First triathlon of the season and it went much better than expected. My only reason for entering was that we’d got to the end of June and I still hadn’t taken part in a tri yet this year so thought if I wait until August (MK Tri) the season will be just about over before I’ve even started! It was a bit of a last minute entry – the Wednesday before and I went into it with the attitude that it would just be a bit of fun, times don’t matter.
With the sum total of two swimming sessions – a half hour lake swim at the end of May and 3/4 hour last Wednesday in the pool I wasn’t expecting much in the way of the swim, more of a get round but once I got over the initial first 100m and the washing machine effect (it was a mixed wave so quite physical) I settled into a nice rhythm. By halfway I tried to get a feel of where I was in relation to the rest of the wave and felt I was quite far back, but when I started overtaking some of the previous was knew I wasn’t too bad and in the final couple of hundred metres was passing my own wave left right and centre! I actually came out of the water in 12th place which was not too shabby methinks!
I hadn’t ridden the bike route before but had done bits of it and knew the first 5-6 miles would be hard, lots of uphills, tricky descents and a cheeky cattle grid, but I soon found myself over taking people on the uphills and then worked to keep ahead of them on the straights. I knew I had overtaken a few girls from my wave and as far as I could tell only one had overtaken me. Once the route hit the main roads it was a very quick ride – some hills but long stretches where even I managed to get on the tri bars for a bit. It was very windy and nearly came a cropper passing a n open gateway with wind whipping through it – at 30 mph on the bars a swear word or two may have come out of my mouth!
Coming back into transition one of the girls I had overtaken earlier came past me and we set out on the run. As ‘m suffering from really tight calves at the moment I had already decided that the run would be a gentle run and with the terrain, slightly off road and very wet and muddy (serious overnight rain coupled with a week of rain beforehand) I didn’t want to take any chances. I’ve a half marathon in two weeks and couldn’t risk it. The first lap was quite hard with my left calf feeling very tight on the verge of popping, but slowly as I plodded on it loosened up a bit and by the second lap I felt I could run a bit easier. I could see two women ahead at that point, knew the first lady was too far ahead but the second place was slowly coming back to me – but with my wise hat on felt I was quite happy where I was and finished a very pleased third place!
I don’t think I’ve ever been placed in a triathlon before so was really pleased with it, especially as I knew there was more to come from the swim and my run was quite restrained. To round it off I also got second place in my age group. So, all in all a great day and a fine return to the world of triathlon!