The very best you can wish for is to complete…

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Finally I get to tell you about my first triathlon!

I should probably update on last weeks rather gross encounter, it’s a lot better but not gone yet. Was with the doctor today and I’m not allowed back to action until I have the skin of a porcelain doll (I am actually that white!) so that’s probably at least another week but I did get her to say I could do some slow jogging…..this woman has never seen me run so doesn’t know that’s standard for me!! Also she said I could do some weights when I convinced her I wouldn’t sweat….I only managed 300 of my usual 500 reps today (20reps each KB squat, RDL, KB swing, press up, double crunches/Russian twists X5 no rest =500) before I was sweating and in bits so I may have lost a little (who am I kidding I was shaking like a lunatic and gasping for air) fitness over the last few weeks!!
I also rode my horse today (doctor doesn’t know I’m doing that so let’s keep that between ourselves) and after his impromptu holidays we were both comparing our tubby tummies, his is slightly fatter than mine which he’s not complaining about since he has to carry me!
As for getting in the water…..yeah not allowed yet but the wetsuit is on order (for the state of my mental health I can never wear the other one again) but I’ll be missing the triathlon I had planned for the end of the month…I think…well maybe…..I’m not making a commitment to not doing it…..we’ll see…

Right! Trilaois, I did the try-a-tri. The swim is shorter, it was only 400m (sprint is 750m) so I was pretty confident I could avoid drowning for that length of time….or so I thought!

First off when you are attempting your first tri don’t stress about your tri suit….I totally did. It was the result of a gift card for my 40th birthday from my lovely friends Carole, Dara and Orla. Bright Coral is the only colour they had available and as I already explained I’m see-through….the two colours aren’t a flattering mix and I was fairly confident Sally Hanson (instant fake tan) was going to leave me streaky after the pool. Everyone wears a tri suit and no one looks at you differently because you’re all in the same boat….get over that fast…I now love my suit!

The swim was in a pool and there were five in my lane, you decide amongst yourselves what order you go in according to your time for 400m. Here is where I made a huge mistake. I’d already discussed this with another tri/Ironman friend Conor and he’d said stick to the time I’d trained to…I panicked…I said a whole minute slower. Of course race got underway, I want to swim off at my usual pace and bang, I hit off the person in front swallowed half the pool and spent the next six lengths or so choking, snorting, gasping, bringing up water and trying to get past two of the competitors in front of me, it was only on my last few lengths was I anyway comfortable. A couple of times I nearly panicked as I couldn’t clear the water I swallowed and of course I was having visions of my demise… one wants to go out as a floating mass of bright coral and soggy padded pants!!
It wasn’t pretty but I managed the swim and the exact thing I feared would happened did and I dealt with it.

Transition was a rush and it wasn’t, I was adding a t-shirt for the cycle (think we’d seen enough bright coral mass for the day) and compression socks. I’d cleverly rolled them into discs so I just needed to pop my toes in and roll them up my legs but what I hadn’t considered was all those little black things on the AstroTurf pitch…..I’m fickle about foot stuff, foot massages might be the stuff of people’s dreams but try to touch mine and it’s likely you will get a foot in the mouth…these black bits COULD NOT be in my socks…..removing them probably slowed me down.

The cycle on a whole was pleasant (after the Clonmel duathlon it was pretty easy and any hills were only tackled the once) but I was still full of water so could only breathe through my mouth. I have issues breathing through my nose during cardio as it is, I’m sure you find this entirely surprising since at it’s peak it shows substantial clearance from my face!! There was nothing for it, I needed to blow the water out.
Now, I know the pro thing is to do that super gross thing that footballers do every time a camera is on them but I just can’t bring myself to attempt it, I start laughing before I even get the blow done at the thoughts of snotting all over my face…in fact I’m laughing right now as I write this….it’s never going to work so I did the next best thing…I was wearing gloves so I spent the whole 19.3km blowing my nose out onto my gloves and wiping them on my tri suit (if you are grossed out by this I told you much worse last week!) stopping only when I saw a steward or a camera!!

My next transition was pretty smooth, I don’t have cleats (the bike shoe things) so I just had to ditch the bike and helmet, blow my nose again (clever me left tissues in the transition area…..not so clever me forgot to use them before the cycle….I blame the little black things…they stressed me out!!) and off I went for the run. Please note, as I said in a previous post, your legs do not work off the bike! Don’t panic, they will but give it 1km to work properly.

The run was grand, a flat out and back 5km. I have no advice as yet on how to do a tri run, I just treated it like any other run, once you get over the line the pain stops!!

I completed it and was so delighted with myself I went straight for the carrot cake, I hope this is a finishing line staple for triathlon, I think it will improve my speed!

I went to Trilaois alone but I never felt lonely the whole day, I met wonderful people in the same boat as me, trying their first tri. Luckily a photographer took this picture to remind me of the experience.

Karen Rynn, Me, Anne Maher (Clonmel Tri) photo credit:Denis Byrne

In the try-a-tri I finished 21st, was the 7th female home and was 3rd in my age group which clearly delighted me but as a wise old fella said to me once I’d survived it…’with every event the very best you can wish for is to complete’ and I did!! I’ve even the medal and red face to prove it!!

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