Fresh from the warmer climate of a Spanish island, Ric Longcake reflects on a less than ideal race at the club championships
Let me start by taking you through how I prepared for this race.
Watts and I were travelling to Majorca and we were staying at the Marriott at the airport which had a pool. It was only a 20m pool but we decided to do a couple of 400m reps. I’d not pool swam for probably a year so when I was still doing sub 8 minutes, I thought ace I might still be ok to do sprint tri’s! When we got back to the room I entered.
Next morning we flew out to Majorca. I then spent the next 7 days biking in the Majorca mountains on no training which absolutely knackered me. So a weeks training was done, tri ready right! We flew back on the Saturday which I used as a rest day after doing 100miles over 4 mountains on the Friday. Ok you get the zest, I’m over weight, unfit and now knackered.
Race morning. After a great nights sleep I was up and on. Straight to toilet which went well, always a bonus on race day. Got ready and I left for the event. Set up transitions and then realised I’d not got my goggles. Not a problem, I’ll call Watts and asked her to bring my Goggles. Not that straightforward she couldn’t find them so I ended up with hers, gonna make me faster right? Other then this everything else was going well. I got my timing chip and made my way to pool side. Right I’m in the pool now questioning why I’m doing this! I’ve not done a sprint in years. Basically it’s just an hour of pain normally.
And we’re off. Swimming smooth, over taking breathing is under control, watch tracking my distance all’s good. Or so I thought. I counted 16 lengths out and as I got out I checked my watch which was only showing 260m obviously this was wrong and I hadn’t changed the pool size on my watch. So I thought I’d do two more lengths knowing I’d defo done 16 then. Out the pool and walking round and Nigel Smaller confirmed I’d done 18 lengths. Not a problem it’s only fun anyway right.
Through T1 no issues and out onto my best discipline the bike. I knew I’d have Majorca in my legs so I planned to average 22mph on the bike which is a lot less then I’d normally do. I thought this would be achievable. How wrong was I.
I struggled to hit and hold 20mph on the way out and by Hibaldstow I was praying for a puncture. I had a word with myself and pressed on. I thought it’ll be fine once I’ve turned and I’ve got a tailwind. Got to the turn point, turned and then realised it was tailwind out and I now had a head wind. My legs just wouldn’t work.
I couldn’t get the bike moving fast enough to get any benefit from having the TT bike. I again had to remind myself that its all gravy. It’s just setting a bench mark so I can compare my time after doing the Keyo Brigg sprint later in the year. I got the bike done and into T2.
This wasn’t smooth at all, all I could hope is that no one saw. But no, I started to get abuse from all the regulars, Hinchy, Stu Grocock, Tony England and everyone else laughing at Hinchy’s abuse. Personal favourite was “Ric just do it as you’d coach it” Basically I tried to rack my bike using my brakes which I can’t do when I’ve got my aero bottle on so had to turn my bike round. Just tiredness kicking in that’s all.
Out on the run, what can I say I really didn’t get going. Didn’t feel on my limit but couldn’t go faster was just a poor effort really I tried to sneak a kiss off Watts as an excuse for being slow but she was having none of it.
Done. So I finished in 1:11:59 which is 11 minutes slower then my PB on this course. Kate Scutt then said “what I’ve beat you!” Everyone laughed and basically pointed out how surprised she sounded. Catherine Butterill then asked me how did that make me feel. I said proud as I coach her at Lincsquad (same excuse as I used when Watts completed IM Barcelona and I didn’t).
Great to see others do well but I really didn’t need to know that Kate had been out the night before and beat me with a hangover. Come on I’m trying to stay positive here!
All in I had a great time and really enjoyed the event. Thanks to the Fastforward boys for putting the race on I look forward to smashing these times at the end of the season. Oh and anyone wondering I wasn’t allowed a butty at the finish line.