Friday, 12 October 2012

From The Past - My First Triathlon

Here is a post from 2010 back when I did my first triathlon, back when I could take it or leave it.

My First Triathlon

So last Sunday I did my first sprint triathlon, the Mid Sussex Triathlon. The day started at 5.00 when me and Tom woke up to a quick breakfast and a cup of tea. A short drive to the Triangle Leisure Centre in Burgess Hill and we were set to have our numbers draw on us in the strongest permanent marker in the world (Which took 3 days to wash off). After registration we took our carefully packed tri boxes and bikes to the transition area.

After laying out my foot towel in the perfect foot drying position and my helmet, shades and top in the most efficient way possible. All this in the vein hope that when it came to the actual transition I would have some clue what the hell I was supposed to be doing.

Stuff sorted we waiting casually chatting with the other competitors about the course and general pre-race banter. Ranging from our kit to subtle ways to psych one another out. After the race briefing the first swimmer started at 7.00. Me and my brother took a walk to the observation deck in the pool to watch the starters. This was when the nerves started to kick in.

More and more of the swimmers started my start time neared and my position in the line grew shorter. With only four competitors I turned to my brother, now feeling really nervous, and said "Whose stupid idea was this?"

Swimming Section

There was no one in front of me and I was in the pool. Three. Two. One. I was off. Nothing quite prepared myself from going from full of nerves to race mode. Halfway down the first length my body woke up and all the training I had done kicked in. No longer nervous. A single thought in my mind. Swim straight, don't drown don't waste to much energy.

The final length of the swim drew to a close and it was time to get out of the pool. Using the steps, as not to make a tit of myself if i fell over, I pulled myself out and started the run to the transition area to get ready for the bike ride. I had no idea what the hell I was supposed to be doing. I got to the transition area remembering only one thing. Make sure you helmet is on before you touch your bike. I stand on the towel, move my top out of the way and put my helmet on it. Pick up top and realise that I need to take my helmet off, put my top on, put my helmet on and step into my shoes. Now its time to pick up my bike and run with it to the mounting area. Enter the mounting area mounting my bike and start to ride narrowly missing a woman trying to get her bike into gear. A luck escape as I don't think she would have been too happy if I had ridden into her. Exiting the leisure centre the race portion begins.

Section Two - The Ride

For the majority of the bike ride there was nothing to worry about. A side from needing to practice on gear changes on the hills it all went fairly well. I was taken back a few times as the more experienced competitors, on really expensive bikes, wizzed past me closer than I expected. But after the first couple of times that happened I started to check behind me more often so that I knew who was behind me, and so that I wasn't causing an obstruction people who were clearly better than me. Like the people who overtook me on the steep up hill sections.

With the bike section drawing to a close I changed down gears to try and warm up my legs ready for the run. In my haste I changed down to many gears and was left coasting with my legs spinning around aimlessly. Coasting into the dismount area I jump off my bike and run it back to my place in the transition area to rack it up. Throwing my helmet into my box and picking up a bottle of water I head out for the final section, the run.

Leaving the transition area water bottle in hand I start the run. My legs feeling heavy from the cycle I knew it would only be a little longer before they would feel normal again. The run went fine with brownies lining the route with list of everyone's names and numbers ready to cheer you on just when you need it. With the final stretch drawing to a close, the cheers from the brownies getting louder and the finished line getting closer it was time to muster the last of my energy. It was time for a sprint finish. My legs where not quite feeling up to the job. Then I spy my bother, who had already finished waiting on the finish straight. I hold my arms out for a high five. High five received I now have the energy, pulled from the ether, to sprint the last little bit to the finish. Crossing the line and stopping my watch. Covered in sweat and in dire need for a shower and a cup of tea I look down at the time. 1:19:55. Happy that my first triathlon went better than my first marathon.

The Finish Line

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