So much has happened since my last post 2 months ago. In that time our business Worry Less Design had its first trade exhibition and 2 weeks later we had signed up for our first longer length triathlon at Hever Castle (part of the Castle Triathlon Series).
The trade event went amazingly well but TOTALLY overtook our lives, the weeks prior were spent ordering in all the new products we were going to exhibit along with furniture and literature/price lists, our outfits, somewhere to stay, transport etc etc. And the weeks since then, brilliantly, (unbelievably!) have been spent packing and shipping orders to all the lovely gift shops who ordered our mugs, greetings cards and water bottles (check out our ranges for triathletes, cyclists and runners here. Plus in the same period we were approached by a fairly large online sports retailer who want to stock us – more on that on our website soon (side note – OMG!!!!)
So understandably, although frustratingly, and despite our best intentions (see last post) training in the period up to the Triathlon took a bit of a hit. We managed a couple of rides together, some runs and some garden bootcamps but not many open water swims. And the summer holidays definitely slowed the frequency of training and increased our girths (I’m calling it “school holiday spread”).
We’d signed up for a Sprint – so 400m swim, 20k bike ride and 4k run. Individually not very terrifying but together a whole different story.
We were also a Tri-sista down (knee problems prohibiting running so transferred to the 2.5km open water swim at the same venue instead – a ridiculous distance to swim if you ask me! And she aced it)
And I was full of cold, had been all week, and mentally had totally convinced myself I just wasn’t going to do it. But when the day came, we woke up in our slightly creepy Airbnb room down the road from the castle and just got up and went and did it.
Well I say that. The venue was beautiful, the organisation was fantastic, the marshalls and race briefings amazing. We (in mandatory wetsuits due to the water temperature), lined up cheerfully and a bit excited:
I jumped in the water, sank knee deep in the mud, the whistle blew and I promptly completely forgot how to swim.
Now, having had a month or so to reflect, there were a number of factors, I hadn’t been swimming outside for a while and certainly not in a wetsuit, there was a degree of faffing before getting in the water so I didn’t give myself chance to acclimate before setting off, it was my first ever open water mass start and then there were just general race nerves. Following a rudimentary web search, it’s apparently very common for triathletes (such as I, ha ha) to lose their sh*t in the swim section, so I at least I am not alone.
I made it through though, it wasn’t pretty, there was some breast stroke in there I am not going to lie. But I got to transition and then the bike and run were relatively incident free (highlights/lowlights were the rock choir half way round the ride – I nearly cycled into a wall – and the final hill of the run where I swear I was actually just running on the spot at one point despite all my best efforts)
But it wasn’t a euphoric finish line moment for me, I actually burst into tears. A little bit of disappointment in myself, a little bit relief, a little bit running a temperature I think. We then had the best doughnuts of my whole life and settled down to watch Tri-sista #1 swim 2.5 km in the same lake (Note: she didn’t forget how to swim, she is a bloody fish).