Today was my first triathlon since the Redhill club championships last year where I had to get off my bike and push 3 times. For those of you who have ever cycled with me or spoken to me about cycling you will know that I am a very slow and anxious cyclist. In previous triathlons, I have generally done OK on the swim, dropped to the very back on the bike and the run could go either way!
In April 2016, I decided I needed to do something about the cycling thing so I booked a bikeability lesson through Elmbridge council to go right back to basics. It was something like £20 for a 3 hours 1 on 1 so not bad value.
Throughout last summer I forced myself to cycle to the lake and back on Saturday mornings. Not a long distance but through the centre of Walton which was massive for me. I then took Mark’s development cycling course last Autumn and learnt more about group riding and since then I have tried to go out on more rides. Huge thanks to Pam Winstanley-Fisher for the encouragement. That all culminated in the New Forest 100km sportive in May. Since I was still a very anxious cyclist I have then been having NLP session to try to get to the root of the problem.
Today was my first chance to put it all together and give it a go in a triathlon and it was in the beautiful setting of Blenheim palace
My start time was 12 so quite a leisurely journey up there to an incredibly slickly organized event with huge numbers competing and lots of different waves. I felt strong on the swim although felt like I needed to do 2 stroke breathing rather than my using 3 and came out near the front of my wave. The pace recorded was 1.58/100m which was disappointing but I was 33/280 in my age group so happy with that (must have been an uphill swim!). Transition was 0.5k run uphill which was a shock.
Then onto the bike and I pushed myself faster than I normally do. It was a 3-lap course with a few steep downhills (the bit I like least) and some climbs. Each lap got a little bit faster as I gained confidence in the route and although I was passed by a lot of people I also did some passing. Rather than being the slowest by a long way on the cycle I was 212/280 which is a massive improvement for me, although clearly still room to do better.
The run was a really nice 2-lap course with beautiful views of the lake and some nice downhills and tough uphills. I haven’t done nearly enough running this year but managed to keep a respectable pace for me. Hearing the yell or encouragement from Lara Clay as I was nearing the end spurred me to go for a sprint finish.
Overall for my age category I was 127/280 so made it into the top half, which I am delighted with. All in all a great event in an amazing setting and I would thoroughly recommend it.