On Saturday, after months of preparation, it was finally the big day. The big TRIATHLON DAY!
I’ve been training for nearly 3 months and banging on about it to whoever will listen for even longer. Sorry.
I’d been ill all week and was unsure if I’d be ok to compete, but mind over matter, off we set to the Excel centre.
Here is where the fun begins.
We found a spot in our allocated row (based on race start time) and squished some bikes over to ensure that hols and I could be beside each other. Having completed my first ever tri last summer, I had limited experience to draw from, but had learnt enough to turn up with a towel this time. Also amongst my possessions I had baby oil to lube up my wrist and ankles for quick-wetsuit-release, and a bottle of coke for the end of the race to kill any bugs from the water.
We headed over to the start of our race where we joined the rest of the mixed olympic race team. Although it is technically ‘mixed’ Hols and I only spotted about 4 other women. We gave each other a little good luck hug, then headed down to the waters edge and jumped in.
The man on the tannoy said we had 5 minutes (Holly and I are sure of this), so we had a little splash around, getting used to the temperature etc and then, about 30 seconds later, mid splash, the horn was going and we were off! I was NOT ready for the start, and it was NOT 5 minutes.
We were off!
I lost Holly and Barkie immediately as everyone looks the same in their blue caps, so settled into my own pace.
A REALLY annoying bloke kept swimming left, left, left, moving more and more towards me – SO annoying as I had to take a much wider course than I wanted to, to avoid him.
Then I caught up with a very splashy, flaily man who didn’t know his a**e from his elbow – how he’d got ahead of me in the first place, God only knows.
I swallowed about 2 mouthfuls of water in total (mainly around splashy, flaily man) but the rest I managed to spit out. It was quite clear water, and only tasted a little bit pondy. There was a bit of a breeze, which made it a little choppy, but generally I enjoyed the swim far more than I’d expected.
After just over half an hour I reached the end and was helped out the water by the smiley, happy helpers.
As I rushed up the slope taking off my wetsuit I spotted my family, waving and cheering. LOVELY surprise!!
After a quick wave and a Mum-hug, I dragged my wetsuit off, shoved it in the plastic carrier bag and shot off to find my bike. Fortunately I had more luck than Barkie in re-locating it and within a few minutes was running back out transition to the bike leg.
This consisted of 4 laps of the same, rather boring, undulating road course. My fam found a great cheering spot, so at the two points on each lap that I passed them I got some great cheers and support which was great (although Dad and Charlie think I didn’t notice the time they snuck off the get a beer…)
I actually got a bit bored. I think I could have been faster with a bit of music or something, as the only spectator spot was the middle area so at both ends of the looping laps it was rather lonely!
Anyway, once I got through the biking boredom I chucked my bike back on its rail, swapped my shoes and took off on my run.
“Took off” is synonymous with a plane or a rocket ship, so is actually greatly inaccurate.
I sloped away, dragging my feet behind me as I tried to muster the energy for 4 laps of the running course.
Trouble was, I was SO thirsty. When I finally got to the water station and drowned myself with 2 cups of water I gave myself a stitch. It was only as I’d run off the stitch 5 minutes later that I noticed how thirsty I was again, so once back at the water station and another 2 cups of water down the stitch came back. Repeat this for every lap and you can see where my biggest problems were.
Aaaaaanyway, I did it. I finished.
I got my medal!
With little time to waste, I grabbed up my things and we headed back home for my birthday party.
Although my legs felt heavy, I had a couple of Espresso Martini’s to keep the energy up, and powered on until 5am.
Dancing all night after a big event like this is THE best way to keep those legs fresh.
I woke up without an ache or a pain (well, except the slight pounding in my head) and spent the day dancing at a Brixton street party.
Happy days! x
(Slow race results, just here for my reference if I decide to try and beat the times next year!)