I got a free entry to this race as I came 3rd in The Snowman last year Always Aim High were really helpful and changed my free Snowman entry to a Slateman entry as I couldn’t make the Snowman dates. I really enjoy their events and of course I love Snowdonia.
Patrick and I travelled up on Saturday, and left the boys with friends for a sleepover so the morning was a bit stressy getting them delivered to their friends houses with all their stuff, but we managed to get away by 2pm and arrived in time to register in Llanberis.
The Swim garmin data here
I started in the elite womens wave at 9:40 so we had plenty of time to get to transition, and now that the sprint and the full distance are on different days, it was easy to park and get organised, almost as soon as we arrived it bucketed it down, I had forgotten to bring a coat so was soaking wet before the start. Maybe I had too much faith in the weather forecast!!
Last time I did this swim I was freezing cold so I prepared for it by wearing my beautiful skull cap. The water was actually not that cold this time a balmy 12.9 degrees, so we did the full swim.
I started near the inside buoy and was planning to get in a group, to draft, however our wave was quite small and I couldn’t get with the group ahead of me, so it was a bit of a lonely swim. On the turn from the last buoy I spotted someone out to my left and also to my right but they were a bit far off to alter my course, and it was the home straight anyway so I just carried on swimming and sighting. As I left T1 I noticed my first mistake of the day. I had put an unwrapped clif bar in my bento box (for ease of eating) and it had turned to sludge.
The bike garmin data here
I had looked at my data from last time I did the Slateman and knew how to pace the ride, so I aimed for similar power figures.
I managed to pace pretty well up the first climb, then it all went downhill a bit, in more ways than one! I tried to eat a bit of my clif bar, but it wasn’t too appealing, then I didn’t manage to pick it up over the second climb, and after the 2nd descent I was feeling very cold.
At the turn off near Bethesda I caught 2 women, I was losing the will to live a bit by this point, as I shivered, I kept repeating “stay in the moment”. I had been riding pretty much on my own up to this point and arriving in a group stopped me from sticking to my plan, I was feeling low and I just didn’t have the motivation to keep pushing to pass people only for them to pass me again, by now I just wanted to get warm and go home so I hung back a bit and you can see my power and HR dropping gradually. A man in front had a blue jacket on and I was seriously envious! I kept thinking “I wish I had that jacket on!”The 2 women passed me again and I let them go, as you can see on Strava.
The run garmin data here
The run course was slightly different to when I last raced in 2013, and the first section now takes you up over a rocky part of the castle then onto a road going slightly downhill alongside Lyn Peris, before turning on to the switchbacks up through the quarry. I managed to overtake the 2 women from the bike on the road then they went past me again on the switchbacks. I got into a rhythm up the switchbacks and just stuck to my pace, hoping I would be able to pick it up again on the downhills. When we got to the top I picked it up, and soon caught female number 1.
As it was wet, the slate was slippery, but I picked my lines and managed fine. I saw a few people at the end with bloody knees who must have slipped, easily done! When I got about 1-2km from the end I saw female number 2, and a man in front, heard me come up behind and said “there’s the next woman there, go get her, she’s struggling” he let me get past him and I started to reel her in.
I overtook then pushed it all the way to the end, I was very happy to see the finish line, although it doesn’t look like it in the finish photo!! There was no hanging around after, as we had to get back to pick up the boys, so we missed the prize giving unfortunately, as Always Aim High give pretty good prizes, and I had picked up 1st FV40. At least I got my coaster though!!
Full Results here
Lots to learn from that race! On the way up I had been reading “The Champions mind, by Jim Afremow” so mentally I was prepared, which was a good thing. After the race I decided to write down 3 positives and 3 negatives about the day which are below.
I improved my swim time by over 1min 30 from last time.
I managed to pull back 4 places on the run.
I stayed in the moment as much as possible, my mind was not in a great place but I managed to finish and finish fairly strong.
I was unprepared for cold on the bike and suffered because of it.
Didn’t plan my nutrition well soggy clif bar does not make for good nutrition. Interestingly I had some honey stingers in my race belt that I never thought to eat, and I held a gel in my hand the whole way round the run course!
I didn’t stick to my pacing when it got busier on the bike, I need to ignore other peoples pacing and stick to my own plan.