Well as I’m able to write this it would appear that I survived my first sea swim!! My week’s training has been all down hill or practically none existent since then but I’ll get to bore you with the details of that in another post.
The first lesson that I’ve learned in my bid to become a triathlete is that even if you are a dreadful swimmer like me a duathlon is NOT easier than a triathlon! Here was me thinking well at least I can run and cycle so I’ll just enter one up and away I go….
Firstly the event was very well run by Clonmel Triathlon Club, I went down the night before and had a wee spin around the cycle route, I’m so glad I did….I know that part of the world and the road was not nearly (remotely) as flat as I had thought it to be.
I’d done a bit of cycling with Bray Wheelers coming up to the event and the weekend before it I’d been put through all sorts of torture when Mark Loughran made me cycle up Red Lane (I have no polite words to describe this road in Wicklow) in the middle of a storm…..nor did I have any polite ones to call poor Mark at the time!
So the duathlon was 4km run 23km bike 4km run. The run was a single loop and flat so my first run was pretty fast (for me), the cycle was two loops over road that was so rough my ass was killing me just a few km in…..up until that point I had always insisted that I wouldn’t resort to padded pants…..I was cursing this desicion half way around! What I wasn’t cursing though was Mark, he was becoming a legend in my own head because know matter how much the road and couple of steep bits sucked they were by no means as awful as Red Lane in a storm! The inner sense of humour kicked in and I was laughing all the way back to transition.
If you haven’t jumped off the bike and gone for a run in the past you’d really want to practice that…..your legs just don’t work, coupled with the crotch of my running pants down near my knees they really don’t work. Pulling your pants up and trying to run with a bike is not one bit easy either so lessons learned were 1) practice running off the bike, 2) wear pants that fit and 3) get Mark Loughran to take you on a torturous spin so everything else seems like a piece of cake!
I’m not going to lie…..I didn’t like the last 4km run. It was around the same track and it’s kind of horrid when you know exactly what’s coming up….especially when your legs don’t want to work. I thoroughly recommend that you have a few issues in mind that you want to sort through during this period, you’re not allowed head phones and fighting with yourself doesn’t help either. I did go through a massive fight with myself giving out that I’d never do an Ironman if I couldn’t do a wee duathlon….its a fight I keep going back to and probably will many times until I’ve actually completed one!
My calf gave out just as I got to the 2km marker but I suppose I didn’t care too much, I just wanted to get home. The minute you get over the line the pain stops (or most of it) so I just got home as quick as I could. Delighted to see a few friendly faces at the end of it. When the results came in I was pleasantly surprised to find I’d put up a reasonable performance.
A few days later I mentioned to someone that I’d done my first event, that is when I was told that a duathalon is harder than a triathlon! I’ve since done a triathlon (next blog) and I quite agree……I feel that a certain person took it upon themselves to hold that nugget of information back from me….my revenge will be sweet!!