I travelled from Sydney to Jervis Bay on Friday so I could do a reconnoissance of the Huskisson 2, ½ Iron Man, which is my fist ever Triathlon I have entered. The Huski ½, is on the 19th of February, so I thought it was a great time to get a swim, bike and a run in before the re-scheduled Glenbrook Marathon. Mikey and I camped to save some cash, and to test drive the experience for our kids, Milla and Keisha who we left at my mum's house, are always nagging us to go camping.
I woke up on Saturday morning at 5am in a panic. I'd forgotten my goggles. Bugger, with all the gear for the three sports, swim, bike and run. I was bound to forget something. Cool, no worries, I will just go into town and either borrow or buy a pair. I ate my oats, yogurt and berries. I drank my coffee and dragged Mikey out of bed. It started to rain. There is nothing worse about being in a blue, dreary tent in the rain. It is just a motivational killer. After a few arguments with Mikey about getting up and getting our training session started and some complaints about him not preparing for the wet weather. (Who in their right mind would not pre-pare for the wet weather?) We were dress and on our way into town to find me some goggles.
I felt so stupid, forgetting a crucial piece of equipment. I spotted some Kayaker's out the front of a store. I asked them if they had any goggles I could buy. It was 7:30am and everything was closed. I was then informed about the local pool, The Bay and Basin Leisure Centre. Cool, they would have goggles, and at 8:02am, 2min after they open I had my missing piece of equipment and I was ready for my 2nd ever real ocean swim.
I headed down to the beach and waded out into the cold water noticing pain in my neck. I rode into a pole at speed on the Iron Cove bridge on Wednesday, and I think I was suffering from whiplash form the bump . It was cold, but I had to get out there and get moving, and practice my weakest third of the Tri. There was sea weed on top of the water, to make matters worse I use to scuba dive. I know there is a seal colony around this area, so I was prettified of being attacked by a shark. I know people have been taken by a sharks out of the heads, I was swimming alone, in totally deserted water. Great. I'm splashing around in the morning, drawing heaps of attention to myself with no one watching me. Mikey had left the beach so I was all alone. Fantastic. I was scared. After swimming free style for a 100m or so, I resorted to breaststroke for a while to calm myself down. I could see what was underneath me, and I was unnerved by what I saw. Come on get free styling again, I urged myself to toughen up. I started to free style.I swam out to the red channel marker buoy, stopping about 5m short of it, not wanting to push my luck with the sea creatures. I then turned around and swam back to the beach. I did this again and I was relieved to see that Mikey was on the beach again. He was not much help though. "Look at all the shark eggs on the beach",he said as he commenced to kick the empty Port Jackson Shark Eggs along the beach. Great, now I am terrified. I knew Port Jackson Sharks are harmless, but usually there will be other types of sharks breeding in this marine sanctuary too, I was shitting myself. But I had to keep going.
It was so much easier swimming in this bay, compared to last week swimming the Bondi2Bronte. I was making great time. I timed myself and noticed that as I warmed up and relaxed I got faster. I swam out to the buoy and back again 4 times, and when my feet started to go numb, decided to get out of the water and call it quits for the day I'd spent about 30 minutes swimming . I was really scared, cold. I'd swam in the same area I was going to swim my race in, so I was happy I'd done enough so far.
I then jumped on a bike and started my 83km Bike leg. I was so cold initially that Mikey just flew away along the country roads. I could not catch up with him. He lead me for the first of the three laps. The three 27km loops were slow, we had to avoid traffic and ride on the edge of the road, being forced to take the longest line around the corners. I do not have aero wheels or Tri bars fitted to my bike yet. So I know my time will get better.
We started the 2nd 27km lap, and I was almost hit by a car. I fell off my bike again, with my cleats still attached to the pedals and landed on my already sore shoulder and already bruised hand. We were riding through an intersection and had the right of way, the driver of the car who almost hit me even saw us, made eye contact with us, but still chose to cut me off. I could not believe it. Clearly she was in the wrong, and she had to give way. I gave the stupid woman a piece of my mind. I was so angry. I could have really injured myself. I landed heavily on my right shoulder and arm. My limbs were grazed and it reminded me how sore my neck really was. My chain came off. I made her stop, and apologise for her crappy, dangerous and inconsiderate driving. I showed her that we were locked onto the bike with our cleats and that when we fall, we fall hard.
After a few running repairs, I got back on my bike in a rage and speed off, this time leading Mikey. I lead Mikey around for the next 2 laps, as he slip streamed me. I tried to stay as consistent as possible. But to get anywhere near to top girls I am going to have to get faster and stronger. It was the longest I'd ever been on a bike by almost double, so I was happy with my effort. I was averaging about 27km/hour, but this is not good enough.
On our last lap on the way back into town we spotted an elderly couple on a tandem bike. Mikey stopped them so he could take their photo. They chatted and made some comment about my erratic riding style. I was seeing stars from my fall, and my neck and shoulders were killing me, not to mention my butt from not being use to sitting on a seat for so long. "She would be faster, if she could ride in a straight line". The old man said. Cool, point taken. I have got to get better. I'd just spent 3 hours on the bike, and I was getting tired. I am a runner, I am use to being able to move my upper body to find a rhythm. But I will have to learn how to minimise movement to the bike. It is just energy that I am losing.
I then jumped off the bike, put my running shoes on. I checked the map and ran as fast as I could hold for 5km. I wanted to see the run course for the Triathlon and I wanted to prove to myself that even after 3:30 min of exercise I could still run fast. The course was, and I consistently pushed out 4min Kms. Cool. Mikey had only just arrived at the park to pick me up when I completed the 5kms. The run felt great. It was flat as anything, as so easy compared to what I'd just been doing. It was a footpath the whole way, and it felt like heaven. I called it quits, knowing I had a marathon the following week, and headed for some calamari, chips and nurofen for the neck pain.