Cold Cold Feet

I’m having a fairly serious anxiety moment. I always get cold feet during the build up to a race event but this weekends triathlon is a whole new kettle of panic and paranoia.

A typical running event will see me pitching up in full running attire and in a state of planned dehydration so I’m not tempted to use the stinking portaloos. All I need to do then is concentrate on avoiding the forced team bonding/stretching exercises for half an hour, until the whistle/gun/man lets rip and all I have to do is plod forward til its all over and I can go home.

With this triathlon thingy, the worries just don’t seem to stop. First thing I’ve got to concern myself about is how to get there. When the whole Stratford triathlon joy was first mooted I felt as if I was signing up for a little jaunt across to East London. Not a 100 mile expedition towards the Stratford of Shakespeare fame. I suppose I can cope with this though, at least it gives me an excuse to pull out the nicely spoken GPS lady.


When I get there I have to register and pin my number to both front and back of my running shirt but I’m gonna be pushing my bike and carrying about 30 different outfits and bottles and pumps and puncture repair kits and rucksacs and towells and as yet undetermined stuff cos I can’t park my bike up until 30 mins before the start of the swim. Its going to be a a complete baggage disaster zone.

Next is the worst bit. I get to my racking area and allow all the rucksacs and trammel to spew out onto the floor around me. After frantically trying to organise all the junk into some kind of prescribed T1/T2 efficiency combo I have to get prepared for the swim. So I’ve travelled down in my costume so it can’t be so bad but do I really have to strip off and parade around in my swim wear for 30 mins????? I can manage 30 secs I think, but no way can I manage this sort of exposure for 30 mins.

I made a bit of a mess of my entry as well. You had to put in your estimated swim time for 400m. Not knowing whether I could swim a length or how long a length was, I didn’t have a flippin clue. I tried entering my time as SLOW hoping that it would mean something to the organisers but it wasn’t accepted. I then opted for the largest number it would accept, this was 59:99 mins. I have since discovered that 12 mins is slow but 59 mins would take a monumental effort. This number was also the decider in your race starting position, with all the slowies going out first.

naked biker

So it’s fair to say that I am not looking forward to Sunday.

I am going to have to stand half naked in public for 30 mins before jumping into an empty pool as all the other swimmers will be jumping in at least 47 minutes after me. Either that or I’ll be behind a bunch of swimmers who will actually take 59 mins to do 12 laps and I’ll be dead of hypothermia before I get to the good bit.

Can I go home yet?

12 thoughts on “Cold Cold Feet

  1. deege

    It is going to be so great reading your race report. There is nothing like a bit of fear to make the experience that much more vivid…

  2. eva

    You have more guts than me, a Triathlon is my worst nightmare sometimes I can be a real idiot and would probably get flustered trying to put my trainers on after the swim and get on the bike! Then I’d get annoyed with myself, swear, throw a tantrum and go home. It would just be messy.

    Anyway good luck , you’ll be fine!

  3. Hollywood

    Relax… don’t stand around in a swim cozy for 30 minutes – you will freeze! Instead put some tracky bottoms, a sweatshirt and a pair of old trainers on. The transition area rules may all sound very technical and officious but actually you’ll easily find somewhere to dump your stuff one minute before your swim start happens.

    Other tips
    – write a list of things to do when getting transition ready – you’ll end up checking the list 20 times and worrying about how good your list is, but at least you’ll have a bit of paper to help control the panic.
    – don’t forget to take your goggles to the swim start (not that I’ve ever forgotten them you understand!)
    – wear yellow and black and talk to all the other shipmates – the pirate support will be stunning and push you forwards!
    – don’t sign anything about entering an Ironman… (well not yet, anyway!)

    Good luck!

  4. Kate

    Hilarious!! Don’t stress though, worst case scenario is you’ll have to laugh at yourself a little. (Welcome to my world!)

  5. kathy

    It sounds as though you have the “thinking of every possible problem” leg of the triathlon well under control. Do you get extra points for that?

    Seriously, I’m looking forward to hearing all about it. All the best. Remember to have fun.

  6. Roads

    The opposite problem faces me, having guessed 8 minutes for the swim, and then suddenly fearing that might actually be faster than world record pace. Now I know it’ll take me about 10 minutes, so I could well be overtaken about a zillion times during the 12 lengths.

    As for the logistics, they worry me. I’ve even given serious consideration to swimming in my running shoes and vest, just to simplify things.

    And I must say that I’m decidedly apprehensive about the idea of pinning my running number to my swimming trunks, both front and back. Sounds way too risky …

  7. Ludwig

    You’ve already managed to convince me NEVER to enter a triathlon “thingy”. Sounds like the toughest competition you’re up against is going to be you. I’ve considered it from time to time but have never had the courage to actually fill out an entry form.

    Can’t wait for the report.

  8. celeste

    LOL Angela! What a fabulous post! I hope you have a good time. I’m still chuckling about being in the pool 47minutes before everyone else! At least you will have an awesome head start on the ride!!!!! Classic.

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