ITU Triathlon, Sydney - By Kristina Stoney
First Olympic race since I came to Australia a year and a half ago … I can’t believe I have not raced this distance since Nevis! The past year in sport consumed by MTB and dabbling in Multisport races …
Guess what, it was SO MUCH FUN. All my gear was set up in transition with the other 2500 odd competitors by 6am with about 2 hours to my wave start.
I wore a wetsuit in the water and felt completely foreign swimming until about the last 300m, probably because have not spent much time in the water recently and no time in the wetsuit, after running down and out of transition, my race started on the bike. Magic. Such a beautiful and glorious ride, 3 laps over the Harbour bridge I played my fun game of picking a cyclist in the distance and concentrating on them till I passed them! Too much fun! I was sad when I had to change the bike for a pair of running shoes, 40km feels to short after a week of 200km days!
Still though, I really enjoyed the run, mind you I realized afterwards that I was not going all that fast, but I felt really good. I love a race like this, when I am in control, I know the format, the scenery is stunning and the crowd engaged. I feel such a strong sense of connection and love for my surrounds, people, my self. It’s an awesome feeling.
It ended all to soon in 2 and 3quarters an hour. However, a group of us from Karmea stayed and watched the end of the elite women then men’s race. Fast and beautiful they are! I was chatting with one of the elite men afterwards and shared how I enjoyed the race. He looked at me blankly, enjoy?! No, he did not enjoy it, he said, it’s hard work from beginning to end. 2hrs of enduring pain. Oh. Maybe there is something to be learned there?
Though I was not fast, I must think that I have some fitness as was not sore or tired following. I did learn a few things that I will put into practice though, following the old rule of ‘energy invested is energy return’ – my bike felt great as I have been cycling. I need to incorporate more strength and speed work in running focused on increased cadence and more time in the water.
Racing, that high experienced, can be addictive. The following day I was searching another race I could do, like another hit. I think there must be something called the post-race blues. Does anyone else experience this? A lull, a slight disconnect, a dip the following day?
I think it’s important to have something to look forward to after an event. I remember in the Caribbean, team Nevis would spent the following day after a race going for a long ride to explore the place we were visiting. Winston and I would enjoy a day of scrabble and the team would remain connected over meals and time together. I recall Sarah saying after her IM that she was equally or more looking forward to a trip in NZ with her hubby. This is I think an important piece of the race strategy, preparation not only in the pre-event (nutrition, rest, transition, etc.) but in the post-event to. something to implement for the future. suggestions or thoughts?
Editors Note:- Kristina and her boyfriend Nic will be embarking on a round the world cycling trip, which will start in Nevis next March, to follow their preparation and journey see the blog site http://worldbycycle.ismotion.info/