The experience of seven Ironman finishes and countless other events flew right out the window once Super Coach decreed that I should start in the NT Sprint Distance Championships. He said I needed to kick start my "real" training for Honu.
He thought I needed the reassurance of a race under my belt before actually toeing the start line at the end of next month. Given the past few days, I have to admit he was right!
That it has been a long, long time since I last competed, really was no excuse for the state I found myself in. Talk about a bundle of nerves. I think I resembled a cat on a hot tin roof.
I went into this event wearing a new tri kit (my simply awesome Team SOAS gear) untried; wearing new goggles (mine fell apart a couple of weeks ago and a new pair arrived just in the nick of time but were untested) and I had put new elastic laces in my shoes (who needs them when last few races were Ironman?).
So much for avoiding anything new on race day.
Checking in, racking and setting up were fraught with anxiety - would I remember everything? Turns out I did, phew!
Then it was - would I be able to swim 750m? Could I still swim in a straight line? Turns out I could, phew!
Followed by - could I negotiate the mount line without embarrassing myself? Need not have worried, phew!
Mount line success
After that - would I be able to handle 26km in a "race" situation?
Super Coach had said "leave the race wheels at home" and take it easy, so I did and I made it through the bike leg intact. And had fun!
Dismount? Piece of cake, phew!
Then the biggie for me - would I survive the 5km run?
How could I not with so much encouragement? Confession time - not a piece of cake but managed just the same with lots of high fives and tons of "welcome back" along the way.
Result - who cares really? I. DID. IT. And had a ball!
This time last year I was suffering a toxic reaction to chemo, thinking I may never get get off the bed let alone back on the start line again, so it was a pretty special and somewhat emotional finish today.
Daryl earns a very big thank you for always being there for me and for super coaching (not just me, but all his athletes who are celebrating overall and age category wins, numerous pbs and some very special personal achievements).
As I write this, official results are not yet available (so I did forget one thing today ie to stop my watch when I crossed the line) but I'm still wearing a huge grin and that's the best result of all.
Irongirl Kylie was on the sidelines cheering &
snapped my special moment.