Why did autumn have to come with such a bang on the day of my race – especially with the day before being so gloriously warm and sunny? But despite getting soaked through to the skin I absolutely loved it.
The kids Scootathlon was the only event before us, racing through the transition area on their scooters the under 6s looked so sweet and quite amusing – I’ve never seen scooter racing before – it was good to see that even at that age there is a strong competitive spirit in some kids! Maybe there was the future triathlon champion there you never know. It was fun to watch but I was relieved when they called us into the lake for the start of our race. The nerves were really starting to kick in and I hadn’t slept a wink the night before.
Daley Thompson was there to start us off on the race (he has definitely aged well and looks much better with a smaller moustache!) and looked at us all as if we were completely mad. Someone should have told him that it was actually warmer in the water than out of it! The swim was two laps of the course in water that was surprisingly clear and clean, with wires just under the water that linked the buoys, made sighting very easy. Still surprised me how wide some people swam though.
Once into my swim I felt really good and could happily have carried on but the end soon approached and it was out into transition. The ear plugs really helped, I focused on just my swim and but the main benefit was that I didn’t get dizzy when getting out of the water which helped getting my wetsuit off – had a little bit of an issue finding my zip though!
As it was dry when we got into the lake I had laid out my towel, shoes and jacket in the transition area thinking that the rain would at least hold off for the swim – how wrong could I have been! By the time I got out of the water everything was drenched. Wet feet into wet socks into wet cycling shoes wasn’t the most fun I have ever had! But at least I had waterproof jacket to keep my body warm. Needless to say my transition was incredibly slow at nearly three and a half minutes.
The bike course was very flat but there were a couple of tight bends on it which made it quite treacherous in places with the wet. I saw several people with lots of grazes, cuts and bruises from taking the bends too quickly for the conditions. Eight laps of the course started to get a little bit boring though and I was struggling to push myself, the conditions were terrible and my mind kept wondering to forget about it. After a while I snapped out of it and when one guy who was just a little bit quicker overtook me I latched on to him and made sure he didn’t get away.
This worked well for two laps until we started chatting! We had a nice conversation – neither of us could feel either our feet or our bottoms and we both found it quite amusing that the ones getting the punctures were all the really quick boys with the time trial helmets and superman bikes with solid wheels. Needless to say we maybe didn’t push quite as hard from then on but it was only about 2 laps. And of course there was always time for a cheesy grin for the cameras 🙂
Finally the cycle section was over and it was on to my nemesis the run. Again my transition was quite slow (another 3 mins) – I couldn’t feel my feet at all so standing on one leg to put my trainers on became quite a tough challenge and I was desperate not to fall over! For the first lap of the run I was struggling – not because of wobbly legs as I had expected but because I just couldn’t feel anything in my feet. It took ages for the circulation to come back so I could get into my stride. I was surprised to find after a while that the run was actually feeling quite easy – I have not had that feeling before. And when I realised from my watch (which I only had for the run) that there was a chance I might make the run in 70mins I tried to push it a bit more for the last lap. In my head I thought that this might make me just under 4hours.
I crossed the finish line looking like a drowned rat but feeling pretty good as if I could have gone on. Clearly a sign that I can’t pace myself! You could have knocked me down with a feather though when I got my time – I was absolutely stunned to have completed it in 3hrs 31mins – half an hour faster than I had expected!
My split times were:
- Swim 0:33.31
- T1 0:03.23
- Bike 1:41.56
- T2 0:02.57
- Run 1:09.25
- Total 3:31.03
I now want to see what else I can do. I have managed to knock over 5mins off my swim time thanks to RG Active and their coaching, next is to work harder on my run and bike. My trainer has set me the challenge of running 10km in under 60mins. Challenge accepted! I intend to enter the London triathlon next year so my goal is get the run under 60mins and am currently looking at what other things I can enter to keep going over the winter. Now I have got to this level of fitness I want to keep it and improve on it (and loose another stone in weight) 🙂