Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Eton Dorney – European Junior Cup

After being away for three weeks I found myself with only 2 weeks to get ready for my next big race, the European Eton Dorney Triathlon. My preparation was going to be different this time as we had decided I would attend a week course to gain my lifeguarding qualification. I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to fit the course in around my training and school work. So knowing that I would be able to do the course I took the opportunity and at the end of the week I did pass, so I am now a trained RLSS lifeguard. I also got my GCSE exam results, I’ve been really pleased and come out with grades much higher than my school expected me to get!

I’d been home for three days; on my first run set back I could feel a pain in my lower left leg. I decided I would rest my leg for a couple of days to see if the pain would disappear, but unfortunately for me, it didn’t. I found myself at the physio with an injury to my leg, an overuse of the Soleus muscle, which was inflamed and rubbing against the bone. The physio put some strapping on my leg, told me to rest for week (no running, I could still swim and cycle luckily) and to ice the muscle.

The European Junior Cup would be my third European race, and it was also the Junior Worlds qualifier. Saturday 31st of August came quickly, I was hoping to get a good strong swim in order to be up there in the lead bike group leaving me in a strong position on the run, to then try my best and hope my leg would hold up on the run. This was my third time racing at Eton Dorney, so I knew the course well. I was still positive about the race even though I had my injury; I was hoping to see my hard work from the training camps to pay off! Racing in the junior race would mean the distances were longer than the previous years; it was an 800m swim, 22km bike and a 5km out and back run.

In the swim I kept my head down at the start and sprinted for the first 100m which helped me get near the front once everyone had spread out. The swim felt much longer than usual, I came out of the water in 20th place which would be enough to get me in the front pack on the bike. I had a great transition with the 6th fastest time in T1 so I was off on the bike in the front pack.

The bike was intense due to the large pack of athletes and the road being quite narrow so it was hard to make your way to the front of the pack. The bike was 4 laps round the course, on the 4th lap I worked my way to the front for the last half a lap to get a good position going in to transition. But when I went to take my shoes of other athletes passed me so I was in the middle of the pack going into transition.

The run was hard. I felt so heavy on my feet, which was expected as I hadn’t run for two weeks, especially with the longer distances in this race. I felt I’d lost the spring in my legs I had at Liverpool and previous competitions. I felt some pain in my leg on the last 2.5km but continued, finishing the race in 20th position.

3rd in the Super Series 
Eton Dorney was the last race of the season so I am now hoping to rest my leg and make sure that the injury passes. In the winter I hope to get some hard training done, so I can come back next year bigger and stronger. These next few weeks I will be resting and going into my next academic year, sixth form!!!

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