Hey guys! It’s been a week since I completed my first ever standard distance triathlon. (That’s a mile sea swim, a 35k very hilly cycle and a 10k run). I’ve done the sprint distance before which is half the distance, so this represented a big challenge for me.
I was disappointed the week leading up to the triathlon at the weather forecast. Mid June and it was predicting showers. As we got closer to the day, the showers crept earlier and earlier. By the morning, the forecast was for showers to set in at 1pm. As I had a start time of midday, I was less than impressed at the idea of having a slightly wet road for most of the hilly cycle around the Great Orme in Llandudno. At 10am, as the sprint triathletes set off, a small shower kicked in and I dared to hope that that would be it. Ha. No.
The rain started whilst I was swimming (which obviously I didn’t notice). And then it went on and on and on. For the first 2 laps of the cycle, I felt a bit sorry for the spectators. But then my sympathy for anyone else just gave out and I was only sorry for myself!
The rain got heavier. And heavier. The marshals were freaking out at all of the downhill turns and there had been a couple of crashes, which was making me feel a bit anxious. I’m a fairly cautious rider and I wasn’t making up the time on the downhill that I was losing on the uphill. Whilst the marshals were doing a very valuable job, when they were shouting ‘slow down, slow down’ at me, I felt like shouting back ‘do you see how many people are overtaking me?! I am the slowest person on the course!’. But I didn’t. Mainly because I was hanging on for dear life.
And the rain continued. Someone somewhere started to build a big boat.
The first lap I had taken it a little easier on the big hill and thought it wasn’t too bad. By lap 3, I was beginning to feel it a bit more. My husband caught me at the bottom of the hill on lap 4, which had not been my plan. He had started 30 minutes after me and I thought he would catch me on the run. The hill was about half way around the course so I felt pretty demoralised at this stage. It felt like I was the last one left. I felt like there was no point in even starting the run as I’m a slow runner so I knew that I wasn’t going to be overtaking anyone. Luckily, towards the top of the hill, I overtook someone who had got off his bike (bless you, sir) which made me feel a bit better and then I overtook someone who was still cycling and that made me feel even better.
By the time I got back to transition, I was feeling a bit more chirpy. As I ran out of transition, I was even feeling quite upbeat. Then I got cramps in both quads, which I have never had before. I thought I could just carry on. But then they got so bad, I had to stop to walk (I know, shameful!). Then they came back on the hill up the Little Orme. By this stage, I would have given up at the next marshal point if the cramps had continued, but they did go and I was able to stumble along the last half of the run. Still in the rain. I had another boost when I ran past the guy I had overtaken on the hill (the run was an out and back) when I had about 3k to go. Fair enough, he could well have started in the 1230 wave and therefore be 30 minutes behind me, but it made me feel pretty good.
The final boost came as my cheering squad (thanks to my parents, my sister Abi, my in-laws and, of course, The Boss) greeted me a couple of minutes from the finish (from under shelter – the rain was definitely taking its toll!). The Boss ran towards me and then pointed at the finish yelling ‘that way Mummy!’ It was very cute and I loved that everyone made the effort to be there for me. My family definitely rock.
So, how did I do overall? Well I was slow, but I knew I would be. I’ll never be that fast, but I was fairly happy with 73 out of 80. More importantly, I finished it and finished it safely, without being involved in a crash (which is more than can be said for some of the guys that were much faster but didn’t finish!). I finished it without absolutely hating it and thinking ‘never again’. Would I do a standard tri again? Probably. Would I do that Llandudno one again? Probably not! What’s next then? I start my half marathon training this week (for the all new Manchester half marathon in October) and the next trip will be the North West sprint in Nantwich in September. I’ve done it a few times now and it will be interesting to see how my standard training impacts on my sprint times. I’m hoping for a new PB, but we’ll see!
Back to work type related things next week with a post on writing speculative letters! Hope you’re all getting on well out there with your career transition plans.
Happy venturing xx