My First Long Distance – One2Tri, Lac D’Aiguebelette
‘Hi Mum! It’s me!’
‘Oh hello darling, how are you?’
‘Good thanks, you? Actually, I’ve just done my first long distance triathlon!’
Yep, that was pretty much my sentiment too as I crossed the finish line on Saturday.
That, and complete and utter relief. After a summer of finish times just over the 3hr mark for some shorter events, the numbers 5:58 for my first long distance beamed at me. YASSSSS!
Thanks to Helen, again, did I find myself at the start line of another challenging triathlon. This time she was doing the same race and it was great fun knowing she was nearby throughout. Well, I was on my own for the last half hour!
One2Tri – Parcours
2.5k swim (two laps of 1250m with an Australian exit due to the low water level)
75k bike, 1700m of climbing
17K run, 300m of climbing
We think Saturday’s was the first One2Tri event they’ve held, and it was brilliant. I’ve done it and got the hoody so I’m not sure I’m overly keen right at this very minute to do it again – but I would definitely recommend it!
It was well organised with great bénévoles/volunteers directing us around the course (if a little chatty at times as I ran an extra 50m in the wrong direction!) and brilliant support along the majority of the route. It was also a very scenic route which made some of the tougher moments a little easier.
My friend Kim (a very talented artist, check out her work here) came along as chief supporter to lap up the atmosphere and take some photographs for us – thank you!
After freezing ourselves in the local lakes at home over the last couple of weeks, Lac d’Aiguebelette was toasty warm! 19.5ºC, beautifully clear and calm water; I could have quite frankly swum all day and sacked off the rest of it. We stood right to the far side of the flags, gave each other a good luck hug and waited for the start.
I loved it! My start was clear with not one kick to the face the entire way round. I tried following the wake of some swimmers and just kept my strokes strong and as powerful as I could.
36:54s 2nd female and 19th overall
I am getting faster and comparing my times to others, did alright! However, there is still plenty of room for improvement. We couldn’t make our minds up as to whether we’d need extra layers on the bike. In the end we both left our jackets there with the thought that if the sun hadn’t come out properly by the end of the swim, we’d wear them. I got stopped at the exit as my bib wasn’t visible and had to do a little re-dressing.
The course followed the lake for the first section and I was thankful for the jacket, however it did get a little sweaty at times. Along the flat it gave me time to warm up and get some food on board. We then started climbing and well, it just never stopped! Col de l’Épine was the major climb winding up above the lake. Helen caught me up, this time after 40 minutes of cycling, and off she disappeared (safely, I hoped!) into the distance.
After a very short descent, we were sent upwards again, and then again and again some more! It was fairly undulating after that but we reckon the elevation was nearer to 1800m (or more…?!). The route was very scenic with views of the lake and hilly countryside. The supporters along the route were fabulous, as well as a friendly atmosphere among competitors. I was not the only one who thought the ‘up’ seemed to go on forever. A gentlemen with whom I’d been leap-frogging for a while asked me if it was the end of the climbs yet and I had to be honest that the profile I had had in mind was no longer ringing true – just keep pedaling! On the descent, when it arrived, I could hear what seemed to be rain landing on my jacket, but it was sunny.🤔 I then realised it was flies and I was acting like a windscreen. On my salty, sweaty skin did they also stick; gross! Strava claims I have a queen of the mountain for a DESCENT! I still can’t believe how much my cycling has improved.
I’ve been having a few issues with my back and left leg/hip and recently bike rides have sadly only aggravated it. I did knock back a couple of 600mg ibuprofen, but the pain in my lower back and pelvis pestered me. It’s hard to know if it affected my performance, but it did annoyingly affect my enjoyment of the ride. The cycle was still enjoyable, but I did catch myself once or twice wishing it to end so I could get running. And the run is by far my weakest link…
As I came into transition, I saw Helen just heading out on the run. Kim was there to cheer me in, too! Awesome!
Having had another look at the run profile it does say that there were sections steeper than 15%, so I should have known better. Those steeps were really bloody steep. The first 4k went well and I felt really good and optimistic for the course ahead. In fact, the first 10k with all the hard bits went well completing it in 1hr. Then at kilometer 11k to 13k I started to struggle and then really struggled physically for the rest of the course; my legs had turned to lead. The final 7k took another hour.
The ascent through the woods was quite fun and however steep it was, I actually found it funny that the course was that ridiculous. Maybe I was just delirious! A few of us were power walking up a section when the volunteer encouraged us to work hard for a couple more minutes, for we could recover on the descent. It worked and we all picked up the pace, but as I came over the brow, Helen’s face came into view. Something along the lines of “you’ve got to be *^@%$! kidding me!” came out of my mouth and Helen just said ‘it’s a really mean course’.
As I said though, that first 10k was weirdly fun, and as we both agreed at the end, had it continued to be that interesting it might have been easier. The last 7k along the ‘flat’ though was a killer.
Every time I began to feel nauseous I went against what my gut was telling me, but what my mother’s voice was saying in my head. You’re probably just low on sugar, have something to eat. So I did. And I felt better. And when it happened again, I drank my sugary drink and felt better again.
As I approached the end, two thoughts were niggling at me. The first was that was going to go over 6hrs by an annoying few seconds, or, after having held my position over the entire course and not let a solo women past me since Helen, I was going to be pipped in the last 500m.
I turned around and could see a ponytail swishing around dangerously close. She could have been part of a relay or duo, but my gut told me to shift it. I’ve not dug that deep before and sprinted as best as I could to the finish, crossing the line seeing 5:58 and feeling total relief. And dizziness and sickness. I came 6th female, and the 7th was a minute behind me.
Helen finished as smiley as ever and 5th lady landing her a spot on the podium as first in her age category! Superstar!
I came second in my age group…but by quite a while!
After a summer of working for Buzz Performance, I’ve done some sort of training nearly everyday and as Sarah Sykes (a recent Ironman finisher!) said, everything you do is always a cent (or more!) in the training savings account. My fitness has done nothing but increase over the summer.
I love being part of the Morzine/Montriond tri club, Tri Montagne. The club is so friendly, encouraging and Amelia and Joe and other members have all taught me so much about technique, fitness and tactics. It’s a brilliant, growing community that I’m proud to be part of and with some fantastic characters. Everyone just plugs away at their own goals, supporting each other along the way. The sense of camaraderie is awesome.
Here ends my summer 2018 season and it has been more of success than I could have ever have asked for. I’ve approached events much more calmly, enjoyed them more than ever and therefore have performed the best I have done so far.
Roll on summer 2019…😳
But for now, autumn is coming into full ‘bloom’ and winter is coming…🎿
**Must remember to get some rest in.**
What can I say. Awesome job Rachael. 👏
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Thank you Tony! 🙂