Year one of your triathlon career started before you could swim? entering loads of triathlons before you could even start – how or why was triathlon your ambition for 2015?
I had a rough time last year. After finishing my first marathon in May, I had no ambition or motivation and re-gained 15kg in 3 months. The first time triathlons came to my mind was probably in September 2014, but I knew I couldn’t swim properly and finishing a triathlon was far out of reach (at least in my mind). But the sport started to fascinate me and I knew I just had to give it a go. I signed up for 4 triathlons before doing my first swim lesson because then I knew I HAD to work for it – no excuses!
What is your greatest memory of your tri season in 2015?
Seeing my fiancé in T1 in my last race for the season (World’s End in Castleconnell). He hadn’t seen me racing before and seeing him there was a great surprise & gave me a good push for the bike.
Favourite training session with the club? and on your own?
Definitely open water swim sessions. After being my greatest horror, the swim managed to become my favourite discipline and I really enjoy the sessions in Killaloe & Quin lake. I also had lots of fun at the Aquathon series we had in Killaloe. When I train on my own, running is definitely my favourite as it just clears my mind and gives me great quality time with my hyperactive dog.
Have you thought about your goals for 2016?
I want to continue what I’ve started this year. I’d love to climb a bit higher in the age group ranking (honestly – who doesn’t? J ) & do a few more Standard Distance races. Maybe I’ll even go for a 70.3 …? Nothing’s impossible.
Name all the races you have done this year and the lesson you learned in each one
Lough Cutra Super Sprint: “OMG – I did a triathlon! I can do this! I didn’t drown! This is amazing! Where & when can I do this again?”
Up the Creek – Kilrush: My first sprint triathlon. This one really was an eye opener as I noticed that I didn’t just “not drown” but actually achieved a decent swim time. Finishing 6th female overall I suddenly realized that I might have found something that I’m good at (after thinking I’m unathletic for the first 25 years of my life)
Boruman – Killaloe: Valuable lesson: hold on to the sleeves of your wetsuit when you get into T1! Unfortunately one of the sleeves got caught in a metal barrier that day and transformed my wetsuit into a stylish two piece
Hell Of The West: “You’ve got this!” – my 4th triathlon in 5 weeks, only 2 months after I started swimming. Somehow I managed to stay really calm and just did what I had to do – and loved every second of it. This race showed me that I can achieve anything if I’m determined and was a great confidence boost.
Lough Derg Sprint: Lesson I learned: helping others helps yourself or together we push each other forward! When I was nearly ready to give up on the (very hilly) run, I just started to cheer for every single athlete I met out there – and it took my mind off all the “You can’t. This sucks. I hate running. Why are you even doing this?”. By clapping and shouting encouragement to everyone else out there, I actually helped myself & created enough momentum to carry me over the finish line.
iTri Ennis: Anything is possible if you’re confident & love what you do. By know I knew I had become a good swimmer, I was no longer constantly worried about crashing my bike and just hoped for a flat run course. I was calm and focussed and was rewarded with my first age group podium finish. A great feeling!
Dublin City Triathlon: most important lesson of the year: sometimes you have to step back and let it go. Due to a bad flu I wasn’t able to race and was absolutely devastated – it took me a few days to get over the disappointment, but it helped me realize that you can get caught up in things and might give them a bigger meaning in your mind than they deserve. At the end of the day it’s just a race and life is about so much more than that!
World’s End Tri – Castleconnell: Just enjoy it! I wasn’t chasing a new best time or trying to beat anyone (including myself). I just wanted to end my first triathlon season with a smile on my face – and I did.
Ask yourself a question and tell us a story. Typical race day thoughts:
Before: “Alright. Here we go. You go this! …where’s the loo? I really need to go. Is there enough time before the race starts?!”
Swim: “Maaaaaaan, why is the water so cold? Why am I doing this? I might drown! What’s that foot doing in my face? Calm down – remember: swimming is the part you actually like about this! Go on!”
T1: “How do they all get out of their wetsuits so fast?! When will I learn to mount my bike properly? I look like a grandma climbing onto a three wheeler…”
Bike: “Go on! Go on! Faster! Oh no – corner! Don’t go so fast! ….if I have a puncture, this race is over. I should really learn how to fix my bike. How long is this course? What is that hill doing here? I hate cycling! Ha, going down that hill isn’t so bad. I think I like cycling!”
T2: “Help! I can’t feel my toes! I’m supposed to run like this? Maybe I should leave the helmet on…”
Run: “Alright – nearly there. It’s just running. Remember? That’s the sport you like. Our likED. C’mon! You’re supposed to be good at this. Don’t walk! I won’t walk. Maybe run a bit slower…? NO! Run faster! Or at least try to! Where’s that damn finish line? Oh – is that it? Is that the line? Already? I could go on for another km or two. I don’t want it to be over! Oh well… go for it then!”