As you can see from the above picture, I was totally pumped for this race. I joke! I was feeling quite motivated for the Norwich Sprint Triathlon, especially as I know the course so well having spent so much time in here as a rower. Also, Norwich Triathlon had been voted best club organised (Tri-Anglia) triathlon in 2015 so I was really looking forward to it. The only issue had been getting up at 5.30 in the morning to eat breakfast and drive to the event since registration closed at 7. I suppose it wasn’t too big a deal since I couldn’t get much sleep the night before as I’d spent it thinking about the race. The result though was that I felt shattered before I’d even done anything.
Once registration and racking up had been sorted out I wandered down to the Whitlingham Water Sports Centre where the swim would begin. Whenever I get nervous I seem to need the toilet so I was grateful when we were finally allowed in the water so I could swim off for a bit and take what’s turning into a routine piss in the wetsuit before the race.
Swim (41/180 – 14:05)
Once we were finally set off I had a bit of trouble settling in as I was sandwiched between two guys who refused to give me any space. The result was me getting smacked in the face a few hundred times. Eventually the pack spread out a bit and I could get into more of a rhythm. I ended up coming in the top 41st of 180 which wasn’t too shabby.
I sprinted out of the water, quickly found my bike (unlike last time when I had to have my bike pointed out to me by my girlfriend) and was able to get my cycling shoes on without falling over from dizziness as had happened in the other two previous events. I ran to the bike start and was away in what was by far my fastest transition to date.
Bike (109/180 – 39:16)
The bike ride for the most part was not fun! Perhaps I’d gone out too hard on the swim, or perhaps I’d taken T1 too quickly. In any case I was breathing heavily and my heart rate was sky high for more than half of the bike ride. This was probably also due to the headwind and the steady incline for the first half. At points I was looking down at my Garmin and seeing 13mph and thinking this is getting ridiculous. Oh and on the subject of my Garmin, I once again forgot to set it to bike ride whilst going through transition. I’m pretty sure I’ll never properly record a full triathlon. After the first half I was able to catch a bit of a breath as the last half was either slightly downhill or flat and with a tailwind. 30mph woohoo this might not be the slowest ever bike ride.
Once in the transition area I ran to my rack and saw it was completely full. WTF! Had people racked their bikes where mine was meant to go. I stared at the rack for ages trying to figure out what to do. I marshal started to wander over and I finally realised I was standing in the wrong row. I ran to where I was supposed to be, racked my bike, changed my shoes and then ran around like a headless chicken trying to figure out where the exit was. The same marshal pointed me in the right direction after he most likely decided I was an idiot in need of help. Mental note, figure out the entry and exit points before the race.
Run (119/180 – 29:08)
I set out on the run and whilst I didn’t get jelly legs, they did feel like they were made of lead. I was feeling seriously exhausted and again my heart rate was sky high. Part of it was the muggy humidity which made breathing feel so much harder. I couldn’t believe how tired I felt. The run route is one lap around a lake and it wasn’t until about halfway round that I actually got into a rhythm and my breathing normalised. I was of course getting overtaken by just about everyone but it felt nice not to be gasping for air. Eventually a group of guys overtook me but I was able to latch onto the back of their group and maintain their pace which helped pull me around. Once I finally got to the finish line I collected my medal and a bottle of water and collapsed on the grass for about 5 minutes. This was the hardest race so far. Only a bacon roll could bring me back to life!
Overall Time (71/180) 01:25:29)