And it begins with an unmitigated disaster that was my first sprint tri with the friendliest most wonderful group of triathletes who, I am assured, will be there to see me through my journey from start to finish. I’m already confident that I have found the perfect motivational group – thank you BTRS That, however, is where my confidence starts and ends for now. Registration for Cairns Ironman was confirmed last week. After last night’s swim … erm … well, I learned two things. (1) This journey is going to be interesting, to say the least; and (2) The only way is forward.

The swim was around two buoys. I missed the first, made the second – but only after gasping and wheezing my way after the first 20 strokes. I think there was a Boa Constrictor hiding in my wetsuit trying to strangle me from 20 metres in. Oh My God, was it pathetic (my efforts, not the Boa). I was so disappointed in myself – in my swimming (I use the term loosely). The previous day I’d been swimming without a wetsuit and my daughter commented that I looked so graceful!! ‘Grace’ did not look down on me yesterday. The kayak kept suspiciously close … testament to how obvious my struggles were! But I rounded the buoy (any buoy ….) … and then proceeded to retch violently all the way back to shore. Ridiculous. So …. what now?

My sprint tri turned into a salt water retch fest – and finished there! I didn’t have the energy to attempt to unrack my bike and try out my newly beautifully pumped up tyres 🙁

But … every day’s a school day, right? So the upshot of this is:

1. Need to work out why I struggle so much with my wetsuit
2. Need to sort my breathing. I think the retching came not from swallowing water (I CAN actually swim, believe it or not – I didn’t swallow THAT much lol) but from hyperventilating. On reflection I was definitely gulping air in but when I tried to swim I couldn’t get enough air OUT – hence constant gasping. Does that make sense? I need to experiment with that and/or seek advice
3. It’s been suggested that if my wetsuit is affecting me that much it might be in my interest to upgrade
4. There is a big PLUS to being right at the bottom of the triathlon rung … a little work and I’m going to get a real buzz from progress 🙂
5. I now have a benchmark
6. I also have a new goal: do the swim plus at least one lap of bike next time
7. I’ve met some amazing people