In July I decided that it was now or never, I had been following the Trifactri Facebook page for a few months and decided to contact Jess to find out more about it and I joined the team.
I am a bit of a race junky so I entered a few triathlon races before my training had even started, my first race was to be the Sun City Global 11. I had never swum in open water before and the week before the race Jess took me to Emmarentia dam for my first swim. Well, it did not go very well I must admit, as soon as I couldn’t touch the floor anymore I had a minor freak out and swam back to where I could stand. I can only imagine what Jess must have thought but being the amazing coach she is she never made me feel bad about it, she just said we will get there and that we just need to build up my confidence. So I decided not to do the Global 11 race as I was not prepared for the open water and just watched the race instead.
My plan when the race started was to let everyone go first and then I would start swimming, I wasn’t trying to win, I was just trying to finish. The water was much colder than expected but I had to just keep going. At first there were quite a few people around me panicking and I was trying not to look at any of them because I was determined I wanted to finish this race. I had someone rear-end me in the swim as the team relays started after the ladies start, that was something I worried about but it was actually fine. The Jet Ski flying around to save some of the people kept kicking up some waves and I ended up chocking a few times and started to panic slightly. I stopped and just rested on a buoy and got myself together. A lifeguard had come by and asked if I needed assistance and I told her no, but she could float next to me and that gave me a sense of security I felt I needed at the time. I finished the swim, and I wasn’t last out of the water! Jess was standing at the start waiting for her group to start and shouting to me, I didn’t really hear what she said but I think it was supportive remarks. All I kept thinking was the hardest part is over, you can do this.
Into my first transition I went, not too bad seeing as I didn’t really know what to expect. Ran to my bike and got on my way. My bike’s tyre had been flat the night before and I pumped it up and it seemed ok, so I didn’t change the tube, but during the bike portion I could feel the tyre was a bit flat but decided to just carry on, it was only 20km. Next time I saw Lucie she said ‘Next time you should pump your tyres’ which was true and I just smiled because I knew it was a bit of a stuff up.
Bike leg done and onto the run. I say run very loosely, it was more of a walk/shuffle/jog, by this time it was quite hot and I was getting pretty tired. But I managed to jog to the finish line where the ladies swooped in to take my chip and give me my medal and some water. I was just glad I had finished my race, and I didn’t care about my finishing time. I know I have a time to beat from now on. I joined the other Trifactri guys at the tent and everyone was so positive and encouraging and congratulating me on my first race. I got lots of hugs from Jess saying how proud she was, even Lucie was giving out hugs and beers and trying to take photo’s on our phones which all ran out of battery power for some reason. I really couldn’t have ever finished a triathlon if it wasn’t for her support and encouragement, especially on the open water swim.