What I set out to do, training-wise, I pretty much did.
I swam 750 metres every morning Monday thru Friday and cycled to work and back (12-13 miles) each day. I threw in a circuits training class on Tuesday, and also a 4k run on Friday evening straight off the bike.
I was dreading that run. It’s the worst feeling in triathlon – getting off the bike and willing your legs to work, even thought they feel like jelly wading through treacle! But I felt pretty strong.
Sunday came round quicker than I thought, and it was a mad dash to get everyone ready and all my bits and bobs (including my foam roller) packed into our wee car for the drive through to Bishopbriggs for the race.
Before I knew it, I was lying down in the sports hall listening to the race briefing while rolling my calf muscles up and down a blue foam roller wearing nothing but a pair of jammers and goggles. It sounds bizarre, but when everyone else is in a relative state of undress it seems kind of normal.
Triathlon clothing leaves little to the imagination. I asked my wife a while back if she thought my jammers looked OK and she said “Sure, as long as you don’t mind everyone seeing your cock”. Ach, well. I’m not bashful!
And anyway, during Triathlon, nobody is watching your bits bouncing about. Everyone is pushing themselves, cheering each other, or concentrating hard on willing more out of their muscles.
Which is what I intended myself. I told myself that despite a compressed training schedule, I would give it everything I had. And for two out of three disciplines I think I did.
The swim was the exception – I should have gone for a faster wave, and the people in my lane held me up a bit. But that’s my mistake for not training enough to gauge an accurate swim time. I was out of the pool in just over 19 minutes, but I reckon I could have saved minute or so had I been in wave 6 instead of wave 5.
Before the swim started, I bumped into a chap I knew from school – David King. I thought we looked equally unprepared, so I was surprised to find he was already 3k into his bike ride when I was 1k into mine. I resolved to catch him, and burn off the chap behind me who kept getting close enough to be considered drafting me.
For just over 41 minutes I was blowing out my arse – I could not get enough air into my body. And I could not catch up with David (and I never did), although I did make some space between me and my drafter.
Going into T2 (transition 2) to rack my bike and get ready for the run, one of the race team told me I was in third place out of my wave. That meant only David and one other chap were ahead of me. I couldn’t find my bike slot as the wave numbers had been washed away by the rain, and it cost me a few seconds, and my 3rd place. Someone shot past me and put me into 4rth place in wave 5.
But I could see runner number 3 ahead of me. He was only 250 metres in front, but going at a fair clip. No matter, it was something to aim for and my legs were feeling OK.
At around 1k my laces came undone and my blooming drafting buddy was on my heels again. That gave me a wee wake up and I picked up my heels determined that he wasn’t going to take me down.
I pushed hard and nearly caught up with runner number 3, but not quite.
I finished quite happily a few seconds behind him and when I crossed the finish line, he turned round and shook my hand with a broad smile. And then it was and kisses and high-fives from my family, while all of us avoided looking at my jammers 😉
The rest of the afternoon was spent watching the more applied triathletes compete, including my pal Derek, before we all headed home for lots and lots of food. And a change into sensible clothes.