Today I finally plucked up the motivation to start my training. The realisation of what I have signed up for has slowly sank in over the last week and the fact that historically I've hated running, hasn't helped me.
My last endurance feat (if you can call it that) was a half marathon in St Albans, which I stumbled across the line in what I considered a pretty poor time. Not helped by the fact that at mile 11 they did not display the mileage counter as they had done with the previous 10 miles had me thinking I was in serious trouble until the mile 12 appeared but the damage was done psychologically. I'd also neglected most of the water breaks and energy gels because rather misguidedly I'd completed a couple of near half marathon training runs without water and felt fine. Apparently on game day it's a different beast entirely.
Prior to that, I'd completed an Olympic distance triathlon (swim 1.5km, cycle 40km, run 10km), which was really my first ever official endurance event and it was a disaster. Having done all my preparation in a swimming pool and on a spin bike for the swimming and cycling components of the race, it was a bit of shock getting in a 12 degree lake with zero visibility and cycling outdoors around traffic.
This, coupled with the fact I'd burrowed a summer wet suit off a friend with a hole in it (thanks by the way Ads) meant after 3 strokes into the race I was looking over at the women in the safety canoe and she was looking straight back at me, both with the non verbal understanding that I was in trouble. It was horrible, like when you get in a cold shower and it takes your breath away, that's what I had.
However, I had my now girlfriend and my friend watching, so there was no way I was getting pulled out, so I cracked on out of sheer stubbiness whilst in a sheer state of panic. As I settled into the race and watched the entire rest of the race pull away from me I thought just get through the bloody thing. The funny thing is I actually got overtaken by the next race too, and one thing I learned about triathlon, they just swim right through you if overtaking.
So after just completing the swim, almost hypothermic, I couldn't even get my wetsuit off because I was shaking so much - my now girlfriend (not at the time) had to jump the rope and undo my wetsuit because I'd lost the dexterity to do it, an assistance I would later learn would usually mean disqualification from the race but looking at the state of me, I assume they gave me the benefit of the doubt. I was hardly going to be challenging for first place.
The rest of the race wasn't much better, frozen cold feet from the cycle, starting the running segment with my helmet still on my head, cramp in both my quads and a time spent in transition of 21 minutes (the pro's will spend under 30seconds in transition lol) I made it, vowing to never do another endurance event again!
But here we are, day one. And it was a lovely day. I made 30 minutes because of a little tightness in my calf muscle so I walked it off as I completed the route. I got some nice pictures though and I guess if I'm going to be spending a lot of time outdoors, the south isn't the worst place to do it.
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