Friday, November 21, 2008

Slow by name...

...and slow by nature, especially when it comes to keeping a blog up to date.

I don't know how the rest of the universe does it: all those organized souls who keep the world posted on the minutiae of their daily lives. Where do they find the time ? Don't they ever sleep or go to the toilet or just sit for long periods staring blankly into space like... well... like me ?

Sri Chinmoy Triathlon Festival 25-26th October - Canberra

Each year in October, the Sri Chinmoy folk put on a fantastically packed weekend of triathlon events in Canberra. There are events for all ages and abilities and quite a few folk, fired with enthusiasm or perhaps just paralysed by choice, compete in more than one.

Last year, feeling the need for a life-affirming challenge, I did the Classic event. This is the Olympic distance: 1500m swim; 40km cycle; and 10km run. I completed it and finished feeling good, but it was certainly challenging - especially the cycle that included a steep climb.

The original plan for this year was to do the Classic again, aiming to finish it in a shorter time.

Yeah, well... there's planning and then there's real life. And this year real life for me meant a serious dose of couchitis after my Sydney Marathon attempt.

As the day of the triathlon drew closer I began to feel less and less confident about my ability to survive the swim, or ride a bike up that big Coppins Crossing hill, or stand up after the cycle, let alone run. So finally, after a lot of um-ing'n'rrr-ing, I landed back on planet reality and downgraded my entry to the Sprint event: 500m swim; 20km cycle; 5km run.

So pleased that I did ! The Sprint event was run on a perfect Saturday afternoon, not too hot, not too breezy. There was a good field and a really friendly and enthusiastic atmosphere. Canberra is a great place for triathlons, and Yarralumla Bay, where the Sri Chinmoy Festival is held, is the perfect venue.

Event summary: I found the swim quite hard - it seemed to take forever and at one point, when the breeze across Lake Burley Griffin picked up enough to generate some head-high chop I had the very strong impression that I was going backwards. The cycle was terrific. Canberra is a great place to ride but it's even better when you have race marshall's holding back the traffic for you as you speed through yet another roundabout. Finally the run, which I did wearing my favourite huarache sandals, was an idyllic jog in the soft light and balminess of the late afternoon.

Secret plan for next year is to attempt the famous Sri Chinmoy Peace triathlon (2.2km/80km/20km)

Iron Cove (The Bay), Sydney, 2nd November

Yet another Sri Chinmoy event, this one being the penultimate race in their 2008 Sydney Series. Great conditions for a run: just a tiny breeze and welcome cloud cover since there's little shade to be had on this course.

I don't know whether it was just my impression, but this seemed to be a especially friendly event. Almost everyone I met on the out-and-back course nodded and smiled or exchanged hellos. Of course, looking forward to an apres-race pancake brekky makes anyone feel cheery.

Early in the race I enjoyed running and chatting with Bert, a fellow CoolRunning member, very experienced runner, and stalwart of Sydney events.

For some reason I chugged along quite a bit faster than my usual pace... so much so that I completed the 16km in under 90 minutes. I usually don't concern myself with my race times but I have to admit I was chuffed.

Of course, this gets put into its proper context when compared to the winning times of 68 minutes (women) and a staggering 55 minutes (men).

But I'm still chuffed :-)

1 comment:

MISS PINKY said...

Great work with the triathlon Slowmo! Jason is attempting to break into the world of tri's at the moment....he can cycle and run well but he just needs to get his swimming up to scratch.