I would have to say Challenge Batemans Bay was a test of my resilience; I needed to stay brave after coming off on the bike and spent the day fighting to resurrect my race. Feel free to skip down to the section on the bike if you are interested in what happened.
I flew out from Brisbane into Canberra on Friday and arrived in time to go to dinner with my husband’s sister Maggie. Maggie decided to join me in Batemans Bay which was exciting and meant I did not have to go it alone. Before catching the flight I picked up a new super cool Scody Optimise AIR suit which I decided to use race day.
I got up early on Saturday morning and headed for a short cruise around the capital. Looping around Parliament House then heading back home. The drive to Batemans is only short (2 hours). Maggie made it comfortable by stopping at a little town around halfway for some breakfast and a coffee (and to pick up some fresh hot cross buns for the drive).
We stayed in a great spot just 200m from transition (Corrigans Cove ~ super nice). Batemans bay is a lovely little town with slightly higher temps than Canberra.
I ran through the usual pre-race regime and was seriously excited to race. On the Saturday morning I found I had far more time than usual and was quite relaxed before swim start. I positioned myself well in the swim and hung with the main bunch for the two lap swim.
Transition was pretty slick tearing off the wetsuit and throwing on my helmet only. Everything was going to plan. I relaxed for the first couple of kilometres then moved up to Kate B and took over into third.
I took good speed into a hairpin and found I had slingshot up the hill and was ready to take off. At this point an official came beside me and asked me to ensure I stayed left (at what I would consider a very inappropriate moment i.e. on a 10% gradient). Quote "you are ok where you are but remember to stay left out on the road". Did this really need to be said while I was working through my gears? I had a lapse in concentration and was late rolling down my gears; consequently I dropped simultaneously from the 52 to the 39 and from the 15 to the 25.
It was too much for the bike under the load of the hill (and with a slightly bent derailleur). Next thing I realised the gears were locked the chain had jumped between the 25 and the wheel spokes and I was off and onto the deck. This was not my issue for the day. My issue was the fact that it had bumped my rear derailleur and resulted in a malfunction. I had zero changing. It took me a while to get the chain out then I could not get out of the 14 which was not fun trying to climb!
I locked up again on the decent and was lucky not to crash. This time the chain was caught between the 12 and the frame. Everything had been shifted to the right. I put the chain back on again and started riding but again on a decent it dropped. I eventually got it to hold in the 12 and did an entire lap in the biggest gear I had! My bars were also damaged and my left Tri bar fell out. I kept riding and jammed it back in. I had to hold it in for the entire ride.
After the first lap it dropped again so I stopped again to fix it. I knew I needed to fix it anyway because there was no way I would get up the hills on the way back without the easier gears. I was successful in getting it to work properly (I have no idea how perhaps the little kick helped!) and commenced working my way back into the race.
At this point I was relatively aerobically fresh but had to get the legs moving. I was morally support by Jimbo who went flying past and was able to pace off him for a while because I was pretty fresh. I knew at this stage I was about 10th but I also knew that I had done ok with the big gear on the first lap and a big group of girls were only a minute away.
I caught this group after 25ks and then took the hills on the way back pretty easy and relaxed into transition 2, finding myself back into 7th. It was a huge relief to be off the bike but I had no idea what the big gears will have done to my run.
I went hard out of transition but I really did feel the zing gone. By the first turn I had caught Renee and Julia and eased off a little knowing there was still 15k to go. I started to consolidate and keep chipping away at Kate. By the 15k mark the gap was down to around a minute but this is when I started to feel the effects of the bike.I then just ran steady to the finish. I figured feeling the way I did if I caught Kate it would be a bonus after the day I had.
Crossing the line I was relieved but slightly disappointed. Ideally, I would have been off the bike in near 4th and trying to run myself into the podium but sometimes you have to accept it doesn't always go your way.
Bruised and battered and slightly stressed, I am glad that one is over. Moral of the story is stay focused, slow things down and work through the problem systematically. Don't panic.
Thanks for the continued support from Scody, flight centre active travel, Endura, Brooks, Reddog Tri training, rudy project, Compressport, bike box, orca, Aussietom, M5management, Scott Bikes, Avanti Plus the Valley.