With the benefit of a reasonable start I managed to enjoy a nice lie in and a good breakfast we arrived at the lake in good time, it felt windy though. Having affixed the tattoo race numbers and got my kit from the car headed down to rack, joined the big queue and eventually got my bike in place. Having read my report from this race 2 years ago I remembered the melee at the bike mount line with people doing flying mounts, I didn’t an made a load of time up at the start of the bike. I was very close to bike out again so on instinct rather than sense I went for shoes on in T1 rather than on the bike. This would prove to be a bit of a mistake, having worked on transitions for 45 minutes a couple of days before I probably could have done a better flying mount in hindsight.
After St Neots a few weeks ago I was pretty apprehensive about the swim in the water, the thought of breathing troubles in the water again were a little troubling. I opted to start at the front and go out hard, a gamble that paid off as I kept pretty clear water the whole time and had a good swim. T1 was going great until the bike mount, where there was a marshal shouting at people to keep moving, it got me flustered and I messed up clipping in as my pedals were upside down. A nice tailwind at the start of the bike and I was feeling strong, I was pushing a good power and feeling strong. The first corner gave me a taste of the wind as the cross wind caught my wheels and the bike almost blew out from under me. Following a slog back in the headwind it was on to laps 2,3, and 4, much of the same and I felt I was riding strong, I think the recent power interval sets have helped my speed a bit in the last few weeks as I managed about a 5% improvement in power on the bike leg. Almost forgot I was finishing the bike, but luckily got out my shoes in time for dismount. Made it through T2 pretty quickly, managed to get shoes on OK, little issue with a numb toe going the wrong the way, but the transition practice had helped me dial in how to get my run shoes on effectively and went much better than St Neots. Out on the run and it was a case of just focussing on technique and staying strong, Nottingham is a pretty bleak run around the lake, you always know how much further it is. I’ve had quite a few parkruns in the plan recently and this has really helped me get a feel for how hard I can push a 5K, how much to hold back at the start, and when to start upping the tempo for the finish. I managed to keep focussed and with 500m to go started upping the tempo and managed a few last overtakes before finishing with a strong sprint finish.