Ballbuster Duathlon + Winter training

So winter training is well and truly underway. After 3 weeks off, where I experimented with pilates, no exercise at all, caught up with my friends and had some good time to look forwards to next season.

Getting back into training was actually relatively easy, as I was getting restless not doing anything and feeling the urge to get back into not just exercise but actual training for a purpose. This winter I am concentrating mainly on my swim, being my weakest discipline, so lots of time in the pool to look forwards to. I am also (under Will’s knowledgeable guidance) trying to get some more consistency in my training and getting a good base of fitness before the real hard work starts early next year.

As I love racing so much, and to break up winter training a bit, I had the BallBuster Duathlon booked a couple of weeks back from my break. I knew I was not going to be on top form, but was looking forwards to something a bit different, and the challenge. Having looked at the weather forecast I was very tempted to stay in bed when the alarm went off at a very anti social hour, but I managed to get myself out to the start, where thankfully the weather held off for a bit.

The actual race. . .

We were set off in waves and I started with Ali, who I have raced against before. I knew she was going to be the one to beat, having had a great run and bike recovery from a horrible bike crash in the summer. She set off at quite a pace, and having run 30k in training that week I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep anywhere near her, so I just stuck to a pace I thought I could sustain. The run was tougher than I thought – having cycled around there so much I hadn’t noticed quite how rolling bits were, and hadn’t thought that much about how much further the 12k would seem to a normal 10k start. Running up Box Hill for the first time, my legs were already screaming and I was seriously wondering how I was going to manage it the second time!

Through the mudbath that was transition, and spending an age trying to get my shoes clipped into my pedals, I managed to get going. At this point the rain started but I was happy to be on the bike, despite the weather and greasy roads! I had opted for the road bike, and was happy to push it a fair amount without anything too risky. The 3 loops of Box Hill were good fun, apart from the final loop where I had to shut my eyes at points with the rain being so hard! Coming up Box Hill the final time and I was dreading the final run.

The final run was really tough – my legs were pretty shattered and I knew that Ali was miles ahead! Fortunately there was a guy running close to me who I just tried to keep with, so I had a target. I managed to keep going up Box Hill, mainly because at the bottom a guy commented on how I should easily get up there being small, so I felt I had to prove him right! Crossing the finish line was mainly relief that it was over, and I could get out of the rain with a cup of tea. Overall it is a great event though (despite the weather), and I would definitely do it again. Great respect to Ali for smashing it despite everything she has had to go through recovery wise. Can’t wait to see what she can do next year. . . CTNoUDeWIAAZKzr.jpg_large