Final Ramblings

You train so you can tolerate it

Found this on Pinterest

It’s no secret that I am swinging violently between 1) feeling sick and fearful of the race on Sunday, and 2) being super excited to finally put my training to the test and see whether I’ve got what it takes.  Sometimes I am experiencing both extremities at the exact same time.

I have struggled with the blogging this week because of it.  I just can’t make my mind up what I am trying to say – am I sh*t scared and whingeing?  Or am I absolutely stoked and spreading positivity?  I am both.  I am neither.

This morning I completed my final training session – a swim that started hard and fast, and then progressed into breast stroke and enjoyment, in a last-ditch attempt to convince myself that I love and adore swimming.  It kind-of worked.

I will take the dog on a walk tonight but tomorrow’s schedule is complete rest and relaxation (aka cleaning the house and mowing the lawn)

Side note: This morning my swimming cap did not pop off my head, for the first time in about 3 weeks.  I was overjoyed.  The swimming leg has been (and probably always will be ) the hardest part of this sport for me.  Sometimes when I imagine myself stumbling out of the water at Bribie, after completing the swim part, I get tears in my eyes.  Because even envisaging it feels like overwhelming, pie-in-the-sky stuff.  I am not ashamed to say that I will be trying to make a deal with the Triathlon Gods in the lead-up to Sunday, to give me some kind of a break in the water.

So that’s it, no more training for Bribie.  It has been a long and eventful roller-coaster ride and I feel a bit sad to leave this first stage behind.  There have been obstacles, there have been challenges, there have been mistakes, there have been doubts.  If you missed it, check out the highlights.

I haven’t worried too much about resting up properly or checking final fears off my list for this race – there has been a lot of other ‘life stuff’ going on and I haven’t had the time.  I also don’t think it’s necessary for my baby Bribie race – the careful planning of rest and relaxation (officially known as ‘The Taper’ in triathlon land) will be more important for phases two and three – Straddie and Noosa.

One thing I should mention is that, in checking the Bribie Tri website this week, I noticed that the bike leg is now 10km – not 6km.  So 300m swim, 10km ride, 3km run.  I don’t know when this changed (or whether I just read it entirely wrong when I first signed up??  Seems unlikely) but it I am glad I found out before rocking up on Sunday morning.  That may have freaked me out a bit.

It’s still not a huge bike leg, and the website clearly states it’s a flat and fast course so I don’t think it will cause me any issues.  I did two 15km  hill sessions on the bike this week just to up my bike fitness a bit in preparation, but I am confident I will be fine.  The only niggling doubt in my mind is that the 10km mark is usually past the point that I get thirsty if I am pushing hard.  But then again I am also prepared to get a little dehydrated in the race, because it will be over so quickly and stopping or slowing down for water will be a waste.

Yesterday I finally made my list for packing – one for the bag of stuff that must go into Transition, and one for the bag of stuff that I will need immediately before or after the race (mum’s bag)

Frankly it was lucky that when I first signed up for triathlon I was so excited about the whole thing I made some packing lists then.  Because I really wasn’t in the mood for it this week and I needed some help from former-me.  AKA naive me.

In the transition bag, we have the following:

Running Shoes
Running Socks (in case I want to change out of my sweaty cycling socks, which hopefully I wont because that will waste time)
Running Hat
Race belt and number
Towel
Cycling Shoes
Cycling Socks
Water
Helmet
Sunnies

In mum’s bag:

Spare swimming Cap and the race-supplied cap
Goggles x 2
Ear plugs
Water
Clif Bar (energy bar)
Camera (for photos for the blog!)
e-ticket
Chewing gum (because I will need something to take the taste of seawater out of my mouth when I am done)
Towel
Change of clothes

Tonight I will pack both the bags and put them to the side for checking approximately 782 times before Sunday morning.

So what’s the plan?  Well I can pick up my race pack tomorrow from Bribie Island if I want, or I can just grab it the morning of the race from 5.30am.  I haven’t decided what option to choose yet – I’ll see how I feel tomorrow morning.

On Saturday night I have selected fish and chips for my carb-loading tea – baked whiting just done in the oven and a huge helping of sweet potato chips.  Then a custard tart for dessert, to really pile on the sugar carbs.

On race day itself, I will leave the house at about 5 after a bowl of porridge, aiming to get to the race precinct at about 5.45.  I will then have 45 minutes to check-in my bike, have my numbers written on my arms and do any last-minute preparation such as scoffing a Clif Energy Bar.  I might pump my tyres up in this time just to be confident they’re fine.

The weather forecast is sunny with light winds – so you couldn’t ask for better really.

At 6.30 the athletes have a race briefing, and then at 6.45 the gun will go for us baby-distance racers.  So hopefully mum will arrive sometime before 6.30 to take my bag of crap that I can’t run around with and don’t need in transition.

