European Continental Cup- Spain, Madrid 2014

European Continental Cup- Spain, Madrid 2014

Every session seems to be knocking me down like a line of dominos, tap tap tap and bingo I'm buggered. 
My body can definitely sense it's the last race of the season, it informs me every day. Unfortunately leading up to Madrid, as the dominos knocked and my body tired it finished with a knee injury. Which meant I had a longer taper than planned for Madrid, very little running. 
Arrived in Madrid on Thursday due to the race briefing Friday night, instead of the usual Saturday. It was quite nice to have the evening before the race free, not having to arrange your dinner around the race briefing. 

11.30am race day, 23degrees, non wetsuit swim, pontoon start. It was my first pontoon start, coming from a swimming background a pontoon start was definitely an advantage. Off we went and my swim went well. Gaining a lead on the first lap of the swim I decided to reduce my tempo and save some energy for the rest of the race. 

Exited the swim with around 15secs gap on Natalie Milne in second and about a minute to the main pack. I eventually mounted my bike after missing the mount line a few yards earlier. I had already planned to attack and go for a break. I was hoping for a small group but I didn't want to waste the time I’d gained on the swim, so I went alone! 8 laps of a hilly course in the heat was not only physically tough, but mentally. I was getting good time checks around the course and was encouraged by the time gaps increasing. Thankfully I held off the chasing pack of 5 and got a good gap going into the run. Starting the run I thought all my dominos had collapsed and it was game over. I had stomach issues, overheating and dizzy, this was going to be a long run, if I make it. 
After a couple of miles I got into a rhythm and overcame my mentality of giving in. I felt like I was shuffling along at an incredibly slow pace. As I was in my own world of pain I hadn't realised I could actually podium. On the last Half of the last lap I finally realised I couldn't be caught! I wanted to slow down to get rid of the pain but I couldn't, I didn't want to risk it. 
Finally the line came and I'd held on to 3rd! I couldn't quite believe it; I was so happy that my efforts on the bike had paid off. My tactics could have completely back fired, but thankfully they didn't.
In my first race at ETU level back in March I came 13th and at the end of the year I've claimed a podium, that is was beyond what I expected! 
I couldn't of done it without the amazing support I've had since I started this season. 

Posted on Sunday 7th December 2014

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