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  • Jessica Dennis

Canberra Triathlon

So we get up at 7am, and I felt the nerves kick in. I waited around for a bit because I didn’t want to have my breakfast too early. For breakfast, I had 2 pieces of toast with peanut butter. Because my dad was doing the Sprint we had to be there very early. The waiting around always makes me nervous. While waiting around I had an apple about an hour before I started, because I don’t really like any other fruits. My dad’s friend suggested I sit down rather than stand around to give my legs a rest.

They were late to brief my race (as usual). Once we were briefed we had to walk down to

the start. They dawdled there for a bit which made the nerves a little worse because I could see the water and I knew I was worried.

Once I jumped into the water and put my head under, I froze. I thought I would be ok

because id swam in the regatta before so I’d seem water like this but I just got scared. I felt my heart race and I found it harder to breathe. When we started, I immediately dropped to the back of the pack and was struggling. I was finding it harder to catch my breath and my strokes felt like I wasn’t moving at all. I couldn’t put my head under the water because I kept freaking out. It kept getting harder and harder and I kept finding myself stopping and just looking up. To get out of the water they were pulling us up onto stairs onto a platform, and seeing as I was so far back I had to wait for a few girls ahead of me which was a little annoying. Once out, I stumbled a bit till I found my feet and I felt like I couldn’t catch a breath, but I slowly ran up to transition.

Once at my bike, I sat down to put my shoes on. I ate my gel (which I had left the packet

open and there were quite a few ants inside which I tried to wipe off before eating anyway) and ran to mount my bike. Overall the ride wasn’t bad. It was a slight downhill before a pretty flat ride out and back. I took your advice and tried to preserve myself for the run, so I didn’t push as hard as I normally would. I was hoping that I could run at least half of the 2km without stopping. There was a small hill towards the end, but nothing too strenuous. At the 8km mark I ate my second gel in preparation for the run. When the ride was over and I was running my bike back to transition, I was feeling tired, I was worried I had gone out too hard and I wouldn’t be able to run more than 500m. Once I put my hat and belt on, I ran out.

Coming out of transition I was running at a 5.15 pace which is way too fast for me. I had

planned on doing 800. At a 7min pace followed by the last 1.2km t 6.30. I started to slow

myself down from the 5 min pace but felt comfortable running at a 6-6.30 min pace. It felt like one minute I was 200m in and the next minute I was at the turn around. I decided to just maintain my speed and see how I go. I even got to run back and enjoy the view of parliament house instead of feeling like I needed to stop. I begun to slow down to 6:45 pace but I was still feeling fine and I wasn’t completely out of breath. The final run to the finish line was up a small steep hill which normally I would walk up, but I ran up it pretty good without feeling like throwing up as soon as I got up it, and finished the race off.

Overall, I am happy with my race. My swim let me down and to know I panicked again in the water does make me a little upset. It worries me that I will struggle at club champs doing the 1km swim. My ride as alright. It was a bit slow, but I wanted to see if I could finish off my race with a solid run. My run was my favourite leg of the whole day. I have never been able to run the full distance in a triathlon before. I was shocked that after 1.5km I could keep going and I hadn’t dropped down to a 7min pace. I felt like the run just flew by and before I knew it I was running back up to the finish line. To run 12:52 for a 2km run after the swim and ride really shocked me, but shows that I am slowly making improvements.

To see progress like this in such a small amount of time, makes me excited to see how far I will go after training with you for months.

Your drills definitely helped my run. Thank you.

Results: 200m / 10km / 2km

Time: 46:57

Place: 48/66

Female: 29/45

20-29: 10/11

Swim: 4:45

T1: 2:47

Cycle: 24:13

T2: 2:08

Run: 12:52

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