Friday, 5 October 2012

First Triathlon - off to Ringwood by water, bike and feet

I made a promise with myself as I turned 29. This year would be the year of my first triathlon. I spent nearly the entire year fretting over this challenge. In fact I researched and found the Triathlon of choice in January, and I booked my entry just 5 days before.

The prospect of a 600 metre swim, 38 mile cycle followed by a finale of a 10km run put fear in my heart. Could I make it? 10km run on its own was hard enough, and I had never completed 600metre in one go. Plus, how could I race? I'd fall behind surely?

I spent the entire year pushing my body harder and further, attending Spinning classes, cycling to work, running up to 10km in one session a week and trying to fit the odd hour of swimming in. When I called Results Triathlon to get more information on The Ringwood Triathlon they said 24 lengths was completed within 8 - 12 minutes....the last time I counted it took me 1 minute a length, but then I discovered 1 of their lengths was half of I was fine and ready to go.

I pumped my heavy mountain bike tyres within a micro-millimetre of their life. and prepared all my kit. I knew I could swim, cycle and run, I know I would exhaust myself but I didn't really know what was in story. Plus the transition worried me, but it was my first time.

Into the water and I was off, I should have been in the faster group as I almost double lengthed the people in my lane. Completed in 11:21minutes and I was off to transition, in my tiny speedos I then had to throw on my shorts, tshirt shoes, helmet, gloves, drink and go. That seemed to take forever.

Off on my bike through the New Forest, the scene was spectacular on a rather lovely but slightly choppy day. At first I gained good momentum, then the racers on proper road racing bikes started coming up from behind and over taking me. Then I started to hit hills, my hefty bike slowed to near a halt, the gears cranked and the worst words were shouted from my mouth - I wanted this ride to be over.

I came in from the cycle after 1hr49minutes and then I needed to run. I was exhausted but I had to keep going. It was good to get my arse of the bike, but then my feet properly hit the road and my ankles gave way - I had 10km left to do! This would be near impossible.

I struggled around the 6mile run, but returned in at 52minutes.

I am proud to say I completed the triathlon in less than the 3 hours I wanted to do it in, at 2hr 52 minutes. I loved it and preparing to do more. Time to buy a new bike and build my ankle strength.