"All that you see is me, and all I truly believe"
- Delta Goodrem, Born to Try
- Delta Goodrem, Born to Try
Well, the second tri is done and dusted!
This was a very different experience for me, compared to last time. The lead up to this one was less intense, and I felt less pumped, less motivated and more stressed. I feel like I haven't been myself lately and somehow I woke up with Old Phil (that's me you understand, not a guy called Old Phil! LOL) on Saturday morning, at 7am, ready for training, and she said "just don't do it Phil - it's too hard, you're not in the right frame of mind this time and you won't do very well and then you'll feel even worse, you can go in the next one."
Yeah right, Old Phil. You might have given up when the going got tough, but New Phil doesn't. Ironman had, I think, sensed that maybe I was doubting myself a bit this time, and he showed me a quote he has up on his bedroom wall- "Pain is only temporary. Quitting is forever."
So I ended up going to the training on Saturday morning, going to the transition familiarisation, but left my race kit behind at the life-saving club which resulted in many frantic phone calls to my coach (and poor Miles, who thought someone had died, the way I was carrying on!) who eventually found it for me and had it ready for me on Sunday morning!
I also ended up getting a new bike! My friend Louise (who is training for the January 14 tri) and I went up to the Ivanhoe Bike Store on Saturday evening with two intentions - for her to flirt with the hot guy who works there who she has a crush on, and me to get a bolt for my handlebars. Everyone in the store tried to contain their laughter when I told them I was going in a triathlon the next day and I was planning to ride Red Rock to do it! So, in the heat of the day, the stress of the tri and everything else beating in my brain, I gave in and got a new bike. And I love it! Red Rock is now Brooke's bike :)
Saturday night all I wanted to do was drink beer and get plastered, but the best I could manage was raspberry lemonade with Louise at Ruebar! I remembered what it was like last time - how excited I was, how pumped I was, and how calm I was. This time I was an absolute fucking mess. Thank goodness I had Louise, Brooke and Miles to snap me out of it.
I woke up at 5am yesterday morning, ready to face it. I had decided that I would go and finish what I'd started. I told myself it didn't matter about timing or placing, what was important that I went in it and finished it.
Louise, Ironman, Ironman's girlfriend Bonnie and me all headed down to Elwood bright and early - we were there at 6.15 and it was already 22 degrees. I got my race kit, got my numbers on and set up transition, then headed down to the waters edge for warmup and my 7.15am start. I saw some friends from the clinic who were also in the second one - and in my wave too - so we went and warmed up together and talked about how different the lead up to this one was, compared to last time. I was comforted by the fact that I wasn't the only one who thought it had been a bit strange.
Finally it was our turn and when I finally got there, the nervousness vanished and I heard a voice in my head say "You can do this. Just do whatever you need to do to get through it."
The siren went and we headed into the water. I struggled a bit with the swim - I knew I would, because it was longer than the course at St Kilda, and was also set up differently (I tend to swim better going from right to left than left to right for some reason!). But once I was out of the water, I felt better and thought the hardest part was over. Note the use of the word, thought.
Me on my way to transition from the swim
Louise and Bonnie followed me around the course and were there at every turn to cheer me on :)
I'm smiling in this one!
The ride had been the most challenging part for me last time, but this time it was the easiest. It was fabulous - my new bike made all the difference. I ended up absolutely smashing my time from the last race :)
And then, the run. By now, the sun was well and truly up and it was about 28 or 29 degrees. I was quite dehydrated from the swim and the ride, and took about 30 seconds to gulp down some water and sports drink during the transition from ride to run, but maybe sixty seconds into the run I was thirsty again, my stomach was churning, my legs were aching and I honestly felt like I was going to die. I am never doing this again, I said to myself, as I somehow managed to run to the next drinks station, 1.3km away. I stopped at the drinks station for about 30 seconds - I can't drink while I run - downed one cup of water and threw another one over myself. Then I picked up the pace, and somehow all the pain went away. I felt like I could run forever. I overtook a few people and headed into the home stretch, running as fast as I could go, and finally got over the finish line.
I was spent. But I was so happy - it was not only a physical victory, but a psychological one. I know I spout all this stuff about believe in yourself and anything is possible, but I honestly do have days where I forget about all that and do think I'm the most hopeless person in the world and will never be able to be more than what I am. I didn't give in to the voices in my head that were telling me it was ok to give up. And that is a big thing :)
Swim - 200m: 6.55
Transition 1: 1.29
Ride - 8km: 16.59
Transition 2: 1.15
Run - 2km: 11:48
Total time: 38 minutes and 29 seconds!
Placing: 77th in my category (18-29) and 174th out of all the women who competed
Compared to last time:
Swim - 150m: 4.38
Transition 1: 3.42
Ride - 5km: 16.42
Transition 2: 1.53
Run - 1.5km: 8.35
Total time: 35 minutes and 32 seconds
Placing: 89th in my category (18-29) and 221st out of all the women who competed
So, I am very, very, very happy with that improvement! The swim needs a bit more work, and I think the only way I'll do that is by practicing in the ocean more. But that can wait until next time.
After my race, I was breathless and sweaty and thirsty and redfaced, and went back to the Trialliance tent to receive hugs and congratulations from Louise, Bonnie and Ironman, who was getting ready for his start in the Gatorade race.
We watched Ironman compete in his race - and he did really well - and in the meantime I managed to lose my mobile phone (found it again though!) and left my sunscreen in transition so had to wait until the end of the Gatorade races to get it back!! By then the temperature had climbed to about 35 and we were slowly roasting.
Had a pizza and Kath and Kim night with Brooke and Miles to celebrate my victory, and I realised how muscly I have become! (see the first picture)
Ironman said to me last night, "so, you're going in the next one, aren't you Phil?" and I replied that this one had taken a lot out of me and I'd been feeling a bit tired and flat, and maybe I needed a break from it, so maybe I wouldn't do the January 14 one and do the February 18 one instead... and he just gave me this rather amused look that kind of said, you'll end up doing it, you know you will.....
I think doing the tri yesterday was the best thing I could have done. Last time, I proved to myself what I could do if I believed in myself. Yesterday, I proved what I can do even if I don't believe in myself, and that I can come out on top even if I think that I'm sinking. The body conquered the mind. I was born to try (or tri, as the title suggests!).
I've printed out my Race 2 certificate and laminated it, had a few comments from workmates on my bulging biceps (I'm wearing a singlet top today), my very nice looking tan and the bruises on my legs (from the bike, and from getting kicked in the swim!), my hair is curly and all over the place, I hardly have any make up on, I've just eaten a nectarine and can still smell the sweet summery juices on my fingers ... I feel good. Life is good.