Second year in a row doing this Tri, last year I came away feeling like I hadn't given it my best and wanted to return to complete unfinished business. (Spoilers: I managed better this year.)
500m Swim: 00:10:37 (Strava)
Started last in a lane of three, didn't get overtaken which meant swimming at my own pace without being under pressure was easily achieved. Failed to exit the pool initially, dropped a handful of seconds there for sure.
Didn't feel like I was pushing too hard, certainly felt energetic after leaving the building. Given my lack of swimming this year, I'm surprised at how well it went. Strength training over the winter months has definitely paid off more than I expected.
Took nearly a minute off my previous swim time, which is more than I would've expected. Was only +7 seconds off my estimated time when entering too!
19km Cycle 00:45:44 (Strava)
The wonderful (👻) cycle route down and back up Wenlock Edge. Ran out of gear heading down the valley side (again), coasted most of the way down. Attempted to pace myself on the climbing, keeping an eye on my heart rate to know whether I could push harder or needed to ease off. Felt strong nearly all the way round, only came close to blowing on the final 15% climb (which was also nearer the end than I remembered/expected!)
Got off the bike with less left in my legs than I thought whilst I was in the saddle. Took a solid 11 minutes 10 seconds off my previous time (which did include walking to be fair - none of that this year) which I'm very happy with. Think I paced it nigh on perfectly on the day. Probably my strongest discipline currently too.
7km Run 00:53:06 (Strava)
Started the run feeling like crap. First couple of km is a mostly flat trail run, where I didn't push very hard and was basically attempting to find some energy from somewhere. Pretty sure this was a mental battle rather than physical, no cramps or super tired muscles.
A friend overtook me about 2.5km in and rather handily goaded me on by saying, "See you at the end!" as he went past (Thanks Paul!) which naturally made me kick harder and try to stick with him. Clung on to the halfway point (and the massive hill they make you climb just to turn round at the summit), and pulled ahead coming back down the route.
Resorted to walking some sections of the run (probably about 750m in total), tailing and then dropping back from my mate in the last kilometre. (Dropped a minute in total to him on the run.) Technically I ran a 10k this season, but I've not run aside from that.
(Also binned my trainers upon returning home. They've finally given up after being beaten on pavements & woodland floors for about 50 miles.)
Total 01:49:27 (Previously 02:14:40)
Completed in under two hours! Completely astounded at that, especially as I don't feel like I've been training much this year. (I have, but more socially than on a strict timetable and without doing many previous events this season.)
If you'd told me at the end of last year that my second attempt would take ~25 minutes off my finish time, I'd have laughed at you.
Wenlock Olympian Triathlon is definitely my favourite Triathlon, and also the most challenging I've done to date. I'm intending on doing it next year and seriously aiming to take at least another 10 minutes off my total time.