racing · triathlon

New beginnings and a big juicy slice of humble pie.

I have been awful at blogging for, well, the past year.  Lack of time? Meh – not really a good excuse, I’m no busier than I’ve been before.  Lack of stuff to blog about, more like.  A bit of a meh, inspiration-wise.  But I’ve also been getting really annoyed with the amount of spam I’ve been getting over at Blogger which nothing short of individual comment approval seems to sort.  I was reluctant to move – I’ve been blogging on Blogger since 2006 (that makes me an early adopter, I think) but this morning I decided enough was enough.  Time to see if WordPress will improve things!  Maybe without the spam, I will lose the blogging meh and get back on board again.  Because I’ve allowed myself to hang off the precipice of giving up my blog, and I didn’t like it.  I’ve met too many good friends, read too much good stuff out there to give up on it.  So here’s to giving it another go – and hoping you can find me here! (There are still plenty of things to add to this new blog but give me a chance – thought I’d try to post something first!)

But in terms of sport – multisport!  – there is progress.  In distance at least.  Because a few weeks ago saw my first go at the Olympic distance triathlon at the 2012 Dambuster. Once again,  I could bore you with a blow-by-blow about how I camped out the night before (and slept, somewhat miraculously),

Me and my little tent in the lee of an abandoned caravan. It blocked the wind!

how they reduced the swim to 1000m because the water was so )(*(*^*&^ing cold, how steep the first 2 hills were, especially with the wind in your face, how terrible the weather was overall – SO windy and SO cold.  But instead let me focus on the most pertinent truth for me – it was hard.  This triathlon thing is hard.  Harder, for me, than running marathons.

  • it is complicated.  For someone who is somewhat lacking organisationally, getting set up in transition (and remembering to bring everything in the first place) is a bit of a challenge.  A good example?  While listening to the last minute race instructions I realised I’d left my timing chip in the plastic box I’d left in transition.  Which was meant to be closed by this point.  But thankfully wasn’t so all I had to do was run into the tide of late arrivers leaving transition, find my chip, and come back to the talk.  Phew.  I was nearly 5 minutes – 5 minutes! – in T1 peeling myself out of my wetsuit, helmet on (thank god that had been drilled into me), putting my shoes and socks on (drying my feet between my toes, honestly Petra! I don’t even do that when I come out of the shower at home!), putting the Garmin on, pulling my jacket on, realising I couldn’t get it on over my Garmin, taking my jacket off, taking my garmin off, putting my jacket on, putting my garmin on.  Then realising it was set to satellite finding.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh!  I just leapt on my bike (after the mount line, ANOTHER thing to think about) and eventually got going.  T2 was slightly less traumatic but still – I was told off for undoing my helmet strap before racking my bike and once again did the Garmin / jacket sleeve fartabout.  A bike computer may lie in my future.

    my bike all set up. My bike is so little / the rack so high that my front wheel was not touching the ground. Ahhhhhh.
  • It is completely exhausting.  I don’t even notice running half marathons anymore, and have frequently run that sort of distance before breakfast and a full day’s work.  Without being dead-tired.  In my inexperience I was thinking that the Olympic-distance tri was a bit like a half-marathon in terms of effort.  It is not.  Not for me, anyway.  By the time I came off my bike I felt mentally broken and coming into transition I was on the brink of tears.  Thank god the final discipline is running.  I know I can run tired – tired swimming would mean I drown and tired cycling would have me falling over.
  • I am not great at it.  Picking an ITU qualifier as my first Olympic distance was probably not a clever idea – there were a lot of fasties in this race and not a lot of first timers.  But in running I’ve got used to being in the middle of the pack and I kind of stupidly assumed that’s where I’d be here.  Not true.  Right at the back.  As in, transition was almost empty when I arrived out of the lake.  And full of bikes when I arrived back off the bike (didn’t help the self-pitying tears).  And the officials were packing up by the time I came in off the run!  And it wasn’t a bad run!  48 minutes and then some – not bad for me at all for a 10km (it has been, probably, about 4 years since I last ran one).  So I am eating a big massive slice of humble pie now.  Rhubarb snacking pie, as a matter of fact.

But despite this – or perhaps even because of this, it’s good.

The whole triathlon thing is kind of kicking my butt – mentally – in a good way.  So many new things to learn can be quite overwhelming at times, and starting waaaaaay at the back again is a bit tough again as well, but I’m loving my fitness and strength which has definitely improved.  Suffered a minor glitch this past week when I was doing pushups with a client and felt something click in my shoulder – swimming 3 times with that click did not fix it (duh!) so after a visit to the osteopath I’ve taken a week off swimming.  It’s feeling miles better now so hopefully I’ll get the all-clear tomorrow.

So that’s it folks – a quiet summer of LOTS of training as my HIM is in September – onwards and upwards (uphill?) as always.

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