With the gun going at 6.45, I am planning to roughly finish by 7.45ish, so if you follow me on Instagram you can look out for a picture of a hot and sweaty mess collapsing onto tarmac at about that time.

I am then not allowed to take my bike out of transition until about 10am, so rather than hanging around we are going to go to breakfast at the Sandstone Point Hotel, where hopefully they will seat us outside so that I don’t stink the place out.

Then I will head back to Transition to pick up my bike and belongings, and take it all home to bask in my glory.

scrawled packing list

I think my subconscious made me use really messy tiny writing for the list, to try and aid me in believing it’s not really happening

Before I sign off I would just like to reiterate that I still absolutely suck at Triathlon.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but there are still people out there who think I am secretly really good at this and I am just over-stating my uselessness.  That is simply not the case.

I know I wont be the worst one there, because I know of people who have done this race in the past and didn’t do a single training session for it, so I expect there will be a few like that out there on Sunday.  But I also know at least one person who is doing the race on the same day as me, as a warm-up for a proper triathlon they are doing the week after – and they are an absolute freak superstar who you may miss crossing the finish line if you blink.

So I’ll likely be in the middle, or maybe the back of the middle.

Training has been a blast and I am grateful to have got this far.  All I can hope is that nothing goes wrong externally, and it all comes down to me.  Because it is time to see what I am made of.

20 thoughts on “Final Ramblings

    • Yes the adrenaline will be useful when the gun goes off, I hope. Until then, it can bugger off. I don’t think there is any doubt I’ll enjoy it – I’ll be dreaming of my Eggs Benedict at the Hotel afterwards! 🙂 and of course, it will be just so fun to finally put the three sports together after all this hard work.

  1. Your very first Tri. It will go down in history; well family history then. It will all be over so quickly you will want to start the race all over again as soon as you finish, just for the joy of it. Bugger the breakfast.xxxx

    • Yes it might feel a bit strange, all this build-up for an hour’s effort. But then the focus will be on the next, bigger and better! 🙂 I don’t think I would ever say ‘bugger it’ to breakfast. The only reason I get out of bed is for food 😂

  2. Good luck Lauren! Great blog by the way; I look forward to reading it before I get up for work in the morning! Very inspiring and I look forward to the next post telling us how amazing your first tri was. X

    • Thank you Zoe, you are a sweetheart! I am glad you have found the blog inspiring. I look forward to letting you know that (hopefully) triathlons are great fun! To be confirmed on Sunday… 😉

  3. Hi Lauren!

    Great work today!
    Saw you on the return of my run leg, looked like you were nursing a stitch?

    Gave you a cheer as you were finishing your run, well done… You did it!

    Can’t wait to read your wrap up report.

    • Sean, oh my goodness! Firstly let me just say how mortifying it is to realise that an actual athlete (someone who doesn’t suck at this sport!) has read this tripe I refer to as my blog. I spent the last 10 minutes trying to talk myself down off a ledge that would involve deleting the blog and all trace of existence forever. How embarrassing! But then I came to terms with it and I am so grateful you cheered me on today – it was a great moment in the race! I was beginning to wonder whether I was still moving or whether I had actually stopped, so to see your face out of the corner of my eye for a couple of seconds reassured me I was still going. As for when you saw me walking – I will blog about it later – but I think I was actually nursing death??? I had just had a little vomit and yes it turned into a stupid stitch. I thought the whole race was over for me, but I got there in the end. I will write the race report soon!

      • Oh man…when you’re blowin chunks in a race you’re racing right! !

        I was dying trying to pull back 2nd place in my age group when I saw you walking, i had a visit from the lactic acid fairy soon after! !

        Great work again mate, see you at the next round!

        • Yes there will definitely be another one in the not too distant future, I had such a great morning! Hopefully next time no puking though – that’s something to work on 😉
          I can’t believe that lactic acid tore you down, how frustrating! Did you hold on to third? I am eagerly awaiting the results 🙂

    • 3Rd is fantastic! You are my new claim to fame! Are you doing the 4the race of the series, in March?
      AND oh my Triathlon God I just checked the results page!! Yippee!absolutely stoked, yes you are right. This calls for six shots of tequila! Arriba!

  4. Yup, planning on having another crack at a short course before looking at some longer events!

    Hope the tequila didn’t leave you with a hangover this morning!!
    feel free to shoot m an email if you need any help with your training/racing prep!

    • No hangovers here – my body is so used to the punishment it just takes it 🙂 plus I fell asleep before I could do too much damage I think! Great to hear you will be at the next Bribie – I don’t think I will be doing it as I have signed up to just do the Open Water Swim on the Saturday (that is where I need the most practice and there aren’t many chances to try a 500m in race conditions) but I might come and watch the Tri. Next on my race card is Straddie Salute Tri in May and Noosa in October…

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