It’s been a few days since I completed the Triathlon Pink. And there’s no doubt that I had a great time, that I was really happy when I finished and that I did a little better than I thought I would have.
But if I'm being truly honest, my training in the lead up was pretty pathetic and I am most certainly not at the top of my fitness game. The good news is that this might have been just the thing to really reignite my fitness journey and where I see myself this year.
As I sit here typing, I’m surrounded by notes and scribbles pertaining to my plans, goals, and desires. And it’s more than just fleeting motivation. I’m actually interested again. Interested in investing my mind, time, and whole heart in being fitter, healthier, and happier. The walls are coming down and the old me is waiting to be reclaimed. Exciting huh! Well, as intriguing as that all is, it’s probably best saved for another blog…because right now I want to talk tri!
Just to recap, in December (yep about four weeks beforehand), I decided to enter in an event that I knew would challenge me and hopefully make me shit myself into getting super fit! Well I was half on the money!!
I signed up to compete in the medium version of Triathlon Pink…which was a 200m swim, 6km bike ride and 2km run (side note… none of the three components were my strong suit). Now even in my fittest of fit days, I skirted around the cardio aspects, especially endurance based versions. If I did do cardio, it was more of a get it done in a quick and crazy flurry of limbs, weights, and loud music.
My good mate Zoe, who is made from some tough stuff, was also conned in for the event. And I honestly could not have done it without her. Not only are we in the same place right now, having both just had babies but she just thinks like me. We’ve both reached great pinnacles of fitness in our lives and have a healthy drive for getting shit done and pushing ourselves.
Here I was about to swim, ride and run…all in a row. I probably should have been way more focussed on those elements, but rather all I could think about was what the hell do I wear, and how will ride and run while being wet from the swim, and other seemingly important factors. FYI, I wore a tri suit from 2XU and it was the most supremely comfortable and amazing thing I have ever worn to work out in! Well worth the $100 investment…I mean this won’t be my first and only tri…will it?
So aside from the wardrobe concerns, we are well into the short countdown to tri day. Throw in Christmas, New Year and a family trip to Queensland and my training is really shaping up to be quite lacklustre…what was thinking? In all honesty, I probably got in 3 swims, 3 bike rides, 2 ride and run combinations and a bunch of morning walks with a couple of HIIT sessions to prepare me for the day. A far cry from super fit, in fact at that point I was heavily relying on my competitive spirit to get me over the line.
Oh well, bring on the Game Day!
Greeted with a fresh, overcast morning, the fam bam and I set off nice and early to Albert Park Lake. I’m all packed and praying I’ve remembered everything. We arrive and the energy is immediately palpable. There’s people everywhere, races already in action, nervous laughter from groups of women and a sea of shapes, sizes, ages, and colours all in some form of pink. I’m so excited and nervous that I just want it to start so I can put all the energy into something.
We check our bikes and gear into the transition area and I immediately realise I should have brought thongs to throw on as I’m leaving my sneakers in anticipation for the bike/run! A thought that had already occurred to Zoe, but in solidarity she went barefoot too…gotta love her! Even though we were checking in an hour before our race, our bikes are squarely positioned at the wrong end of the transition yard, meaning that we are quick to reach them after the swim but then need to walk our bike all the way to the other end to begin the next leg etc.…oh well at this point I just want to finish and I don’t care, well kinda don’t care about my time.
A quick addition of war paint aka pink zinc to our faces and we are all set. I wave goodbye to my excited kiddies, who haven’t seen mummy do anything like this in a while, and we walk to our swim area.
Lining up at the pool, I take in my fellow competitors and there’s no particular type of person here. Just lots of women who want to be a part of something fun, active, and challenging. Of course, the Ultra (aka real triathletes) finished about an hour ago, and boy oh boy they are some super fit looking ectomorph rocking ladies! But this group is amazingly diverse in fitness levels and body types and everyone has the same blend of fear and excitement plastered across their faces. As we approach the start mat, I’m dying to get in there and start my swim. I don’t have to wait long. My turn arrives and I wonder, shit is the water cold? Too late to turn back now, I’m in and I’m swimming…fast too! Jeez I feel great, I’m passing people and breathing through the strokes, wait I’m at the end…my swim is done in about five minutes!
Now for the hard work.
I leap out of the pool and pull off my cap and goggles, I see my kids at the gate cheering. I high five them and head to my bike. I feel alive! This is actually happening. At this point I’m thinking this changeover was going to be the really tricky part…I’m wet and I need to put on socks and shoes? Surely that will be hard! Well it turns out I’m not really that wet (thanks to the good old moisture wicking suit). I throw on my pink race singlet/modesty preserver, footwear, helmet and just like that it’s the bike leg.
Hubby is dutifully snapping photos while steering the pram and keeping the older two at bay (for they are so excited to watch me race).
I’m shaking with nerves and adrenaline and pray that I can safely mount my bike. Yes! Success. I start on the 6km (2 lap) course. This is where I got a bit frustrated, I pedalled the entire time (hard) and didn’t really go that fast. The girl ahead of me stayed ahead of me, but she looked like she was just cruising. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t riding in the right gear or perhaps a mountain bike just ain’t going to cut it in something like this.
I think it took me around 18 minutes and arrive back to transition. So annoying, I have to walk my bike back to my starting spot. I do notice that some people just dumped their bikes at the front and took off…and the thought occurred to me. But really, what if everyone did that! It would be crazy.
I remembered to remove my helmet…this was paramount advice given to me by an Iron Man who said he’d seen many a triathlete run off still wearing their helmet. I walk to the run entrance…when hubby gives me the ‘c’mon’ wave and I begrudgingly start my jog within the transition area…’god how much extra will this add to my run’ I think to myself as I head off on the course that I know will be the toughest part.
True to form, my whole body feels heavy from the bike, my calves in particular and I loathe that I don’t have any music to blast into my ears and give me some distraction. Not long into the first km I hear a familiar voice come up behind me and I see Zoe on my right. She’s a total champion, and I knew even though she was really not confident of her swim, that she would smash the bike and run. I tell her not to slow down for me, through breathy, desperate grunts and she seemed to have understood as she paced ahead. At the half way marker, I turned and headed home and tried to regroup with the knowledge that I’d be done very soon. That motivation came in peaks and troughs…I mean those minutes can feel like a friggin lifetime. Right when I thought I’d have to stop, I see my mate jogging on the spot, waiting for me! Cue fire in my belly, I mean not only can I see the finish line…but I get to cross it with my partner in crime. A fact that is layered with so much metaphoric meaning that I get a bit emotional even thinking about it.
We jog it out and jump for joy over the finishing line.
We collect out medals and hug for it is all over and we did it!
And did it in about 42 minutes to finish 14th in my category.
Basking in all the feels, at this moment and for the rest of the day I feel like nothing will stop me and I can do anything…I feel more like the girl I used to be and that is exciting because its tangible. She’s there. Just waiting to be running on all cylinders again.
Thanks for reading xo