My first Olympic race in many years, was up in the Lakes district. Although it was pouring rain when we drove out of our driveway in the morning, by the 1 p.m. start it was sunny and even slightly warm. The water wasn't, though, as the swim in the deep lake was in 61 degree water! Even with a wetsuit, the cold temps hit me fast, and my feet, hands and face felt totally numb. By the finish of the swim I wasn't sure if I would survive it, but somehow pulled myself back around to the finish, and staggered up the ramp to slowly pull off my wetsuit with numbed fingers.
The bike route was mostly sheltered from the winds by the Lake District hills, and it was a very fast, flat course. With rare sunshine hitting my face, I was back around to the second transition faster than I hoped.
Then it became apparent that the race organizers had saved the hill for the run, instead. Shortly after transition, the incline started, and continued for almost two miles. Granted, it was never very steep, but I hate running up hills, and had to walk on short sections of it. By this time in the afternoon, it was actually (dare I say it?) hot during the run, and I found myself pouring water on my head at the water station to cool off.
But, I finished under three hours for the Olympic distance, which was a personal best for me. I’m sure getting a speedier bicycle in the interim had something to do with it, but I’ll take speed where I can get it. :)
See my photos here