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My first individual triathlon ☺
The Rat 70.3 - 13th December 2015
Flying down to Victoria with my bike in bits, hopefully secure in its travel bag was when I first realised that I’d never ridden my bike anywhere but around Cairns!
Then standing in line at the registration tent in Ballarat it hit me, I was actually doing my first triathlon. Surprisingly it didn’t stress me out to much, I knew I could do the distances. The question was how to put it all together?
What was actually concerning me much more was the weather and what to wear? It was pretty cold on registration day for a person who lives in Cairns and they were predicting a 6 degree morning temp on race day, brrrr, with wind NW 15 increasing to 25 km/hr midmorning and maximum temp 27 degrees. Having grown up in country Vic I knew the weather could do anything and I don’t tolerate cold very well!
Ok, I’m nervous now! I can’t eat but force down some breakfast. I carry my milk crate of transition gear to my bike and setup. I have never had to transition before so check out the varied ways other people are preparing. The security person was quite amused but allowed my milk crate to stay in transition as it wasn’t a bag!
Slowly I make my way through some food while waiting for my age group to start as there was no way I was getting in the water for a warmup. I was shivering in my wetsuit so did some exercises. It’s a lot easier to put on your wetsuit away from humid Cairns!
Finally my turn, the waters not that bad! I’m not a fast swimmer and my natural side to breathe on is the left so I decide to start in the centre of the pack, then the faster swimmers can take off and I can use the other caps to help keep my direction. I feel great swimming. The water felt cool and clean and clear. Yes, I could see all the reeds really well! The only time I felt uncertain was after the last turn, we were swimming on an angle to shore and people seemed to be swimming on both sides of the buoys? After zigzagging a bit, I spotted the white buoys on the beach and headed for home. The swim seemed to be over so quickly, I was unzipping my wettie and running into T1.
Not my finest moment!
I could not get my wetsuit off over the timechip. Finally I was free, I quickly got socks (yes, socks), shoes, helmet and glasses on. Decided to wear the short sleeve windbreaker but then fiddled around trying to get gloves on wet hands which is actually rather difficult.
Things I learnt:
Sometimes it’s easier to sit down to take off your wetsuit.
You don’t need to wear gloves.
Wind breaker was too big, it flapped everywhere.
I thought it would be hard to get my heart rate up but it was hammering. We had driven the course the day before so I knew where I was going. The first time through the criterion part I was a bit tentative but the second time I really enjoyed it ☺ I felt great the first 60km then I hit the wind on the way back out of town and ran out of food and legs. I really had to give myself a talking to, fortunately the wind was behind me again for the home stretch but I was over it and couldn’t wait to get off the bike.
Note: Need more food in colder climate or race conditions?
Thank god for that!
I sit on my seat (milk crate) to change shoes and happily suck down a gel as I run out.
It’s time to go!
I knew that I had slowed on the ride but running is where I feel most confident. My heart rate was up and pace too fast! Steady, steady I told myself during the first lap round the lake. By the end of the second lap I was still feeling strong so decide to push a bit harder in the final lap. I enjoyed playing cat and mouse, spotting peoples age groups. It was finally paying off, I kept passing people in my age group. The last 2 km I could feel my hamstrings tightening but I kept pushing, the finish was so close now. I loved seeing the red carpet and knowing I was physically done but still running strong.
Looking back at my splits the average pace of the 3 laps look pretty consistent, you can also see where I am running with or against the wind!
Finishing was a buzz, I was bubbling for days. I actually did a triathlon! What made it special was my husband with me every step of the way (not just in Ballarat) and my kids acceptance of our crazy routines.
In my head I wanted to go under 6 hours for my first 70.3.
So yes, I am really happy!
Thankyou, the getting a coach and my decision on you was a good one.
Swim 33:33min Wetsuits are great.
Bike 3:01:34 Need to work on this! I do now have bike envy, would love a triathlon bike but know it’s me that needs to get stronger.
Run 1:45:53 Happy time off the bike.
T1/T2 6:47min Ok, I’ve had my practice now.
Total 5:27:47 Not bad for a first effort but room to improve.
AG place (40-44) 8th
Half way to doing my first ironman now ☺
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