Guided visually impaired athlete Ryan Van Praet through the 30km Around the Bay course on Sunday.
I’ve guided him through numerous triathlons, including an Ironman. This was more challenging.
We started a little far back and ended up having to pass a lot of people. This cost us some time and energy. It is easy to weave through a crowd as one person, but a whole different thing with another straped to you. On the plus side, it makes it easy to keep your mind of the pain while you are worrying about getting through the crowd.
I was wholly undertrained for this one. The plan was to go well under sub 2:30 but for reason’s beyond mine, and Ryan’s control, lack of training and injuries got in the way. In reality, this race was more to check it off of Ryan’s “to do” list than anything else. So time wasn’t a huge issue. Which was a good thing!
Besides being busy the first 15-20km went allright. Our bodies were holding in at our goal pace. Around 23km I started to feel different issues in my legs. Some as a result of the injuries I had being dealing with, some to do not doing enough running this year. We made it to “the hill” and up it holding on quite well. I was actually pleasantly suprised how I felt going up the hill. Unfortunately, once we hit flats on top, reality came flooding back. I swear that the 27th km of this race was one of the longest I have ever run. A little different than normal. Trying to maintain a pace, not just for yourself, but for the guy racing with you. Trying not to slow him down. On Sunday, I did slow him down. I now don’t feel too bad about it (sucked at the time) because I know that he has been trying to make me really hurt in a race. Mission accomplished Ryan!!!
It was a good day. We didn’t meet our goals, but didn’t miss by too much. I was worried about even making the start line of this one, and if I wasn’t guiding Ryan, I would most definetely not have toe’d up.