Sunday March 27th. Stirling. Scottish water Duathlon Champs. At last the day had arrived and I headed to Stirling in a buoyant mood.
With 20 weeks training under my belt and selection of run and bike PB’s I was quietly confident of beating last years time. As I headed into ever darkening skies and a light rain my mood got as dark as the skies.
As I squelched across the playing fields to the start of the Standard distance race my heart start racing and my spirits lifted. The race started under grey skies and I settled into a good pace. Run 1 is four laps of a mainly road course but unfortunately the off road parts were muddy and churned up by the events which has gone before ours. It was a case of slipping and sliding your way through them. Running without my Garmin which had failed before the start I tried as much as possible to judge my pace and time for the run and thought I was at least on time but as the laps were done I could sense that my pace was going the same way as my footing….slipping! Run 1 time 50:25 2:10 slower than last year.
I ran into transition donned my helmet and shoes and made my way to the mount point. As I turned out of the University the wind and rain hit me for the first time. The rain did not last long and soon the wind died down to a manageable breeze. The bike section is a 2 lap 42K long undulating course and one I quite like. I got into a steady cadence pushing a big gear and at the start of the second lap reckoned I was about 5 mins ahead of last years time. Back on the open road after the return through the university and I turned into heavy rain driven by a strong wind and although the rain stopped the wind remained and that was the case till the end of the bike leg. Far from being 5 mins ahead I found that I was slower than last year on the bike as well. 42K 1:34:24 2:07 slower than last years time.
Bike racked, helmet off and back on the run course which was in even worse condition 2 laps 5K 26:55 2:30 slower than last year.
Not a good day at the office!