22.5.15

Garmin Eton Supersprint 17.5.15 #MyMoments

It's the day after I've officially become a triathlete and I don't quite think it has sunk in yet. It's crazy (good) how much went into preparing for this day, all in the lead up to Windsor Triathlon in June.

Forty eight hours before I was due to be on the start line, I woke up feeling very, very unwell. I had an uncomfortable stomach, a headache, felt tired lethargic which totalled to not feeling capable of going to work never mind taking part in a three disciplined event. I spent the next 2 days resting, hydrating and feeding my body with nourishing foods.

It meant I woke up on Sunday 17th May able to make my way across London and take part in my first ever triathlon.

Swim 400m | Bike 21.2km | Run 5km 

Transition

Image Credit: Human Race FB

Setting up for the race start went quickly. We entered transition with just under an hour to go and before I knew it, we were in the water ready to go!

I used the time to set up my transition area with all the kit I would need. So my bike kit and running shoes, plus towel and snacks to keep me going. I also finished getting dressed for the swim and squeezed into my wetsuit. Wetsuits were optional but there was no way I was going to be swimming without mine!

Swim | 400m | 27:02 

Five minutes before the start, we had our briefing. This is where I started to struggle; we entered the water for the briefing and had to tread water to stay afloat and listen. For me, not being well and nervous, treading water was a huge waste of energy. So by the time our start was signalled, I was completely stressed out! I made a go for it, then had to turn back and just gather myself and my thoughts together. I had a quick chat to the race marshals who got one of the guys in the kayaks to stay with me for my swim. This made me feel much more comfortable knowing someone would be keeping an eye on me!

Image Credit: Human Race FB

I tried to get in a rhythm swimming breaststroke but I was so nervous it was insane. I reverted back to breaststroke with my head out of the water which had its own difficulties; the first part of the course was against the current so meant I had waves splashing into my face. I swallowed some water a couple times which made me cough and splutter but when I needed to I was able to hang on to the kayak to catch my breath and regain composure. I eventually made it to the first buoy for a right turn which meant I was swimming across the current. Somehow this was only the finest bit easier with the waves splashing one side of my face! I gave front crawl a go and it felt quite comfortable, I just wasn't relaxed enough to keep it going!

At the next buoy it was another right turn and heading for the finish line. By now I was relieved to be swimming / taken along by the current! I gave front crawl another go and managed to make it to the shallow part of the lake just before I got joined by the wave behind me! The kayak crew were amazing; they obviously knew the lake really well and instructed me where the lake was shallow and would get deep then guided me over to the ramp at the finish line.

I was a little overwhelmed finishing the swim and exited the water into transition with a banging headache.

T1 | 4:08 

My bike was positioned right next to the "swim out" area so took me little to no time to find it. I got a little stuck getting my wetsuit off over my tomtom watch on my wrist and the timing chip on my ankle but eventually it was on the floor and I was dressed to ride in my tri suit, socks, cleated shoes, sunglasses and cycle jersey. I removed my bike from the stand and made a run / walk for the "bike out". Next up was 4 (approx) 5km laps of the bike course...

Bike | 21.1km | 1:01:17

I used the start of the bike section to get hydrated, refocus, get my legs into the swing of things and get some energy down me; I took along shotbloks to use as they taste great, are easy to digest and I have used them before. The first half of the bike lap was a little uphill and into the wind which made it quite uncomfortable. The second half however was flat and less windy so I just relaxed each time at the start of the lap and pushed to fishing each lap. I kept an eye on my pace on the watch to see if I could keep it consistent.

Image Credit: SportCam 

T2 | 1:35 

I came through the "bike in" found my spot and switched into my trainers after racking my bike and removing my helmet. The "run out" was also next to my racking spot so I just glugged down a little extra water and made a run for it.

Use code KISDISCOUNT to get £5 off your Human Race Triathlon!

Run | 5km | 32:44

The 5km run was an out and back twice. It was the place where you were closest to other competitors and the support between participants was amazing. By this point I was running with all the guys in the waves behind me but that didn't put me off at all!

Image Credit: SportCam
Coming into the finish line was a guy next to me who said "lets sprint finish" ...I thought why not! Then he said "race me! ...beat me to the finish!" ...so I mustered up the last bit of energy I had and gave it my all....


