Chirk Tri – Fuelled by Easter Eggs

It finally came around, the race that I’ve been gambling on about for months…

My first Triathlon.

And…drumroll… I completed it, which when I could barely swim 25m last October, was all I ever wanted to do.

Going into it I genuinely had no idea how it would turn out. I was doing a typical me and overthinking and over planning everything. In my head, I wanted to wear socks for the bike and run. I needed gloves and a jacket for the ride so I didn’t get cold. I was going to put a Buff on to stop my wet hair dripping down my back.

What happened in the transition from swim to bike?

I left transition with no socks, no jacket, no Buff and no gloves. I was venturing out into the valley to Glyn Ceiriog in a wet Tri-Suit. Nice one Lucy…nice one…ha!

Off out on the bike there was a long drag uphill to the half way point. A climb which looks less steep than it actually is, so it’s easy for it to play with your mind. You feel like you’re struggling a lot more than you should be. I felt a lot stronger than I thought I would be and on the descent I would only feel stronger as the climb was now a descent. It was such a great road to race on. There was a final kick up a hill heading back up to Chirk, where I was expecting my legs to hurt a fair bit, but I somehow just breezed up it. I think I was on such a high after the swim my legs just kept going!

The swim isn’t actually something I’ve spoken about first, despite it coming first in the Tri! So how did that go?

Interesting to say the least.

I may have misheard, but I’m sure someone said the pool was shallow at both ends, but it wasn’t. I push off for my first length and get to the other side of hot pool. It reach for a bar and go to put my feet on the bottom of the pool. The floor was nowhere to be seen along with the bar. Well done Lucy, you’ve nearly drowned and you’ve done one length. Ha! Thankfully I managed to grab onto the side and carry on!

But after a few lengths another swimmer past me and as I went to breath, rather a lot of water went into my mouth. Thankfully I was still in a shallow part of the pool when that happened, or god knows how that would have ended. After that point, all the swimming techniques went out the window and I just wanted to get out on my bike. Next minute, a sign with the lovely number 2 on meant I had two lengths left. I quickly sped up and was soon out of the pool!

The biggest hurdle of the Triathlon for me was done. After what was always going to be the strongest parts for me, the bike, it was back into transition for the run. It did involve me stopping dead at the dismount line though after forgetting about it!

Transition from bike to run was interesting. Despite me feeling strong on the bike, I was freezing cold! The downhills on the way back meant in transition I could barely feel my hands or feet. Have you ever tried to put running shoes onto your wet feet that you no longer have any feeling in? Don’t. It’s near damn impossible. I apologise to anyone who was around me at that point in transition…ha!

Being as cold as I was, I picked up my cycling jacket (to run…I know I’m mad), my gloves and a Buff. The first part of the run felt rather odd because it felt like all of the blood was rushing back to my legs. I still couldn’t warm myself up though.

At this point I put on my Buff as a headband. From my training runs I normally put a Buff on now to stop my hair going in my face, but I also found it raised my body temperature quite a bit  if I put it over my ears. So my Buff became invaluable during the run on my Tri. My body temperature quickly warmed up and I could get round the 2.6 mile run to the finish.

Running took a back seat in training vernthe past few weeks. My swimming was important and I’d spent a lot of time at Crit races and a TT. The time had past and it dawned on me how little I’d been out running. Yet, when my Garmin bleeped showing my first mile was a 8:22 my pace wasn’t as bad as I’d thought.

Similarly to a Duathlon I did last October, when I realised I could possibly get a sub hour and a half time, I made sure I picked up the back on the last downward stretch to the finish. I was in nowhere near of a state as I was for the Duathlon at the finish either. I was just on a massive high from the whole thing. Something that had been on my Bucket List for so long was now ticked off. And I think I may even do another one…

My family have been amazing since I booked onto the Tri. Thinking I’m mad when I’ve come back from a long run or a tough swim session. I’m just glad I managed to finish it to make all of the training worthwhile. I may have splashed and struggled at times, but I kept my race face mentality with the only thing on my mind being the finish. Ryan’s been the biggest support and I definitely couldn’t have done it without him. Not letting me have too many lazy days and taking me on long days out on the bike.

Everyone at Chirk Tri did amazingly today from the competitors to those involved in running the event. We can’t forget the Marshals either! Their smiling faces were a big encouragement on the way round.

I was so nervous at the start, but the women who were swimming at the same time as me were full of encouragement. It definitely helped when the whistle went to start swimming.

The way I’ve rambled on, anyone would think I’d done a marathon! To everyone doing the London Marathon or anything active, whatever your reason behind doing it, keep it up & well done!

Finishing in 1 hour 26 minutes? I’m happy with that.

I just need to find something else to train for now…but look out for future blog posts where I review the kit that got me through my first Triathlon:

#WorkoutWednesday – 8th March 2017

I’ve not got round to posting about my statistics for February yet, so to kick this week’s Workout Wednesday I thought I’d go through a few stats I accumulated over the second month of 2017. 

Where cycling is concerned, I was shocked to realise how little I’d actually been out getting some miles in. With a trip to London taking up one weekend and Storm Doris taking over another, I suppose it can be expected…so a measly 25 miles was done on the bike.

For running, I managed to fit 19 miles, which wasn’t as much as the 33 miles ran in January. (Sticking to my training plan isn’t going great is it…!) But I did find a new route, which I’m eager to try again! It was a very hilly 6.5 miles. On my way round though I did find a few trails that looked intriguing, so if I get some good weather I’ll give hem a go and see where they take me.

When it comes to swimming, it is where I seem to have made a lot of progress. My February goal was to complete 200m of continuous swimming at some point during a swim session in February. March the goal was 300m. I say ‘was’ because I’ve actually already managed it tonight in the pool! The four more lengths to get me from 200m to didn’t seem as long as they use to be!

Something I wanted to highlight about my training this week was kickboxing. Me and my brother have been talking about going for so long and this week we finally got round to going. It definitely tested my flexibility and I needed to find my aggressive side to make the  most of the session, but honestly? It was one of the most empowering things I’ve done for a while. 

Growing up female you’re not expected to be aggressive. I’m not talking going round and hitting everything in sight. A girl doing something like kickboxing isn’t a common occurrence…I’ve not met many girls who do it anyway! 

It was a mixed class of men and women. Some obviously knew what they were doing, and then you had me and my brother…who didn’t have a clue! But there were no judgemental looks thrown my way because I was a competitive newbie. Everyone there was purely there for kickboxing. In the gym I always feel like people are constantly judging my every move, but with kickboxing I completely lost myself in it. When leaving, it felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders!

If you take one thing from this post, I’d say give kickboxing a go. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post on International Women’s Day! I have been lucky enough to have some amazing women support me throughout my life. Whether it’s the morals I now follow because of them, or being there for me when I seemed to be a little bit lost on what career path to take. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.