Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lisa Luckin tells us about the Windy wet and Wild Challenge Melbourne!

Keep up with Lisa's antic's via her blog :

I entered Challenge Melbourne approximately 8 months ago to give myself something to focus on after the Ironman World Championships. After Kona I found it hard to get back into a routine and it wasn't until December when Andy told me there were only 8 weeks until race day did I get back into it.
So exactly 8 weeks I had to get fit so I hit some training and hit it hard!
We arrived in Melbourne on Thursday to fit in a sneaky trip to watch the men's Semi final match at the Australian Open. What a good start to our trip!
The Friday and Saturday were relatively easy days but lots of visiting as we met David Biwer from Newline and was spoilt, dinner with Karl Hardy and Heidi, pre race nail appointment, we met Darryl and his family Saturday for some lunch and Andy even did a spot of shopping before catching up with Andrea.

I had been keeping an eye on BOM for the past week and knew the weather in Melbourne was significantly cooler than the 40 degree heat wave we were having in Perth yet didn't really think too much of it. 
Come Saturday night once we had left the restaurant I was not looking forward to the race. We stepped outside and the rain had settled in for the night and it was cold!!

The alarm went off race morning at 4.50am but I stayed in bed leaving it until last minute to get everything together and leave the room to make it to transition!
It was cold, dark and wet and I wasn't too excited to race!

Kate Bevilaqua had sent me an email the night before the race and the finishing line was 'Time to start 2015 with a BANG!'. What a bang it was!
Off to transition with my bike and set up in the dark and the wet!
As I put on my wetty it started to rain. Andy and I headed to the start on the beach were we stood and stared at the unpleasant water conditions.
The pro's start was a little delayed but finally the sent the male pro's off, then the females. The first AG was next followed by my wave. I stood on the beach as my wave was called and was fairly calm. A little scared but positive thoughts. As we all charged into the on coming waves I dived under a few to make my way out. Then I had a true appreciation for how bad the conditions were. It was horrible. Dark, the water was murky. It was so rough and the waves didn't stop. They felt humungous. I tried to get out but the waves wouldn't allow for any form. I then started to panic. I don't like the ocean on the best of days. I did some breast stroke and looked around. I contemplated putting up my hand but couldn't see a boat or help anywhere so I kept swimming!
The swim didn't feel like ages but I sure was relieved as I made it out of the water and made the long run to transition. 
Swim: 32.46
Andy thought it was a good idea to leave my windbreaker in transition just incase and put it on with out a doubt! It was soaking and I was shaking trying to zip it up but I kept the wind off my body.
The bike was wet, windy and cold - yet I was quite comfortable with my wind breaker on.
There were small sections on the bike when the conditions eased just for a little, but then it hit again and you could see the weather rolling in off the coast.
It was great there was a 3 lap bike to get some encouragement and support from Andy. Whilst the conditions were far from favorable I quite enjoyed the bike as I have never raced in anything like this before!

Bike: 2.38.56
I was looking forward to the run.  I had had some fast form leading into Challenge Melbourne, even though this had all been over much short distances. As this is also a three lap course I could break the race down and mentally 'get it done'.
Conditions had cleared a little and was great to pass Andy for some always welcome support. He enjoyed some tweeting from my account and I could see the smirk on his face from his 'hilarious' tweet from 'me'! 
I was happy with my first two laps, but time to build into the third. At this point the course had become much more congested and it is quite a tight course! Andy encouraged me to channel my inner Rinny which wasn't hard to do as i just wanted to finish.

Run: 1.32.19
Melbourne. I thought they had four seasons in one day! Why did I only get one! Winter!!!
Andy was there right at the finish and it was the first time I really felt relieved to have finished!! I cried to him about the swim!! It had really knocked me about! I don't think I had ever felt so uncomfortable.

Almost straight to transition to collect my bike and soaking gear then back to the accommodation to shower and pack! I think we added an extra 10kg's to the luggage as everything was soaking!
Back to race start for presentations but they had already started them early and we missed them.
I was pleased and very surprised to have finished third in my age group Female 25-29, 5th Female age grouper and 12th Female overall.

Finish Time: 4.50.34

Straight to the airport (after a stop for a cheeseburger and fries) and ready for the flight home. (Business class I might add!!)
By 8.00pm I was sitting on the lounge  at home with Andy when he said "this morning you did a half distance race in Melbourne, now you are at home on the couch!". 
It was a weird feeling but so good to be at home.
From this race I learnt a lot. I learnt I need to prepare mentally for races and that I need to let go of the bad during the race. So, ill work on that in the next one!

A huge thank you to Andy who stood in the rain and the cold (he managed to squeeze into my jumper and wear it while I was racing) from start to finish. This was the first race with out my parents watching so to have him stay in those conditions was awesome!! Also photo credit - Thanks Andy :-)
He also booked the business class flights, which weren't too shabby either! Turning left on the plane, I think that was the high light of our trip!

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