Monday, November 1, 2010

Back Into Triathlons

I was in my first triathlon since the accident back in June 2009.

I came 9th out of 62 people, which is such a great personal achievement, because I was going in with expectations to better my initial time of last year.

I managed to do that, coming 9th this time as opposed to 18th. I swam slower than last year by a minute (which is obvious given I have been unable to swim long distances for the past 12 months because of my back injury) but I improved my bike leg by 9 seconds, and improved by run leg by a MASSIVE 1 min 20 secs. I am happy about improving the run leg, because I was so terrible at running before the injury. It shows that I am a far better runner now after the accident, despite carrying extra weight and an injury.

So the last time I did the race in February 2009, which was prior to the accident, I was at my fittest physically. I wouldnt say I am even close to being as fit as I was back then and I am carrying extra weight, but I think I did better this time around bceause I am far fitter mentally. I was able to push through the run leg even though I felt at times that I wanted to stop. While I was frustrated by not coming in strong on the swim leg, I know that I can improve on this with practice and patience.

So, not bad for the first triathlon!

(below: waiting at the start pontoon - i'm hidden in the crowd with a red cap, being the 30-40 age group)

(below: I am the person on the right, looking really focused! The "yellow caps" (the Under 30s) had started their race 5 mins earlier so their pack was already on their way up. In the end, we compete against everyone's times, in other words, I was racing against people as young as 13 and as old as 50).

(below: I am in the purple goggles. You can see I was quite late off the start, but that s because I don't like battling it out at the front, and I have confidence knowing that I can finish strong compared to others because I am more of a long distance swimmer than a sprinter. 10 metres into the swim and I was about 15th in the pack)

(below: here I am, second from the right. By now, I'd settled into a rhythm and was slowly carving up the rest of the red caps, who had sprinted and burnt out early).

(below: By the end of the 150 metres, I and three others had caught up with the back of the Yellow Cap pack.)

(below: me on the right, lumbering out of the water, catching my breath)

(below: 3rd out of the water in the red caps, heading into the transition area. I held back and let 2 red caps go ahead of me, because I knew that it didnt matter who was in front at this early stage in the race, so I am recorded as having come out of the water 3rd in my age group and 7th fastest swim leg overall out of 62 people - including the young ones under 30!)

(below: My favourite leg, of course, being the bike leg. I improved my bike leg by only 9 seconds from the year prior, but the reason is that I deliberately held back on the bike leg and rode it properly in a higher gear like proper triathletes do (using the leg muscles) instead of racing hard (using my cardio capacity) like I did last year. While it didnt benefit my bike leg time, the strategy came in handy for the run leg later on).

(below: coming into the transition area, ready to jump off the bike and into the run leg)

(below: coming into transition, feeling quite happy with myself so far)

(below: transitioning from the bike leg to the run leg is the hardest of all. If you havent kept your legs riding at an even cadence throughout the bike leg, there is a possibility that you can jump off the bike and try and run and find that your legs can turn to jelly. This is what happened the year prior, because I didnt know how to properly ride the bike leg. This time around, I knew I'd done the bike leg properly, so I didnt fear the changeover as much as I had feared it first time around).

(below: screeeeech. You can't ride into the transition area. You have to dismount at the line, and run with your bike back to your allocated spot).

(below: Run, Forrest!)

(below: In the transition area, taking the bike gear off and getting ready to do the run leg. I had come in 3rd on the bike leg, and still 7th overall).

(below: Heading out to run 1.2kms - a short run technically, but a heck of a long way when you're (1) unfit; (2) untrained; (3) tired from a swim and bike leg.)

(below: Here is a picture I love - me running out of the transition area with my mum cheering me on in the background. Great shot!)

(below: I hate running at the best of times, but this time around, I kept an even pace and felt okay).

(below: I finished my run leg 1 minute and 20 secs faster than last year, but I did get overtaken so I came in 13th overall on the run. But with my good times on the swim leg and the bike leg, I officially placed 9th overall, beating 50-something other people).

Very pleased with my result.

Thank you to my wonderful boyfriend, who was there on the day and who takes such great photos. <3

Thanks to Mum and Aunty J, for coming along and supporting me, as always.


  1. awesome work! i'm really proud of you for getting right back in there and giving the triathlons another go. yay!

  2. You are quite welcome my Dear, we enjoyed watching you do so well. Ma xxx