So with the help of my friend and getting myself down to the pool 4 times a week I did get myself to swimming more than the distance of my first Triathlon before the dreaded go at Open Water Swimming!!!
The TRI2O Lake hadn’t been launched back then so I had to go to Liquid Leisure in Datchet which opening hours were really early 6.30am to 8.30am. So my friend Jo took me there and it was packed with wetsuit clad swimmers. Now I had my new wetsuit, an entry level Orca one. So using plastic bags on my feet (as read that it helped get the wetsuit on easier) I got into it and was ready to go……….
Weeeeeeeeeds!!!!!! No-one warned me about these pesky lake inhabitants!!!! Freaked out is an understatement but I waded through the horrible stuff and once past the start the water was clear for the whole of the 250m loop. I can’t remember now how many times I did that loop but I did enjoy it and became a regular from then on.
The next step was the big loop 750m, which went long ways up the lake and had more of the dreaded weeds!! I’d got use to the 250m loop and new it was safe but this 750m loop was freaking me out, so a friend of Jo’s worked down there and so I booked her to take me round the 750m loop and I am so glad I did as it really helped me and I achieved more than I thought I would!
Meanwhile, I had this bike that a client had left me when she emigrated to Australia, so now I had to ride it! Now some of you might be too young to remember the old racing bikes and the fact that the gears were 2 little levers on the down tube – gears had moved to the brake area at this time but the bike she left me was an old one and hey beggers can’t be choosers and I just wanted to try this Triathlon thing out! I might end up back in the gym after it.
In my trainers as this bike had the pedals with the cages on and off I went, over towards Bradfield and yes I went up the 12% hill by Bradfield College and made it! But the disasters were about to come on this ride as I came back via Grovelands Road towards the Oxford Road (if you know Reading) and coming round the corner nearly crashed into a women pushing a pram, I hugged the lamp post instead! 😅 Phew! Then straight after I went smashing into the (Icream looking) bollards in centre of side road to where you turn into for B&M Stores and Kentucky now are on the Oxford Road, falling in a heap on the floor by this drivers door who was waiting to turn left😳. Couldn’t get my feet out the cages quick enough Ooooops! But I did learn a lot from this first ride! 🤪
So with my Open Water Swimming progressing and regulary getting out on the bike and building my running up to 5K, my first Triathlon was soon upon me………….
Next blog: The Races