It has been five years since I have competed in a triathlon. Well it’s not like I am doing a legit triathlon. Only the swim and bike part, and a few hundred meters of running to the finish!
Anyway, I still had the whole transition part and obviously the swim, which is all rather foreign to me now as I have only been cycling for the past five years. Originally I had planned to be racing the bike leg of the Wanaka Half as part of a team, but with the team not eventuating it was rather a simple choice when I discovered a new event – the Aquabike. I used to be a competitive swimmer. So 3km of swimming should be easy as.
Probably if I did some actual swim training. I might have done around ten swims in three months. My preparation was pretty poor, and I kept putting off the swimming cause I didn’t want to know how slow I actually was. I remember doing a session in the pool where I was timing my 100m efforts which were sadly 20 seconds slower then I was doing five years ago, and I was only doing five reps rather than 20!
So, on race day I was a little scared about the swim. Especially as it got really windy on the start line. The calm lake turned into a turbulent rush of waves. Yay…I was going to drown.
I am not going to lie. I struggled. The first 1km, I thought this was the dumbest decision ever but I decided to just chill out and enjoy the swim. Which I actually did.
Next up was the transition. I decided to be un-triathlete like, and sit down and put on some sock and do up my shoes before heading on to the bike. I wasn’t going for those little extra time gains. Plus there is no way I wasn’t putting socks on aha!
Now onto the fun part. 120km of time trialling. I definitely pushed myself to some new limits. I have never done a time trial this long before, usually a TT is around 20km. I must admit it became a huge mental battle the entire way. As a road cyclist I am not used to going hard for the entire 120km. A road race normally has really easy parts mixed in with extremely high intensity efforts. I ended up sitting on a rather uncomfortable effort for 3 hours and 20 minutes. I was absolutely smashed by the time I reached the end.
After pushing yourself hard for so long you get a special sense of self accomplishment. I must admit I enjoyed the race a lot, and have a huge respect for everyone who went out that day and raced. As an athltete endurance races like these are some of my favourites. Where it becomes a personal battle of perseverance.
I ended up taking out the women’s classification and was 4th overall, with one of the quickest bike times of the day!
I can’t wait to get out a do more races like this in the future. Especially as I will be racing the world championships later in the year in Denmark!