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Swim (19:00 Friday evening)

I cycled to work at 08:30 after taking the boys to school. At 12:15 ish I had an all day brunch as usual on a Friday, then realised it was a bit late and cycled pretty quickly home, quick shower, and set off. Got to Tenby before 4 and we registered and went back to the hotel to get sorted.

I think I had a banana at some point around then. We applied our hand tattoos and then got our wetsuits on upto our waists, put our new lcw t-shirts on and wandered down to the beach start for about 6:15. I had a gel at 6:30 and we walked down to the beach and got wet. The water wasn't cold after the initial shock, and then we got back out and waited around for about 15 minutes.

The first several rows of swimmers were knee/thigh deep in the water, and the route was out a few yards to go around a marker and then a 90 degree left turn onto the first of the three legs of the triangle. I positioned myself a few rows back and on the far left, hoping to quickly get arund the marker and then move left out of the main flow of swimmers - it didnt work.

As the race started I waded in deeper and then started swimming; I got around the marker OK but then all hell broke loose. I was getting bashed and hit from every side. My breathing was totally wrong, so I tried to stand up, but it was too deep by then and I nearly went under. People were still flowing all over me so I tried to swim fc with my head up but thats hard, so I did bs for a bit just to try to calm down. I'd gulped several mouthfuls of sea water and my heart rate was high. I needed to calm down. Slowly I got into a rhythm and began to calm down.

I could see dinner plate sized jelly fish beneath me. I was on the left of the main field, probably too far left, so I headed straight for the orange marker. It was very busy going round the first one so I went wide. I couldnt see the next marker for several 100m of swimming, I just followed everyone else, until I finally could make uot the old lifeboat shed and headed for that, and finally saw the orange marker. I felt like I was too far left again but got to the marker and turned again.

Now I really could not see where to go with the sun in my eyes. I followed other swimmers but seemed to be veering way too far right. I remembed the breifing that suggested looking for the gap in the houses on the hill and I could see that so headed towards it. I couldn't see the rock at all, and was on the beach before I saw it. I swam until my arms hit sand and then stood up and jogged around the beach. I looked at my watch and was chuffed to see 28 mins -I eas expecting over 30.

I jogged back into the water and the next lap was fine. I could see the marker and headed to it and got round fine. The second leg was OK too as I knew to head for the lifeboat shed now, and as I rounded the finally maker I tried to pick up speed and swim faster for the last bit. Again I seemed too far right but aimed for the gap in the houses and came out onto the beach OK. Several people came out with me or just in front but none was dashing to the finish line, so I ran as fast as I could and overtook several.

It was a hard swim but I did a much better time than I was expecting (I'd hoped for between 1:05 and 1:10 and did it in 57). My (brand new) goggles were perfect, and I'd felt no discomfort swimming (other than the mess at the start). My velcro closure had however rubbed a raw spot on my neck in my hair line, and while I didnt notice it at the time it was to hurt for nearly a week later.

When Ste and Scott finished we showered at the hotel and went for food, but iwas already 21:30 and we ended up in an expensive place and all ordered rare steak and chips - it was too big but very nice.

Didn't sleep superbly well Friday night, very hot and sticky, kept waking up.

Bike (08:00 Saturday)

We had breakfast at 6:30 I think. Bowl of muesli, porridge, some melon, and poached egg on toast - very nice. I had a gel at 07:30 and we then cycled round to line up for the start. We didn't get started until about 8:15 and then we were off.

I wore DHB bib with Mont Ventoux short sleeve top; thin black and grey socks, aldi fingerless gloves. I had 4 or 5 bars and 4 or 5 gels in the food bag on the front of the bike, and another couple in my jersey pocket. I also had two bananas.

The weather was warm but rainy on and off all day, a bit of wind but nothing major.

Me and Ste stayed together for the first 60 miles or so, but then he dissapeared behind me. From the start he followed me as I drafted riders that were going at a decent pace. After an hour or so we settled in behind one rider (no.255) who was going at a perfect pace for us. We noticed he seemed slowish up the hills but we had to work a little to keep with him on the flats and downs. We must have drafted him for 40 or 50 miles!! It was after a water stop that I noticed I'd gone past him and I didnt see him again (he finished about 10 mins behind me).

