Some thoughts and observations on my first olympic distance triathlon, by @40somethingrunn.
Having been lured into triathlon by Clewsy and BMFW last year, I have now completed 3 sprint distance triathlons. Thats 750m swin, 20km bike followed by a 5km run. Generally the swim is in a pool. The only thing for it was to step up and move to the next distance. Olympic distance triathlons (so called because thats what they do in the olympics) are double the distance, 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run. However the swim is open water, so slightly different!! (more to follow).So the London Triathlon was entered and suddenly it was here. Having arranged a short break to London, the packing was done and off we went.
Sunday Morning – 5.15am
Alarm clock goes off, spring out of bed and a leisurely 30min cycle out to Excel Centre. I’m here, so is Burnsy, we both look calm, but we both know we are bricking it. Bike racked, kit sorted, my god this is a big transition.
Ready to go, wetsuit on, so here is the tale of the 3 parts.
The swim took place in the apparently EU safety tested water, no I couldn’t see anything underwater and to date the many mouthfuls of water have not resulted in any flesh eating viruses.
1500m, thats 60 lengths of your local pool, but no ends to touch and no place to put your feet down. Plus the small matter of 500 other poeple starting at the same time. so lots of feet splashing, hands touching, water gulping and with 5 mins gone I’m near the back, looking for a space and still trying to get the breathing sorted. its ok though because I can see the yellow turning buoy, 2 orange ones to pass first then the turn.
Right must be at that first orange buoy, quick look up…………..its miles away and so it continued, the yellow buoy did eventually appear, but I’m only 1/3rd of the way through. Onto the back side of the course, into a rhythm, luckily I had the course ropes to follow and its just a case of breathing and getting to the end. and the end finally appears. 41mins, not bad for me as I am not a strong swimmer and more to the point I’m on dry land and the worst bit is over (or is it)
wetsuit off, thanks to a kind volunteer, jog into transition, and realise its miles back to my bike, oh well, passed about 20 others getting back to the bike, helmet on, shoes on, glasses on, and off I go. ah but wait, what about my number belt, sitting on my handlebars, yes thankyou kind volunteer I had forgotten, however now its on, timimg mat reached, beeeeeeeeppppp………
out the excel, onto the closed roads and 23 mins gone and I’m onto the big lap, off to Westminster Bridge, via Tower of London. This would almost be civilised had I not just swam 1500m in the London Docks.
Off down through the tunnel, oops where is everyone, wait, wheres the traffic, must be the right road, eventually exit the tunnel and thankfully see another biker, phew I am on the right road. Off to central london, tower bridge, westminster, london eye, fantastic, but always thinking I’m at one end of the course and still to get back to excel. keep going, feel ok, but not quite hitting the speeds I thought. Must be “brake rub” copywright Stumpyrider and BMFW. Back past the Excel, city airport, turn and I’m back at transition. Beeeeeeppppp
bike racked, shoes off, helmet off, runners on and away, 2mins and change, woo hoo, out to the run.
so the final bit is here, theres Lynne with a big wave and smile, out onto the run, a 2.5k loop out and back along the dockside. Into a rhythm, water station, feeling a bit tired, but thats to be expected, right wheres the turning point, am i there yet, am I there yet, am I there yet, ok turn, so thats 1.25km done, only another 7 of these. Well, the run got slower, the water stops seemed to get further away, more people seemed to pass me but I’m back in the main hall and out on Lap 2, and so it got slower and hotter and the laps got longer, but I’m finally there, final lap and no longer pissed off with the U23 elites skipping past me, or the charity supporters and these bloody bang sticks. although a shout of go 5840 was appreciated.
Into the hall, final time, up to the line,”and theres no5840 John Farr”, hands raised, over the line, a smile and wave from Lynne. “can I take your picture”…eh ok (not Lynne, some official photographer).
Photos can be seen on http://www.sportcam.net/, and input my number. The one of me just past the line sums it up.
Firstly, congrats to Burnsy on a sub 3 hour effort, well played and heres the picture to prove it
I was knackered………my blood sugar was 22.6 (thats about 4 times higher than it should be), I was a grumpy barsteward (apparently)all linked to the blood sugar.
But I had finished.
Looking back it was a great event, I conquered my first open water swim, so no more fears of that, I was a bit slower than I had hoped but maybe didn’t fully appreciate the effort involved.
I would do it again, maybe not London, but somewhere different. I still want to progress up the distances and its half ironman next. although the bike and run are double the distance again, the swim is only 400m more, so maybe its for me.
I will train differently, I won’t play 5-a-side fottball and lose 2 weeks of run training, I’ll do more long runs and long bikes, but most of all I won’t over commit.
You can only do so many things in one year. I learned this from BMFW who did Etape last year and then chilled the rest of the year.
Anyway its back to training as its the half marathon in 3 weeks time, and once thats finished, so am I,……….well till next year anyway. And a large plate of sausage and mash with onion gravy is the perfect refuel after the event. Food never tasted so good. courtesy of http://www.sandmcafe.co.uk/