It was at this point that I started to look for my medal ...only to then realise that our "medal" was a t-shirt which we received before we even started the event. I was a little disappointed, and still am (I'd planned on sharing an amazing photo of my new bling live on FB when I got it!) but at the end of the day it doesn't take away from the fact that I AM A TRIATHLETE. I also have a orange swim cap to remember my wave and the awesome memories of the morning!


Check out the Race Report from Human Race {here} - I even got a little mention ;)

A huge Thank You to the volunteers on the day, especially the guys in the kayaks who supported me through my whole swim, the guy on the bike course who counted all my laps and gave me words of encouragement every time I cycled past him, all the competitors who spoke to me and kept me going through the run, to the guy who challenged me to sprint and race him across the finish line.

I love that before this day, I had no idea what time I could do this in and now I have a time to work on and I know where I can improve in the future. By no means am I done with triathlon. Four weeks left till Windsor and I plan on being there and working for that medal...

What was your first experience of triathlon like?! 


Elle :) 


p.s a huge Thank You to Human Race for the place in this event and support along my journey to Windsor. Thank You also to SportCam for the photographs. As always, all opinions are my own :) 

18 comments:

  1. Ah you did amazing! So glad you enjoyed it, and well done for gettting through the swim, it can be so nerve-wracking! That's the only disappointing thing about Human Race triathlons- no medals :-( Although I am doing their Eton Swim on Monday which does have a medal. You'll do fantastic at Windsor

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    1. Saw your medal on the Human Race FB page Lucy! Looks awesome! ...I'm looking forward to earning a medal for Windsor though :) ...and thank you for answering all my random questions on your social media posts! lol x

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  2. Well done Elle! Sounds like you handled the nerves well - and now you know what to expect, so I'm sure you'll be feeling calmer for Windsor. I definitely think the swimming would scare me too! What a great achievement! :D x

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    1. Thanks Beki :) Hope to get out in open water again before Windsor! I think I may still be as overwhelmed but at least I know I can do it now!

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  3. Congrats! I'm sharing your post - I think it's a great way for others new to triathlons to see what it's like!

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    1. Thanks Nicolette! I love reading real experiences of events too so always happy to share mine especially when its challenging! lol

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  4. Woohoo!!! well done Elle! 2015 is the year of sporting firsts for quite a lot of us!

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    1. Thanks Chi-Chi! I know right! Check us out!! ...what's next for you?! (London Marathon... fingers crossed or uncrossed?!)

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  5. It's great to read about your triathlon experience, especially the swim, which I find scary too...how reassuring to hear that the marshals are so supportive! Well done and I look forward to reading all about Windsor and any pre-race swims you fit in :)

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    1. Thanks Adele :) glad to know I'm not the only one who finds swimming so daunting! Before I took on this challenge I honestly thought I might be the only person in the world who wasn't great at swimming! lol x

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  6. Great job! I've never done a triathlon. I don't know that I will. I'm not much of a swimmer.

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    1. Thanks Wendy! ...those were the same words I spoke just 6 months ago! haha! We don't know what we would say yes to until the opportunity arises!! :)

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  7. Way to go! I've never done a tri, but it seems so much harder. I'm not much of a swimmer or cyclist so that would definitely be a huge challenge. That sucks you didn't get a medal-I love having that piece of bling to share after races!

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    1. I've been trying to tell myself I don't need a medal but really, I do! haha! Once I complete my next triathlon in June I will have a medal though :) ....I could't even swim when I took this on so theres always the opportunity to work on your weaker areas! ;)

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  8. Congrats on becoming a triathlete! The swim would make me nervous as well! I love that they mentioned you in the write up!

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    1. Thanks Jessica :) ...seems I'm not in the minority for swimming!

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  9. Ooh well done! The swimming bit is always what puts me off trying a triathlon! That, and the distance travelled in them always seems huge... Glad you had lots of support from the people on the course, always helpful eh?

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    1. Yes for sure! My next event is a lot bigger and more serious so I'm a little worried about how friendly and helpful everyone will be! Only one way to find out I guess!!

      Also, they do starter distances now where the swim is just 200m so great for trying out triathlon! I'm doing one in September :)

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