22nd October 2016
Hello World and Fellow Triathlon peeps! I know you must have been imagining the worst: the water finally claimed me. But no!! The depths I’ve been plumbing have been the workaday chasms of the mineral working world. And those of my own psyche. Not always the most scenic, but altogether absorbing. So, the little blog-let has been neglected. However, I’ve just sunk real money into renewing my licence to blog for another year, which means I should get back online and delight you with tales of my exploits, yes? And the thing is, I can now tell you, from firsthand experience that TRIATHLON HURTS!
Because whilst I have been away, I have still been trying to tri.
Big news! I have completed both a duathlon and a triathlon! Yes, really!!! Which means I’m actually now a fully fledged triathlete. AND I’m obviously full of insights into both forms of multisport.
They are both bugger-hard. It really f***ing hurts. And whilst I may have slogged out nearly 90km of running, I have never been happier to see the finish line than when I’ve taken on the joy of 2 or more events all rolled into one.
Springthorpe Duathlon is demonic and something created by sadists. Not wanting to alarm you, or anything. Or in anyway be over-dramatic… But, honestly, the course is simply an exercise in going uphill. With a few downhills, and they are only there so you can do another few laps of the uphills.
Raby Bay triathlon might not be entirely sadistic. But honestly, who actually does this sport for fun?
As the name suggests, the swim is in a bay. Gently covered in a delightful diesel film from the super-yachts arrayed around the edges. And apparently filled with bull sharks, although I’m not convinced that this isn’t based on sightings of my good self stopping about 50m into the event to try and readjust my timing chip, which I became convinced was about to detach itself from my foot. Or stopping again, about 20m further along, because the circulation to my left leg seemed to be suddenly missing. All the while watching the others in my age group disappear up the waterway as I flailed hopelessly to catch them up. I did catch them – well a couple anyway – once I started breaststroking courageously to try and keep in contention.
And getting out of the water was something I HAD NOT TRAINED FOR! It involved a climb similar in magnitude to summiting Everest. They didn’t mention that in the race notes…
By the time I “jogged” into transition – which suggests a level of animation coming from my legs that was probably not witnessed by onlookers – I was ready for a nap.
It may be a fair criticism that I took more than an ample amount of time getting my cycling shoes on, and pulling my South Bank Tri Club singlet over my head. And fixing my helmet on my head. And tidying up my transition area. Just rearranging a few things…. I just need to move my running shoes a little further forward. And put my swim hat and goggles safely out of the way… And… oh bugger, am I really going to have to go cycle now?
And seriously, I was just out enjoying my cycle when this chick from Ipswich whizzed past me. On a mountain bike. No, really. She did. And everyone knows that road bikes just go faster than mountain bikes… So I had to go and rebalance the law of physics. Except, no sooner would I assert the ascendancy of the road bike, than the little minx would ignore all that master-scientists had proven over I don’t know how many years, and come sailing past me. AGAIN. So obviously, in the interests of physics, history, and all that is decent in this world, I had to pedal like buggary to get past her.
Clearly, they don’t teach science in Ipswich, because she would NOT be told. Teachers to the west of Brisbane, can you sort yourselves, and your local population out, please!!
I did manage to prevail, only to eventually limp out of transition into the run and realise that my heart was about to elope with fresh air, and was trying to climb up the ladder of my larynx and escape that way. So I stopped to walk, only to be overtaken by Ms MTB of Ipswich, who called out reassuringly to keep going. Which, once I’d contained the amorous heart, I did.
But by this stage, I was totally questioning my sanity. I mean, who actually puts themselves through that level of discomfort for fun. And why was I even contemplating doing both laps of the run? It frigging hurts! There is no joy in trudging along tarmac after 750m of slurping diesel-flavoured water and a 20km war of ascendency with someone who is intent on ignoring facts about the supremacy of 25mm tyres…
At this stage, it should be mentioning that I was delighted to see my family out supporting me. Which obviously, I was. Well, in reality, it was something of an inconvenience that I had to attempt to look like I was feeling strong and run past, rather than crawling. I was truly thankful that they were there, but I was actually more enamoured to see the finishing tape – IN THE MOMENT.
I also have a massive gripe with the Gatorade Tri Series. I got round the entire course the same as those kids. Why did they all get a medal for finishing, and I didn’t? Honestly, add $5 to the entry. I don’t care. I JUST WANT SOME BLING FOR MY MISERY!!!
So, there you go. I am now a bona fide TRIATHLETE!
I loved every moment of the experience….
I may have entered for more…
They may be longer than the Sprint distance I attempted…
I have not drowned… yet…. (there’s still time …tomorrow may provide that chance… If I live, I’ll tell you more about it. And my other swimming exploits. AND my wave-enduring encounters with one of my favourite co-bloggers).
But for now – I have to convince myself that I don’t need another glass of wine. 🙁
Time for water. Before I imbibe a sea full of salt tomorrow!
Wish me luck. And if my luck holds, I’ll be back.