Wimbleball 2012 – Pre Race Report

Cold Rough Swim Practice

Training has been a little hit and miss over the past few weeks, 3 different flavours of injury and a full work schedule have not helped and neither had the pressure I’d been heaping on myself, see Great Expectations

Friday:

Set off for the lake at around 6.30am, I was going to leave earlier, but I didn’t want to get out of bed and I thought it was better to save my energy for Sunday. After a smooth journey down I arrived to find my tent already put up which I was pretty pleased about. Gary, Rob and I got registered and headed out for a run. I’d forgotten how stupid the big hill out the back of the campsite is and running up it had me worried for Sunday so I decided not to. I would allow myself to walk up that hill as the benefits of running up it would have been far outweighed by the repercussions later on in the run. After the run we went down to swim practice and promptly turned around as the swim was between 2 pontoons approximately 5m long with 20m between them.

Saturday:

Woke up to rain which was to be a bit of a theme for the next 24 hours, swim practice part 2 was at 9am so we headed down to the lake hoping for a better situation than Saturday. The area available was much bigger, but so were the choppy little waves all over the surface of the lake with 17mph winds blowing across the surface. I really hated that swim practice. Swimming, and more specifically confidence in the water has never been a strong suit of mine and the choppiness of the water and the 14Deg temperature really put me in a bad frame of mind for race day. After that I went back to the tent to lay in my sleeping bag for a bit, warm up and pack my transition bags listening to the wind and rain. We headed over to check everything in via the bike repair stand in our rain jackets as the gears were giving me some problems over shifting going up to the big cog. The mechanics were really helpful and fixed me up in about 10 minutes. The rest of the day was spent laying down in the tent reading and listening to the rain and wind as last year I spent all day wandering around on my feet and felt really tired for it. The race briefing at 4pm was late because there were lots of families in the briefing tent and other athletes could not get in. I was a little disappointed when all the people I had been mentally sizing up because they looked less fit than me were asked to leave and were replaced by another few hundred fit athletes who were much fitter than me. What I could hear of the briefing over the sound of the rain beating down on the tent was a bit style over substance this year, instead of having 3 people who really knew the course talking about it, they had the race announcer presenting it and he didn’t really know it well enough. After the briefing I ate some more, sat around for a bit and went to bed hoping the rain would have stopped by the morning and the wind die down.

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