So, how was it for you? The triathlon (and training) revealed in all its glory
Let me ponder the question for a moment. Actually, no need. One word should suffice.
But aside from that, it was also amazing, invigorating, challenging and exciting. And that was before I even got in the pool.
Which, by the way, looked less like this:
And much more like this:
Yes, I kid you not. LCM had a serious sense of humour failure when she realised that 4 lanes into 10 metres' width goes.... well, very narrowly, that's what. Topped with approximately eight to ten people doing laps in each lane, swimming over, around and about you, and you can probably understand why in my haste to set off and start my stopwatch simultaneously, I failed to, err, pull my goggles over my eyes.
Yes - first lap. LCM - nil. Goggles on forehead - 1.
Never mind! Onwards and upwards. If you cannot beat them, join them, so I am embarassed to say that I actually resorted to breastroke for a few laps after being kicked in the face twice (apparently this goes with triathlon territory) and failing to a) go any faster, or b) see where the hell I was swimming.
Whatever, I completed the swim albeit not in the most competent of manners.
Now, I will admit that both BB and I had been practising (the mockumentary will bear testament to this in due course when OH finishes editing it, subtle hint), but while I was waiting to rack my bike I watched as the male competitors exited the pool and proceeded through their swim-to-bike transition.
Oh dear. Talk about faffing, these guys were toweling down, drying between their toes, brushing their hair, changing their shorts and t-shirts, putting socks and shoes on...
It did cross my mind to yell at them, "Com'on guys, IT'S A RACE!!" but I refrained from doing so (yes, I know, unheard of). I just told BB when she joined me that we need not worry if that was the standard.
So much for practice making perfect.
Hence my own 20 seconds-or-so transition to pull on socks over wet feet, slot these into my cleated shoes, throw my cap and goggles into the bag for collection, jamm on the helmet and sunnies, and run with my bike to the 'mount' area. Preferably without stumbling or falling over in front of the adoring crowdbemused locals loyal family supporters. And then try oh-so-subtlely to get on the bike and click my shoes into the pedal clips and set off. Easier said than done when you have Mr Man, Blossom and Widget standing on the side lines (the eldest video-ing... less said about that the better, you'll eventually see what I mean) saying in very loud voices, "Mummy hurry up! Why are you being so slow?"
"F&@~#£g bl@#*y h#%l!!!" That's why.
Loved the bike ride. Two laps totalling some 25km, I even overtook other competitors (a couple of them unbelievably having a good old natter about what they were planning to do for the rest of Sunday as they proceeded at a - ahem - leisurely pace round the course) and felt pretty upbeat until the serious triathletes whizzed past me without so much as breaking a sweat. I wished them punctures.
Just as I was starting to think "I could probably manage another lap," the filter lane leading to the second transition appeared at the crest of the hill and next thing I was off the bike (without falling, result), out of the cleated shoes, into my trainers (hooray for lock laces) and heading on to the running course.
And who should come literally sprinting at a speed of knots round the corner of her last lap than BB who - lucky bugger - had started some 17 minutes before me. Despite always having been the faster runner, I could not touch her. Not even her pony tail. What had I done to deserve this? As if that was not bad enough, the lovely Wine Writer (my former rowing crew member) then came bounding down the course behind me, overtook me, and left me looking at the soles of her shoes gradually disappearing on the horizon. And she had set off a mere two minutes earlier at the start. Knew she was always fast on her feet but this was ridiculous. Ho hum. Time to pump those arms and pick your knees up.
Salvation came in the form of Blossom, aged 6, who (I later learnt) had not only already completed a lap with BB, but also then proceeded to run alongside me for two whole laps (there were four in total), cheering me on and smiling in delight. Punchline of the day came when I ran past another competitor and she blurted out, "Mummy, well done, you just overtook that lady!" To which the woman answered, panting heavily, "Sweetheart, I don't quite have your stamina."
Not sure who she was referring to.
So to the finish line. Elapsed time 1hr 42min and 8secs. Considering I was aiming for 1hr 40mins, I am pretty pleased with myself. Of course BB thrashed me - as I had long predicted - in 1hr 38mins and the Wine Writer upped the ante altogether by coming in 9th place at 1hr 29mins. Told you I have competitive friends.
Most importantly however, I enjoyed taking part and it was for a brilliant cause. If you would still like to sponsor me, the link is here.
And in the nick of time OH has edited and posted the mockumentary. Excuse the filming (Mr Man and Gorgeous Niece did the wobbly honours), but I hope it entertains you. We had fun making it.
Finally, I give you the ladies post race. Don't we look grand?