A week today!

I AM COMPETING IN AN ACTUAL TRIATHLON IN JUST ONE WEEKS TIME! ONE WEEK!

This is very frightening. It’s all come about very quickly and to say I am feeling underprepared is a bit of an understatement! I’ve missed a bit of training recently – I spent five days in Ireland where I could only run and have had a bad cough and poorly chest which has proved seriously detrimental to all aerobic activities. I upped my game towards the end of this week and even passed up an offer of a free bar and bbq on a party boat so that I could go and ride my bike around Victoria Park. Who am I?

I’ve had a seriously generous kit drop from Chobani which consisted of an Orca full wetsuit, an Orca race tri suit, a pair of fancy Zoggs goggles, a Chobani swim hat and a Chobani swim towel, not to mention the most amount of yoghurt I’ve ever seen! The yoghurt was truly excellent because I absolutely love greek yoghurt and Chobani is yummy. The kit initially freaked me out – everything was very real all of a sudden and it was quite daunting to think that I needed to get my booty in a wetsuit and go and swim in a lake.

This is my tri suit. I won’t post a picture of my wetsuit. It makes me look like Mr Blobby. Mr Blobby coming last in a triathlon.

So how’s the training going? I definitely feel like I’ve made a lot of progress over the past six weeks or so and am absolutely loving picking up so many new skills.

I’m really pleased with my new found love for swimming. I am more than happy to get straight in the pool and under the water and let myself fall under the water with every stroke, rising out to take a breath before plunging back under. Seven weeks ago I couldn’t bring myself to put my face in the water and now I am swimming through it like nobody’s business! Today I am off to try out my wetsuit in the open water – fingers crossed I make it.

I’ve also seen pretty huge progression in my cycling, although this is still absolutely petrifying. I’ve managed to build up my speed on the bike and now can cycle at a rate that makes me sweaty and out of breath. On my super bike that is actually pretty fast! I’ve been walking it up to Victoria Park to cycle – I’m not confident enough or good enough to go out on the road. Nothing makes me feel more “all the gear, no idea” than wheeling my super race bike along the road in cycling shorts and a fancy pants helmet.

Pointy upwards saddle of doom

I’ve had a bit of trouble with the saddle – when the hire company dropped it off they left it with Dayve and they didn’t fix the saddle. This meant that it automatically went back to it’s position furthest away. I knew I needed to fix it but it didn’t seem too big a deal. Anyway, a fair few seriously painful cycles later I posted the above photo on twitter only for some (far less clueless) people to kindly let me know that my saddle was bonkers and if I fixed it parallel with the ground it would be far less painful on my delicates. I got the allen keys out and promptly fixed it and since then it’s been an absolute dream. Again, all the gear, no idea. Thanks twitter pals. Yesterday I cycled 15 relatively pain free kms and I even clipped my feet in for the first time! I can even get off without falling over now.

So, lots of progress! That said, I came from pretty much zero, so even a lot of progress doesn’t quite make me up to triathlon standard! I also feel as if my running has regressed. In the mission to learn to swim and ride a bike, running has taken a back seat because, well, I know how to do it. My run yesterday gave me a kick up the butt and so I’ll be getting some more runs in this week to remind my body how running works.

I’ve also been doing some mental prep and have been reading Chrissie Wellington’s book, very kindly lent to me by Gemma. It’s truly inspirational and I identify with her on so many levels – always striving for perfection, needing reassurance, being incapable of resting then how these all fed in to her eating disorder and how sport saved her. Incredible book by an incredible woman. Maybe with all out similarities I’ll end up being a surprise world champion triathlete too?

Blood orange is the best flavour.