In the book Slow Fat Triathlete by Jayne Williams, I read that a lot of people keep a diary of their races. Here’s my first entry from March 2011.
Race: Try-a-tri, Trishave Womens Triathlon Festival
Venue: Penrith International Regatta Centre, 13 March 2011
Distance: 150m swim, 5km bike, 1.5km run
Total official time: 40 min, 3 seconds.
My first triathlon. I had read you should taper off the training three weeks prior to an event. I only started three weeks before… First mistake?
Had chinese for dinner last night with some friends. Second mistake?
I ended up feeling so sick (dizzy, nauseous, faint) before the race that I didn’t warm up or stretch. Third mistake. I now believe the sick feeling was due to a combination of the chinese food, nerves and lack of sleep.
The race itself was quite fun. I was close to the slowest in my race in my age bracket. By a long way. The one lady I struck up a conversation with while waiting for the race to start was a year ahead of me at school. We were at the the same primary school and were in a composite class together for maths for about 6 months I think. I had travelled 5.5 hours to this race, she’d travelled 4 and we found each other! She won our age group so I didn’t see her again once we started. 🙂
I’d only swum with goggles for the first time the week before so everyone’s feet and hands looked very close and I hesitated to swim right on top of them. I almost wish I hadn’t worn the goggles. I wouldn’t have seen how filthy the water was. I’d never swum in a group before either. At least the water was still rather than with waves! I had also never swum in a group before. Lots of ‘firsts’ today. I managed to finish the swim then walked (didn’t even jog) up to transition. It was uphill. NO WAY was I running!
Couldn’t find my bike (well, my sister’s bike that I’d borrowed for the day) so I was fortunate that the lady I’d set up next to and chatted with earlier in the day had come out of the water just before me and called out to me. Struggled to get my helmet on – until I worked out I was trying to put it on backwards!
Right. Ready to ride! Managed to mount without misahp, rode about 50m to the steep(ish) bridge over the lake. They said the cycle course was flat!!!! My foot – in a now sopping wet sneaker – slipped off the pedal. Arrgh! How embarrassing. Oh well, back on the bike. The bike is my ‘best’ leg, if I have one. This is where I thought I’d catch people who’d beaten me out of the water. Uh oh… people are passing me! And here come the leaders of the wave that started 4 minutes after mine. These are the ‘over 40s women’.
I (possibly) could have ridden faster but wanted to make sure I had something left for the run which is by far my worst leg. What’s this? Uphill into transition???? Transitioned to the run without mishap. Phew.
Ah – drink stand. I had read that you should always take a drink. I couldn’t drink and run at the same time so I stopped, drank, then continued to walk up the HILL on the flat course.
Ran/jogged/plodded/walked/trudged my way to the 750m turn around mark. Put on a show by running under the finish arch and handed in my timing chip (I thought that was pretty cool – I’d never worn one before).
Hubby, Kevin, was great as my personal photographer and support crew. I got a free t-shirt and a certificate. And, I finished. Still walking and breathing and I’m happy with that.
I thought (as an uneducated guess) that I would need about 45 min to finish the whole thing. My swim training was in a 10 metre long backyard pool and I really had no idea how much time to allow for transitions.
Summary: I was sooo excited. I actually got to run under one of those big inflatable finish lines. And I was wearing a timing chip that beeped at each transition and the finish line. I felt like a real athlete. I even got my name on an official ‘results‘ website.