Today, for the first time ever, I competed in an aquathlon. The fact that I’ve never done one before is completely ridiculous. I’ve done several triathlons but my cycling is terrible- I’m a swimmer who runs a bit. The bike just isn’t my thing. So the aquathlon suits me down to the ground- it’s a 750 metre swim in a nice, calm lake, followed by a 5 kilometre run. Genius.
This is definitely my sport. Don’t get me wrong, I was rubbish today. Spectacularly slow in comparison to everyone else, but for me it was pretty good. I made two major mistakes. The first one was leaving it until the last minute to get my kit together last night, then realising at the last minute that I couldn’t find my number belt. That resulted in the world’s slowest split time when my number fell off my t-shirt as I put it on; my split was 2 minutes 45 seconds. How ridiculous.
The second mistake I made was being a bit over-ambitious with my first race. Having done next to no training in the last, well, several years if I’m honest, I mistakenly entered the National Aquathlon Championships. I’d seen that this was the BRAT Birmingham aquathlon, so it was quite local and pretty cheap to enter so, after a few glasses of wine (as is always the case with these errors), I entered. It wasn’t until the next morning that I realised it was a bit of a mistake. Still, I did it.
My swim was pretty slow- 12 minutes 18 seconds. Swimming is my thing so I should’ve been a bit quicker really, but I swim about once a month these days. That’s clearly nowhere near enough. On the positive side, I completed my run in 24 minutes 15 seconds, giving me a total time of 39:18. My run time was really quick for me, so despite everything I’m really pleased. It does show me that I really need to keep up with my running training, I’m sure I could get a lot quicker if I wasn’t so lazy.
Unusually for me, I was delighted with the equipment I had available. I have already reviewed these fabulous Hi-Tec Illusion trainers on my blog. Today was the acid test for them- my first race in them; a run with wet feet and no socks. I am delighted to say, they passed with flying colours. For the first time ever in this sort of race, I had no blisters by the time I finished. In fact, they didn’t rub at all, it was just like I’d run all the way in socks. They’re so light that I didn’t notice them at all during the run, I can’t recommend them highly enough.
The other thing that I have been lucky enough to be asked to review is this new, innovative running mat (slightly less innovatively named, “The Running Mat”, you can buy one at http://www.therunningmat.com). Whilst a review of this item having not tested it fully wouldn’t do it justice, I feel that it deserves a mention. This mat is fabulous- it is so light that it folds up and you can clip it around your waist. Perfect for stretching mid-run or doing outdoor circuits. Today though, I used it as my transition mat. What I loved about it was that one side is silver, so with the silver site up, my transition area really stood out. When I’d finished the race, I folded it up and clipped it round my waist, therefore having notably less to carry than if I’d been lugging a yoga mat around.
The only equipment that I really missed today was my number belt. I will definitely use one next time, I’ve learnt my lesson. I might even put in a bit of training if I do another aquathlon, I have an unusual feeling washing over me, oh I recognise it… it’s motivation! Oh how I’ve missed you!