Spring is usually a time of the year when we all start to dream about getting out into the sunshine, but I was feeling unmotivated and pretty unfit. I needed a goal, something to drive me to don my running shoes and brush the dust off my bike. I have always enjoyed training so why not challenge yourself at the same time.
I booked up for the Big T Triathlon. The event came across as a friendly and welcoming to all when it popped up in my event search. The sprint style event is a shorter option for your first triathlon, with distances of 400m swim, 25km bike and 5km run. This length of race seemed like a great place to start. With a little training I knew I should be capable of completing each individual discipline, however the nerves really kicked in when I though about the hardest part; doing them all in concession, as fast as I can.
I love riding my road bike, but it soon dawned on me that I had never really pushed myself whilst out cycling. Previously I must have just pootled along, enjoying the scenery. Now I was focused I would come back from each training ride proud that I worked the hardest I physically could, it was elating. I soon began to feel the same way about running and swimming, there is something truly satisfying by going all out and pushing yourself harder then you though possible.
Race day was soon upon me. I rocked up to a car park full of lycra clad athletes. I was please to see that 'normal' people were here too. Mums, Dads, grannies and kids all shapes and sizes were getting prepped for their race day. First timers and pros all chatting away, busily setting up their transition areas. I hung my bike on the rack and laid out my trainers, exchanging nervous smiles with a fellow tri newbie, setting up next door to me.
We all sat nervously on pool side waiting for our heat to get called. Rules and regulations got explained and safety aspects highlighted. No running on pool side, bike helmets on in transitions and a description of the colour arrows that would guide our ride and run. I'm not entirely sure I took much of the information in but I was raring to get it going.
The whistle finally blew and I swam like I never swam before. Before I knew it I hopped out of the pool and ran barefoot around the outside of centre to my bike, whipped my shoes and helmet on, swigged some water and off I went. Peddling my way around a course totally new to me. Arrow to arrow I pumped my legs as hard as they would let me, chasing those who sped past me and overtaking a few who slowed in fount of me.
I dismounted after the 25km course was completed, my legs almost gave way beneath me and I ran with a strange jelly like style to my transition spot. Bike back on the rack, bike shoes swapped for trainers and I was off again. Desperately convincing my legs that they needed to be running. The course winded through streets mostly down hill through a park and back up to the sports centre. A single lap of the running track and I was collapsing over the finish line!
I had done it. Actually done my first tri.
I didn't realise at the time but I had a silly grin plastered to my face for the whole race.
I think this triathlon stuff my be a little infectious. that evening I was producing the web for my next race........ maybe a bit bigger, longer and yet another challenge to step up to.
Outdoor Girl and Adventurer. Enjoy stories from her coaching, talking and exploring.