Had I’d been asked before October 2017; would I do a triathlon I would have laughed and said, “I can’t do that”.
Little did I know, when I saw an advert on Facebook for the Pink Tri series and thought, I could maybe do that, I was about to start on a new journey and challenge. With some self-belief, determination and the willingness to try something new I embarked on this journey.
At the time, I researched online for a beginner’s training plan, scoped out what clothing I could wear as a beginner and what was this world of triathlon’s. I had a mountain bike, shoes and swimmers, I was ready to start training.
Training with the goal of completing the Pink Tri series (Melbourne) was a great motivator over the Christmas and Festive season. I had commenced training well before the Christmas period, which was great as while others were indulging or sleeping over this period, I took the time off work to really get into my training plan.
I continued with my training in early January, still not knowing which distance I would complete. Two weeks out from the Pink Tri event I did a test triathlon to see if I could complete the distance. I survived and decided to bite the bullet and signed up to the long course.
The self-belief and confidence I gained by doing this trial triathlon was amazing. I could do it!
Race day was an exciting and nervous time. After the Pink Tri, I was hooked and had the taste for this amazing sport.
That afternoon, I was already seeking out my next triathlon, bikes, tri-suits, Facebook groups and websites. I was keen to do another triathlon.
My next triathlon was the 2xu Triathlon Series – Race 6 – St Kilda – Sprint Distance. This was my first “real” triathlon. I continued with my beginner training plan and set my mind to training and finishing. Like my Pink Tri training, I did a trial triathlon covering the required distances for the bike and run to give myself the confidence I could do it.
The day before the tri, I went to a tri tips session and picked up some great tips, to reduce the nerves on race day. For this tri, I had a second-hand tri-suit, mountain bike and my runners.
Entering the water for the open water swim, it was a lot colder than I expected (with no wet suit) and I ended up having a small panic attack when the cold water hit my chest. It took me around 10 minutes to get my mind back in the swim and to calm myself down. I was out in the water, I had no choice but to get it done and get onto the bike leg.
I enjoyed the bike leg the most at this triathlon, out on the road, cycling and taking in the scenery and atmosphere.
The run leg was the worst leg. Having sore shins and not able to run was disappointing and frustrating. I was the final finisher for my category, but I didn’t care, I finished, and I was buzzing with excitement and personal satisfaction (even though they didn’t issue finishers metals). Despite the challenges I faced in this tri, at no point did I have negative thoughts or want to quit. I was super proud of myself for not letting the negative thoughts come into my head.
After this tri I sort assistance from my physio and sorted out the sore shins. I have changed shoes, started foam rolling more frequently (I have a love/hate relationship with my foam roller) and have improved my running technique.
With my shins under control, I commenced training for my first half marathon. Training for the half marathon was fun, exhausting, time challenging and rewarding.
Having a young family, working full-time, being a wife, friend and training for the half a lot of my training was done in the early mornings before work. Setting the alarm on weekday mornings for 4.50am for three months wasn’t hard as I wanted to train. Wednesday’s and Saturday’s were a rest day and an opportunity to get a few extra zzz’s. 😊 Saturday was also parkrun day. As I wasn’t running on Saturday’s, I took the opportunity to volunteer at my local parkrun. I’m a huge fan and advocate of parkrun. 😊
Sunday’s were my long runs, leaving the warm house early in morning and getting the km’s in my legs. For the last 3 weeks of my Sunday long runs, my kids were getting upset I was leaving them to go running. Talking to the kids and letting them know it was only for a few more weeks helped them understand it wasn’t forever.
Along with physically training, I did some reading to increase my mental strength for the half. Out on course I wanted to have some tips in my back pocket to keep moving.
I had two goals in relation to my half marathon, complete the half and try and complete it in around 3 hours.
I wasn’t ashamed to walk when I needed to during the half marathon and finished the run with no injuries. I did however end up with the start of a blister on my foot from wet socks. (dam rain, but again it’s Melbourne so I shouldn’t be surprised). 😊
I’m proud to say in addition to having completed the 2 triathlons, I’m now a half marathon runner. I completed my first half marathon at Run Melbourne in 3 hours, 16 minutes.
When I got home from Run Melbourne, my kids wanted to see my metal and asked, “how did you go mum”.
My training for 2018 hasn’t finished. I’m already looking ahead to my next event, next tri season and planning. I have purchased a new tri suit, a road bike and have a wet suit on the list to purchase next.
Training for events takes commitment, dedication, a level of craziness to be out of bed super early, an understanding and supportive husband. I couldn’t do the events I’ve done over the years without his support and encouragement.
In addition to the personal satisfaction and confidence I achieve completing tri’s and other events, what I love the most is the positive impact I’m having on my kids, family, friends and strangers.
As the saying goes, “monkey see, monkey do”. My kids love going to parkrun and hearing about my training. I hope in the years to come, they to look to be active and inspired by my actions.
I hope through my Facebook blog @taniasfitnessjourneytoahalfmarathon I have inspired people and given them the courage to get out and try triathlons, parkrun or other fitness goals.
The 2018/2019 tri season and 2019 are already looking to be busy with events.
My tri goals for this coming season are to purchase a wet suit, train injury free, complete the Ultra distance at the Pink Tri and go back to the 2xu Tri Series – St Kilda – Race 6 in March 2019. I want to improve on my time from 2018 at the 2019 2xu Tri Series - race 6 and generally improve my overall performance.
Maybe one day, I might do a half ironman race? Who knows as I never thought I would complete and enjoy triathlons.
Watch this space…..
Goal Race - 2019 – 2xu St Kilda Tri Series – Race 6 – 31 March 2019 – Sprint Distance –
gain a better time in 2019 when compared to the 2018 race. 2018 Race – Total time – 2 hours, 40 minutes