Monday, 25 May 2015

My First Triathlon - from duathlete to wannabe triathlete! The Mini-Marshman..

After an awesome triathlon training holiday in the Pyrenees last week with Embrace Sport(Blog coming), I thought it was time to jump straight into my first triathlon, conquer my open water fear and convert myself from a Duathlete to a Triathlete!

The event was called the Mini Marshman (Sprint Triathlon), a very well run event by a local company called Velocity Events. There was also the Marshman Standard (Olympic distance)  and for the hard-core, the Marshman (half iron man distance).  It was held in Lydd lakes near Rye.  Landing home Thursday night, I quickly ordered a triathlon suit online which I picked up on Friday for Saturday (thank goodness it fit, though it was pinker than I expected, not the most intimidating colour!).


I rolled out of bed at 5am to have a quick pre-race breakfast though I couldnt stomach coffee yet and with my large bag (you need to take so much more than for a Duathlon; Wetsuit, towel, goggles, dry clothes etc),headed to the event. As I was driving, it was drizzling and only 9 degrees, which was making me dread the lake and the freezing temperature it was going to be. I arrived to a field at 6am to register, thinking maybe I should hop in the car and turn round! I then racked my bike and unenthusiastically set to work taking off layers, applying body glide (to help you quickly take your wet suit on and off) and putting on the wetsuit.  Joining many shivering bodies by the entrance of the lake, we had our race briefing and then plunged into the lake.


Once getting into the lake, I hovered at the back before the horn. I was freezing! Every time I put my head underwater I lost my breath and couldnt breathe. Trying to acclimatise by dunking my head and letting a bit of water into the wet suit to warm up,  the horn went off. Everyone charged off while I panicked and went into a weird front crawl with head out the water/ breast stroke swim. Not the most technical and very slow! There were a couple of others in the water also doing breast stroke so I didnt feel so bad. The swim felt a lot longer than in the pool, probably as you have no wall to push off every 25m! I did feel very safe in the water with a kayak alongside me most of the way (as I was at the back!) Having completed the swim,  I headed to transition with wet feet. The transition was slow I got the wetsuit off fairly quickly but took a while drying my feet and putting on some socks and a jacket! I didnt want to get cold on the bike (as you know from previous experience!).


The bike course was 24km and a lovely flat course heading to Camber and back, there was a slight head wind but I enjoyed it and started overtaking a couple of participants which made up for the swim! T2 was fairly quick (having practiced many bike run transitions!), I think I even overtook a few during this.)



My strength, though I did have strange pins and needles in my feet, maybe from the swim or cold! Anyway I charged off and overtook a few more participants. After a fairly flat 6k through the village I sprinted the last few hundred metres to the finish! Where I was given a medal and some well-earned Jaffa cakes. It was also great that you could get your times there and then and I was super pleased with a 3rd Lady place (bottle of wine and a trophy!), what a surprise! My goal for this race was to just complete it, get round the lake without panicking and get to the end! Done!!

From now on, it's time for some more open water sessions before the Hyde Park Triathlon next weekend. Dan has written me a new programme which I started this week , it includes swimming now; with the main goal still to improve my running and cycling for Worlds. Its great to be training again I have missed the structured sessions. Ive also been to a lake to train this week and managed the regular front crawl so am looking forward to next weekend knowing what to expect, though the field is going to be a lot larger! My goal is to improve my swimming time and not be last out the water…..!


Sunday then consisted of an 8mile trail run with Mango, who was pretty knackered by the end!

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