Knowing that I love the thrill of a good race, I signed up for the Mooloolaba Triathlon months before it was held. I started commencing my endurance training, and again, after having some time off was in love with being active daily. Just before Christmas 2016 I found out I was pregnant, but if you know anything about Triathlons, they aren’t cheap. So I was committed. Not pulling out if I can help it.
This little bubba was about to go on quite the journey.
I was so blessed to have my mother who is almost the prime age of 50, and had never competed a distance that size, join me to help “her grandchild finish the race”. She got me through many an early morning training sessions as we led up to the big day!
The whole time to feel energised, make sure bubbie was getting what they need and recover quickly, I took prenatal care supplements. These helped a lot with when I wasn’t feeling so good and had concerns if the endurance training would stress my body out.
17 weeks was how far along I was when the race was scheduled and between week 6 and 11 I was horribly ill with morning sickness. Come week 11 I started to feel vigorous again and got back into the “serious training”. Despite feeling better, I noticed my body was doing things of its own: growing bubba and slowing. In theory I knew this was expected and natural, but being the driven person that I am it was challenging slowing down. About three weeks ago I came back from a bike ride with my cycling group and my husband asked me how it went. I burst into tears because I no longer could keep up with everyone. It took a lot of mental work to get me thinking about enjoying the event not being competitive but eventually I got there.
So the day before the event, I was full of excitement. Ready to just enjoy the day, the festive vibes and have a blast with my Mumma and bubba. We stayed at some of our best friends place on the coast, who were also racing with us. Then, just before bed I threw up. Ew! And No! Not the night before the race. Feeling nervous yet again, I got myself a good night sleep, hydrated up and by morning was pumping ready to go feeling great! What a blessing.
We arrived to set our gear up in the dark and watched the sun rise over the Mooloolaba Ocean. It was perfect. The ocean had barely a ripple in it. No currents, no rips, no waves, and crystal clear. I have always been a water bug. Feeling free. And this swim was a breezes. 1.5km of glorious gliding. I did get knocked in the face three times by other competitors, but that is to be expected when you have literally thousands of athlete’s in the water racing the same strip. I came out of the water feeling strong and in 30 minutes. This is the exact same time as my PB and I was stoked being pregnant.
Mum is better at running then I, but I did have her in the water. This was perfect though because I was able to get to my bike in time, sit and even eat a protein bar to reenergise my body for the rest of the race to come. 3 minutes later Mum was with me, saddled up and we were ready to go.
There was a slight headwind both ways on the course, but nothing to be concerned about. For the most part the triathletes were polite. I got complements for my socks on the course by a co-competitor. I love the bike, because I love going REAL fast and I love the feeling of your body being the machine propelling you forward. The groin pain however, nah, I don’t love that so much.
I predicted I would do the 40km ride in about an hour and a half and came in at 1 hour and 25 minutes. Cool, last leg to go, the 10km run. I hate running! Running is not only terrible on your joints and aging, but it also just feels suckie. I suppose though, all triathletes have a favourite and a least desirable section of the three dimensions.
Part of the reason the run disagrees with me so much is that it is always in the hottest time of the race and by the end, you’re most exhausted. My one goal in the run is to NOT OVERHEAT! Keeping my temps down meant drenching my body in water at each water station. My shoes were going squish, squish the whole way. I had to walk up a few of the hills, saw beautiful and encouraging friends several times along the course and my incredible mother, who I am so grateful for stuck by me, even though her fitness level at this time could have taken her across the finish line far sooner then what my body allowed.
The feeling of coming over the last hill and into the crowds towards the finish line. Wow. It brought up so much excitement because 1. Being in a race is invigorating but 2. I had just completed an Olympic Size Triathlon at 17 weeks pregnant. I heard someone in the crowd shout out “good work ladies. Now fix up your number bibs and put a smile on those faces for the finish line”. And smile we did!
Final 100 meters and Mum said “let’s go baby!”. We have a habit of sprinting the final section of the races we do together. But my little body wasn’t going to take me any faster and I just said I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I gave it everything and it most certainly wasn’t a sprint. Welcome to motherhood.
The moment I crossed the finish line that was it ~ A surge of pregnancy hormones overwhelmed me and I just cried. I went to the medic tent to get them to check my temps. 36 degrees. All good. And thank goodness. I had a mini heaving sessions but my bod had used up all the food I had given it so nothing came out. Mumma knew I needed lots of water and ice and I became her priority. She is wonderful.
And then relief set in. I had done it. We had done it. And it was done.
I’m so grateful to my friend and family who supported me through training the saw me through the race on the day. A particular shout out to my mountain man who sacrificed lots of time and money to have me achieve something extraordinary.
Celebrations included a chocolate thick shake, chicken and avocado sandwich and an ocean dip. I now am so ready for yoga, Pilates and swimming to carry me through the rest of my pregnancy.