I did it! I completed the London Triathlon! Probably not a big deal for most people but for some reason the thought of this event petrified me… I’ve always wanted to do it, I have even entered it the last 2 years running but changed my mind and bottled out at the last minute! Not this year!
This year I have a lot of thank yous to make, firstly to my boyfriend Adam for giving up a day we had earmarked to spend together so I could participate whilst he assumed the role of supporter and photographer, thank you to my good friend Brett for the effort he put in to swimming with me prior to the event hoping to ease my concerns about the day, putting up with my endless questions and worries, then after participating in the morning he still stayed around to watch me start in the afternoon, check I made it out of the swim alive and watch me finish.
Thank you to Laura who also competed in the morning and hung around all day to support me, along with her other half James, my amazing friend Lisa for telling me I’m ugly when I cry whilst I had a mini meltdown pre-swim (and also supporting me) and Janet for driving back from Southampton early to also support me! All in all I had the best, loudest and super dedicated support team and I love them all for being there for me!
So when people first read our blog and aspirations it would be easy to assume that we are already established triathletes, runners, cyclists, mountain climbers etc, this is not the case! We are very much starting this as a journey and learning as we go. For some reason despite knowing I can swim and swim the distance with no problems I was petrified of the swim for this event… Convinced I would surely drown, someone would swim over the top of me, I’d be last out of the water, I’d go the wrong way etc… I trained both at the TriFarm in Essex and in the actual dock that the triathlon would be held in but I was still panicking and in tears before I had even put my wetsuit on… It got easier after that, once I was actually in the water (I got in very slowly- see pic below person on right sliding in nervously).
I started near the back anxious to not be in the washing machine effect at the front, but soon found a rhythm and managed to swim up the group a bit, no where near as panicked as I thought I would be! In reality I even ended up with some space around me!
Off into transition where I took my time, dried my feet properly, put socks on, made sure I had everything I needed then off out onto the bike. I have to admit I had expected to find the bike stage easy as I have been doing a lot of cycling recently, the weather had other ideas… The first half of each loop had a really strong headwind, initially I was finding it a struggle to keep my front wheel on the road and straight as the gusts blew but I accepted the fact it wouldn’t be my quickest ride ever and took advantage of any moments when the wind dropped or changed direction. 1hr 14mins later it was back into transition again, trainers on and off out for the run. I had quite been looking forward to the run as whilst I haven’t done a huge amount of running recently the ones I have done have felt happy and bouncy. Not this one… Started strongly enough, I look like I’m flying coming out of transition here.
But believe me that didn’t last, whilst I kept smiling as I past my support team I was aware that my pace was a lot slower than normal, I walked to drink a cup of water a few times, struggled with running into the headwind as we ran along the docks and generally muddled my way through the run, finishing a respectable hour later.
But I made it! Right up until about 30mins before my start time I was still debating not doing it, turning round and going home… But this year that wasn’t the ending! 1st Olympic distance triathlon well and truly conquered, and I get the feeling it won’t be my last!!!