I trained and I Tri-ed: Blenheim is done!
Six months of training lead to a very wet and windy Saturday in June and the Blenheim Triathlon…
I did the Blenheim Sprint Triathlon last year and loved is so much I came back for a Second time…
I was very anxious the night before. Last year the bike element had been so tough, which in turn made the run much harder than is should have been. I’d also found swim training in the lake this year much tougher than last year, which also freaked me out.
My wave was at 2.35pm, which also gave me the whole day to stress out (!)
I felt good walking out to the swim. Bizarrely, I find it so much easier swimming around a lot of other people, rather than when I’d trained in the lake with only a few other people around, so most of my anxiety disappeared on the walk out.
In the pack I positioned myself at the far right, with only a few others around me, I ended up being at the front. I felt really calm when the horn sounded for us to start, and kicked off well. Big mistake though… I started way too fast. The water was a bit choppy, and those two elements combined took the wind out of me.
At the half way mark I broke into breast stroke for half a dozen strokes. I got my sighting, and then kicked back into front crawl at my more comfortable pace and really quickly found my rhythm. I got caught by part of the pack at one point which really slowed me, but overall I finished the swim feeling pretty good.
The route to transiting is a super steep path. It’s about 400m long, which is not only a pretty long path between stages, but the incline makes it really energy sapping. I walked most of it, getting my breathing back and giving myself time to strip my wetsuit down. As the ground levelled I could then jog the last 100m into transition and sap up the amazing support form the crowd 🙂 .
Transition was eventless, and before I knew it I was on my bike ready to start stage 2. This for me was my biggest obstacle. I got everything wrong last year. My speed, my gears, my timings… so I was pretty daunted starting this year.
I cannot tell you how amazing the cycle was for me this year. The F.i.T.T ‘n’ Mix workouts in particular really added some endurance to my legs, and all the way round I felt they were pistons driving me on 🙂 I took the hills really well, getting my gears right, and felt pretty strong as I dismounted into transition.
Bike racked… another quick drink of BCAA’s and I was off on the run. My legs felt so much better than last year. I took it steady at the start, jogging over the bridge which took me from transition to the run route.
I think the highlight of the run for me, was running around the lake, knowing this was my local regular run (I’m mega lucky to call Woodstock home). The rain even stopped for this part of the trip, and the marshals and crowd was awesome 🙂 .
It was not a fast run, way slower than I’ve ever ran it (!) but I almost matched last years time, which showed the progress I had made in my cycle this year. Last year my back was agony, and knees super sore. This year… a little muscle tightness, but zero real pain 🙂 It felt amazing to finish the event tired, but feeling good.
I only wish the weather could have been better for spectators and marshals.
There are some major take aways for me.
I’ve got to do something to fix my anxiety (!) It definitely affects my race day… goodness knows how much energy I waste getting nervous. Once I start… I love it, so it’s so stupid to be so nervous 🙂
My times were quite a lot slower than last year. As soon as I got out of the water I knew I’d been a lot slower than last year. I instantly felt a bit demotivated, and it took me a until I was half way around the bike route to really snap out of it. Overall, this year felt so much better than last year. The weather was so shocking this year, it’s totally understandable that my times were worse. I need to keep perspective. I would far rather finish any race having loved it, than collapsed or injured in a heap because I’ve got self-competitive.
There was the biggest range of ages and abilities taking part. If you have any tiny inkling inside you to take part. Do it! Plan your training, put in the effort, and I promise you will have the most amazing day 🙂 .