I'd needed a pee pretty much since we lined up, and after 60 miles was getting deperate, so on a gentle down slope I eased up, stopped pedalling, and pee'd on the go! Had to work pretty hard to do it, and was embarrased to see pee splashing out behind me, and I felt it driblle into my left shoe, but I felt miles better. Ste was still with me at this point but I didnt see him afterwards.

Food wise I was very consistent and made sure I at a nakd bar (babana protein crunch as I had loads) after 30 mins, and a gel (SIS orange) 30 mins later, and repeat, so in the 6 hours I had 6 gels and 6 nakd bars. By the last bar I was having to consciously eat it as I didnt feel like it, I think I'd have been better with 7 gels and 5 nakds. I also ate 2 bananas, perhaps at miles 40 and 80?? (no real idea). Fluid wise I had the between-the-bars bottle full of water with a SIS go hydro blackcurrant tab, a 750ml bottle with some powerbar powder and water, and a 700ml bottle of water. I took swigs of each throughout the ride, and only ran out after 5 hours. I managed to grab a perhaps 330ml water bottle at a feed station without stopping and that was enough to get me to the finish. I never felt hungry, or thirsty, didnt need to crap, didnt run out of energy - it was a great ride!

I was very chuffed with my time. The two hills at the end of the first large loop were fine. but were a bit tough by the second lap - on Endo I was clearly slowing down for the last 10 or 15 miles, but I certainly wasn't broken by the end.

As we'd finished much earlier today we had food at a decent time - we went to the Cube and had carrot & corriander soup, lasagne and a chocolate fudge cake, and plenty of cokes and oranage and lemonades to drink. Much better than Friday night. We were in bed by 9 and I did fall asleep quickly, but woke around 3 and then fidgetted until we got up for brekky at 7 ish.

Run (10:00 Sunday)

I had porridge, melon, slice of toast and a poached egg for breakfast at about 7:45. We sorted the cars out and then relaxed for the hour before the run. No faff, no rush. 

I wore Nike running shorts, sugoi tight vest, white and grey padded socks. No probs other than a pooped blood blister on beg toe of left foot, and blood blisters under the next 2 toes on each foot.

Superb! I'd been totally dreading the marathon, remembering just how hard my previous two runs of that distance had been (a long time ago too).

My plan was to run 8 min miles for a 3:30 time. Based on previous long runs I expected my hr to be 150ish. Me and Ste lined up at the 3:30 marker, which was pretty near the front, and were over the line about 10 seconds after the race started. The first mile was a bit quick really, and the second, both around 7:30ish, but by the 3rd or 4th there was a huge hill, 14% in places, and that took over 9 mins, so after 4 miles my average was pretty much bang on 8 min/mile. I felt good, breathing was easy. Ste was gone ahead within the first quarter mile.

Nutrition was a gel half an hour before the race, then a gel every 4  miles. I take a swig of gel and then run half a mile or so, so a gel can easily last 2 miles. I made sure to walk at every drink station which were about every 4 miles too. After the half way mark the locals were out in force, many offering jelly babies and other sweets. I must have had 10 or so, and they were very welcomed!

I took 2 ibuprofen half an hour before the race, and carried several with me. I had one at mile 13, another at perhaps 17, and 20. 

I couldn't believe how easy the first half was, and was in Pembroke a few mins ahead of schedule. It was then that I started thinking I might break 3:30 and get a new pb.

I never ran out of energy, never felt hungry or thirsty, and after walking up the last hill at approx mile 20 felt really good, so I legged it down the 14% hill with three miles to go and ran the fastest 5km at the end of the run! I could have gone faster overall, but I was expecting to run out of energy but it never happened. I think the stopping and walking 30 meters or so to drink a glass of water every 3 or 4 miles really really helped.

Triathlon/Long Course Weekend/LCW Swim
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