Triathlon de Mont Blanc 2018

I have one more race planned for this season. Things are going pretty well this summer and I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m feeling proud of the improvements I’ve made.

The weather on Saturday was grey. We were all hoping it wouldn’t rain. To be honest, my nerves and stress have decreased so much compared to the start of previous races that I wasn’t (surprisingly!) overly concerned if it did rain. I just know safety is always first, and what would be, would be; it doesn’t REALLY matter.

The weather conditions ended up being pretty perfect and I don’t think I would have performed as well had it been really hot. The rain held off and although cold on the bike descent, it was a good temperature.

I drove over by myself, blaring out Queen’s Greatest Hits and singing my heart out, particularly to “Bicycle Race”ย ๐Ÿ™„

I felt chatty and bubbly at the start, and having felt pretty shattered all week and very sleepy, it was a relief! I caught up with other Tri Montagne members and we got set for our events.

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Photographs are all credit to my Dad, Peter.

SHOUT OUT to Rachel Jones. This lady was still at Passy post her first ever sprint triathlon. This is the woman who at the start of the summer said “it’s all very inspiring but I wouldn’t do it.” Well, surprise surprise…

“It was really good fun, I mean 20k on the flat is actually quite easy, the rest of it was just like a normal Thursday (Tri Montagne’s training session). I think I might do another one.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, Rachel Jones has caught the triathlon bug! Yassss!

Last year there were numerous accidents on the bike ride and we were reminded that this was NOT “les championnats du monde” and that the descent is known to be dangerous, so please just make sure you get home tonight.

I’m not sure everyone was listening judging by how some descended, but it resonated with me.

Swim

So, I won this out of the womenย ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Yep, that happened.

We were set you off with the men on the right side of a dividing lane and the women on the left. I went to the left of the left. The water is shallow to start so I ran as fast and far as I could before I risked being deep enough to make a stroke. The lady next to me tried to swim and then stood up again, so I went a little farther. I started swimming but didn’t push to the bottom, just got my arms ‘water-milling’ as fast I could. Swimming through water is always faster than running, and I noticed I was definitely near the front.

Well, this is new!

Sh*t, where am I going?!

I got into a steady pace and was curious that no one seemed to be around. There were a few to my right, so I thought that was maybe some of the women catching up, but now I think it must have been us merging with the men. I spent a lot more time sighting on this course, and looking around and questioning my pace. The last stretch I could see a few out in front of me, looked behind and could see masses… Noooo, am I really out front?

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I kept going as far as I could and as I stood up out of the water I heard the commentator say that we should be having the first woman out of the water and he thought this was her. I quickly whisked off my cap, and he confirmed it was a girl. (Thanks!)

Blimey, I am the first girl out the water. Crap!ย 

My mum was on the side looking as stunned as I was, but so good to see her face!

24:27. Although faster than last year, I reckon it could have been faster if I hadn’t focused on my positioning in the water and then questioning my pace thinking one minute I was going too fast and then that maybe I was going slowly.

I definitely prefer chasing than being chased!

Transition 1

Right Rach, look like you know what you’re doing!

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Yeah, that didn’t work out. I did have my cycling shoes attached by elastic bands, and it did make me faster, but I wouldn’t say it was my slickest mount on to my bike and the camera man was blatantly questioning my abilities and probably didn’t quite get the ‘first women on the bike’ shot he might have been hoping for. Lolz.

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Bike

I set off too fast. I was all of a fluster and had to spend a bit of time settling myself on to the bike, remembering to fuel. I mean, I even forgot to start my watch!ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

As it wasn’t very hot, if anything a little chilly, it was easy to not drink or eat, so I really made an effort to remind myself to take fuel on board. The second woman didn’t take long to come past me, but nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed having supporters cheering me on thinking I was probably way better than I am!

“Tu es la premiere fille, bravo!”

“Allez, la deuxiรจme fille!”

“Allez, la troisรจme fille!”

And then it kind petered out on the descent. BUT it was awesome whilst it lasted!

The challenge today was to pace myself to be strong on the run. That was MY goal. I knew if I chased these women who were coming past me, I’d burn out, however much I wanted to.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing and so is the pleasure of sitting here feeling a little fresher, but maybe, just maybe, I could have pushed a fraction harder on the bike. If anything, it might have warmed me up!

The descent was baltic, the road a little wet and there was still some nutters flying past.

Just be safe.

I remembered the tips from the last training session and made sure I kept gentle pressure under my feet on the flat to transition to help with the run; it’s easier for your legs to transition from a slow cycling cadence to a faster running cadence. Thanks, Coach Amelia!

I got my feet out my shoes on the bike (pat on the back) and saw yet again my parents stunned faces, “we think you’re 7th?!”

1hr46. Faster than last year (by 30 minutes!), no accidents, I enjoyed it, even if a little chilly. This is something to consider for the race in October. It might be worth while taking longer in transition to wrap up if it is cold.

Transition 2

Ow, ow, ow!

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There were quite possibly giggles at the ridiculousness, and explicit words coming from my mouth, as my poor numb toes hit the ground.

My feet were so cold and numb. Running into transition was pretty painful and fumbling around putting socks on with my also numb fingers was not slick, but I was feeling good otherwise.

Run

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I wanted to run a good 10k. During the first loop, a stitch threatened to ruin things, but I focused on pushing my hips forward and opening up to breathe properly, and not panic. It did ease and I knew on the second lap, I could try a bit harder. Well, trying a bit harder meant simply sustaining my pace! I then ran as fast as I could to finish.

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Get that Garmin working!

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50:41

Breathe, Rach, breathe!

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I’ve never been so buzzy after a race, maybe after my first ever triathlon, but to reiterate with how I started this post, I don’t want to jinx the good; with one race left, 6 weeks to train, this season ain’t over yet!

Result: 7th female, 6th in my category, 125th overall, 3h03.

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