When the Virgin London Triathlon ballot came out, it was too good to miss with the course starting 4 miles from where I live. 7 months later on 28th July, I raced my first triathlon and loved it. I can't believe it's taken me this long to do a race, throughout the race I had a massive smile on my face and wouldn't have swapped places for anything.
You may have noticed that I'm pretty passionate about cycling. Last year I cycled London to Paris in 24 hours, London to Amsterdam in 48 hours and cycled 450 miles over 3 days on an adventure with Sean Conway, the 3 Peaks Cycle Challenge. This year I trained in Spain on a triathlon camp, cycled in the Alps and have taken up spinning with CycleBeat where I sweat it out on back to back classes. It was great to put my training to the test in a race environment.
I felt excited racking my bike with hundreds of female competitors and was so pleased to see so many women taking up the sport. I copied the people around me on how they set up their gear and the girl next to me copied me! I don't mind being a novice and like to learn from people more experienced. With it being my first race, I had no expectations just wanted to use it as training for the Ironman and enjoy my time on the course.
In the race briefing, there was lots of whooping and cheering to get everyone motivated. A few minutes later we were in the water and the swim was off. I had a few elbows in my face during the swim and need to practise my sighting but completed the 1.5km swim in 28 minutes.
Transition went well and I loved being on my bike hitting the car free roads up to The Houses of Parliament and back. I felt a huge surge of excitement and power during the bike. At one stage someone said to me "You're in 3rd". That was pretty motivating! I finished the 40km bike in 1hr 7 minutes.
The run is the one I need to work on the most. I know my strengths lie in swimming and cycling but have it in my head that I'm not a great runner. When people over take me on the first two disciplines, I will fight for my position. When people overtake me on the run I am not as confident and think "that's ok because I'm not a good runner, I can't fight it". I need to work on this and improve both mentally and physically. I finished the 10km run in 46 minutes.
The moment of seeing the finish line with Charley and Mother-in-law, Nicola cheering me on was fantastic. I had finished my first Olympic Distance triathlon in 2hrs 28 minutes.
There was a jacuzzi at the finish line! Oh yes, I'm in.
Turns out that puts me in 8th position for Olympic Distance Women in my age-group at the London Triathlon. Never expected that!
I have just signed up with a talented and wonderful triathlon and Ironman coach, Mark Kleanthous. Later this week, we will de-brief fully so I can share with you what I have learned and need to work on.
Happy triathlon folks