Feb, 2015, Huskisson, Jervis Bay, NSW
This is basically a HIM triathlon (2/80/20).
So this was an interesting race from the outset. It all began a Challenge Batemans Bay in 2014…….
This race ended with a negative and two positives. One the negative, I broke my chain twice and came dead last. On the positives, I finished and Emo spotted me an entry to Husky to help offset my costs of travelling that far. Awesome!
Since it was such a long drive (3000km return) we decided to make a trip of it and stay 10 nights on the beautiful Jervis Bay. A good decision all around as we did some exploring, had some adventures, ate loads of good food and drink and had a mostly relaxing time.
My training had been pretty good and I went in uninjured and relatively pain free (from my usual niggles). Unfortunately, this good luck ended the moment we arrived. 2 days driving and the last 200km was mostly spent waiting at roadworks. We arrived to find we had been put on the smallest site ever – so it was a long effort trying to find the best way to arrange all our bits and pieces.
Tuesday we woke to a hell of a wind – not really conducive for our planned coastal fun like kayaking and snorkelling. So after noodling around town for a bit and exploring what we may do, we took a walk on the windswept beach to check out the kitesurfers who were having a blast. Trekking back to camp felt like your legs were being sandlblasted. Just as we got back to the steps up the sandune to our site, I felt a slight sharp pain in the bottom of my foot and thought I had stepped on a bit of shell. As I started to think how silly it would be to cut my foot before the big race, the full enormity of the pain hit me and I saw the wriggling little body of the offending bee. Now I’m not anaphylactic allergic, but I do puff up like a balloon. 3 antihistamines and an ice pack later and my foot no longer had an arch, and I couldn’t walk. Yay!
I was hopeful it would settle down by the Sunday race so we moseyed around as best we could with my limited walking. As the week progressed, my foot improved, but my back became steadily worse, which wasn’t a good sign – my last 3 races had been marred by my back having massive issues on the bike causing terrible quad pain and weakness.
Race expo was “spendy” and bike check-in uneventful. Race morning had me in one of the later start waves so I knew I’d be running in the hottest part of the day. But it did give me a chance to get some painkillers going for my back.
(note to self….. when waiting at the swim start and your significant other arrives after you have called him asking to bring a packet of ibuprofen, don’t greet him by saying “do did you bring my drugs?” in a loud voice……)
The swim was at the local town beach called “Shark Net beach”. Hmm…. Swimming out over the reef there were tonnes of fish and several largish stingrays, but noting that looked too bitey thank goodness.
I had made plans to change my swim slightly to possibly help my back, by sighting less often and focussing more on body position. I felt comfortable and my swim time showed a pretty good pace, so happy with that! Swim exit though was up a flight of stairs to the grassy park……
After my last 3 races, I was just biding my time till my back started letting me down – so I took it easy, spun an easy gear up the hills and kept comfortable. After the first of 3 laps still no pain, so that got me hoping. The bike was pretty uneventful, which in this case is a great thing! No back pain, and a time I was satisfied with. I felt my training and strength would have allowed me to go faster, but I really didn’t want to push it with my back. If I had, maybe things wouldn’t have worked out so well.
It was a really beautiful course, with rolling hills, great views and nice forest sections.
As I headed out on the run I felt the first twinge from my lower back – on the left side where I have most of my problems. Thankfully, as I continued it settled down and by around 5km I was feeling good. I had been having some right hamstring twangs during training which I started to feel when we hit the uphill parts of the run course – so I walked them to prevent anything more serious from developing.
At around 9km my bee sting foot started hurting with every foot plant, but luckily it didn’t develop into anything unmanageable and I trotted to the finish line around 10mins quicker than I had planned – 6:18. It had warmed up a fair bit, but not the worst I’ve had.
A great race in a great place! We stayed another few days to do some more exploring and a lot more eating and drinking! If you’re ever there, have dinner at the Husky Pub – fantastic view and even better food.
I’ll be back, but maybe not till 2017 at least.