It was finally taper week for the British Championships and after watching Luke’s successes in Blenheim, I was fired up and ready to go. I knew it was going to be a hard race but all my training was done and it was simply a case of delivering myself in the best possible shape.
The atmosphere in Blenheim last weekend was amazing and Luke had the largest fan club by a mile… friends, family, coach, work colleagues, training partners, just about everyone had come to watch! NO PRESSURE! He raced incredibly well and finished 8th in the Sprint Triathlon Elite British Championships. The excitement of the day finished me off and I spent a good 12 hours asleep that night nursing a very damaged throat from the excessive screaming (no-one likes a silent spectator anyway). After the race we spent some much needed family time and discovered the fun of Geocaching, it should make our bikes and runs a little more interesting in the future #nerdcouple.
On Wednesday, I decided that my triathletes at David Lloyd should experience the joys of group riding. I suppose 1 crash, 1 tumble, 1 lost pump, and 1 puncture is pretty good going when you take indoor cyclists into unknown territory. Joking aside, it was a great evening out and I am very proud of how much my athletes have developed. I can’t wait to see what great results they can produce this season… starting with the David Lloyd Aquathlon this Sunday coming!
Luke left on Thursday to travel down to Weert for a ETU European Cup race… I’m currently sat here screaming at my live stream, manically taking splits for Louise (coach), and texting Ian (Pollard Senior) like an excited fan girl, all whist trying to write a semi entertaining blog (not easy!)…He’s gaining time on the bike and leading the chase pack! Forget the WTS in Leeds, this is nail biting viewing.
Onto the main event… today I raced in the Standard Triathlon British Championships and my god, it was tough. We headed down to Leeds on Saturday and arrived at 2pm ready for my swim recce. Wetsuit on and a dive into the nippy lake (I went rogue) and I was off around the course. After BUCS I was determined that I would not have such a disappointing swim again (channel my inner majestic dolphin) and so I took the opportunity to speak to Louise about adopting new swim tactics and got some psych advice from Matt Thompson at Birmingham University’s Hi Performance centre. I felt good in the water, fresh and raring to go, exactly what you want before race day! Once I finished my recce, I quickly exited the lake and whipped off my wetsuit for some final transition practice. Much to my dismay my parents had gone AWOL with my clothes and I was left wandering around in a swimsuit (it was bloody freezing!) whilst they enjoyed a warming drink in a heated cafe, cheers guys! Recce done and bike racked, it was time to get an early night ready for race day.
QUICK LUKE UPDATE- He is sitting in 22nd with over half of the run to go. Wow!
This morning, it was an early wake up to make my 0810 start time. A final check of my racking, my usual warm-up (I like my routine), and I was off on the swim. New strategies were in place which paid off as I exited the water in 18th (top 20 was the goal…SMASHED IT). The 400m run up-hill to T1 was ideal for me and I took on my Dad’s advice to go full gas and gain some lost time on the swim. The bike was unusually the least enjoyable part of today as the high winds were determined to take me out (note to self… check weather before using deep rims). Despite my kite-like antics, my bike split was strong and I entered T2 in 6th. Off the bike and into the run, I felt good, easing into the first 1km but making sure I put some distance between me and the athlete I came into T2 with. Recently I have been working with my old running coach (now I am injury free) and I can see my previous running form starting to appear…although I seem to spend more time in the air than on ground during the run (forget Pocket Rocket… more like Leaping Gazelle). The atmosphere running into Leeds city centre was amazing, people were screaming Smithy left right and centre which gave me the extra boost to win a cheeky sprint for the finish, taking home 4th. It wasn’t the podium finish I wanted but I am extremely happy with my performance and it has given me the drive and determination to make it on that podium… watch this space.
ANOTHER LUKE UPDATE- He’s finished, placing 25th, an amazing performance mate AND you’re still on two feet…RESULT!
As always a huge shout out goes to my number 1 fans, parents and grandparents, I really couldn’t do all this triathlon malarkey without you! I am incredibly lucky that they are willing to travel whenever and wherever so that I can race and are always the loudest supporters on the side lines. They also take every opportunity to get into the mist of the action… if it’s not my Dad rubbing another dude’s thighs mid run, it’s my Nan nursing a fallen runner back to health. A final shout goes to Sam Rose and Sheridan McWilliam who both gave gusty performances today, massive congratulations on your amazing results!
Now it’s time to rest up, milk the recovery, and hit Dambuster hard this Saturday!
Thank you to Rutland Giant Store for my amazing Liv bike (I’m definitely the envy of my fellow competitors), Sundried for keeping me in style whilst training (use my unique code ‘LSMITH’ and grab an amazing 50% discount on their range), TORQ for all the nutrition which keeps me going throughout my training and racing, and UBSScholarships for their continued support and funding.
Look out for my next blog,