Saturday, 1 March 2014

1 fun run + 2 triathlons + 3 medals + 1 blog post

Sometimes things are great.  And sometimes things are not so great.  At the moment, things aren't so great.  I want to talk about it, so much, but I don't know how to.  So instead, I'm
Making my own finish line :)
going to do my usual trick of ignoring things and changing the subject. :)  Seriously - things - a lot of things - are a bit screwed up right now - and yeah - it's been a rough week/month.  Writing is therapeutic for me so I thought I'd write a blog post about one of the things I've been meaning to write about (!) ie. nothing to do with what's going on right now.  Maybe the distraction will help me.  Thank you to the people who have messaged me to check on me.  It's a strange, yet extremely beautiful world when not only friends, but people you don't know miss you on social media and actually want to know if you're ok xo

I've been meaning to do my little write up of a few events.  And when I say a few events, I actually mean a few events, yes, on the same day.

Because that was one of my goals!  This is a story I nicknamed Operation C.R.A.Z.Y.
Transition 7 legs, ready to go

I've now completed 7 triathlons.  Each one, as long time readers will know, holds a certain dramatic and emotive story for me.  But you can't plan dramatic and emotive - that just happens. (And to me, it happens often).  Instead, I had actual reasons for doing each one.

Triathlon 1: 

[Insert Editors Note: can I just say that this is #3142 of things a 141kg person would never imagine doing - numbering their triathlons.  Seriously Kate??]

Ok, back to it.

So -

Triathlon 1 Goal: To do a triathlon!  That's pretty damn huge!
Triathlon 2 Goal: To do a triathlon where I didn't have a crying breakdown.
Triathlon 3 Goal: To do a triathlon where I didn't have a crying breakdown (yeah, can you tell #2 didn't exactly pan out very well?)
Triathlon 4 Goal: To do a triathlon directly after doing a 5km fun run event in the same
With my lovely friend Bron

Triathlon 5 Goal: To do a long course triathlon directly after doing a 5km fun run event in the same morning.
Triathlon 6 and 7 Goal: To do two triathlons following a 5km fun run event in the same morning - 3 events all before lunch.

So yes, this latter one was my plan.  I did a blog post the night before where I explained how I was lucky enough to get priority placing at the start of both of my triathlons.  And how I was starting to wonder what I had gotten myself into.  I dream big and make crazy plans, but was this one time where I had planned too crazy?  Who in their right mind thinks up a plot to do a fun run and two triathlons before heading to Subway for lunch?

Packing my bag and car was hard enough - trying to organise my gear for 7 different legs was frustratingly hard and my brain was in overdrive.  Packing itself was fine, it was trying to work out how to have it all in order in my bag for each leg that proved stressful: run, swim,
With my young friend Bree - she did her 1st triathlon!
cycle, run, swim, cycle, run.  Then 3 event packs, 3 bibs, 3 event shirts, 3 timing chips, 2 helmet stickers, 2 bike stickers, 2 swimming caps... Augh, organising myself deserved it's own medal.

But I did my best and got to the start line of the first event - the 5km fun run.

It was good.  It was a nice run - I actually didn't even feel it, if that makes sense.  The weather was perfect, there was a breeze - I completely paced myself and didn't try and go fast at all.  I had 2 triathlons to have stamina for after this!  In saying that, I surprised myself with fairly close to my best time!  Amazing.  I really enjoyed that run.  I was, however, disappointed with the event crew at the end - if you read my blog post that I linked to above, you'll read how this
Me, Bron and Mary-Anne ready for our run
had been a gripe of mine at all tris I had done - seeing the event crew packing up early - and that the Director was extremely disappointed in this as it is not how it's supposed to run.

Well, it happened again.  Not like I had experienced before, this time it wasn't me and we fixed it in time, but still.  I went through the finish line and got my first medal of the day - and stayed there to cheer through some friends who were still coming.  No sooner had I gone through and started to wait for my friends,  they barricaded the finish line and started packing up!  I was in shock, there were at least 20-30 people left on the course including my friends - I know, because I ran past them (it was a circuit, I didn't overtake them).  It took me a second to realise what was going on; I was in disbelief.  When I realised, I told the crew straight away.  Another girl helped me, she was
almost screeching just out of disbelief, saying her mother was still out there!  

