bike kendal

My first tri

Well, I did it! After 2-3 months of swimming lessons and frustration at not being able to ‘breathe’ in the water, I actually completed my first ever triathlon. Not only did I complete it, I really enjoyed it. Here’s how it went…

After a pretty sleepless night, I got up and tried to eat some porridge. My mind said ‘Yes’ but my nervous tummy said ‘Definitely not!’ I managed a few spoonfuls then packed my car up with bike and huge transition box full of possible clothing combinations. The weather forecast had thrown me! Forecast was very wet and nasty, but at the moment the sun was shining brightly without a cloud in the sky.

I drove up to Kendal, trying not to think about what I was letting myself in for. I arrived before registration had even opened so went for a look at the bike racking place (Transition!) First panic of the day. A really helpful marshal showed me where to put my bike and box of stuff and what to wear etc. I couldn’t quite get my head around clothing to wear now and to get to the pool. I was almost more nervous being seen in public in my tri suit that doing the event!

So registration opened and I found a few people who were just as nervous and attached myself to them until I found Emma and Zoe. After applying numbers to different parts of my anatomy, bike and helmet, it was time for the pool briefing. Panic number two. At this point I almost told Natasha (giving the briefing) that I have made a mistake and can’t possibly take part. However I didn’t get time for this as we were told to get in the pool!!! Hat was on, goggles were on, this was it! I was pleased to be in lane one so I had steps in case I needed to run away!

I set off second in my lane (we were on 10 second intervals). Off I went..bubble bubble breathe. I was going fine until about 6 lengths in and then started to panic. Doubt crept into my head. “I can’t do this” “People are watching” ” I need to get out”. So I stopped at the end of a length and regained my focus. I heard someone shout ‘Come on Sadie’ and off I went again. Luckily I have done enough marathons to know how to push that doubt demon out of my mind before it takes hold. I felt quite disorientated with my steamed up goggles and echoes around the pool so I couldn’t actually see if I was the last one in the pool or not. I couldn’t see a thing!

Once I had stopped panicking I finished my swim and with wobbly arms and legs, pulled myself out of the pool. I was so pleased to have done that part I got a little emotional when I left the pool area to the bright sunshine outside.

I ran up to transition on the wet grass and started deciding what to wear. It was cold but sunny so chose to just wear my tri suit on my bike leg. Helmet on, shoes on and off I went. I really enjoyed the bike leg. It was two loops of an undulating country route. Marshals were great and very helpful.

As I finished the bike loop, I dismounted (without crashing!) and ran my bike back to transition 2. Wobbly legs!! My hands and feet were like ice by then so I couldn’t feel to undo my cycle shoes or get my trainers on so some time was taken over this. Quick swig of juice and off I ran. Well when I say ran…it was more like a crawl at first as my legs did not want to move and my feet were still frozen. I had thought that I would find the run the easiest part but it was like running through deep sand! They stopped complaining eventually and I went past a few people on the hill then had a lovely downhill stretch to the finish at Kendal Leisure Centre.  I had finished, without drowning or falling off my bike. I had no idea of any of my times but I did not care. I was so pleased I had done it and wanted to sign up for another one straight away!

So, the moral of the story is. If you have something you are scared about trying, try it! I said last year I would never ever do a triathlon because I can’t put my face in the water or swim properly. It took ages for me to get it. But I did get it and actually now I love it. I can now say I am a triathlete…….