Triathlon: The Wales Triathlon

Hiiiiii! Sorry I have been busy and not writing but rest assured, I have been training and racing hard! Last weekend I went to Wales to compete in the Wales Triathlon with my boyfriend and 2 friends. The boy was doing the half iron distance (keeno) and my friend and I did the sprint. Okay so let's get to it...

Wales Sprint Triathlon
Swim    7500m       19.43
Bike      21k (??)    1.13.10
Run       5k             34.37
Overall: 2 hours 10
12th in my age cat


I would not recommend going to Wales: It rained. It poured. There was serious wind going on. There was lightening. After doing a little course recce, I'm not too proud to admit- I was bloody terrified.The swim was in the sea which seemed okay but after that, everything was just uphill. The bike course which is my worst bit was super hilly with quite a lot of long climbs. The run was firstly by the sea and then all uphill with a little downhill in the last 1km.

I called my mum who was predictably unhelpful- "just get on with it" and the I called Michelle, my new coach. If there is ever anyone to speak to before a race, it's her.She is so reassuring and kind and had some great advice which really put my mind at ease. I wanted to do it more than anything not to let her down. Hearing "I believe in you, TDC (Team Dillon Coaching) behind you all the way" is surprisingly motivating and she's not the kind of woman you want to disappoint. Being me, I still felt a little shakey so I called my lovely friend Angela, who was amazing. Having friends to train with and who understand how scary a race can be is so important. She gave me some great advice
"Just do the swim and see how you feel. You are a good swimmer so you know you can do that bit. If you feel good, do the bike. You can always stop if it's awful but if you feel good after the swim, have a go. When you do the bike, if you feel okay, do the run. You're not going for a time or a Kona qualification (ha!) so take off the Garmin and get think of it as separate bits."

Okay so the swim was icy. There is no other way to describe it to you. The water was
crystal clear, deceptively beautiful and saltier than MacDonald's fries but above it was just cold. I was told after it was around 11-12°C, brrrr! So swim done and onto the bike. It never even crossed my mind not to get out and do the bike leg- I was sort of on autopilot. It was difficult at first as my legs were just numb from the cold. I tried to push hard but the first hill felt so steep. I was going backwards so I decided to get off my bike and push it up the hill. It sounds 

weird but I'm glad I did as I ran with my bike and this helped them feel normal again! Back on the bike, it was tough going. I really struggled and it was so disheartening to see so many people overtake me. I had to get off and walk my bike once more on the epic 12% hill!!! (As a non-cyclist this is like a mountain to me.) I need to practice! Back to transition and out for the run. I couldn't believe it when I actually felt good running. This never happens. I ran about 3k before I had to have a quick walk to catch my breath and then start running again. The little water station was a welcome sight as I have no idea what happened to my bottles in transition and on the bike.

Finishing this race was the best feeling I've ever had. I had been so nervous and..well...actually terrified so finishing was just a proud moment. I still can't believe I did it! I have to say a quick thank you to my boyfriend, Joan and Andy for cheering me on and looking after me, Michelle for believing in me and Peter and Angela for being the best support crew I could ask for! And to everyone else for sending love and luck!


My Tips
  • Swim- I didn't do the practice swim 10mins before the race. People were saying it was cold and I figured I would probably not get back in if I did. I just dove in when the klaxon went and although it was a shock, I knew I had to just get on with it!
  • Glide- Usually I'm one of those people who flap on the ground and can't get my wetsuit off. I used Body Glide for the first time (yes, I am a little late to the party) and it was amazing. That bad boy slipped right off!
  • Be Brave!-I felt such a rush coming over the finish line knowing I had conquering something I had been so nervous of. Be brave, you will surprise yourself!

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