If there is one thing I wish I’d learnt before racing the BUCS sprint championships last weekend, it’s that I AM NOT A CAMEL. Race nutrition and hydration has never been one of my strong points and I often mess it up but this weekend I decided to go all out and hit a low point of pretty serious dehydration! I was so ready to have a good season opener after having the best few weeks of training in a long, long time and if I’m being totally honest, I really let myself down.
The day of the race I felt fresh and warming up on the bike my legs felt really reactive. Fabulous! But then I made the silly mistake of not putting a water bottle on my bike… Ok, so with a sprint distance it’s not the be all and end all, but to me it made quite a significant difference. I had an average swim, exiting the water in a time quicker than last year, and the first ten minutes of the bike felt amaaaaaazing. Then Bruce and I had a little fall out, and I decided I was going to ride the rest of the bike leg as if I’d never ridden a bike before. It was pretty horrific, and I got myself to a point that had I had a drink with me, perhaps I wouldn’t have reached such a low. Coming into transition I had a quick cuddle with the tarmac (falling off really is becoming too much of a familiar thing!) and tried to run as well as I could but nothing was working. My legs were gone, my head was down and all I wanted to do was finish the god-damn race.
Ever the drama queen, I had a little episode of the shakes and some epic cramp at the finish line and was forced to drink what felt like a swimming pools’ worth of water in about 5 minutes. Its times like this where the competition loses priority, and thanks to my amazing best friend and housemate Lucy and a friend and fellow Loughborough triathlete Aw Yong for looking after my severely dehydrated self! The ladies of the St. John’s ambulance also did a fantastic job of watching over me and holding my hand 😉
So another disappointing race for me… Reflecting on the race now, I’ve realised I have been quite hard on myself. The Loughborough girls came away with a BUCS team gold so can I really justify complaining?! No. So many people would kill for a BUCS medal, let alone a gold. I’ve looked back on the race and realised I have a lot to work on (positive). I had a decent swim (positive). I finished (positive). And finally, I was given a Curly Wurly for the journey home (the best positive of all). The race may not have been what I wanted, but it’s a benchmark. And something that I can develop on over the next few months until I (hopefully), finally get it right!
In other news, I’d quickly like to announce the arrival of my beautiful new baby girl Sadie-May! I have spent the last few days bonding with my beautiful new bike and am already in love with her; she’s quite something. Although when I went for my first ride on her the other day, I was extremely grateful for padded cycling shorts. That TT position makes one helluva difference… I’ll be taking her away to Ireland next weekend for her race debut in the Lough Cutra Castle Series Triathlon and am looking forward to getting out and racing again!
Ciao for nooooow ladies and gents!
Over & out,