The Director is amazing and I believe him when he told me that the event has the best intentions at heart, but they really, really need to sort out their packing up times and in this case at least, check to make sure the course is clear - leaving 20-30 people out there is a bit crazy!  Even after they were told, they didn't even completely take the barricades away, they just moved them a bit so the last lot of people had to dodge around them to go through the finish banner. :/

After cheering my friends, I then had about 20min. to get ready for my first tri.  First up was the long course.  I got to the pool and after a few nerves about approaching the Director to take advantage of my priority start, I finally did it.  He apologised again for my previous tris, and as he had offered on the phone, pushed me ahead of the huuuuuge line of a couple of hundred pink swimming capped girls.  He pushed me in, and I in turn pulled my friends in. :)  I got Bron
and Kylie to start in priority with me.  These girls are amazing and we swam the whole thing together.  Thank goodness because I am no longer confident in the water.  We finished the swim together and we ran to the bike transition.  Soon I was off on the bike, absolutely flying up and down hills.  (Well, not so much flying up, but I did ok all the same).  Back to transition and I was off on my run.

I loved this run as I got to run in my first velodrome! It was a cool experience and felt amazing.  I took a lot of selfies...

However this is when things started to get a bit stressful.  On the run I could finally come into my own and relax a little and I checked the time, just to make sure I was on track.  It was 9:50am.  I almost flipped out.  My next triathlon started at 10am!  Well, I thought it did!  For a moment there I confused myself and panicked slightly so Googled the time to check.  Yes, it started at 10am - in 10min. time.  I still had to finish a 3km run and get ready for a swim!  In 10min.?  How
My first velodrome moment
did this happen?

I had calculated the times and timed myself and practised and studied it all, and I had worked out that I should have had about 30min. in between my two triathlons.  So how this happened, I still have no idea.  My first tri started a little late so I can only assume this was the reason.  So much for my estimated 30min. break, I now was on the clock.

I realised though that worrying was not going to help me go faster or solve anything, so instead of panicking I tried to breathe, focus, and keep running.  All I could hope for was that I could join in on the tail end of the swimming leg of my next tri.  I wouldn't get my priority start, but that's ok.  As long as I made it, that's all that mattered. 

Thinking about starting another triathlon when you're still currently doing a triathlon - well, it sux.  It was pretty distracting.  I went through the finish line after completing my first tri of the
Flanked by friends
day.  Got my medal.  I was being very technical, there was not much emotion!  I never thought I'd see a day where I would go through the finish line of a triathlon and think "now what?"  But this was one day where I didn't have time to smile or cry or take finish line selfies or take it all in.  I had another event to do!  2 down, 1 to go.

I ran straight from the finish line over to the pool to start my next triathlon - I literally didn't stop - I just kept going from one to the next.

And then I saw it.

An empty pool.

Well, not empty, it was still filled with water - but there were no people!  No pink swimming capped girls!  No officials!  No cheering friends!

I did some quick calculations.  Surely the whole swim leg of the next triathlon couldn't have all started and finished already?  It was only about 10:10am - I couldn't believe that they had
Bike selfie
finished the entire leg in 10min.

Well either they did, or they started early.  I don't know.  All I know is, is that I didn't have time to work it all out, I had to get into my next tri somehow.  The pool was actually closed - otherwise I would have thrown myself into the water and swam my leg.

I decided to go straight to the bike leg and work out the rest later.  I ran to the transition area.

Dozens of people who had finished events were lined up, waiting to be allowed in to get their bikes.  They had to wait until most of the bike leg of the current tri had finished, as to not get in the way.

I was not one of these people - I was actually supposed to be in there - I was a competitor in the current tri!  I just hadn't been able to start with the swim!

I politely but quickly pushed myself to the front of the queue and asked to be let in.  The official seemed confused and didn't know what to do.  She asked another official.  Who happened to be one of my friends.

Of all the times, my friend (who didn't realise my situation) started joking "no, we can't let
After the 3 events!
Kate in!  Don't let that girl in!", teasing me.  Basic friendly banter that would usually be very funny.  But when I'm supposed to be in an event and was already late, it wasn't!  haha!  As soon as I explained, she was kindly horrified that she was keeping me locked out, and let me in.  I flew past the gates and to my bike.  I quickly transitioned from No. 1 Tri Run to No. 2 Tri Cycle.

I got my bike out on the course and tried to relax.  All was ok.  I was now in the event.  I tried to reason with myself.  I couldn't control the pool being closed.  I couldn't control the event start times.  I did the only thing I could have done - I just went to the next leg.

I felt so uneasy though!  My goal was to do 1 fun run and 2 triathlons before lunch.  A triathlon is a swim, cycle and run.  Not a cycle and run only!  If I did the cycle and run and then got handed my medal, it wouldn't be right. I wouldn't have done the entire event!  

So I decided then and there that I was going to fix that.  I decided that when I finished, I would find a pool.  Whether it was the closed one, another one in the super sports centre
3 medals
where we were or even my local one, I would find a pool and I would do the swim leg.  And then I would have earned my medal and achieved my goal.  Only then.

That made me feel a bit better.  So I tried to concentrate on the cycle.  As I zoomed up and down the hills, I realised that I had probably swept into the event at a point where, for one of the very few times in my triathlon 'career', I probably wasn't coming last of the day.  It was a special feeling, thinking that wow...I won't be that person today.

