Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Race Report Putrajaya 70.3

For most probably the first time ever I don’t know what to write. But before you start thanking me for being brief; this just means I am going to probably end up writing a rather long intro. And, here we go...

Putrajaya 70.3 was my 8th triathlon race this year. It was my 4th half ironman. Originally intended to be a triple ‘A’ race, I moved the goalposts after the postponement of Putrajaya in July. Cobra 70.3, Philippines then became the target and that was the last time I felt ready for a race. Since returning from Camsur, life, work and training has been topsy turvy. I have managed to keep a balance but after now just over one year of day in day out training with probably less than a handful of days off exhaustion both physical and mental has been coming on stronger and stronger.
Never the less I love to race. I want to win. I train hard and racing healthy and strong is my reward. And while I was not ‘Emma ready’ I knew racing a half iron is not a problem. The only problem is how well can I race. I want to race my best but knew it wasn’t there...to try and explain, I felt flat (and we know I am not talking about my tummy!)
In my short time in this sport I have learnt a lot. My depth of knowledge on and around the sport and training has grown as has my ability. Making at times huge leaps and bounds; PB’s is all nice but it gets harder, the margin get less and with this comes the mental toughness required to overcome disappointments, bad swims, poor legs etc.
I never had a chance to get nervous before race day. I was too busy to even think of the race. I was just going to wing it, pretty much like I did in Singapore earlier in the year...
If anything I wanted from this race day, it was to enjoy it. And to support everyone else who had turned up to support the event.
Swim: The swim was explained as a straight out and back. I am still asking myself why I didn’t hop onto someone’s draft, (Sofian). This would have made my life and day so much easier. But I didn’t. I can now admit that the swim scares the hell out of me. I have never admitted this before. It is not that I hate it. I don’t. I dearly want to be good at it. It just scares me and this is pretty difficult to get over...but I have not given up and will keep persisting until it comes good.
So, the swim. Actually I felt it was okay. But this time around my sighting was out rather a lot. I ended up swimming out to a 250m marker on the return only to get there and see it was wrong and I was Waaaaay off course!! Opps. Had a little shout at myself..silly bitch I think comes to mind, and then started zigzagging back.
Time: 46min Bike: And so onto the bike. After the swim I knew I was playing catch-up with a few girls. The first loop my legs did not want to work read: lactic, heavy and not in the groove. ON the first lap there was little wind, I stayed aero, ignored any discomfort and tried to keep a good tempo. Laps 2 and 3 the wind picked up and I felt my bike at times being shunted across the road. I took water only on the first station. The second station was positioned nicely on the crest of a hill. No way was I going to lose free speed by stopping for water. Weather was cool, and I needed to pee so I figured all was good. It was an uneventful lonely kind of bike. I believe I went into first place on the bike as I don’t remember passing Ani from the Philippines. How I missed her pink suit and matching bright pink Ceepo I do not know, but Daniel informed me I had just passed her. You could say I was focused!!
Time: 2:31
Run: Pretty uneventful. Came off the bike with Iwata, he then swiftly dropped me, the speedy man. Great to see him there though and he said it was his last race in Malaysia. We have all heard that before, but this time it really was his last race. I tried to enjoy the run as much as possible, and once I had done my pee (yes I peed on the run). I have discovered it is SO much easier peeing on the run rather than the bike!! I wanted to jog with some friends I saw going round, that’s what my heart wanted. But then my head told me someone is running you down. At the first loop I had a 14min cushion, then it stretched to 18min. But then I saw a couple of girls on the second u-turn and didn’t know if it was their 1st or 2nd loop. They looked comfortable so I chased. Once I knew it was in the bag so to speak, I started to smile more, chat, say hi to everyone...yes I know, unusual, rare, call it what you want...Emma relaxed – was my slowest of the year so far (and it was COOL) I know when it matters most I WILL go quicker.
Time: 1:46
Total time: 5:07...not my best, but a good effort on a not so good day. I take positives from the swim because I know I swam at least 300m extra. I need to learn how to sight better, swim in a straight line, or just not be so egotistical and draft someone!!
Bike: I felt on a good day I would have had more to give. Strong but not firing, my bike split, 4th quickest of the day amongst ALL girls – can’t be too bad - I am HAPPY with that. The winner Rachael Paxton did a 2:25 which is the time I predicted beforehand to Bean of what the top girl would do. YES I think I can do that too on a good day!!! But no need for Rachael to worry she swims like a fish and runs like the wind. And it was her 1st 70.3 - fantastic result!
Run: Subconsciously I knew it was in the bag and did not hurt myself. On the bike I do not need any motivation; head down and focus. On the run however I am used to chasing and run better with a carrot out there ahead. Having said that it is nice to run out in front and enjoy the moment and be able to say thank you to everyone who is cheering you on.
And so...I have 3 races left this year. One dry race (Powerman), one Oh Dear race (Miri) and one triple ‘A’ Laguna Phuket. AND then ladies and gentleman...the real work starts! Thank you for all your support, to Razlan who I think has been one of my biggest supporters since I started. In my first race he called me 'girl' as in April 2008 no one knew who Emma Bishop was. Well he knows my name now and I love to hear it called!! Thanks for all the wonderful pictures, Lynn, Tey, Mich, Andy, to name a few. Thank you to my 'boys' from TBB KL who provided the bike support and made sure George was race ready if Emma was not - he did not let me down:) And congratulations to everyone who took part in a race that was touch and go there for a while. And while it was not a spectacle, lets looks at the positives. The venue is outstanding. The hotel, amazing. Not perhaps a spectator friendly bike course there are plenty of places for people to support on the swim and run. Putrajaya in my books is a party waiting to happen...let’s keep our fingers crossed that it happens next year and puts itself down as one of THE must-do events!


sofiantriathlete said...

Well done

Joel Munoz said...

Awesome, Emma!

Abu Soffian said...

Well done Emma!!!

Ngae said...

Well done dearie...I m coming back after 7 months break. Happy to see u not so grouchy in the race like before. First time like that la...Actually smiling hahaha.. Well surgeon warned me not to be kicked in the head in the swim and I survived the swim. Now c u in Lumut :)