Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Triathlon Complete


Triathlon complete: 400m swim, 16.8k cycle, 4k run in a total time of 1:22:27, which makes me 7th in my age group.

The swim: In case you were unaware, salt water tastes disgusting. And once you have swallowed it once or twice or a hundred times, it will take you the rest of the race to get the taste out of your throat.
I did not do the swim properly at all. I'm not really sure what happened, I didn't panic, I just didn't feel like looking somewhat professional, I guess. So I did every stroke you can think of – proper freestyle, freestyle with my head out of the water, breast-stroke, side-stroke for a minute til I felt like an idiot. But I didn't drown, and I only finished two minutes behind Running Buddy in the swim. Happy with the result, but not the execution.
According to moderately reliably sources, I had a Thank god that's over look on my face when I emerged. Sounds plausible.
I peeled off my goggles and swim cap feeling like a pro, and headed off to my first transition.

The bike: I realised later (much later) that I somehow put my shirt on inside out, but that affected nothing. The transitions are both a bit of a blur, but somehow I was dressed, helmeted, and headed out on the bike.
Let the record show that I overtook one (1) other competitor on the bike. If the record feels like it, it may show that I was overtaken by approximately a million other riders, but that's neither here nor there. I would like to say cheers to the guy in the Australia tri-suit who overtook both myself and Running Buddy and said that we were looking good. Thanks Aussie Tri-suit Guy!
My bike (which was noticeably less, shall we say, expensive than many others there) did just fine. I hadn't really worked out how fast I could go for how long and not fall off my bike at the end of it, but I think I held a pretty good pace. Only 2:15 behind RB in the bike, so that is very good. Okay, the bike did start making a slightly worrisome clicking/clunking noise midway through the second lap, but I just had a chat to it (and didn't make it do anything alarming like change gears) and we were all good.
I had no problems with the marshal, I had one leg over the bike, and was ready to put my foot down right before the line, so all went smoothly into the second transition.

The run: My secret weapon is that I don't have clip-in shoes for my bike, so my bike-run transition was super quick.
I'd decided socks were for chumps, but they probably also should have been for people who have shoes that haven't been tested running without them. I don't think the constant rubbing actually slowed me down any, but it certainly hurt in the post-race shower.
I really really wish they had kilometre markers for the run course – or that I knew the course better. I let myself have way too many walk breaks, although in my defence, they were all super short ones. Turns out RB and I both had a sneaky one right before the final turn – which allowed me to “sprint” to the finish line.

Obviously, we should know by now that I am unable to look joyful while exercising – unlike RB who looks cheerful in every single one of her photos. Photos, by the way, are courtesy of my new camera – and the Boyfriend, who did a great job capturing every moment of our Triumph.

Then we had a chocolate milkshake. My favourite part of frisbee tournaments, 10k runs, and triathlons.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tri your hardest

As soon as I started packing up my things at the end of the day today, I freaked out. I should be blissfully happy about the prospect of a long weekend, but as soon as work was over for the day, I couldn't pretend that the triathlon was off somewhere in the future. Friday afternoon means the weekend is here, which means oh crap, my triathlon is here.

I am really really not looking forward to the swim. I had a bad session last week, when we timed ourselves for the first time, although I had a better session this week. I just freak out and pull my head out of the water (sometimes for no reason that even I know), which stops any momentum I might have going. But I have decided that I have to take ten breaths before I am allowed to stop and look up, which should be about 25 metres. So I should be done with the swim by the time everyone else is done with the bike.

The bike is practically guaranteed to be my favourite event. No idea if I'll be any good at it (probably not), but I won't be in danger of drowning or feeling like I'm dying after doing two and a bit events, so I am going to love it.

I will just plod away at the run. We haven't practiced too much distance running, so I do not think I will be enjoying myself by this stage. But there will be the added incentive of, you know, being able to stop and never do this again, so that might propel me forwards somewhat.

Basically, my goals are as follows:
  • Look competent enough in the water that the lifeguard guys don't ask me if I need help.
  • Finish the swim before the next wave does. Or at least too many of the next wave.
  • Don't get told off by the transition marshals.
  • Remember to put my shirt on before my helmet.
  • Have no trouble putting up my bike.
  • Finish.
Race report to come, which will no doubt be much more cheerful than this post. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Giving it a tri

As I mentioned, I am doing my first triathlon in two weeks. It is the medium-sized one of the three that will be run on the day, with a 400m swim, 16.8km cycle, and 4km run.

