Today’s blog is from Kim, one of our coached athletes. Thanks Kim, and well done on the duathlon!
With the aim of kick starting my mojo, I dusted down my bike and I joined the Tri & Run May duathlon training. It did the trick, I loved the variety of training and I had loads of fun. I learnt lots, mainly that I had a lot to work on, including my faffing and general untidiness in transition!
Fast forward a few weeks to 18th June and there I was at the start line of the Cholmondeley Castle sprint duathlon!
I’d diligently watched the race briefing (online given covid times), studied the routes and found that wave 6 was for me. Kit was sorted and I was super strict about what I was taking into transition – I was going to be tidy!
Getting through registration, sorting sticky labels and racking my bike etc went smoothly. Well I just copied everyone else and all was good. Next, bumping into a smiley faced friend and fellow participant in the Tri & Run sessions, was just what I needed and calmed the butterflies!
Now that transition area is a funny place. I got offered many pieces of advice ( why does that happen just before a race 🤣 ), – chose to politely ignore all of it, as well meaning as it probably was ( If I want to stick my jelly sweets on my crossbar, then I can! ). I got life stories, family stories, chat about the weather, questions about my bike, what races/events had I done, where do you live etc . Before I knew it, we were called to the briefing area and onto the staggered, covid compliant start line .
Away we went and I was really happy to get started before my nerves had a chance to take a grip again! I kept reciting blue / yellow/ pink – blue/yellow/pink. The route colours I needed to take for the run/bike/run!
The first 5k run was over in a blink and although the terrain was tougher than I expected, I loved it. Onto my tidy transition area – all my kit neatly laid out on a towel. Running shoes off, bike shoes on and off again, they didn’t feel right. Back on again and all good. Helmet on, extra layer not needed, glasses on and the lens fell out. Don’t panic or faff Kim! I left them behind and off I went. The roads were busy, full of Saturday traffic but very considerate to the cyclists. I felt very focused, just aiming to go as fast as I possibly could whilst avoiding the potholes. Two guys that were well behind me at the end of the first run overtook me at around 18k on a hilly section – cycling uphill is another area I need to work on!
Into run two, a slightly different route (remembered pink!). My legs were heavy, and I was just urging myself to run. I set myself little targets of picking off other runners as a distraction tactic and this worked well – who knew I had a competitive streak?
There was a lovely grassy downhill to the finish area (bliss!), and over the line I went with a big smile on my face. I’d done it and at that point, it felt like the whole race was over in a flash.
All the marshalls, volunteers and athletes were super friendly and it was great to chat about the course and exchange stories at the finish line. I loved the whole race experience and even better, it made me feel very happy. This was evidenced by photos of my grinning face from various points around the course and I can’t wait to do another one. The question is, am I confident to have a go at a standard distance ?
Thanks Vicky and Lynda for helping me find that pesky mojo!