Wanaka Half Ironman by Wendy Spray

Had an awesome day and managed to get to both the start and the finish line which was brilliant :) The swim went really and was probably my favourite part of the day. It was a bit daunting to see how choppy the lake was, however I'd been out the day before in similar conditions so knew it was fine. I had a great warm uproutine thanks to your sessions which really helped relax and focus me. I started quite a way out to the right (left hand turns through the course) so had a lot of space to myself. It meant no one to draft off but in the conditions that would have been hard anyway.  At the first turn the lake suddenly got very shallow, it was so odd being able to see this gorgeous sandy bottom and I had to constantly fight the urge to put my feet down and see if I could touch the bottom!

After the next corner I finally started bumping in to a few people, and managed some short drafts off others. Coming in to the last turn and heading to shore was a great feeling, but with the sun being right in front of us the final buoy was completely invisible, all I had to go on was the fact that there were still other people around me, so if I was going the wrong way then so were they! Hopefully I wasn't zig zagging at that point. Coming out of the water was tough, it was shallow for ages so I got up to walk as soon as my hands touched the bottom, but then it was still up and down so you couldn't really run through it, I also got cramp in one leg so was trying to stretch it out as I walked.

The bike was a nightmare and a bit disappointing. It's a very hilly course and I didn't realise how poor my hill climbing skills were until everyone started passing me. It felt like I was stopped still on the hills and all the others had motors! Still windy as well and the final 20km felt like a head wind the whole time. I did the same time as I did over a year ago when I did a training session on the course - not good. It's so frustrating to have trained for so long and not improve my time. For some reason I had a really sore back as well so couldn't get down on my drops or aero bars much.

Going in to the run was a great feeling, I knew that even if I walked the whole thing that I would still finish. I was quite drained on the run, having not eaten as much as I should have on the bike, so did walk more than I had planned. It's a tough run course as well with some good ups and a lot of off road track. Throughout the ride all I could think of was that I'd never do this again, would never enter any event, even a 10km run was off limits and was constantly telling myself off for considering entering such an event..... by the Sunday I was planning ways I could get faster for next year :)

So overall, a great day but a disappointing time, about 40 mintues slower than I'd planned. This I'll put down to some shocking transitions (bike to run was an embarrasing comedy act) and not enough hill work on the bike. So my goals for next year, to work on hill climbing on the bike, a lot more off road running and to practice transitions. Thanks for your help with the swimming, it was really invaluable.