Beautiful sunshine greeted us yesterday morning on the Dingle peninsula as we headed for the pier at Scraggane (beyond Castlegregory) to sign up for the Seven Frogs Triathlon. I had been feeling tired and out of sorts all week with my running feeling sub par. So I didn't know how I was going to fare. As Triathlons go the Seven Frogs is a bit disorganised (not organised enough to suit Triathlon Ireland standards) but supposedly good fun. The Olympic distance event (56 of us in all) was kicking off at 2:00pm with the Sprint (about 170 or so - in 3 waves) a half an hour later.
The swim was around Scraggane Bay with buoys no bigger than a large football to guide us. Needless to say it was fun trying to spot where we were supposed to go - some wandered way off course, heading for international waters. Whatever about spotting small buoys from the elevated position of the pier it was nigh impossible from an elevation of 6 inches above the water surface. Still I sighted off one or two in front as I zig-zagged a trail behind them constantly adjusting my course. The water was beautiful and clear (Sea swimming is so much better than in a lake or river) . Coming in towards the slipway I was neck and neck with a guy in a green cap (most of us were in yellow) managing to get out of the water just ahead of him. He passed me on the 200m sprint to transition as I had to stop to pick up my goggles and hat after dropping them. Still I ran in behind him to transition not wanting to lose time - until I saw him stop and walk as he handed his chip to another guy who headed straight out on his bike while I had to struggle out of my wetsuit.
The 40km cycle was back towards Castlegregory. I passed 2 before turning right onto the main Tralee Dingle Road, after about 10k, where the Marshall said that I was in fifth position. That gave me a bit of a boost as I headed west towards Stradbally and the Conor Pass. After a mile or 2 I could see 2 guys in front cycling side by side and began to gain on them steadily. However despite getting to within 50 yards they pulled away again. The road rose towards the Conor Pass but we turned right before it got too steep and headed downhill for about 2k towards Cloghane before taking a sharp right and heading back east towards Castlegregory. I could still see the 2 guy in front whenever the bends gave way to long straights.
With about 15k to go the unthinkable happened (well not quite unthinkable as it happened on my first triathlon last year) - the saddle fell off my bike. It had been a bit loose since about 10k as it shifted slightly following a jolting pothole. This time I knew what to do as I dismounted, retrieved my saddle and loosened the fixing before refitting it to the seat post. Unfortunately I could not tighten it sufficiently, but thought it would be enough to get me home. In the meantime my fifth position was long gone with a trickle of riders passing me by, including Connie and Pete, who were going strong. Back on the bike and off I go, even passing a few that had overtaken me when, after a few km, the saddle falls off again despite me trying to keep it balanced on the seat post. This time I take longer to fix it as I take my time and even chat to a old guy sitting at the roadside. I still can't tighten it properly but decide to cycle on, taking it easier so that I can at least get back to transition.
I finally make it back and head out on the 10k run, although I don't think it is quite 10k. There's confusion everywhere as there are 5k (sprint) and 10k runners sharing the same narrow road with cars and cyclists. Add to this 12 year old Marshalls who were never briefed and you can see why it got a bit confusing. Still all bar 1 (i think) ran the same Olympic run route - about 800m shy of 10k. I felt strong throughout and passed between 10 and 12 during the run. The clock showed 2:33:5x as I crossed the finish line. Well down on where I could have been but still a very enjoyable day. I had heard that results were printed after the race but could not find them - so I don't know my splits - i'll just have to wait till they get posted on the website, which may be a long time from now.
No running today as I am recovering from the after race refreshments. So all in all a low mileage running week with my longest run over 11.5 miles on Wednesday morning. Speedwork involved 5 x 1k at 6 minute pace on the track with Joe, John & Michael on Tuesday evening and about 9.2k tempo run at the tail end of the 7 frogs yesterday. Hopefully I'll get a longer run in next weekend between Cork and Cobh.
Have a good week.
Mon 21st Sept7.28 miles in 57:41 (07:55 pace - no HRM) - Regional Park (tired)
Tue 22nd Sept7.02 miles in 1:02:15 (08:52 pace @ 130 HR) with 5 x 1k in 3:44/40/45/43/40 (200m recoveries)
Wed 23rd Sept11.5 miles in 1:32:37 (08:03 pace @ 128 HR) - tired
Thur 24th Sept2.5 miles in 19:49 (07:56 pace - Treadmill)
Fri 25th Sept7.28 miles in 55:32 (07:38 pace @ 133 HR) - Regional Park
Sat 26th Septabout 5.7 miles at tempo pace ???
Marathon Training Week 9/13- 41.3 miles