I did a triathlon on bank holiday Monday and am STILL feeling mega chuffed with myself about it. It was a 400m swim, 9 mile bike and a 4.5 mile run. People said to me “so what are you doing it for, charity or something” and the answer was “nope, just for me” because it’s given me a bit of the old me back.
It’s not the first one I’ve done, but it’s the first one post having babies….and what an impact that had on the body! I used to be a reasonable runner but it’s taking some getting back into, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get back to the runner I was, not least because I’ll never be that slim, fit, 25 year old ever again!
Anyway, back to yesterday.. I was talked into doing this a few months ago by my friend Ruth, and it motivated me to do some decent training. Training that I most definitely would not have done, if I hadn’t had this to aim for.
Training wasn’t without it’s challenges – I’d got into a nice little routine of cycling 9 miles, dropping the bike back at home, collecting the dog and running my usual 4.5 mile route with her. (I’m all about killing as many birds with the same stone as possible!) But 9 days before race day, I had an unfortunate incident where 2 boxer dogs gave chase to my dog and both of them ran straight into the back of me, completely wiping my legs out from under me and slamming me backwards onto my shoulders. Ouch. I clearly tried to break my fall with my elbows too…
Fairly sure this gave me a bit of whiplash and 2 days before the event I wasn’t convinced I could do it. I took it as easy as I could for those 2 days though (not easy with 2 small kids to lump around, one of whom isn’t quite 1 yet and can’t walk so has to be carried, and the other who is almost 3 and can very much walk but wants to be carried alllll the time, or flown like Buzz Lightyear – all 2.5 stone of him!)
Race day came round and having decided the day before to do it but to just take it steady, I woke up full of nervous excitement. I wrote a Facebook post saying “Triathlon day, eeek!” and at the last minute changed it from “feeling nervous” to “feeling pumped” mainly because I didn’t like the accompanying emoticon with nervous. I know- totally overthinking it. However it’s an important point because I truly believe that this small tweak changed my attitude to the whole event. I went from thinking I’d struggle to get round to thinking I’d be a competitor with the other people who set off in my wave.
I got in the pool with 2 other people in my lane, and although I was the last one out of the 3 of us, I was very much focussing on my own race. The transition up to the bikes was the longest I’d ever seen and involved running across a main road, so I was super happy I’d had the foresight to leave my trainers and leggings by the pool (and wear my sports bra under my swimming costume!) No one needs to EVER see me running in public in just a swimsuit!
I got to my bike and as I tried to put my vest on, realised that I’d stapled the back of it to the front, so wasted several precious seconds sorting that out! Duh! Once I was out on the open road I started to catch and overtake other competitors which felt amazing. Big smiles!
However, once I started running I started to question whether I’d gone a bit hard on the bike as my legs were like jelly! After about a mile this wore off and I started to catch people again – yay! I got to the finish line and my husband was waiting there with his mate who had just completed it in 1 hr 25. Hubs was shouting “go on, GO ON!” and his mate was saying “slow down!” so I of course, sped up a little. Hubs had joked beforehand that I should aim to beat this guy and I’d poo-pooed this idea as I didn’t want to feel stressed out by the competition, plus I was expecting a time of around 1 hr 35 – 1 hr 40. Nowhere near. So imagine my complete surprise and delight when I found I’d done 1 hour 24!!! Don’t think I’ll get away with not competing with this guy next year now, he’s got beef with me!
Just shows what a bit of positive self-talk can do, 2 days ago I felt like a chubby, saggy, aging mum (yuck), to a strong, fit, triathlete! Have had so many lovely comments from friends and people at work, who’d been following on Facebook, with one saying I was positively glowing. And she’s right, I’m totally buzzing from the experience and can’t wait to find my next event now! Having kids hadn’t had to mean the end of my fitness….it’s just different, bit heavier and less time to train, but you know what? Mentally, much MUCH stronger!xx