WOOHOO, I did it! I’m officially a triathlete and can’t stop smiling!
Today I took part in the Diamond Tri Sprint Triathlon at Eaton Dorney Lake, an event put on by Human Race. I’m so happy I took part and will be definitely be going back next year. I had my super cheering squad, Bex and Cristiano with me, who as usual did a fantastic job of cheering me on, thanks guys!
Here’s my race review, I’ll try and keep it brief (ish):
We arrived in plenty of time which allowed me to get more and more nervous. I think people in wetsuits automatically look professional, and as I watched some of the early competitors coming out of the water into their first transition, I had a serious “what on earth am I doing here moment.”
After plenty of whimpering from the sidelines I went to set up my kit. My hands were actually shaking as I fastened my number to my T-shirt which is ridiculous! I was actually more nervous than before a marathon!
Luckily there were some lovely ladies next to me who were happy to give me advice, such as to put plastic bags on your hands and feet when putting on your wetsuit to help it slide on more easily, and how to lay out my kit to make my transition more efficient.
These ladies really eased my nerves and when it was time to get into the water I felt a little calmer.
I felt well prepared for the swim after practicing my open water swimming in the Lakes and swimming once or twice a week for the last few months. I was nervous about all the argy- bargy I’d heard about, but because it was a women’s only start I rightly assumed it would be a little better. Before I knew it the horn was blown and we were off. It was a little busy at the beginning but people soon spaced out and I got into a good rhythm. I felt strong throughout and didn’t have any panic moments. I finished the 750m swim in 16.46, which was slightly quicker than I expected and a good start to the race.
I was worried I’d be wriggling around on the floor trying to get my wetsuit off, but luckily the bodyglide did the trick and it came off easily. I fumbled around a little but there were no disasters.
The bike was the section I was utterly dreading. Bex had lent me her road bike, and I’d only had a chance to ride it once around the block to learn how to use the gears. Even though it was pancake flat, I felt physically sick at the idea of it. All I wanted to do was finish without falling off my bike or causing a collision. Cri and Bex happily told me I was the slowest cyclist there and I did seem to get overtaken by pretty much everyone. Luckily my expectations were so low, I really didn’t mind. I was happy when it was over, even though I got one of the slowest times.
This transition was easy as I just had to dump my bike and start running- easy!
Hello jelly legs!! I knew my legs would feel weird but they actually felt like they weren’t attached to my body, very strange indeed. It was hard to judge my pace when my legs felt so weird so I just kept running. My rubbish cycle had obviously put me at the back of the pack, which meant when it got the run, I seemed to be overtaking pretty much everyone. This hasn’t happened in a race before and it was a real morale booster- the intervals had obviously paid off! I finished in quite a respectable time considering what I’d done beforehand so was pretty pleased.
Finish time: 1.40.19
I was really chuffed with my time. I really didn’t have a clue how I would do or what a good time would be, but had 1.45 at the back of my mind. I’m pleased how strong my swim and run were, and am excited to see how I could if I actually learn to ride a bike.
It was a great event which was really well organised with friendly staff and a good atmosphere. What more can you ask for?
So, thanks Human, Race, I’ll definitely be back next year, perhaps with some clip on shoes…
Oh, and obviously it goes without saying that we celebrated with food and wine!
Have you dine your first triathlon this Summer, or are you a veteran?
Can you recommend any good triathlons?
Were you ever as terrible as me on the bike?
I’d love to hear from you so feel free to comment below! Hope you’ve had a fab weekend,
(Triathlete) Jess xxxxx