Preparing to Lose my Triathlon Virginity

Pre finding my teenage self (whoever that was) I was a county swimmer and went on the occasional run.  In my head, I had these two elements nailed and  surely learning to ride a bike was just basic. I had looked at the pacing of previous years competitors and despite my busy night life, I couldn’t see why a top ten placing was unrealistic. 

I am a nightmare, I can’t see the point in doing something unless you are in with a chance of doing well and willing to give it 110%. I apply this to my work, going out, studying, this blog and competing. I hate the thought of failing at anything and the fear of doing so honestly gives me bouts of anxiety.  

So, preparing for this triathlon I had entered… 

I did minimal training other than a bit of general running, cycling and even ventured to the public swimming session to check I was still operational.  The public swimming session is worth a mention; OH MY DAIZZZZ, the lane politics are something else – I sustained a black eye and bruised shoulder. They are SO territorial. Obviously I stood my ground in the firmest but fairest way possible by refusing to move. 

The weekend leading up to the event was the August Bank Holiday.  Naturally I went out Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night. Why not?! I spent the remainder of the following week sobering up and catching up on sleep.

The weekend soon arrived together with my mum, brother, nan, grandad who travelled from Essex to support/laugh/encourage me over the finish line.

I think I should point out here that I genuinely had no gear and absolutely no idea.  I was told that wetsuits were compulsory so I borrowed a friends surfing suit.  I was none the wiser until I was standing in my start wave and noticed that I was very much the odd one out.  

I had managed to invest in a tri-suit which, until it arrived I had thought was some sort of all-in-one wetsuit. Didn’t realise you wore this under the wetsuit – I assumed you either wore one or the other and then got changed after your swim. Good job I was put right the day before, otherwise everyone in transition would have witnessed a sneaky strip show. 

The day before I spent on YouTube, watching how to get your kit off and on ASAP.  I was also watching how best to get my leg over without causing any damage and as smoothly as possible. 

Obviously both skill sets are essential for a quick Transition 1 (T1) and Transition 2 (T2). In both departments I lacked considerable experience – Somethings in life you just can’t prepare for.

Therefore, the day before, I spent practicing: dressing and undressing; jumping on, riding a short distance; jumping off and quickly running away.  Honestly, I don’t know how people do this so quickly and just jog off like nothing has happened. 

What became a problem, together with my inexperience was my clumsiness. I am dyspraxic, walking in a straight line is challenging enough. Let alone completing an efficient transition when so many components require precision. 

As the saying goes, fail to prepare… 


Published by lifeoftri

26. Attempting to be a triathlete whilst having a life. Oh, and work to pay for both. Wishing for more hours in the day.

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