On Sunday I took part in the 70.3 Poznan Ironman in Poland. With a 1900m lake swim, 56 mile flat bike and a 13.1 mile twisty run course.
Going into the race I was feeling good, training had been going well since my 3rd place at Challenge Wales and I was really looking forward to a strong race.After Challenge Wales I had ticked off one of the criteria for my Professional Licence from British Triathlon. Meaning in Poznan I would need to come within 7% of the winning Professional Women. I was feeling confident in my form and ready to go.
I was in the AG wave which started 3 minutes behind the Pro Women. In the swim I was solo unfortunately, no Age group males or females to swim with, but still managed to catch a few Pro Women in the water which was a real confidence boost. I came out the water in 11th place with the 5th fastest swim. Overall swimming solo this couldn’t of gone much better. With a good transition I was on the bike.
Out on the bike course I was solo again, averaging over 25mph for the first half of the 56mile bike course, my legs were feeling ok and power was normal. At the turn around a could see I wasn’t far off the lead women, but the next group of 5 athletes where all together so I knew on my own, it would be a big ask to catch them, but I maintained positive. This all changed when I turned back into a block head wind, my body was starting to tire and I was struggling to hold position, all I wanted was a bridge to get out of my saddle and stretch. With only 700ft elevation there wasn’t many! My watts on my bike where starting to drop and my head was struggling to stay focused with around 15miles to go.
10miles to go a women caught me and this was my first opportunity to sit 12 meters behind her to get some relief from the wind. I was with her for around two minutes before she took a drink, slowing down. That meant I had to freewheel and went into the draft zone for a few seconds. Out of nowhere, I heard a strong whistle from behind and I was awarded a 5 minute penalty. I was gutted knowing my body was already struggling and meant the cut of time for my pro licence was slipping out of reach.
I went into T2 and around 6 of us where in the penalty box, all complaining how there was no warning, just 5mins. I stayed focus and knew it was still doable. I started the run at goal pace but soon knew my body didn’t have it in me to run what I was capable of, so I settled back down into a good pace. The pace I was running was on the border of getting my pro licence but with around 7km to go my legs just didn’t have it, I was struggling, I did everything I could to hold form. In the end I finished the run in 1h 27mins, 3mins slower than I wanted on the 13.1mile twisty course. I missed my Pro licence by 1min 30s.
At first, I was really gutted with my performance but overall it was a strong race, I made a mistake, a mistake I will learn from. The times of all 3 disciplines where ok, knowing the fact that the race didn’t fall well with my menstrual cycle. I know that that my fitness is there and when that does fall right with racing, the times will come down. My HR and power were lower then normal and with a 5min penalty I still came 1st in my Age Group and 9th overall including the pro women, coming in-front of 8 of the pro’s. I know when the time comes I will get my pro licence, but at the moment I'm focusing on being a better athlete and not dwelling on my mistake.
My next race is British Middle Distance Championship at Outlaw X - Thoresby Park Nottinghamshire on the 25th September, the aim is to execute the 3 disciplines well and race to the best of my ability. With this being Nationals the first Age Group athlete to cross the line with receive their Pro Licence.
Thank you so much for all your support.
Time to get back to work and get ready for the British Middle Distance Championship’s.