Rubicon middle distance triathlon was my first event where things kind of went a bit wrong. One thing I definitely learnt from this race was the importance of being prepared and not leaving everything until the last minute!
Let me start by saying that I love camping. It wasn’t the campings fault. Although it probalby didn’t help that I threw everything in the car right before leaving for Yorkshire. I’m cool with roughing it, but when it came to camping the night before a triathlon, the campsite set-up for Rubicon was somewhat lacking. Basically a big field and 4 portaloos for a few hundred campers. That was fine enough. However, it was also MUCH further away from the transition site than advertised, which is where my troubles began.
While transporting bikes and kit somewhere between the campsite and the transition site (about 2km) I lost my socks. How, I have no idea, but it was pitch black and no way of finding them which meant that I had to race without – leaving me with some nasty blisters as a result.
After the race briefing we all went on a little stroll for a couple of km through the fields before we got to where the swim began in the river. Most of the swim was down stream, with the last few hundred metres fighting the current upstream. Once again it was an enjoyable surprise to swim in fresh water rather than the salty water I typically train in.
The bike leg went well without any dramas and I felt quite strong starting the half marathon run. I wasn’t feeling tired, just my feet were starting to chafe and ache. I could tell that blisters were forming but I just didn’t want to stop, because I knew that if I stopped I probably wouldn’t start again. Definitely a run that was just as much mental effort as it was physical. Considering the state my feet were in at the end (it took the ambulance guys about half an hour to clean them up), I was pretty happy with my times and learnt a valuable lesson along the way. PREPARE
If you’ve not used compeed before, you need to get into it! These blister packs are seriously amazing. My feet were totally destroyed and with raw open blisters over 12cm long on the base of each foot. Ouch is right! I could barely walk once I stopped. However, after overlapping 3x lots of compeed on each foot if you’d seen me walk you’d be none the wiser to my injuries! It’s amazing how immediately they relieve any pain or discomfort from a blister. Get on it!
Despite my injuries, I was still smiling at the end and think the half ironman distance is likely to be my favourite triathlon distance. Although I do want to attempt the full Ironman at some point.
Just let my feet have a chance to heal!