NHS Triathlon 2012.. My story

I’m not a natural athlete,  I’m not any kind of athlete!  Fitness has become important to me later in life at 47, it keeps my weight down and my mental wellbeing positive.  So when I heard about the NHS Tri 2012 I did not really consider myself as a competitor.  But the more I read and thought about it the more I thought –I could do that! IWith my mind made up I registered then I approached several friends, a swimmer, a cyclist and a runner to see if they would help me to train.  They each looked surprised, could barely contain their laughter but agreed.

So the training commenced, learning to run was the toughest challenge.  I don’t run! Previous to the training if someone had said quick the bus is coming lets run for it –  my reply would have been lets not there will be another in ten minutes! But I was determined and my coach was patient, supportive and very motivational.  With his support I focused on running more than the other disciplines as he assured me that the fitness I was building up with the running would carry me through the endurance required for swimming and cycling.

I trained and I trained and I trained for the triathlon, I was determined to surprise a few people and I took it very seriously.  At my age and with no experience I felt the only thing I could do to ensure that I could at least finish was prepare.  I was fully prepared to finish last in the event but the most important thing for me was to make sure I could endure it and cross the finish line.

I was excited and nervous on the day.  I was most afraid of the swim. I am really not much of a swimmer, it was my weakest event. Tips for would be participants –  don’t set off with your goggles on your head like I did!  I ended up clinging to the floats coughing up water and mentally kicking myself for my stupidity. I was so embarrassed and at that point I felt like giving up –  I never did find the contact  lens that floated away .  However I carried on.  I got through it.  I made it through to the transition area and set off on my bike.  Cyclists overtook me and to my complete pride and pleasure I overtook some people too.  I made it back and set off on the run.  Foxholes Hill was an absolute killer and I have to say I walked a lot of it twice.

But I completed and I came in over the finish line at a run. I was not last in fact I did surprisingly well I was very emotional.  My family and friends were all there cheering me on and as I completed I burst into tears.  Tears of elation and pride.  I am just an ordinary woman I am not an athlete, not any kind of athlete but at 47 years old I competed  and completed in the NHS Triathlon.

Six months later I am looking ahead to competing again this year.  I have entered other events and I am addicted to Fell Running in a way I could never have imagined.  I run whatever the weather and it completely invigorates me.  Try the Tri –  be prepared to put in some training and be prepared to amaze yourself.  I did!

Deborah Collinson