Aberfeldy Sprint Tri 

My second triathlon.  

First for my husband.  

It was always going to have an element of competition in it. 

The night before we did usual prep for an event – packed the gear, food, race instructions, checked the bikes etc.  Joe had a minor flip out at his bike as he had a slight problem with the gears.  He hates the bike he has anyway so this didn’t help.  All prepared though and alarms set.  I was more excited than nervous.  He had put his swim down to 21 mins and I was aiming for 18 giving me 3 minutes advantage coming out the swim.  I cycle faster when he’s chasing me so if I could hold him off to the run I had a real chance of beating him.  

It was an unrealistic ‘if’ but it was enough for me to make the odd comment here and there to wind him up.  Which would only make him go faster.  Other people commenting on the possibility of him being beat by his wife was too much so he was hell bent on winning.

Not that we are competitive.

Although I am now part of the local tri club I wasn’t wearing their gear and no one had suggested I should be.  There were about 4 others from the club participating but I still don’t know anyone so I wasn’t feeling part of it.  The day was definitely more ‘husband vs wife’.

Not competitive.

We headed up surprisingly early for us (ie we were on time) and managed to get a great parking spot.  We scoped out the pool and transition area, registered and then went to meet my parents with our boys.  The weather was hot which we were thankful for given the recent downpours and winds. 

At the poolside and I was quickly turning a scary shade of white with the floor threatening to hit me in the face.  One of the marshalls could clearly see I was nervous and tried to give me encouraging words to which a couple of tears almost escaped.  I was quickly floating between passing out and throwing up.  

We were 5 to a lane setting off 5 seconds apart.  Joe was 2 lanes away and first to go in his.  I was fourth.  Those 15seconds were spent repeating a 4 letter f word over and over again.  I even turned to jump out the pool but thankfully, found my guts, started my watch and went.

I caught up quickly with the person in front of me so did the old foot grab.  I got stuck behind the next one for a few lengths and then my goggles kept filling up.  My nerves had got to me and it was killing me.  It was only 750metres for crying out loud, you get to run very soon so just chill the F out! I calmed down a little and just waited for the tap on the head telling me 2 more lengths.  Once that was done I was up and out the water with a quick wave to my parents and kids.

I got to my bike in transition and took a deep breath, worst part over. Then I heard it.  ‘Alright wife, you took your time’.   NOOOOOO. He’s only gone and beaten me on the swim!! The only part I actually thought I had him on. 

Competition over

I struggled getting my socks on my wet feet but I wasn’t going with out them and risking blisters before the next weekends marathon.  On the bike and I settled into pushing hard. There was only a small head wind so I concentrated on keeping momentum.  About half way round I remembered I had a bottle of water so took a couple of sips.  A little further round and a pheasant decided to attack the side of my bike.  No idea how I didn’t fall off but if anyone had seen it it must have been a very funny sight!

I was really enjoying myself by now.  I knew the bike route so I knew there was a climb on the way back but I also knew I could do it.  I absolutely love the area we were in as well – the cycle goes right past the spot we got married!  I did a lot of singing on that bike, good thing no one was near ha ha.

Up to transition 2 and the Marshall tell me I’m currently second female.

Well.  That was nice to hear.

Fastest transition EVER.

Past my parents again who tell me Joe is only 4 minutes ahead. He must be broken if he is.  I wonder if I can catch him. I run out and head right to the ‘slight incline’.  I’m breathing hard but hey, I can do hills, it’s only 5k, let’s go for it.

Hills I can do.  Vertically straight up – not so much! I’m just leaving Joe to go ahead then.

As horrendous as that run was it was also fantastic! The marshalls were hilariously funny ‘worst bit over’ she said, I asked her really? She said ‘no there’s another hill just up there, sorry’.  I must have had a joke with every Marshall on that course.  I still managed to pass 3 people on the run which I am very proud of.  I decided not to push to get first female as it was a trail track and I didn’t want to risk falling and getting an injury before the marathon.  Just not worth it.  The steep down run was a bit etchy, this may be a sprint but it wasn’t for a beginner.

Back to the campus and I cross the line with a great big cheeser on my face having loved every minute (once the swim was over ha ha)

he was determined to beat me

Support Crew

Afterwards we chatted to a few other runners before I took advantage of the free massages being given by a guy who has completed 9 Ironmans!! He kindly gave me some advice and suggestions – I now have my eyes set on my next challenge.

So overall a fantastic day.  I was never going to beat my other half but it was fun winding him up as I think he did believe there was a possibility.  I need to work on my nerves, they reared their ugly head horrendously, but, I did get past it. 

Aberfeldy is definitely one we will do every year.  Best marshalls I have ever experienced – every one of them truly wanted to be there! No medal or tshirt though.  Gutted about that. 

I did get a good photo though 🙂

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