Here begins the comedy of errors that was Big Cow.

swim: 00:27:58
T1:00:01:55 (shocking!)
T2: 00:01:17 (shocking!)
run: 00:47:16

I precede this with the comment that overall, I’m quite happy with my time. I always feel at the end of a race that I should have pushed harder, hurt more – but the truth is, this is usually wishful thinking – to do better I actually need to train more.

Anyway, what I was going to say is that I am happy with todays time, and that I do not intend to supply a list of excuses. Much went wrong, but it probably didn’t make a difference to my overall time. It just makes for quite amusing reading (I hope).

The swim for the Milton Keynes Big Cow Tri is a test of your ability to site, and swim a straight line. This, in my humble opinion, is a good thing because it shows off who can’t do the above. However, it is not so great for me personally.
I managed to find some nice little toes to chase, sadly, the toes didn’t stick to the course. Thankfully, I am not idiot enough to rely upon toes alone, so I realised pretty quickly and righted myself. Still, I felt like I swam forever. Getting out the water at just under 28mins (last OW swim was 28.something) I was actually a little bit surprised and slightly confused. Happy though.
In the grand scheme of things, I’m pretty crap – but I am improving. Even if I can’t stick to where I’m meant to be going.

Arrived at bike.. wetsuit off… belt on, hat on, glasses on… bike to line. Went to mount bike only to be chucked off by the depressing clunk of a chain that is not ready to rotate. I inspected the bike : chain half off bike. Tried to resolve the issue.. fail.. turned bike upside down, pouring contents of water bottle out – righted chain and got (very angrily) onto bike. I was only thankful I still haven’t got round to perfecting flying mount..

The actual cycling part went pretty well. I played chicken with a girl on a Boardman bike for some time, before it suddenly occurred to me I wasn’t working hard enough, and was quite capable of kicking her ass. So I did, and I never saw her again, which made me quietly happy.

This was quite a lesson actually. I basically lacked the confidence just to get rid of her. As soon as I just got the hell on with it and forgot about trying to stay ahead I realised I was perfectly capable.

The run was, as always, a case of struggling to the end. I think more practice over the Olympic distance is basically needed here. I push the bike because I feel safe on a bike. I don’t seem to trust my own two legs, but I hope that comes with time.

To complete the comedy set of errors: Lap one of the run, I tried to stick the emergency gel in my hand (which I did not need in last Olympic,or this I think time to stop taking this with me full stop) into my sports bra. Slightly blinded by my own breasts, I then preceded to trip up. I righted myself without falling, but in the process managed to knock off my race belt (actually the material part of an old charity race medal) . I then had to run back, retrieve the belt which was mischievously floating about in the wind, and re-attatch it. Did this backwards. Twice. Finally sorted it, and carried on.

Unlike the last couple of events, I felt ok on finishing, in that I didn’t feel the need to vomit, cry, or otherwise express extreme exhaustion. I think the next goal is to work on pushing the run more, rather than aiming to just get to the end of it. Time to enter another race, then.

I also, undeniably, need to sort out my bloody transitions. Seriously.. must stop re-applying make up mid race.. (I wish this was the reason..)

Published by michellearthurs

I'm an NCTJ Journalist and work at Cycling Weekly. Previous to this, I was the Editor at Total Women's Cycling. I've also dabbled in marketing and copywriting - having been Marketing Coordinator and Social Media/Content Editor at Evans Cycles. My first job was working on a local newspaper.  I've written for a variety of titles on a freelance basis, too. I got into cycling when I entered my first triathlon in 2010. I now race crits, road races, time trials, and do a lot of track training for not very much track racing.

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