Two Weeks to Give it a Go

It all started with a chat in a pub with two Ironwomen friends, and then a conversation in the gym about the Crystal Palace Triathlon. All it needed for me to apply was the use of the word fun.

Two weeks today, Crystal Palace Triathlon 2017 will be over. I am familiar with the course, I did a novice training day and, because it’s what I do, I have planned and researched and tried to overcome my fears and nerves and trained so hard and everything was going so well. The one thing I didn’t plan on happening was to get a cold and chest infection, possibly brought on by training too hard (mum to me yesterday for about the 100th time, ‘You must remember you’re not 25.” Thanks mum), at an indoor pool. Crystal Palace pool and the Lido have never given me anything other than tepid or freezing cold water.

I have been home for two days, nursed by Stella, who was looking forward to a romantic weekend before she flies off to New Zealand for a non-stop work tour. We had to cancel dinner with close friends, which I am still upset about and tomorrow will be my fifth day of no exercise, which, those of you who have been injured/unable to exercise will know brings difficulty, frustration and upset. I have Googled everything, from what to eat the night before and how to change a puncture, as this is the one thing I haven’t a clue how to do, and on triathlons you are not allowed to ask for help. I have read the British Triathlon Competition Rules, and there are HEAPS of them. I have learned new terminology, such as drafting (illegal unless it is a draft-legal triathlon) and being lapped and immediately disqualified. No holding on to trees or anything else to help you balance, no floatation aids allowed in the pool, and NO GOING TOPLESS.

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 23.45.57

I like the simple course map drawings, but don’t let the simplicity fool you. It’s not flat and it’s not easy. I will probably be one of the first in the pool, being one of the slowest, and if I can recognise my bike while still wearing my prescription goggles as I walk to transition, all good. You are not allowed to put anything like a balloon or mascot or your wife or a close friend, beside your bike to help identification. Without glasses, that will be hard. With prescription goggles I will look like an idiot, but I don’t care. I will wear my tri suit with pride, try not to fall off my bike and damage a tree and run, run, run until I reach that track and keep going until the finish line.

Did someone say something about fun?

5 thoughts on “Two Weeks to Give it a Go

  1. Poorly no training is always frustrating but you’ve got some good stuff banked. And the research / thinking is all great prep too.
    On the day though be prepared to clear your mind and trust yourself. You are going to be fine.
    Give yourself time (with support crew) before the start to walk through transition a number of times so you instinctively know where your bike is…you’ll be aiming for something bigger than your bike (like a lamppost or sign).
    I believe in you. Your focus and determination is so motivating :o)

  2. You can usually put a brightly coloured towel down as a marker: worth checking. Also think of the enforced test as an early extended taper, just do some short, race pace efforts the week before. Good luck, and enjoy it! Your first event is always a guaranteed PB : )

  3. I’ve never heard of being lapped and disqualified? I’m sure I’ve done a sprint distance and been lapped by others doing standard distance and it not being an issue (other than embarrassment)

  4. Thanks Gael. Bright small towel ready. Others have also given me tips…all sorted. You can see why I’m so worried…but I WILL ENJOY IT. And yes re the PB! Thanks for advice, always welcome.

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