Sunday 23rd April 2017 near enough 8 months to the day I started my life changing journey, I embarked on a personal challenge of completing a GoTri.
After just a few months of the change the idea of doing a triathlon was mentioned, and me being me, when an idea sticks it really sticks. At first I was looking into sprint triathlons around my area and there are a lot to choose from. However, the thought of an open water swim, and the competitive nature of these events was little daunting for a first entry into multi discipline sport. The thought of a triathlon was slowing getting clouded with doubt and fear, until I found the GoTri.
The name says it all really, it allows you to give a triathlon a go in a friendly environment. Swimming in a pool and biking/running on roads, paths and school fields, a GoTri removes the pressure and expectation, but don’t let that fool you, its still bloody hard work!
THE BIG DAY . . .
Registration annoyingly was late morning at 11.40am. So the morning was spent sitting, clock watching and building anticipation. And it a weird twist of fate, it was the London Marathon – so watching those crazy people was a great inspiration for my up coming challenge. Bags were packed and all I could do was wait . . .
Heading to Trentham High School, the car park was already jam packed, and bikes were racked ready to get going. I had been allocated into the 3rd wave which was set to get started at 12.18pm. Giving enough time to set up my transition area before heading poolside 10 minutes before start.
And we were off . . . 200m swim = 10 lengths of the tiny tiny pool. Half way through had a realisation I was using my legs too much to swim, and going a little too fast. I was already starting to fatigue. That being said, I was the first of my wave out of the pool, and after a short run from the pool to the transition area I was ready for my bike.
Still dripping wet I threw on my socks and trainers, wrapped up in my biking jacket, attached my race number and off we went. My transition was pretty quick and I was soon off ready for the 10km bike ride I had to come.
This is where it all went downhill. I totally underestimated the cycle route. As a weekly spinner and victim of a crazy hard leg day or two I thought I had strong legs. I enjoy being out on my bike, and thought this would be my strongest of the 3. My how wrong was I. The route seemed to be hill after hill, some big some steady inclines which are evil. Although we did a drive of the route a week before, I was silly to not ride it. Something I will 100% do if I do anything like this again. In my training I had been completing a 10km ride in around 22-25 minutes. But on the day it took my more like 35. Disappointing . . . but lesson learnt!
So after arriving back at the school and re-racking, I swapped the helmet for headphones and headed off for my run. Headphones aren’t common in triathlon, but since I only started running about 1 month ago, I like to use the music to keep me going and get me into a rhythm.
In the event information the run was described as being laps around field and local pavements. So in my preparation run outside I ran on pavement – again big mistake. This run was actually two laps of a school field. Solely on grass. This was so much harder to run on, and I felt it in my knees. My best gym run time was just over 16 minutes, Sundays run on grass was 19. I lost time being being underprepared.
But I did it! I have a lovely shiny new medal and am so proud that I accomplished something so personal. Triathlon is such a solo sport, you just have yourself to rely on to get you to the finish line. And I did myself proud!
My goal was to complete in an hour including transition. my final time was 1 hour and 2 minutes. Seeing as my shoelace came undone TWICE during my run, I can deal with the extra two minutes.
I would seriously encourage anyone to participate in a GoTri, you will not regret it. I was so lucky, the event was fantastically organised, the crowd were brilliant and there was no pressure or expectation. So if you’re thinking about it, just do it. Go on TRI!
Special thank you to the Dog and Doublet Sandon, where we had an amazing Sunday lunch to celebrate the competition of the event. The guys there presented me with this congratulations plate at the end of our meal. And it tasted as good as it looked!