DNF Reflections

Had a few days to look back on Sunday.

Was genuinely gutted about it. Guess that means that triathlon has got under my skin a fair bit now. Even though I only did the swin and 6 km of the bike, still took some positives out of it, and learnt a few more things.

The positives were my swim and what little of the bike I did. I knocked about 45 seconds off my swimming time so was pleased with that. I’m sure there is more to come there but it’s a good platform going into next year.

The bike is definitely my weakest part. Prior to this year, I’d not been on a bike for 30 years. I hired one from TriUK for the summer and then took up their upgrade offer to buy the Merida I have now. This was the first race that I’d used it in, and everything felt right. I’ve had a bike fitting a couple of weeks ago and think that this coupled with the differences in the new bike just gave me some speed and comfort. The speed and comfort then gave me some confidence and this just grew the further in I went.

There were a few occasions in the time I was out there where I saw a rider in front of me and I just thought to myself to try and pace myself to see if I could catch them up. Not only was I catching them up, I was passing them with some ease which I have never done previously, which just increased my confidence on the bike.

They were the positives. The lessons were the same old stuff. Not being organised and just trusting myself that I had got everything. Racking the bike then became a stress as I wasn’t sure what to put on the bike. In the end, decided to put spare inner tube in my bike top back pocket, which when I got the flat made me smile a little as I thought what I smartarse I’d been to put it in. However, that then lead to a bigger faff in the transition as I needed to put my cycle top on, and thought I’d save time by not drying my arms properly. A brief wrestle with the top and I ended up putting it down, drying myself and putting it on again. Only a few seconds but it just adds to the stress. The added stress also meant I didn’t take my Garmin off my wrist and put it on the bars which meant looking at my wrist for any information, not ideal.

Guess as long as I have learnt something from Sunday, it will have been worth it.

And anyway, City soon cheered me up that afternoon, hammering Stretford 4-1!!

South Manchester Sprint 22 September 2013

Didn’t have the best preparation for this. Was out on the Friday night at the Arena watching Paramore and then Saturday night out at a charity do for Genesis Breast Cancer. Both quite late nights, particularly the Genesis do but water at both so didn’t feel too bad.

My swim wasn’t due til 10.55 so didn’t need to get up too early. Did this one in May, so knew the course, and also knew that the car park filled up quite quickly, so got down quite early and managed one of the last few spaces in the car park by the leisure centre. Got myself checked in and went off to rack the bike in transition. Once I was happy and checked everything about 4 times, went off to get changed.

The swim starts with a 10 minute briefing by the pool about the whole course. All pretty much common sense but a nice reminder of what to look for. The swim is done in the leisure centre pool. Five lanes with five swimmers in each, going off at ten second intervals, and if you need to overtake, just tap the swimmer in front on the foot and they let you through at the next turn. I’m not the quickest swimmer, more endurance but managed to get past all the ones in front of me and got out about 40 seconds quicker than last time so pretty happy with that.

Round to transition, just a small jog across the path and grass and onto the cricket pitch where transition was. Still not got this nailed. Wanted to put my cycling top on over the tri suit as it had my spare inner tube and CO2 canister in its pocket. Didnt dry myself properly on my arms so struggled to get it on and got in a flap faffing about. Forgot to put my Garmin off my wrist and onto the bike and didn’t remember until I was on the bike. Still, guess its one of those things you only do once.

The bike is my weakest part, need a lot more practice on it. Set off and felt really comfortable. There was about four riders in front of me and soon got past them which gave me more confidence. Was pleasantly surprised how comfy and more importantly how quick I was so just cracked on. Got to the top of the hill just before the airport tunnel and charged down it, which showed how confident I felt. Halfway down, it all went pear shaped. Didnt see a big pot hole, and went straight into it. Was a right bang but kept upright. Then a couple of seconds later, had that sinking feeling as everything went wobbly and had abit of a battle to stay on. Fortunately, managed to pull into a bus stop and stay on.

Checked the front, and was completely flat. There was a rider on the other side of the road who had seen what happened so he came over to check I was ok. This was to be my first ever change, but luckily my help was a bit more experienced, so soon back on the way. Big big thanks for the help!!

The roundabout was about 50 yards up, but as soon as I got to it, it didn’t feel right. Pulled up again and the back was flat!!! Had used my one spare so that was me done. Gutted.

Started the long walk back up the hill. Warned a few about the pot hole as they flew past but everyone seemed to miss it ok. After about 20 mins, a guy stopped and offered me a lift. Turns out he was an ex triathlete so knew what I was up to and took pity on me, so big thanks for that.

Got back to the start and had the walk of shame to the timing desk to tell them I was a DNF. Really gutted about it, but nothing I could do. Guess I need two spares next time!!

Back from holiday

Back from holiday and still no t’interweb at the rented house we’re living in, hence the lack of updates. Been in here nearly 5 months and had no outside line in all that time, so no phone, t’interweb or email. Couple that with my mobile dying this week,bay as well have been living in a cave. Anyway, back on topic.


Not sure how long the Ironman buzz lasts, I’m still buzzing from just getting an entry, god knows what it’ll be like on the actual race day. Before that, there’s going to be quite a lot of pain with the training, in fact that pain has already started. Went out on the bike last weekend, and didn’t even get off the driveway before I fell off. In my defence, it’s quite a long driveway!! Those bloody clippless pedals, I just can’t get used to them, particularly my left foot, and guess which way I went??!! Fortunately, my left hip took most of the impact. It’s a little demoralising lying on the path on a Sunday morning, still clipped into the bike that is lying on top of you. A little bit of wriggling and a lot of swearing soon sorted that. Anyway, went back inside and set the bike up on the turbo!! Spent quite a while last week on that, generally when my wife was watching soaps or X Factor, but even that didn’t go to plan, managed to get a flat!!


You might be thinking why start now? It’s another 10 months to IMUK. Firstly, I really need to practice on the bike, it’s my big weakness of the 3. And secondly, I have the South Manchester sprint at the end of Seotember. It’s the same route as the Wilmslow tri that I popped my tri cherry with earlier this year so I know the course, it’s nice and local and it gives me a time to go up against.


Did it in 1.48 in May. Was just happy to finish that, this time I’d like to try and knock 10 minutes off that time. I might not have done as much tri specific training as I’d have liked but looking at my times, I can knock a bit off the transitions as they were a bit of a faff,and I’m sure I can do the same on the bike which is the big chunk. I do have another incentive to get round quicker. Need to get home and get changed so I can get to the football as its the Manchester derby that afternoon!!