out of the water? Aarrggh!

dsc_4103

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4104

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4204

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4205

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4206

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4207

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4208

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4209

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4210

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4211

© Paul A. Hammond I really must learn to keep my head lower!

dsc_4212

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4214

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4215

dsc_4216

© Paul A. Hammond Not waving, but drowning!

dsc_4217

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4218

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4224

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4225

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4226

© Paul A. Hammond Help!

dsc_4227

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4228

© Paul A. Hammond

I’d love to be able to say that I had a great swim, but I didn’t (and the photos clearly show that my technique was terrible). My right shoulder was still in a lot of pain and it felt like the lap and a half took forever. Finally, I neared the end, so I started kicking frantically, to help with my blood circulation. This seemed to work as I didn’t feel light-headed as I emerged from the lake… but it did nothing for my clumsiness. I trip and managed to hit my knee, which was painful.

In transition, I was acutely aware of how slow I’d been, but I decided that I would wear sock anyway as my feet blistered when I did my last aquathlon without socks. I also had to remove my watch to get my wetsuit off. To try to save a few seconds, I decided not to put my contact lenses in, which, in hindsight, was a mistake.

dsc_4565

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4566

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4567

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4574

© Paul A. Hammond One leg out.

dsc_4575

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4576

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4577

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4578

Nearly there! © Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4604

Smiling because I’m running… and I can see the photographer! © Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4605

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4606

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4607

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4608

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4609

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4610

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4611

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_4612

© Paul A. Hammond

I put my watch back on and headed off on a 2.5km lap as fast as I could, which turned out to be not very fast at all. Ben was out on the course cheering people on, which was great and I knew it wouldn’t take too long before I finished.

After crossing the railway line, Ian passed me with Sonia giving chase. They congratulated me on my swim – they clearly hadn’t realised that I’d only done the novice distance – oops.

By this point, I had remembered why I refuse to run with my glasses on – I always end up feeling motion sick, so I ran quite a lot of the race with my eyes closed, which is not something I would recommend to others!

Someone passed me, but I wasn’t ready to give up that easily, so I pushed harder and managed to get ahead again. There are a couple of downhills and short sharp inclines in the final 1km. These helped me to pull ahead a little bit further and in the final 400m, my coach passed me, on his way to winning the sprint event.

dsc_5043

Can you tell that I’d had enough at this point? © Paul A. Hammond

dsc_5044

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_5045

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_5046

© Paul A. Hammond

dsc_5047

Final sprint for the line © Paul A. Hammond

Eventually, I crossed the line where I was rewarded with a bottle of water and some delicious dried strawberries from Urban Fruit. I then cheered in the other participants, including my husband who missed out on 3rd place in the sprint event by less than a second.

I finished 12/16. My swim took 14:10 (13th) and my transition took 2:09 (13th), but my run made up for some of it as 12:55 was 10th! Overall, it took me 29:15 and I was 4th female finisher. This is quite disappointing as my results from last year’s aquathlon show that I finished in 27:52. Next month, I’ll be aiming to do the sprint distance.

A massive thank you to Paul A. Hammond for all of the lovely (and not-so-lovely) photos!

 

Swimming update

27 Sep

I’ve managed to haul myself out of bed for the last two Tuesday mornings at 5:30am to go swimming in the lake, but it’s clear that summer is over as the water was freezing cold. I was so grateful that I bought myself a new hat in London:

thermal skull cap

It’s lovely and cosy, but I’m not sure I like the crackling sound as the water touches the merino wool!

The pictures below make the lake seem picturesque, but these were taken after my last swim, when the fog/mist had started to clear. There were lots of swans in the lake as well as a few Canada geese and huge amounts of natural debris 😦 It’s quite unnerving to suddenly find a large leaf in front of your face!!!

IMG_1428 IMG_1429 IMG_1430 IMG_1431

I also came to the end of my planned swimming lessons… or so I thought. I was intending to join swimfit, but after discussing it with Chris, my swimming instructor, I’ve signed up for one more set of swimming lessons. We’ve spent a lot of time on butterfly recently, and I can now do vaguely recognisable tumble turns , but I’ve still not learned how to dive in, so that’s another goal, and hopefully I’ll continue to build on my front crawl.

I need to carefully decide what my long-term strategy will be. I’ve been dithering about joining a tri club, as it seems like an expensive option and there are quite a few choices, including:

I think I’m going to reassess where I am in October after I’ve done both of my triathlons.

My swimming goal for this year was to do an 800m swim, so I’ve smashed that goal. My goal for 2014 is to do a 1600m race. I’ve managed to swim that far in training, so I’ll have to find an event to do. Depending on the cost and my commitments, I might go for something like the Great London Swim, the Windsor swim or the Dorney Lake Women Only swim. Does anyone have any UK-based recommendations (preferably in the South!)

Save