Sunday, 10 June 2012

First ever triathlon

So, less than 24 hours after starting yesterday's Long Swim, I found myself at Blenheim, ready to start my first ever triathlon.  I have to say I wasn't feeling tip top after the race yesterday and woke up this morning feeling nauseous and dizzy.  I wasn't sure if it was an after effect of yesterday, a bug or nerves, but having paid £75 to enter Blenheim Tri (so expensive!), I was determined to see if I could at least start it even though I felt so rough.  The short car journey there was punctuated by a discussion about whether I could stop after the swim or the bike or just do one lap of the bike.  Here I am sitting waiting for it to be time to go and get ready for the start of my wave.  Check out the giant inflatable sports drink bottle in the background!

Here I am dressed up in my wetsuit and nearly ready to go.  Sun had briefly come out which was nice!

 Here I am somewhere on the left waiting for the race to start.  I was exceptionally happy that my wave was given pink hats to wear.
 Here I am coming out of the swim (750m), and running (400m uphill) to T1.  I was happy that I managed to get out of the top of my wetsuit very quickly and easily.  I was one of the first out of the swim on my wave, maybe 4th out of about 200.
 After stripping my wetsuit off completely, donning socks and shoes and my number belt and the all important helmet, it was time for 3 laps of the bike course (total 19.8k).  There was a horrific hill which was very hard on my bike, which as you see from this picture is better fitted to commuting than triathlon (I only have 6 gears), which I had to do three times, but I was happy that I didn't have to stop and walk.  I must have got overtaken by almost everyone from my wave as when I got back to the bike racks they were virtually full again.
 Finally, dispense with the bike and helmet for the run.  2 laps, 5.4k, getting quite hot by this time so very glad of water at the aid stations which could be thrown over one's head.  Ended the race with a very damp chest area. I was proud of myself for not walking at all, and overtook a couple of people who were walking (but was again, mostly overtaken)
 And finally, just approaching the finish.  Looking distinctly grumpy.  Obviously a sprint distance not long enough for me.  Does an ironman beckon?!  (I jest...)
Looking at my watch I could see that I had got around in 1:50ish which was a good ten minutes faster than what I could have hoped for.  I guess I was lucky over yesterday when the windy conditions would have made the swim and the bike a lot harder.

When the official times came through, I immediately realised there was a mistake as I had been given a time of 31 minutes for the swim!  Given that my watch had said 11 minutes just as I approached the exit, and that I can swim nearly 2 km in 31 minutes, I thought it unlikely.  Ken realised that my  chip had obviously got mixed up with the previous wave as deducting 20 minutes made it all more realistic.

My correct times have just been issued: 11:29 for the swim (750m), 57:29 for the bike (19.8k), 34:21 for the run (5.4k). Total of 1:50:46, so around 7 minutes in transition. Not bad given that T1 involves a 400m uphill run!

I am really pleased with it!  I am not sure if I have got "the bug", greater improvements would involve more time training on the bike and the run and taking time away from my beloved swimming, and really I would have to spend money buying a "proper" bike.  We'll have to see.

22 comments:

  1. Wow! You should be extremely proud of yourself!

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  2. I echo Dot's comment! well done you, I am humbly impressed and very inspired.

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  3. Your energy is amazing and inspiring. Congratulations!

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  4. I have never been any good at any kind of sport/exercise, but I am so full of admiration for what you do. Completing a triathlon is such an achievement. Congratulations.

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    1. I never used to be any good at sport/exercise, my school sports teachers would be stunned!

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  5. Congratulations you!! I am exhausted just looking at the pictures!

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  6. Why do you put yourself through it all? Well done on your action-packed weekend.

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  7. Congratulations!! My daughter just signed up for her first triathlon - I'm sending her the link to your post.

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    1. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did!

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  8. Well done you. I think you ought to treat yourself to a more lightweight bike, you seem to have got the bug.

    If you want a ladies' only bike ride that can be a little competitive if you want it to, look at the site Cycletta. Backed by Victoria Pendleton, they organise several rides over the country. Last year I participated in the one Cycletta North, at Knutsford, Cheshire and was pleased to say came around 210 in a field of over 800 participants, doing it in 1.34 for 40k. I was chuffed at my age, and not very frequent training sessions. There are pictures of 'Cycletta Bedfordshire' which might inspire you.

    You look such a young thing!

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    1. I've been looking at the Cyclettas but they clash with other things that I am doing. Maybe next year? Are you planning to do it again? Also, cycling makes my back hurt, I probably need a road bike but I am scared of falling off.

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    2. I'm hoping to do it this year and cycle to the town, about 6 miles and back when I go in, rather than take the car. Also, if weather and carrying stuff permits, to my Mums, which is a bit nearer. The other day I did about 16 miles. Trying to keep up some sort of momentum.

      I am considering reincarnating my ancient 70s road bike but it will need Kevlar tyres as it has very old ones on just now.

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  9. Erika W.
    Well done and I hope that you will not be coming down with a bug or two after all. You should be as proud of your determination as of your stamina.

    I hope you came home to a slice of good cake!

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    1. I seem to be ok actually! I have been eating entire cakes since...

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  10. You go, girl! What an accomplishment!! I'm actually training for my first triathlon on Aug. 12, and I'm a bit worried about the swim. (I took swimming lessons as a kid, so I know all four strokes, but I've never swam competitively). Do you have any tips or advice?

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    1. Have emailed you Carrie! Good luck!

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  11. Three cheers for you, Verity! Hip, hip...hooray...

    When I think about how poorly you were a couple of years ago the difference is astounding. Well done you for your perseverance, strength and determination.

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