Since I had embarked on my triathlon journey at the start of this year the one triathlon I had signed up to that I was dreading was this one.
Not that it isn’t amazingly well organised by Carlisle Tri Club that is.
I was just dreading the 500m pool swim.
I’d watched the event for the two years previously and, but for injury last year, I might well have taken part in 2014.
But I’ve always been put off by swimming in the pool with other people…let alone competing in the pool with other people.
So the morning arrived and, having found out that my start time was the first wave off, I didn’t have to leave the house until around 11am. Which meant that I could spend most of the morning having a bit of a lie in and a chill before I had to set off.
I headed down the road, literally as the event took part no more than a stone’s throw from my house, and got my gear sorted for transition. Luckily Kathryn was on hand to free up a massive knot in my neck/shoulder which I’m glad she had as it was giving me no end of pain and headaches.
With the bike racked it was then just a case of pottering about and taking in the race brief before my swim.
The swim was set up so that there were three people in a lane, each with different coloured swim caps, doing 25 lengths of the pool. If the person behind you was being held up by you going slowly they would tap you on the feet and, when you reached the end of that lap, you would stop and let them pass.
I started off ok and managed to bag 5 lengths fairly sharpish but things started to go downhill not long after that. The guy in the lane next to me was a splasher and the lady in my lane and myself kept linking arms as we passed each other. I ended up with a mouthful of water at one point as the splasher past me and nearly choked. This resulted in a minute or so of standing still and regaining my composure. By this point I’d lost track of how many laps I’d done so I stupidly asked the lady counting the laps how many I had left…10 was the reply. I felt a bit demoralised at that point as I thought I was nearly finished so my motivation dropped a little until I got to five lengths left and just really wanted this part over with. I finished and climbed out slightly annoyed with myself for getting demotivated.
A quick shake off and it was trainers on for the bike leg. At this point I had a word with myself and got my head back together. On the bike and a wave to my dad and I was off. I was quite lucky with the bike leg as it took in quite a lot of my route to work as well as the training routes I’d been doing lately so I was very familiar with it.
Within five minutes of being on the bike there were people in my sights and as I was picking them off I was just aiming to catch up with the next one.
At this point I’d like to apologise to anyone who might have been annoyed at my humming of The Charlie Brown Theme Tune as I passed them. This wasn’t intentional it is merely a tool I’ve started using on the bike for myself to get into some sort of zone.
Having caught up with, and passed, four on the bike I was nearing the school again for the beginning of the final section…the 5k run.
Arriving I noticed that there were a couple ahead that I could catch and I was lucky again in the fact that the route was again a normal training route that I took from my house all the time. So with that in mind I knew exactly where to take it easy and where to kick to catch people up.
With a mile to go I caught two on the hill going past my house and started the final push for the finish.
Entering the school gates and making my way round the outskirts it wasn’t long until I heard Lindsay (before I saw her) shouting me to the finish. This was just the push needed to get my legs going for the final sprint to the finish line.
It was lovely seeing my mum and dad at the end. But what was even better was seeing my wife and kids as I rounded the corner to the finish line.
My second triathlon was over. The swim was horrible but I more than made up for it on the bike and run.
A word of thanks must go to all the DH Runners who were scattered around the course shouting support (and those who marshalled) and to Carlisle Tri Club for putting on a very well organised event. Thanks also to Katrhyn for sorting out my neck and shoulder and Coach Heather for the pre-race words that calmed my nerves somewhat. I don’t know whether to thank Andrew for the pre-race attempted tea-bagging or not but it did take my mind off the swim for a brief period.
THE GEEKY STATS BIT:
Total (Including transition): 1:32:12.20
Next up for me was the London Triathlon Super Sprint on August 8th. This was to be my final fling in the Triathlon world for this year. More on that next time…
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