So yesterday was off to Box End Lake for the final 1500m race this year. The race was the fourth in a series of which I've managed to attend all and achieve reasonably consistent, if not improving, times.
After swimming 14k last weekend, I was a bit worried about my preparations. But it all seemed to go to plan - three gentle recovery swims building in length followed by some speed work on Thursday where I managed to do a new pb in the pool for 1k of 15:37 which I felt fantastic about. Friday was a planned rest day but I just felt exhausted. Work over the last few weeks has been taking its toll and maybe I was coming down with something.
I didn't really feel like going to the race but I knew I'd feel worse if I didn't go. And waiting to start, I couldn't see my arch-rival which meant that I basically just had to get round to come third overall in the series (it sounds better than it is as I think only three women were actually in the running in the end for a series prize as you needed to attend 3 of the 4 races).
The race was good and bad. I felt tired from the beginning, an overhang from last weekend perhaps along with feeling under the weather but my stroke was strong and looking at the weeds on the bottom I seemed to be going well. One breakaway pack were a long way in the lead, but for me it is rarely about position as that's so variable depending on who and how many turn up, and all about the time.
As I rounded the penultimate buoy with about 350m to go, I looked at my watch and saw that I was on track for another pb. I am not quite sure what went wrong but what was painful already was just increasingly painful and I had nothing left to give. I also seemed to lose the ability to sight, corroborated by my husband on the banks, and as I hit the bank ready to stagger 5 metres uphill to the timing chip I could see that the clock read 22 minutes. I was so tired it took me another 10 seconds to get to it and then I had to lie down on the grass to recover. OUCH.
However, when I saw the results in the evening, it transpired that the breakaway group had been almost entirely male and I was actually second woman back for that distance. Too bad there were only 6 in the race!
So my times this season on that course have been:
And I've come 4th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd.
I'm pretty pleased with it really as I only ever entered the distance in the hope of sharpening myself up a bit for longer distances. Now I'm keen to see if I can break 21 minutes, and I'm hoping with the coaching I have lined up in Feb I might just do that!
PS: husband is still mending my computer and I'm still typing this on my iPhone...sigh...