The run I am not too worried about, but maybe I should be, as I haven't run that distance properly since November.

The swim and the ride I am slightly worried about.

I spent a lot of time in the pool as a kid, but almost none of that was spent swimming laps. I have so far done two pool sessions, and will aim for another two or three swims before the race, and while I can swim that distance, I'm not sure if I can do it all in one go, without any breaks to rest on the wall. Also there is no wall in a triathlon.

I am also worried I will panic in the water when there are lots of people around me, and/or if I am last by a lot (not an completely unreasonable assumption).

Since we went for our first long training ride, I am no longer as worried about the ride. I am worried I won't know where to go, as there might not be enough other riders around me to follow. I am worried I will do something wrong in transition and the marshal will yell at me. I am worried I won't be able to find my bike spot. I am only a little bit worried about being completely dead last, because it won't be as obvious by this stage, what with all the different races and waves.

Today we went to watch the triathlon that is before ours in a series of races. The distances were quite similar and I imagine the set-up will be almost identical. It hasn't convinced me that this is the greatest idea ever, but I do feel more comfortable now that I know what to expect.

As a result, we have the following list of things to do before the race:
  • buy a race belt that the pro-looking people use to hold their numbers - done
  • buy elastic shoelaces (no-one had non-elastic laces today) - done
  • buy a swim cap, discover you don't need it on the day as they are provided - done
  • rethink your outfit based on what everyone else was wearing. Refrain from buying new clothes - done and done for now (pending the results of our dress rehearsal)
  • consider riding and running with no socks. Reject the idea of testing it out, based on how much it would suck to get ridiculous blisters at this point - done
  • test out watch in water (it does say thirty meters)
  • try an open-water swim
  • try a swim-then-ride dress rehearsal, with transition
  • try a ride-then-run, with transition
  • Running Buddy needs to figure out to start riding with her shoes already clipped into pedals AND how to un-velcro her shoes and dismount without unclipping. Have fun with that!
And become a super champion swimmer, cyclist, and runner. Ready, go!

Friday, January 03, 2014


I have never been too much into New Years Resolutions, although I do love the idea of a brand new year full of possibilities, and the actual clean slate of a pretty new diary.

I have this diary, and I absolutely love it and highly recommend it. (And if OTI want to send me a year's supply of diaries, that would be just lovely.) It has everything I need - space! columns! post its! - and things I don't - travel booking section! entertaining hostess section! etc.

I didn't use a paper diary last year, and relied completely on my phone calendar. I am not confident this year is going to go any differently, but I'm trying to get back in the paper habit.

I went through Facebook and added birthdays in, according to an extremely random system consisting of very erratic criteria. People whose birthdays I had in my first school diaries, regardless of whether I still see them - in. People whose birthdays fall a day after a birthday I've already added - in. People whose birthday falls symmetrically with a birthday I've already added - in. People whose birthdays are in the first week of January - in twice! And so forth. You should probably let me know your birthday, I probably missed adding it.

I did take the opportunity to begin a couple of new exercise programs on the 1st of January, as follows:
30 Day Ab Challenge: This might sound familiar.
30 Day Push Up Challenge: Mostly made up. 10 pushups a day for a week, then 20 a day for a week, and so on. Stop me if you've heard this one before.
Throwing Challenge: Frisbee season has ostensibly started, although I've yet to hear anything about it. But that's cool since I'm now just a player and it's no longer my job to worry about such things. I'm a woman of leisure! Anyway, 100 throws a day? 100 throws some days? Some kind of unspecified but regular throwing amount.
Triathlon Challenge: UM WHAT NOW?

So my Running Buddy suggested that we do a mini triathlon (400m swim, 16.8km cycle, 4km run). I politely suggested she was crazy. Then we were at a event at which there was also plenty of wine, and I believe I may have said yes to this ridiculousness. The race is the 27th of January. 2014.

So that's a thing. January is therefore pretty busy, what with training for four events and all, but I think it's a good way to start the year. After this I can take 11 months off, right? (Wrong: doing nothing in December + eating all the food = January exercise so far sucks.)

Despite all the exercise that appears to be in it, I am really looking forward to 2014!

Week 1 - considerably easier than Week 4.
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