Bribie Tri Series Race 3 – Susan Lindsay
Firstly, let me start by saying that this race report will be unlike any other. It will be devoid of any technical jargon, PBs, Zones, brandnames, etc, etc. Having been involved with the sport for 4 years (3 of those years sidelined with two rounds of bunion surgery and 2 bouts of whooping cough) I’m still very much the novice. What I can say is that the greatest lesson I’ve learnt is that of consistency. It pays dividends all the time. While it may be a tad boring to do the same thing over and over again, that’s where a tri club comes in handy. It provides motivation, support and a little socilization (even when you train – Sunley and I are famous for hogging the chatty-chatty lane in the pool).
So back to Bribie. I love Bribie, it’s where I did my first Tri. I do the series every year. Having rained like nobody’s business the day before I had an inkling the weather would be hot and sticky. Prediction came true. We were also visited by windy conditions – a rarity for Bribie. We were also greeted with sandbanks in the first 600m of the swim course. Making it more of a water-run than a swim. Of all the races I’ve done at Bribie, this is perhaps the hardest swim I’ve ever done. Swim – run – Swim – run. It was difficult to find a nice pace and a patch of water to call my own. Midway through the swim/run I thought “should have gone to water running training with El Presidento”. I can say I was extremely pleased to get out of the water and nick into T1. I got a vibe that this was going to be one fast race – it generally is, but even more so.
Onto the bike without too many dramas….so far. Bribie is course made up roundabouts and hairpin turns. Word of advice, don’t bring your TT advice and you’ll live to race another race. Knowing the TT boofheads would be lurking, I kept safety paramount, consistent speed and distance, keeping to left and the list goes on. What I didn’t expect was to do 3 laps of the course practically in a wind tunnel – almost unheard to have so much wind on the bike leg.
With what is ordinarily a very technical course, this was compounded by some overly enthusiastic event staff letting vehicles through while a group of us were entering the roundabouts. There were many near misses and collisions, many with the TT boofheads (hey, don’t get me wrong I love a TT bike as much as the next girl – just not on this course). It’s fair to say I may have thrown out a few choice words – I work in industrial relations – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. The Bribie bike leg is all about intervals of speed and that’s what I did. I was very pleased to find out I averaged 30km/hr for the race. You’re talking about a girl who was lucky to average 17km/hr when she first started out. This achievement speaks volumes of a sensible training plan and a consistent approach to each discipline.
Since being diagnosed with Osteopenia in August 2015 I had to turn my life upside down. Losing 16kg, lifting weights, overhauling diets and reducing stress in my life. I can’t speak more highly of how my racing has improved (by a million times) simply because I’ve incorporated serious weight lifting (yes, I can hardly wait for the Tri season to end so I can start shredding). I don’t think I could have done this bike leg in these conditions without regularly doing ‘leg day’ (yes do your squats and get your ‘ass to the grass’) and ‘core strength’.
The wind really picked up on the home stretch and it was a quick dash into T2. It was then that I realized just how fast this race was. Many of the ladies in my age group had already racked and were out on the run. I may have said something like “Holy F**k, this is a fast race”. 12 months ago this would have rattled me, but not this time. I had a race plan and I was sticking to it. Bribie was the litmus test for Mooloolaba, to see what I needed to refine with the last 4 weeks of training.
It’s fair to say that I hate running. Yes, I’ve gotten faster, but I’ve yet to cross the mental barrier that I have with running. I tend to overthink life while I’m running rather than focusing on running. I should point out that my run splits are famously slow (6.40 over 10kms). But I should also point out that I don’t really care. It’s comfortable and it’s an improvement of the 7.40 I’d been doing up until August last year. So I’m faced with 3 laps in very hot and windy conditions. An out and back kind of affair. On the way back the wind really picked up…on every single lap. It was a false sense of being cooled down. At first it was refreshing….until it almost knocked you over. Legs were screaming but I wasn’t listening. For me, the run is all about the encouragement. Running with those who are struggling, high fiving club mates (thanks Graham and Sara), shouting out encouragement to friends along the way. It’s also the only time you get to hear the encouragement thrown at you from the sidelines. Apart from the people who think you want to hear a cow bell ringing while you’re in a hurt locker of pain, the litanies of ‘c’mon southbank’ and ‘you’ve got this’ is music to the soul. Thanks to those who did this, know that this is such an important thing to do and keep doing it.
Is there nothing more welcoming than crossing the finishing line! For me, it was a personal best having raced my longest Tri – 1/30/8. It felt comfortable (as it can be), no injuries and no niggles. I took a massive sense of achievement from this and also that I can push myself a little harder when it comes to Mooloolaba. Bribie is also good at reminding you that triathletes come in all shapes, sizes and ages. It’s possibly the most welcoming and inclusive race I’ve ever done and Iwould also recommend it to those looking to challenge themselves in a safe environment.