Contact Tri Series – Takapuna 3:9:3

Every triathlete has to start somewhere .. right?

Just after stupid oclock on Sunday 19th February I *woke up* on the day that I was to become a triathlete.

I say *woke up* because I had been up since about 2.30 am having “nightmares” about crashing my bike, sleeping through my alarm, my car breaking down on the way .. you know the usual.

As my race was the first of the day we got to Takapuna early enough to find a parking spot with relative ease (it was a completely different story for those who raced after us – there was A LOT going on in Takapuna that day).

In the transition area the bike racks were numbered which was awesome.  It meant you didn’t have to get there early to find a space and it made finding your bike during transition easier because you just followed the numbers.  A nice surprise was to find that the people surrounding me had been ladies I had “met” at race briefing the day earlier.  A few familiar smiling faces made the morning slightly less daunting.

Also a huge help was the fact that my Mum and Dad had agreed to babysit so that James could come and take me to the hospital when I crashed off my bike  cheer for me.  It was nice to have him there to take my mind off things, to say I was nervous was an understatement I felt totally unprepared even though I had actually done some training for this event – just not enough in my opinion.

When I had arranged my little area in transition James and I headed down to the beach where I found that my coach Annette had come along to cheer for me *love* and had bought along a cheering squad consisting of her husband Allan and the most adorable dog I have ever met!  Although the dog wasn’t adorable enough to share my post race snack with. – Just saying 😉

The photo above shows the start of the run back up to transition from the swim.   That hill was steep (and slippery) and you can’t even see transition in that shot but its about level with the skyline in the photo.

Thankfully the weather gods were kind to us and the day was clear.  There was a slight chill in the air and that’s why I threw on a rash vest basically so I was warm before the event and I could just wear it in the water – unlike a sweatshirt that I would have to leave somewhere near the start and then go back and retrieve.

The Swim:

The water was warm (thank goodness) and we waded out into the water to wait for the start gun. When the horn blew we all took off. It was actually quite hard with all those people around me. I kept getting kicked in the head, so I would stop and wait for the people in front to move ahead, then swim, catch up, get kicked in the head. I never found my rhythm and pretty much would swim a bit. Stand, take a few steps, swim. *sigh*

Time: 08:04 – 48th out of the water.

Lessons?

  • I need to swim more.
  • I need to learn how to draft off the people in front Or I need to position myself at the front and let everyone swim around me 😉
  • I need to swim more!

The Bike:

This is the part that had me stressing for days on end! I had decided to take off the cleats and ride with flat pedals.

The course was tight, especially the turning point on Hurstmere Road. The straights were long and lovely and at those points I missed my cleats.

Time: 25:52 – 48th place on bike leg.

Lessons?

  • I need to spend more time on the bike – on the road – going around corners and downhills.
  • I need some confidence – so if anyone has any spare please send it my way.

The Run:

Probably the ONLY part of the day I didn’t have any worries about. Putting one foot in front of the other is pretty much my level of co-ordination.

Time: 16:32 – 30th (=)  On a side note that is SUPER quick for me and it includes the transition time from the bike!

Lessons?

  • I actually don’t hate running as much as I say I do ..

Overall:

Time: 50:28 –
41st place (out of all 74 finishers) 33rd place in my category (out of 64 finishers)

And for the astute amongst you – you will have noticed that is under my goal time of 60 minutes – although I did pluck that figure out of thin air AND only 8 people did over an hour in my event so it was obviously a target that was easily achievable, but it gives me a starting point for any future events.

Lessons & Other Such Ponderings:

To be fair although I didn’t enjoy the race it was more a fact that I didn’t feel “ready” than the actual sport itself.   Today’s race was so short that just as I was getting into my stride on the bike that section was over and it was onto the next, but that was still better than the swim.  I never even got into my rhythm on that leg .. maybe I don’t have a rhythm yet. :)

So although it’s not a case of love at first sight with “Mr Triathlon” and I it could be one of those relationship that develops over time.  I really hope so because a half iron man is about 8 hours that is a heck of a long time to spend doing something that you don’t enjoy – just so you can cross it off my things Ive done even though I hated every minute of it list. 😉

Looking forward:

I’ve got one triathlon under my belt and this coming weekend I have a duathlon (run/bike/run) which hopefully will give me some much needed confidence on my bike – practice makes perfect, right?

Hopefully when I meet “Mr Triathlon” again in nine weeks he will tug at my heart strings more than he did yesterday.

My goal for my next triathlon event (better or equal to the following times)

Swim 08:00 – That leaves the swim at the same time I just want to concentrate on finding a rhythm and not stopping/starting and the run back to transition is even steeper than at Takapuna!

Bike 20:33 – The bike course is shorter (and not as technical) so if I did the same pace on the next course my time would be 21:55 so I’m aiming to shave off nearly two minutes.  If I can turn a corner without coming to a grinding halt every time this should be achievable.

Run 16:00 – 32 seconds faster than a pace that’s already about 15 seconds faster per k than I normally run?  I’ll give it a go.  Not sure about this one considering I will also have to change shoes so that will take up some time.  But aim for the moon and fall amongst the stars and all that.

The positives:

Annette and co coming to cheer for me.  Usually I go to these events all by my lonesome and I always feel a little sorry for myself when I see entire families turn out to cheer on their Mum/Wife/Daughter/Sister/Friend.

My favorite event EVER was the duathlon at Pt Chev last year because James bought Elias along to cheer – well cheer as much as a two year old can.

And obviously there is ..

The diet!  Pancake brunch (Gluten Free of course).  What’s a morning of near death experiences for if its not to partake in pancakes afterwards.

Till next time

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1 Response

  1. Susan says:

    Awesome job, Ms. Triathlete! Way to go!

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