Last weekend I took part in my third and final triathlon of 2014 (my 4th overall) and really enjoyed it. It was at the local lake where I do my open water swim sessions so it is nice and familiar and is the same course as the Women’s only one I did back in June.
As I sprained my ankle for the second time this year only a few weeks ago I made the decision to take part, but without any goal other than to try and finish (I told myself to do one lap of the run and see how I felt) and to enjoy it. Probably a weird sentiment for an event, but I was actually successful at both parts of my goal.
It was a mixed event with the males and females split into waves. I was in the second wave for Senior females and enjoyed the swim. The only downside was that I hadn’t practiced in my wetsuit beforehand as it has been so nice, so my breathing went a little wrong half way round and I had to take a breaststroke break to get my rhythm back. A little disappointing as the swim is my best bit, but I still came out 26th out of 135 women for the swim over the 750 metre course.
I took my time in transition and this even probably had my longest ones, but I did not want to fall over and hurt myself. I would like to work towards not wearing socks for sprint events, but I just can’t bring myself to just yet. I wore my ankle support in the swim as I knew that would take ages to get on if I tried to do it in transition.
I then headed out on the bike. The best bit of this was that they have improved where you have to run to the bike mount. It is now no longer as far as it used to be and goes out where the bike in comes back to the transition, so it was only about a minute jog, compared to 5 as it was before. I got on my bike (another thing I would like to work on is jumping on!) and set out at a decent pace. My ankle was a little uncomfortable so I just enjoyed the ride through the Cotswold Water Park area. I was actually a little faster (13 seconds) than in June so was happy with that. It was a little windy on the course, but the sunshine made it a nice temperature. I got overtaken by a lot of people on the bike, but I managed to overtake 2 ladies from the wave before mine. I came out 120th out of 135 women.
The second transition went okay. The only thing I did different this time was grab a bottle of water to take round with me as I really struggled with hydration last time and I knew I was not going to be fast at all. I started off at an easy jog and got into a nice rhythm. I had to walk a dip in the course as I was worried about being unstable on my ankle, but managed to jog the whole first lap otherwise. I then made the decision to do the second lap and it felt better than the first. I walked the dip again, but jog all the way round and managed to speed up a little into the finish. It really helped to have fellow running club members marshalling and Jace doing the commentary as this spurred me on. I was a lot slower than the one in June, but I was happy that I was able to jog at all! I came in 135th out of 135 women on the run section.
Overall I finished in 1 hour 40 minutes and 20 seconds, compared to 1 hour 34 minutes and 54 seconds back in June. I had a nice morning though and am really glad I took part as the week leading up to it I had a lot of doubt and wanted to pull out, but I knew others from running club were taking part and I wanted to be part of it. I love this photo that was taken of Shelly, Me, and Katie at the end. Dan and Andy also took part, but had disappeared at photo time. I felt so good at the time and I really think it comes across in this photo. I always dislike my race photos, but I have some great ones from after my races that bring back all the good memories of the events.
On a side note, this completed my Project Lifestyle goal. I originally had down to complete 4 triathlons, but due to the sprained ankle issues I cut that goal back and am extremely happy with 3. I have also helped out on the Saturday before 2 of the 3 I completed, and also marshalled at 3 long distance triathlons and will be marshalling this weekend. I feel I have learnt a lot this year about the sport of triathlon and have really enjoyed seeing both side, by taking part and marshalling. I am currently thinking about future goals and where I want to go with this sport, so keep an eye out for posts on that later in the year!