At 4.30 this morning, as Geoff and I sat in bed with our cup of tea surveying bits of kit all round the bedroom floor and my head full of transition rules, I said as firmly as I could, “You mustn’t let me enter anything else!” It seemed to me that this was a step too far in terms of things to worry about – Liskeard Show the previous day had been a bit of an experience too! However, at 10 am as I crossed the finishing line of the Liskeard Triathlon, I was surprisingly pleased that I still felt fairly well and seemed to be uninjured.
I had found the swim very difficult – I was the only person swimming with a nose clip, which tells you that I can’t really swim – and the sixteen lengths seemed just as long as they had done in training. I thought it seemed a little unfair that transition was then up a hill and 400 m away – and that this run was included in the swim time.
Transition (which is jam packed full of those technical rules) was made doable for me by the many training videos on You Tube and a little practice in our yard at home. I had read and re read the rules many times and so when it came to it everything seemed to work fairly smoothly.
I had wondered if I would be able to cycle at all after the swim but the bike felt surprisingly good and I enjoyed this phase. I don’t know how but I actually managed to overtake a few women who had finished their swims long before me so this was a big boost. The cycle ride is a hilly one with about 8 miles of the 12 up hill. I had practised it a few times but I had always stopped for a cup of tea at Trevallick’s farm shop on the way round. This time no tea (Steve Davidson had strategically placed himself to stop me turning right when I reached Fore Down) and I did actually enjoy doing the down hill after Pensilva back to Liskeard on the drops – cycle time 57 mins.
People had warned me that my legs would be like jelly for the run. I wasn’t too worried because my run is only a small jog really and I found I could do that in much the same way I normally would. I had only started running again recently and only managed to run a full 5k for the first time the previous week so I was pleased with my run time of 29 mins – the drinks station was actually at my home and I did just stop to tell our lovely marshall there that the cat who was keeping him company was called Percy.
After the drinks station, although the run was more up hill I knew it wasn’t very far and just thought I really would get to the end.
I must say that getting to the end was helped by the huge support all the way round from the marshalls and in particular from members of East Cornwall Harriers (your cheering and clapping was brilliant), and then most of all by Connie and Steve Davidson who popped up regularly all round the course to encourage me to keep going. A huge thank you to everyone who gave me so much encouragement.
So apart from the swim, I did quite enjoy it and was pleased to have enough stamina to cope with all three phases given that I never quite got round to practising all three together!
What was a bit harder was that I got cramp twice – once toward the end of the bike ride and once on the run. I was annoyed that I had forgotten to take some salt with me – and I had also abandoned my electrolyte drink near the start of the run.
I had also forgotten how running makes me need the loo – not easy to address when locked into a tri suite – anyway I survived so not too serious.
Will I try it again next year? Well probably, yes – although obviously a lot can happen in a year – but over all I did think it was a great experience so a big thank you to Tempus Leisure for organising it.