The weekend did not start out great. Our youngest started coming down with something on the Thursday night and by Friday evening it was clear we couldn’t possibly have him with us for the event. Nothing quite sets you back as much as not having your kids there and not having your parents there. Yup, it was Nanny Netty to the rescue again (and my dad) They kindly had them and stayed at home whilst Joe and I ran around all weekend.
On the Friday we went to register and attend the novice briefing. We may have done a few triathlons but we haven’t done this distance and I didn’t want anything going wrong. I knew they had strict rules on things and I didn’t want to be DQ’d over something I could have learnt at the briefing. I picked up some good tips. Best place to put your things, what to do if you panicked in the swim, a reminder of the drafting rules and a joke or two about the ‘flat’ course. (I think the comment was who ever designed the course has a wicked sense of humour).
We bought a t-shirt each from the expo – the one that has everyone’s name on it – but I didn’t want to tempt fate and buy the actual Edinburgh Finisher tshirt. I did however plan exactly in my head what I would be buying when I crossed that finish line. (So many more things than that tshirt ha ha).
Then we kept walking up, and up, and up.
‘You were saying?!’ Joe said as he turned to me with raised eyebrows. Hmm, this wasn’t going to be as easy a run as I had pictured. We went to find the now infamous underground tunnel everyone had been raving about. It was dark. It was wet. It was creepy.
I insisted on walking all the way through it to ensure there was no where someone could jump out and try to kill me. I refused to read the graffiti on the walls as I was convinced it would say ‘R.I.P – what made you think you would get out alive?’
The only way out the tunnel was up another steep hill. It was short though. Think positive Ella.
We had to head back through on the Saturday to rack our bags and bike and go to the practise swim. Tensions were high! Let’s just say we spent a large portion of the day ‘discussing’ things and these ‘discussions’ only got hotter and hotter. Much like the temperature that day. There were many clenched fists in the mouth moments. (Our own clenched fists in our own mouths I hasten to add!) Could have been avoided though, had someone stuck to the plan. Or even made a plan like he was supposed to but no. Someone knew better. Because someone knows everything.
Anyway. A few back and forths, a few u-turns and fast accelerations (I won’t mention the parked car incident) and we headed to the practise swim.
Ah the practise swim.
It was not smooth. It was not calm. I wasn’t sure I wanted to get my wetsuit soaking and not dried before the actual swim so when I saw how rough it was, I said ‘no thanks’. Yes ok I chickened out. But I wasn’t alone. There were a lot of people there and not many who actually got in the water. No I didn’t expect it to be very calm but I also didn’t want to get a fright or a panic the night before so I passed. A few from Perth Tri Club went in and they all came out saying it wasn’t as bad as it looked. A few also came out with cuts and grazes. I pushed this to the back of my head. There was already chat about the likely hood of the swim being cut due to the conditions. I had mixed feelings about this. I really wanted to do the full distance. I had trained to do the full distance. But I had never swam in choppy water like that before.
As soon as we were home the email came in. ‘Potential shortened swim’.
And just as fast – the keyboard warriors were out.
‘That’s ridiculous if they cut the swim, it’s not even cold!’ ‘If you can’t handle a sea swim you shouldn’t enter a 70.3!’ ‘Wales 2015 was much worse and they didn’t cut that’.
Oh my god get over it!! 2015 was 2 years ago!!
The decision would be made at 6am. And that decision was final. It would be what it was.
A quick trip to the supermarket to get a couple of back up gels and I picked up some jelly babies as well to try and eat on the bike.
We packed our bags with the last of our stuff and went to bed early. Nerves were ridiculously high. My daughter kept sending me snapchats of her and our youngest which were really cute and helped remind me of one of the reasons I was doing this. I watched a ridiculous amount of motivational videos on YouTube that I have become addicted to. I visualised myself at the finish line over and over again. That was where I was going to be just after lunch time. On. That. Finish. Line.