It may be stormy now but it never lasts forever
Post 70.3 Taupo Half Ironman I suffered hip pain -after being out of action last winter with a femoral neck stress fracture, this was not an ideal situation. However I managed it as best I could with the help of Bevan McKinnon so that I was still able to race at Tauranga Half/ National Champs.
The pain wasn’t getting worse but not getting better either. We made the call that it was time to ease up on the running and to undertake some investigation to determine what was happening in the hip. With a good team of health professionals around me we were able to get the tests done and this revealed the good news was no new hip fractures just slow healing and tendon inflammation, but still required a month or so off.
In this triathlon down time period I decided to lock in some bigger weeks on the bike and boost my financial situation doing a bit of extra work at Horse of the Year with the team from SMC- I even hit a few 70hr work weeks- a different sort of challenging to the 30 hours of training that I normally get through.
I enjoy the freeness of riding my road bike so leaped at the opportunity to get in some solid hilly riding, build my strength on the bike and gain a better insight into road racing to keep me motivated and in the racing loop. Bike Racing experinece;
I entered the HUB tour - A 4 stage race over 3 days starting with a 6.7km prologue Time Trial. KOM (King of the Mountain) and Sprint Ace are also up for grabs. The yellow jersey winner is determined by adding your time together over the 4 stages. I won the TT by 24 seconds and was in the Yellow jersey day 2 - 70km road race in the morning, 60km road race in the afternoon. The morning Race was a hilly course which worked to my strengths, Nat Kerwin and I broke away half way into the race and time trailed to the finish, 2nd place in a sprint between the two of us. Race 2 flat course, bunch finish 4th place. Day 3 another hilly 80km road race, again Nat and I broke away on the hills getting a big lead on the bunch with a photo finish to work out the winner between the two of us, 2nd place. Overall winner thanks to my lead in the TT.
After learning a bit more about road racing tactics and that unlike a Half Ironman TT drafting is being smart not cheating. I entered the Women’s Rev cycle classic in Cambridge, a 1day 80km 2 lap hilly road race. A group of 5 of us broke away 10km in up French pass (a solid climb) riding together for the first lap, second lap I pushed the hill a little harder and got a minute’s gap by the top of French pass, having nothing to lose I put my triathlon TT skills to use and kept on going, riding the next 30km solo and coming away with a 7min win. There were a few more quality riders in the field so I was happy with the added confidence that came with it.
Last weekend I rode for the Ramblers women’s team at the Dynamo Teams Classic Race 5 in Pokeno, our team was sitting in 2nd place and our lead rider Nat in 2nd place in the individual rankings. The aim was to bump both the team and Nat into the lead. We had a 4person break away 25km from the finish, the dynamics of road racing often don’t quite go to plan, given that the leader was in our break away bunch I decided to attempt a solo break away with 20km to go I managed to win by just over 5 minutes and this helped move our team into the lead.
I am loving the bike racing, the change of dynamic and the strength gains I’m getting from it. But triathlon is my passion and where my long term goals are. I have worked for 4 years on my swimming and am excited for when it all comes together. I would like to take the opportunity to thank those people around me who help me in being able to pursue my love and passion of triathlon. Cam and Nicky at trainingtilt, Jamie and Warren from 2XU, Bevan McKinnon from fitter. Your continued support is amazing.
I am still unsure what the next Half Iron distance race will be, but it won’t be too far away, Thanks for reading and enjoy the last long weekend before summer leaves us.
Amelia Rose Watkinson