This race changed several times before it got underway and tested out preparation and planning a little! The week before, due to quite a bit of flooding in the ACT, the swim was called off due to the Lake resembaling a floating forest after all the rain they had!
The other change, which was only made late on the day prior to the race, was a change from the traditional 3 lap race, to a 5 lap course, which meant that unfortunatly the hills were taken out, again due to flooding, this time of Cobblers Crossing, which was fully under water.
I knew prior to the race, that if I was able to stick with the strong runners during the first 4km run, that I would be a good chance to be in a good position following the bike, as my riding had been coming along pretty well. Fortunately I was able to do this and was 2nd out of transition, following Luke Whitmore from VIC who is a stong runner, but closely followed by the rest of the first group.
This is always a tough thing to determine, how hard to go in the first run of a duathlon, with many people I suspect overdoing it a little due to adrenaline…
The first part of the ride was pretty tough, as we had run a 12.30-40 4km, during which Ollie Whistler rode hard and I made a decision not to go with him, as the legs were burning….. The ride was a pretty hairy one, as there were so many people on the course. In the first group there was 5 of us for most of the ride and it went past pretty well.
I felt pretty comfortable for the whole ride and came into T2 with Paul Attard in 3rd position, but with a couple of guys just back on us.
Having had a pretty sore foot for the past 2 weeks, I went out conservatively for the first section of the run, deciding to build into it. I was feeling pretty good generally and my nutrition and pacing was coming togerther pretty well…. My foot however was not and started to get more and more sore on the 2nd half of the 1st of 2 laps. It was getting quite sharp as I came back towards transition and I reluctantly pulled out with a stress fracture.
This was confirmed by the specialist the next day… So 6 weeks in a walking boot will make the festive season very interesting!! And testing of patience, but things happen for a reason, and this no doubt will be a further learning curve and one that will better enable me to pass on my knowledge to others… in the meantime it is frustrating!!
While the race in Canberra was not a success, I did take some confidence away from the race and being comfortable competiting against the strong athletes at the front and look forward to getting this foot right and being at that level again.
Until then, Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!!