When my alarm went off at 5am I felt ready to take on a new challenge. Ready to try a triathlon I didn’t freak out like I did with the Bath Half marathon. I knew that I could complete all the individual distances but hadn’t previously combined all three is one session. This blog entry may be too detailed but I want to remember as much of it as possible.
Yesterday I cycled in the rain to the pool to register and give my legs a little stretch. Cycling down I felt really comfortable on the bike, which I haven’t felt for a while. I felt content, although I did one heart-in-mouth moment when I came very close to coming off at the entrance to the pool car park on the wet gravel. One thing I realised I don’t like about triathlons is the organisation for 3 different discipline, being the girl that I am I was envisaging coming into T2 (transition from bike to run) to realise I had left my running shoes at home.
The weather wasn’t ideal but it didn’t put me off. My cycling shoes hadn’t dried overnight so before I had even entered the water for the swim my feet and socks were wet. With bike racked and race briefing over next was “body marking”. Here I got very confused, my left and rights aren’t good at the best of times and it was a little girl writing the number and she wasn’t sure which calf it should go on. Timing chip-left ankle, wrist band-right wrist, left calf-number, right arm-number. One very surreal moment came waiting for the start, I often struggle to place people when they are in swim caps or bike helmets so when I got chatting to someone it was completely out of context to realise that I have been to school with them 10 years ago and over 100 miles away.
The swim was ok. The triathletes are set off in number order, 10 seconds apart. I was soon caught by the guy behind me so let him pass at the end only to find he wasn’t that much faster than me. I decided to draft him (since in the swim this is legal) only for a marshall to tell them to let me pass 😦 As I came out the pool Mike (who had taught a lot of the novice course) shouted some encouragement, although it would have been better if he got my name right. On the novice course there was myself and another who had a purple swim cap and he kept confusing the two of us. As I ran into transition I retorted with “I’m Mary” and heard him laugh.
In the transition from swim to run I had a nice little conversation with the guy next to me, slightly surreal but triathletes seem like a friendly bunch. The bike was good – although the roads were rough with gravel and lots of standing water. Owing to no mudguards on my roadie my arse was getting wetter and wetter. I got overtaken a couple of times but also overtook some people. It is hard to gauge whether you are doing well or not with a staggered start.
I started the run with a numb patch on the pull of my foot and as the blood slowly returned I still couldn’t feel them fully. I was soon aware of an odd sensation on my bike, what a muppet I had left my bike pump in mg back pocket. The run was ok, I find after being on the bike my legs don’t hurt so much as I just can’t feel them, I try and push the pace and there is nothing there.
I am content with my performance, I don’t yet know the times but that wasn’t what mattered. Today was about completing it, of getting back on the horse (or bike). I find it difficult knowing if I could have gone faster, pushed harder, trained more. I know I tried and that I could have easily staying in bed.
Big thanks to the Marshalls and their encouragement and to Thames Turbo for putting on the novice course. In order to celebebrate my success I bought some new shoes, but being the girl that I am they are cycling shoes 🙂