Here's me during my training. Yes I should be wearing a helmet!
So after a few hitches over the summer – I finally took part in a Human Race triathlon, at Dorney Lake near Windsor Castle. It was a beautiful September Saturday that basically felt just like the end of summer, warm and sunny but not too boiling.
I had packed up my kit – bike, helmet wetsuit, goggles, managing not to forget anything plus snacks and drinks to keep me going before and a bit during the race. Along with all the other ladies attempting the Sprint Distance Triathlon – 750m swim, 21.1km cycle ride and 5km run – I got into the lake awaiting starters orders.
I completed the swim about in the middle of the pack – and dragged myself out of the water to change and grab my bike. Although I couldn’t see myself, I personally think I swam a few extra meters along the way as I have a problem with the swimming technique known as sighting; basically, when I swim front crawl I have my face in the water and can’t see where I’m going so zig-zagged round the course. Although my coaches would have been horrified to know this, when I needed to look up and decide which direction to swim in I had to do a bit of breast stroke, before going back to crawl in the new direction.
The lovely lake at Eton Dorney
Then I started my laps of the course on the bike. Basically cycling is probably my worst area. I decided to enjoy the ride rather than put too much pressure on myself. I did notice that rather a lot of people overtook me. Oh well.
Then after four laps of the course I took my bike back to the transition area and set off on my run. This part was EASY! In fact it was over unbelievably quickly. I rationalised this by telling myself that when I train I usually run quite a bit further than 5km so I had probably managed to up my usual pace somewhat.
So that was that! Well done me. I later checked my results. Indeed I had run extremely fast – 5km in just over 11 minutes! Yikes! According to Wikipedia I’d knocked over 3 minutes off the world record.
Then all the euphoria and sense of achievement was swiftly replaced by a crushing sense of embarrassment – I was supposed to run another lap. So my actual triathlon doesn’t count as I did not complete the course.
Two weeks on and I’m, while not over it exactly, I am over the idea of doing triathlons. After all, what’s the point of training your body for months if your brain is actually too tiny to take on board the rules of the course? The whole thing was a failure in the end, although I did enjoy swimming at the lido all summer and generally feeling fitter than before. I also enjoyed the day, (until I discovered my error. Then I decided never wanted to think about it again). ‘Come on’, said my boyfriend and friends, ‘look on the bright side’. Maybe they’re right. No one’s going to know are they? Its not as if I have to write a BLOG about it or anything.