Something came over me and I decided that even though I may not be the last one over the line, I didn't want anyone else to be.  This was my 7th triathlon and I knew how it felt to be
After event #1
the last of the day.  I decided to make sure I caught up with the last person, and offer to do it with them.  I thought it could be like a significant thing - and we could both be last - they wouldn't have to go though it alone.

Still cycling away, dreaming up this resolve, I realised something as I noticed the desolate cycle track.

I was the last person.

I almost broke into tears.  Not because I was last - man I'm used to that!  But, because I had just decided to stick by the last persons side.  

And then I realised, I was that person.

It was a pretty overwhelming moment.

So I kept going.  Accompanying myself...

I cycled past a couple of people standing by the side of the road.  I tried to work out what had happened.  From what I could gather, a girl had trouble with her bike and was talking to
Doing a bit of backstroke on my last swim #becauseicould
volunteers.  I wanted to stop and see if I could help.  I almost did so, until I saw that it looked like she had a friend with her and she was going to stop participating.  I realised she wasn't alone and already had company/help, so me stopping was probably not going to add anything, so I should keep going.

Fast forward to a few days later...and I found out that this girl was actually a young girl on 30+.  She had started to feel unwell and had to stop, mid-cycle leg.  It was her first triathlon and she had fainted and thrown up.  Apparently despite what I thought I saw/heard as I went past, she didn't have anyone else with her, and was determined to finish it, so a volunteer did the rest of the course with her.  I didn't know this gorgeous girl at the time (I do know) but when I read about it a few days later my heart wrenched and I almost burst into tears on the bus I was on because I felt so bad I didn't stop!  I really thought she was stopping because of bike issues and had
My 'carrot' - a medal!
a friend.  I told her I will never forgive myself for not stopping, especially for a fellow 30+er...D, I am so sorry.  (By the way this amazing girl went on and completed it) :) #absolutechampion

So back to the crazy persons story (mine).  So I finished the cycle and went straight to the run.  I wasn't feeling too tired or sore at all. Was very much looking forward for it to be over though!

Did the run and got to the finish chute.  My beautiful friends had raced over and just made it, and ran part of the way with me, down the chute.  Love them to bits :)  Went through the finish line and got my 3rd medal of the day.

However I refused to put it on.  I hadn't finished yet!  I told my friends about my plan, so instead of having a celebratory moment and taking selfies in front of the finish line, I was focused on one thing only, and that was finding a pool.  With my friends by my side we found an Olympic sized pool (only the best for my crazy challenges!) and snuck
With Kylie and Bron
past the sign that said No Entry (there is always sneaking through/over/past/in things for my crazy challenges!)  (By the way the pool was open and there was a lifeguard there, the sign was just to deter the triathlon masses away from regular visitors using the pool).

I gave one friend my bag, one my medal and one my camera, and jumped in the pool and swam what I was already have meant to have done - it was only 100m.  It was the most calm and relaxed triathlon swim I have ever done.  I wish they were all as peaceful!  My friend Kylie held my medal out in front of me like a carrot and I swam, grinning with all my might towards it.  I jumped out and we had our own little ceremony, and that's when I got to wear my medal, because I had now earned it.
Love this photo haha!

It was such a special finish - ok, it wasn't at the finish line like everyone else, but then again I didn't exactly do the day like everyone else!

3 events, 3 medals, and then it was off to Subway for lunch - my triathlon tradition!

I've now retired from triathlons.  Never say never, maybe I'll do another one day, but for now, I'm done.  
  • They cost a lot of money to enter and I have many running events that I much prefer to do - running is my love.  
  • I'm scared of swimming and am not fussed on cycling.  Every time I do a tri, I feel this
    My personal medal presentation
    panic by the pool at the start of the day and wonder why I keep doing this to myself (and paying for the pleasure).
  • I've done what I wanted to do with triathlons.  As I listed above, each one I've done for a reason, to push myself.  I don't have any more triathlon goals.  I'm happy with my stint.
  • I can now focus more on running.
#874 of things I would never expect to hear myself saying, that I have retired from triathlons.  I never believed I would do one, let alone be able to say that I retire from doing them! lol

So that is my 3 events before lunch story!  Finally written up. :)

Finishing my 2nd tri (sort of)

Compulsory triathlon photo

Early morning smoothie breaky, pondering in my car before the day

My message today

Priority swim girls, finished!


About to start my second swim...alone

Another reminder I had for myself that day.  Pace myself...

With Ben, Bron and Kylie

Subway lunch with friends #besttritradition

1 comment:

  1. Wow what an epic day!! I'm thrilled for you that you have achieved all your tri goals and you can now focus on events you enjoy more xx