Pink and my first triathlon will always go hand in hand. Sunday just past marked my first triathlon. Saying that I completed a triathlon is weird because I have often said to my husband that “I would love to do a triathlon” as I am constantly inspired when spectating them but this time I was the competitor.
It’s been a year long goal of mine because at this exact time last year I could not swim 25 metres, I had one lesson and I struggled to get from one end to the other. Setting my sights on this triathlon goal helped me in my drive to be able to swim laps and improve. I stuck at it for the year and slowly I built up my distance, week after week. So when the triathlon day loomed I knew that I could swim the 300m. My biggest challenge with swimming is that I have suffered the imposter syndrome every time I've swam. Each swim I have felt intimidated entering the water like I was not worthy of such ability - it's crazy thinking, I know it is! Unfortunately, I think this mindset carried over into my swim race day.
I felt good, excited, nervous of course lining the side of the pool but I felt ready. My first triathlon. Unfortunately my mind had other ideas, I jumped in the water about to take off and remembered my watch so paused and turned that on and then off I went stroke after stroke. Then the panic set in. The swim cap was suffocating my head, the goggles heavy on my eyes, my tri shorts hugging my thighs and the race timer strangling my ankle. My breath was all over the place, my mind in panic mode. How is this happening? Why is this happening? I pushed a little further and then I had to make the rash decision to go on my back for a bit, I had to get air into my lungs, calm my mind and my body. I felt so disappointed and let down especially knowing Adrian and Amber were watching me. But I turned over again to resume my freestyle and the same feelings arose, so off with the cap! And I instantly felt gratification! I felt free. And in that moment I was able to push on, I had consumed a lot of energy and felt very fatigued but I was determined to get to that finish line. Thankfully I did and it was such a relief.
Unfortunately disappointment clouded my thinking but as I made it into transition I had to shake it off, the swim was one leg, there were two to go. It was a quick change into my cycling gear and without time to blink, I mounted the bike and was on my way. I loved it. I was cautious initially because I had no idea where the course was or what was ahead but I soon found my rhythm and cranked up the gears and felt like I was flying in the breeze. Of course my family were lining the course and what a feeling it was to wave and smile back at them.
I felt really strong on the bike and was a little disappointed that it come to an end at the designated 9km mark. But there was a 3km run to finish and I was pumped to do my favourite part of the triathlon. Back into transition and it was a quick process to stall my bike, visor on and off I trekked. Surprisingly the run felt long. Perhaps it was the jelly legs from the bike ride. But again I felt strong, I felt fast and I felt determined to turn my start to this triathlon around and finish happy and full of self achievement.
The run turn around was at the 1.5km mark and back home to that finish line. Nothing excites me more in an event than running through the finishing chute. It was a quick high five to my girl and onto the finish line...And done! I crossed that line with a huge smile and was so proud of myself that I had set my eyes on this goal and worked my butt off to get it done in 48:12 minutes.
I really enjoyed the triathlon and it was great to do another type of event. It was completely new to me. It was definitely another level of mental toughness but it was also a great way to push my body to new limits and really test what it was capable of. And how inspiring that so many women, many first time triathletes gave it a go!
I plan to do it again next year. Afterall I have to redeem myself after the swim and I now have a time to beat!
What will you do to test your limits in 2018?