So yesterday was my first middle distance triathlon. I only decided to give it a go 2 months ago after deciding I MIGHT be fit enough! Had a few drama’s leading up to the race, but fortunately it all came together during the race - no niggles, no stitches, no feeling sick, just cold and numb feet on the bike.
On arrival it was good for the nerves to see fellow Rugby Tri members. The water was fairly warm which was a nice surprise, however it was very brown! Glad that I didn't drink any! Set off on the swim with no biff. Mostly swam on my own, so no opportunity to draft. Was a small lake, but I quite liked the 3 lap format. Was 3rd out and 1st lady. It was a long way to T1, but was a good chance to get my bearings before trying to take my wetsuit off. Spent ages trying to rub cut grass off my feet to get my socks on. Out of T1 couldn’t clip in due to the grass. Knocked it off and away I went, over the bumps and covered cattle grids out of Ragley Hall. Got a little way in to the route and my average speed was way faster than my usual speed. Didn’t feel like I was pushing it hard, so it must have been adrenaline pumping. Keith Edwards was the first club member to come by on the bike about 30 minutes in. Was shortly followed by some others including Tamara Hardman flying along. Spent some time on my tri bars, some on the drops and some upright. I’ve never ridden that distance before without stopping, so I was grateful for the changes in position. I’ve never eaten whilst riding either and was quite pleased that this went well with my food bag. Did the bottle exchange whilst at the feed stations smoothly too! Started to feel tired after 40km which was worrying as I was not even half way!! Gradually got slower as the miles went by. Clearly didn’t listen to advice to go off steady!! The ride back to Ragley Hall was into a constant headwind and seemed to be long slightly uphill drags. Very pleased to get back without incident in a much faster time than expected at an average of 27km/hr (this is fast for my usual speed). T2 was quick and included a quick loo stop. I forgot to stretch my calves, which I regretted after I started to run! The run was on various challenging terrains - gravel, thick grass, loose cut grass, mud tracks and a bit of road. One lap was enough. It was mentally difficult to run 4 laps of such a challenging route. Also quickly realised that I hadn’t done enough longer runs off the bike in training. Basically struggled with the run and had to walk the hills more and more as the time went on. Saw lots of club members on route which was great. Also it was great to see supporters regularly too. Shane Owen was there on my last few km's to encourage me on to finish - thank you! It was great to cross the line with Oscar in my arms. What an achievement! I then enjoyed the free post race massage, which I’m sure helped me to get out of bed this morning! I thought the event was well organised and brilliantly marshalled. 9th lady and 3rd in AG.