Given it was a sprint distance and I'd done two middle distance triathlons this year, I wasn't too nervous in the run up. Mostly I was exhausted having had not much sleep all week. I was fully expecting to come fifth out of the five Triton girls entered and looking forward to a nice short race just for a change. The nerves did eventually kick in on Friday night just as I was unsuccessfully trying to catch up with my lack of sleep!
The day dawned grey, windy and dreary, by which time we were on our way to the lake. I registered and began to rack up, at which point I realized I had left my aero bottle at home. I know at this stage I really should have learnt to drink from a bottle cage but for me this was going to mean a very thirsty bike ride!
|Some of the Tritons before the race - I managed to sneak in the back!|
The swim: "Where's my lightning bolt Scott, no corkscrew turns either"I named this because Scott the swim coach had been testing our sighting using letters and images (including lightning) on a piece of paper. He'd also been teaching us different ways of turning round a buoy. The swim was a complete mosh pit, there were people kicking and punching everywhere, despite me putting myself near the back. Someone tried to swim over me so I apologise but I might have kicked them!
I got out the swim after 18 minutes, slower than my previous times. My transition was terrible due to my wetsuit not coming off quickly and I faffed a bit too...
Bike: It's not how it used to be (in a good way)Once I got on the bike I remembered how I'd brought it down to Leybourne about the second time I'd ridden it and wobbled round the cycle course in a "make or break" test. I've spent so much time on my bike since then I am much more confident and much better balanced (although not so much that I can get my water bottle!). I essentially tried to push the bike as hard as I could as I knew my run leg was going to be poor. Number 90 and I were chasing each other all the way which gave me a great marker to follow. I spotted Lizzie W at the side of the road and hoped she didn't have a puncture after our discussion about whether we would bother to change a puncture earlier! Thankfully she just had a dropped chain so no having to faff with changing tyres...
Number 90 eventually got ahead of me and I miraculously didn't have to stop at any of the roundabouts and I finally got back into transition, only to see one of the other Tritons, James, finishing their race already!
Run: Doing it for the fun of it -What else would we be doing on a dreary Saturday morning?My transition this time was fast and I actually came out onto the run before number 90 and a couple of others (no idea what they were doing). They of course came past me in no short order soon afterwards while I was struggling with jelly legs (that'll teach me not to do any brick sessions - or in fact any running - recently). My run was the slowest I've done for a long while there, but not too bad relative to my recent 5k times, just seem to have got really slow, something to work on over the winter I guess. I went past this lady who had two dogs, one of was "hopping" or perhaps bounding with its two front feet - very odd! I then ran past the Dartford Whiteoak tri lady who had told us earlier in transition she loved triathlon - so much so she had done a marathon during the week, was off to do another marathon that afternoon, and was due to line up for Thorpe Park triathlon the next day! I absolutely empathised with her and told her she was doing really well as I ran past.
On my run back towards transition on my first lap I saw Coach W who appeared to be bowing to me!
The second lap was almost as eventful. Someone came past me - unusual for the second lap, shouting "Don't worry I'm a lap behind you!". The lady with the hopping dog's other dog managed to stand right in front of me so I had to do some quick weaving! But finally I was on the home run, Coach W telling me to push it all the way to get a good time and it was all over. Last triathlon of the season done and it wasn't even 11 in the morning!
Anything is possible, right?